Learn to Jam, MTV-Style, at Hemenway Gym

Harvard students may like to take advanced classes in most areas, but fitness is not one of them.

Surveys put out by the Hemingway Gym found that students were looking for a little more pizazz in their workouts, and both Hemingway and the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC) stepped up to the aerobic step block. Both gyms now offer a number of specialized dance style classes, including such gems as MTV Dance and ZUMBA!

“We always want to keep the programming new and fresh,” said Cristina N. Hoff, fitness program manager at Hemenway, of the new options.

These classes have more going for them than their novelty, in that they’re easy for out-of-shape Harvard students. The classes, termed “low-impact” because they are easy on the joints, combine various styles of dance with aerobics for stretching, light cardio, and muscle training.

ZUMBA!, one of the new classes this semester, came about after a whopping five instructors received certification for ZUMBA! fitness instruction. Unlike worn-down Life-Sci TFs, these teachers are actually excited for extra sections.

“I can express myself and feel completely natural,” said Sirad H. Adbilahi, a ZUMBA!licious dance instructor.

But you don’t need to be in touch with your inner yogie to take these classes.

“It was kind of like yoga for the inflexible people,” said Amy L. Catalinak, a graduate student in the Government department, of one Friday morning ZUMBA! class.

While Catalinak was happy about the workout she was getting, she was most excited about something that was missing: “I didn’t have to do positions called downward-facing dog,” she said. Sweet.

So if you’re looking to burn off that popcorn chicken and listen to MTV at the same time, stop by either gym for a workout that’s a little more interesting than taking the stairs up to the 5th floor of Widener.