Just Dance! class makes working out fun
Austin Elliot – Contributor
A group of four students gathered in the aerobics room of the SCSU Fitness Center Thursday to participate in the second session of the new “Just Dance!” class.
The class, instructed by a senior, Megan Baker, is the most recent addition to the Fitness Center’s schedule and the only dance class this school year. When asked about the program the political science and history major explained that it was the removal of the Zumba program that led her to start the class.
The “Just Dance!” name came from the popular video game series of the same title, which she used to play with her father. While she herself has had over fifteen years of experience dancing, this is her first time instructing others on how to dance at the college level.
She said that she hopes that her class can “give an alternate workout that doesn’t feel like a workout” and that she wants students to be able to relax.
“I want you to have fun,” she told the students before beginning the night’s program.
The class is supposed to be more of a fun event than a grind; the class began with a warm-up set to Justin Timberlake’s “Summer Love,” where they mostly stretched in preparation for the workout, which included moves such as the “flutter kick,” a butterfly-like motion frequently used by swimmers.
Baker then began the actual workout, leading the group into a choreography set to “God’s Plan” by Drake. Baker went step by step through the motions – both with and without the music, using the standard “five, six, seven, eight,” method – until the students were generally comfortable with the part of the routine they were working on before she moved onto the next section.
On occasion she would turn and watch the students to identify where they may be struggling and used this to help them improve. She also routinely checked on the students, asking them if there were any parts that they would like to go over again.
The class went for a little under fifty minutes before stopping for a brief break to get water, after which they began the cool down portion of the workout. This part, set to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” involved more stretches, this time in the form of a slow dance focusing on the legs.
“You want to feel [your hamstring] stretching, but don’t hurt it,” Baker instructed, making sure that the students did not strain or injure themselves.
It was short, however, and the class was soon adjourned. In the end, all participants showed improvement compared to their first attempts earlier on in the class. All involved agreed that it was fun.
For those who are interested in joining the class, the Just Dance program happens every Thursday from 7 to 8 pm at the Fitness Center inside the Adanti Student Center. Anyone wishing to participate must have an active membership.
Photo Credit: Jenna Stepleman