Hurst Class Catalog: Pilates


Sarah Beck, Contributing writer

Mercyhurst has a wide variety of classes in many different fields including DANC:104, a course in Pilates. This class is an experiential course that is mostly oriented in practice and movement but also gives students an anatomical background into the history of Pilates such as who Joseph Pilates was. This Pilates class is similar to athletic training, occupation therapy and physical therapy, which are forms of movement that stemmed from Joseph Pilates’ work. Joseph Pilates studied the body to create this form of exercise to be based on functional movement and to create good healthy habits through human movements.

The instructor of DANC:104 is Jennifer McNamara who started her career as a professional ballet dancer for twenty years. Once McNamara retired she became certified to teach pilates as well as to certify other individuals to instruct Pilates. Over her career she has taught at a few different universities in Tennessee as well as owning her own private studio where she worked closely with a physical therapy clinic. Once McNamara saw the available position at Mercyhurst she applied and the rest is history.DANC:104 is offered to all students on campus regardless of academic major and skill level with movement. There is some room to tailor the class to your physical needs and wants such as the want to be more flexible, become more stable in your core, or gain more range of motion in your hips, shoulders and more. This class gives an awesome and unique opportunity to focus on these personal physical goals while getting class credit and learning the history behind Pilates.

Through teaching here at Mercyhurst University McNamara has had the opportunity to work with not only dancers but also a wide range of other students. McNamara loves working with a variety of students. “They [the students] help me become a better teacher and a better learner. I love how people interact with starting to learn different things about their bodies. They may come in as a football player and know certain things that they are good at, but watching them learn new things and spreading information makes me really happy,” said McNamara.

This class has a bright future ahead with the hope of growing an even more robust program with additional equipment and opportunities. Look forward to the things to come with DANC:104 and possibly add it to your class schedule come the next semester.