High school track-and-field coach and PE teacher Gigi Kody was the aerobics instructor teaching classes at a Madison Street bar twice a week in 1987. Side Kicks, at 7801 Madison St., which hosted the class, was said to be less intimidating than health clubs, because “people with a not-so-perfect body can come in old sweats or whatever is comfortable and just have fun.”  

The class required a three-month commitment and was “a low-tone aerobics designed to tone the inner thigh, lower thigh and buttocks.” Kody wanted to emphasize the social aspects of aerobics, which paired naturally with the social aspects of a tavern.

Jill Wagner