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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]

Many parodies were created in reaction to Rohrback's original video, which themselves have accumulated hundreds of thousands of views.[5][6]


Screenshot from "Prancercise: A Fitness Workout"

Joanna Rohrback graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor's degree in Health Services in 1978.[7][8] Around 1989 she became a "committed exercise devotee", regularly working out on the Boardwalk in Hollywood Beach, FL.[9] 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.[10]

That same year she created the first video to feature the routine entitled “Funky Punky’s Prancercise Program.”[11][12][13]

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.”[8] 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.”[14][15] From this she developed four distinct routines: the Prancercise Walk, the Prancercise Trot, the Prancercise Gallop, and the Prancercise Box.[11][16]

However, 1994 started a near-decade of personal setbacks for Joanna Rohrback.[17] 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 died, Joanna also began to suffer from severe health complications. She was unable to Prancercise for almost nine years.[18]

During this time she maintained a natural healing regimen;[19] 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.[20] On Thanksgiving Day 2012, Rohrback successfully completed a 5k entirely in Prancercise.[11][21] After this event, she decided to package her idea for the public sphere.[22]

In December of that year she self-published her manuscript titled, “Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence.”[23] Then, on Christmas Day, she uploaded a YouTube video featuring her fitness routine.[24] The video went viral with over 10 million views and has attracted national[25][26] and international attention.[27][28]

In popular culture[edit]

Prancercise has also been the subject of negative attention, much of it mocking the regimen.[29][30][31][32]

In May 2013, Joanna Rohrback demonstrated Prancercise to Al Roker and Natalie Morales on The Today Show.[33]

In July 2013, she starred in the official music video for John Mayer’s hit single Paper Doll.[34]

In September 2013, she appeared in a promotional video for Wonderful Pistachios[35] and e-cigarette brand Bull Smoke.[36] She also appeared on the Comedy Central show Tosh.0[37] with Daniel Tosh and The Steve Harvey Show.[38]

In October 2013, she appeared on The Dr. Oz show.[39] In November 2013, she appeared on South Beach Tow.[40]

In December 2013, she was named the Surprise Star of the Year by CNBC [41] and appeared in YouTube's 2013 Rewind Mashup video, which has garnered over 15 million views in less than 48 hours.[42]

In 2013 Joanna Rohrback and prancercise appeared on South Beach Tow where Joanna's car was repossessed and she taught prancercising to Tremont Towing dispatcher Dave Kosgrove who used it to help repossess a car.[43]

In March 2014 Joanna Rohrback appeared in the popular TV show Glee as one of the judges at Nationals.[44]

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. 2013-05-31. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  4. ^ ""Prancercise" takes Web by storm, but is the exercise effective?". CBS News. 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
  5. ^ "Prancercise Parody: Everybody PRANCE Now!". 2013.
  6. ^ "Unicorn Prancercising". 2013.
  7. ^ "Coaching, Prancercise LLC". 2013.
  8. ^ a b "The Prancercise Lady Copes With the Dark Side of Internet Fame". 2013.
  9. ^ "Coral Springs woman gallops into spotlight with 'Prancercise' video". 2013.
  10. ^ Joanna Rohrback, Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence, (2012), p.5
  11. ^ a b c "Interview with Joanna Rohrback, the Prancercise Guru". 2013.
  12. ^ "Legal, Prancercise LLC". 2013.
  13. ^ "'Prancercise' Creator on Her 'Wacky' Workout and Being Too Famous to Prancercise". 2013.
  14. ^ "Prance like a horse to stay fit". The Times Of India. 2013-06-06.
  15. ^ "What Is Prancercise? How Effective Is Prancercise?". 2013.
  16. ^ "Health Buzz: What's the 'Prancercise' Exercise Program?". 2013.
  17. ^ "Prancercise, a celebration of self-expression". 2013.
  18. ^ "Coral Springs woman gallops into spotlight with 'Prancercise' video". 2013.
  19. ^ "Prancercise Workout Video: Part Trot, Part Prance, All Incredible". 2013.
  20. ^ "Prancercise, a celebration of self-expression". 2013.
  21. ^ "32nd Annual Tamarac Turkey Trot 5k Race Results". 2012.
  22. ^ "You Can Prance If You Want To". 2013.
  23. ^ " - Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence".
  24. ^
  25. ^ "The Horse-Inspired Workout You Need To See To Believe". 2013. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  26. ^ "Will Horse-Inspired Exercise 'Prancercise' Be The Next Celeb Trend?". 2013.
  27. ^ "Forget Zumba and Sh'Bam, pony up for the latest fitness fad, Prancercise". 2013.
  28. ^ "Prancercise Website Introduces a New Horse Exercise for Humans". 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. "Prancercise, quite possibly the most sincerely honest, if ridiculous, exercise ever notched into the annals of fitness."
  31. ^ Sam Laird (2013). "'Prancercise' May Be the Weirdest Workout You'll Ever See". Retrieved 2011-09-05. "Much of the attention has been negative, full of snark and mocking Rohrback's unique workout regimen."
  32. ^ Photoshop Disasters (2013). "Pracercise: Yes, Prancercise". Archived from the original on 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
  33. ^ "Do you Prancercise? Fitness sensation goes viral". 2013. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  34. ^ "John Mayer - Paper Doll". 2013.
  35. ^ "Wonderful Pistachios - Get Crackin' with the Prancercise lady". 2013.
  36. ^ "Joanna Rohrback Prefers being around Bull Smoke E-Cigarettes to Dangerous Tobacco Cigarettes". 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  37. ^ "Tosh.0 - Prancercise". 2013.
  38. ^ "The Steve Harvey Show - Prancercise". 2013.
  39. ^ "Dr. Oz Learns How to Prancercise". 2013.
  40. ^ "Tow Yard Prancing Caught On Tape". 2013.
  41. ^ "The surprise star of 2013: The 'Prancercise' lady". 2013.
  42. ^ "YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?". 2013. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  43. ^
  44. ^