Mercyhurst Athletic Center keeps students active

Mercyhurst College students participate in the Tuesday afternoon’s step class being offered at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center.Mercyhurst College students participate in the Tuesday afternoon step class being offered at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center.Need some inspiration for getting those extra pounds off after this Christmas season? I think the real question is, who doesn’t?
The treadmill-elliptical-treadmill-elliptical routine can become quite stagnant. I know this from personal experience.

But one thing that never bores me and always keeps me interested in the Mercyhurst Athletic Center (MAC) is the unique classes it offers.

These classes, more often than not, go unappreciated and unattended.

Many of us know that unattended events at Mercyhurst generally disappear, so this is more than just your run-of-the-mill informational column.

This is a petition to get yourself off the couch or out of bed and to the MAC to take advantage of one of its great classes.

Director of the Fitness Center Tom Herman said that he and the student instructors get together each term and decide on the classes, handpicking them for what they think the student body will enjoy the most.

Classes vary and are offered every term. This term, there are classes in Pilates, yoga, step, Latin dance, spinning, Total Body and Zumba.

Latin dance instructor Felica Guerra is very excited about her classes.

“This class is very fun and entertaining for me and the rest of the students. I enjoy teaching it and they enjoy learning it. I teach them salsa, merengue, rumba, samba, and other Caribbean movements.” Guerra said, “This class is good to improve abdomen, hips, legs and a good cardio workout.”

Guerra thinks that Mercyhurst students will be very engaged physically and mentally during her classes.

“The class is very fast and fun. I try to interact with all the people in the class,” Guerra said, “I recommend this class to any boy or girl that is interested in learning how to dance different Latin dances from many Latin American countries.”

Guerra, from Nicaragua, has a vast amount of experience in teaching dance.

“I began teaching dance classes when I was in junior high back in Nicaragua at my mother’s dance studio. I have been dancing ballet, jazz and ethnic dancing since I was a very small girl. I heard coach Herman was looking for someone and I told him I would be perfect for the job,” Guerra said.

With this diverse selection, one cannot go wrong and is guaranteed to have fun. You might not even notice the calories being burned off until they’re gone.

Senior Evie Niederriter, an instructor for Total Body class, said, “Having classes offered at the gym is an incredible benefit, particularly for females who feel intimidated in the typical gym setting … classes allow participants to get that without having to wander around the gym searching for open equipment.”

Niederriter encourages anyone who wants to lose or maintain weight or even build muscle tone to try her class.

“I have found that the best way to engage the entire body is by utilizing as much variety as possible, with every exercise leading quickly into the one after it so that participants gain endurance,” she said.

Junior Renai Medeiros, the instructor for the step classes, agrees with Niederriter.

“Students may not have the motivation to do things on their own, so having an instructor to motivate them would help students get the results they want,” she said.

Herman said he is “proud of the fact that classes are taught by our students,” and stresses that there is always a need for new instructors. He urges students who are interested in teaching classes to become certified.

Certification classes are offered at Mercyhurst College each year; Latin dance is at the end of January, Pilates is in February, step is in March and spinning is in April.

For more information or a schedule of the classes, you can call the MAC at extension 2525 or visit the My Mercyhurst portal.