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Screenshot from "Prancercise: A Fitness Workout"

Prancercise is a holistic fitness method based on "a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation" created by Joanna Rohrback.[1][2][3]

It has been compared to the low-impact aerobics that were popularized by 1980s workout videos.[4]


Joanna Rohrback graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor's degree in Health Services in 1978.[5][6] Around 1989 she became a "committed exercise devotee", regularly working out on the Boardwalk in Hollywood Beach, FL.[7] It was on that Boardwalk where Joanna had an experience she claims was the inspiration for Prancercise:

One morning [...], while power walking, with ankle weights on, there must have been an exceptionally good song on my Walkman, cause as I attempted to stretch out my legs to get the maximum muscle tone in my buttocks, hips and thighs, I somehow started naturally rocking and twisting my whole body. As I proceeded, my arms started following the rest of my body, in rhythm. The next thing I knew, I was nearly dancing, but not quite.[8]

That same year she created the first video to feature the routine entitled “Funky Punky’s Prancercise Program.”[9][10][11]

Joanna quit her job and decided to focus on her new discovery. She practiced it every day, “taking years to hone its every gesture and kick.”[6] Rohrback coined Prancercise as a means to vividly illustrate her comprehensive diet and fitness program, modeling it after the “strength and beauty of a horse.”[12][13] From this she developed four distinct routines: the Prancercise Walk, the Prancercise Trot, the Prancercise Gallop, and the Prancercise Box.[9][14]

However, 1994 started a near-decade of personal setbacks for Joanna Rohrback.[15] She wrote a book about Prancercise but couldn’t find a publisher. Her mother then began to experience complications from Parkinson’s disease – so Joanna became her live-in caregiver. In 2004, after her mother passed away, Joanna also began to suffer from severe health complications. She was unable to Prancercise for almost nine years.[16]

During this time she maintained a natural healing regimen;[17] by her 60th birthday, Joanna Rohrback was able to Prancercise once again. She decided to focus on her technique and started increasing her daily workouts.[18] On Thanksgiving Day 2012, Rohrback successfully completed a 5k entirely in Prancercise.[9][19] After this event, she decided to package her idea for the public sphere.[20]

In December of that year she self-published her manuscript titled, “Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence.”[21] Then, on Christmas Day, she uploaded a Youtube video featuring her fitness routine. The video went viral with over 8 million views and has attracted national[22][23] and international attention.[24][25]

In Popular Culture[edit]

In May 2013, Joanna Rohrback demonstrated Prancercise to Al Roker and Natalie Morales on The Today Show.[26]

Many parodies were created in reaction to Joanna’a original video, which themselves have accumulated hundreds of thousands of views.[27][28] Prancercise has also been the subject of negative attention, some of it mocking the regimen.[29][30][31][32]

In July 2013, she starred in the official music video for John Mayer’s hit single Paper Doll.[33]

In September 2013, she appeared in a promotional video for Wonderful Pistachios[34] and e-cigarette brand Bull Smoke.[35] She also appeared on the Comedy Central show Tosh.O[36] with Daniel Tosh and The Steve Harvey Show.[37]

In October 2013, she appeared on The Dr. Oz show.[38] In November 2013, she appeared on South Beach Tow.[39]

In December 2013, she was named the Surprise Star of the Year by CNBC [40] and appeared in Youtube's 2013 Rewind Mashup video, which has garnered over 15 million views in less than 48 hours.[41]

In March 2014 Joanna Rohrback appeared in the popular TV show Glee as one of the judges at Nationals.[citation needed]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Prancercise - a fitness revolution". 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  2. ^ "Prancercise: New Exercise Inspired By Trotting Horses Becomes Viral Sensation". 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  3. ^ "Introducing Prancercise: The Horse-Inspired Exercise Trend". Time. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ ""Prancercise" takes Web by storm, but is the exercise effective?". 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  5. ^ "Coaching, Prancercise LLC". 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "The Prancercise Lady Copes With the Dark Side of Internet Fame". 2013. 
  7. ^ "Coral Springs woman gallops into spotlight with 'Prancercise' video". 2013. 
  8. ^ Joanna Rohrback, Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence, (2012), p.5
  9. ^ a b c "Interview with Joanna Rohrback, the Prancercise Guru". 2013. 
  10. ^ "Legal, Prancercise LLC". 2013. 
  11. ^ "‘Prancercise’ Creator on Her ‘Wacky’ Workout and Being Too Famous to Prancercise". 2013. 
  12. ^ "Prance like a horse to stay fit". 2013. 
  13. ^ "What Is Prancercise? How Effective Is Prancercise?". 2013. 
  14. ^ "Health Buzz: What's the 'Prancercise' Exercise Program?". 2013. 
  15. ^ "Prancercise, a celebration of self-expression". 2013. 
  16. ^ "Coral Springs woman gallops into spotlight with 'Prancercise' video". 2013. 
  17. ^ "Prancercise Workout Video: Part Trot, Part Prance, All Incredible". 2013. 
  18. ^ "Prancercise, a celebration of self-expression". 2013. 
  19. ^ "32nd Annual Tamarac Turkey Trot 5k Race Results". 2012. 
  20. ^ "You Can Prance If You Want To". 2013. 
  21. ^ " - Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence". 
  22. ^ "The Horse-Inspired Workout You Need To See To Believe". 2013. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  23. ^ "Will Horse-Inspired Exercise 'Prancercise' Be The Next Celeb Trend?". 2013. 
  24. ^ "Forget Zumba and Sh'Bam, pony up for the latest fitness fad, Prancercise". 2013. 
  25. ^ "Prancercise Website Introduces a New Horse Exercise for Humans". 2013. 
  26. ^ "Do you Prancercise? Fitness sensation goes viral". 2013. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  27. ^ "Prancercise Parody: Everybody PRANCE Now!". 2013. 
  28. ^ "Unicorn Prancercising". 2013. 
  29. ^ Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post (2013). "Horse_ebooks, Prancercise and the problem with ironic entertainment". Retrieved 2013-09-27. 
  30. ^ "The Prancercise Lady Copes With the Dark Side of Internet Fame". 2013. 
  31. ^ Sam Laird (2013). "'Prancercise' May Be the Weirdest Workout You'll Ever See". Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  32. ^ Photoshop Disasters (2013). "Pracercise: Yes, Prancercise". Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  33. ^ "John Mayer - Paper Doll". 2013. 
  34. ^ "Wonderful Pistachios - Get Crackin' with the Prancercise lady". 2013. 
  35. ^ "Joanna Rohrback Prefers being around Bull Smoke E-Cigarettes to Dangerous Tobacco Cigarettes". 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  36. ^ "Tosh.O - Prancercise". 2013. 
  37. ^ "The Steve Harvey Show - Prancercise". 2013. 
  38. ^ "Dr. Oz Learns How to Prancercise". 2013. 
  39. ^ "Tow Yard Prancing Caught On Tape". 2013. 
  40. ^ "The surprise star of 2013: The 'Prancercise' lady". 2013. 
  41. ^ "YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?". 2013. Retrieved 2011-12-12.