Truman State University’s Student Recreation Center provides a space for students to workout independently, but also supplies many student-led fitness classes such as salsa and high-intensity interval training. These classes are designed to be inclusive, allowing students of all fitness levels to get active with other students.
Salsa is a social dance for couples. Instructor Tomás Orjuela Muñoz described it as happy, representing Colombia’s celebratory culture. It also reminds Muñoz of home and makes him — the only Colombian on campus — less homesick.
Muñoz has led this class for three semesters and is implementing new tactics to encourage his students. Although he has a core group of participants, he would like to combat decreases in participation resulting from the busyness of semesters. To keep his students coming, Muñoz has implemented competitions with Colombian candy rewards and makes an effort to get to know each participant.
Candy, however, is not this class’ only reward. Like other forms of exercise, dancing has many physical and psychological benefits.
“I love to see how people walk into the room not talking to each other that much… maybe they’re stressed, in their own mind thinking about their own problems. And then, after dancing for an hour, they’re talking to each other — they’re happy, they’re sweating,” Muñoz said.
Muñoz’s class takes place at 5:45 p.m Mondays and Wednesdays in the aerobics room on the second floor of the recreation center.
For those who don’t particularly want to dance but still want to get their guided physical activity in for the week could also try H.I.T.T.
H.I.T.T. is short bursts of intense anaerobic exercise with short breaks, and the intention is to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Instructor Clayton Reed leads the H.I.I.T class two times a week for roughly one hour per session.
“I’ve never taught this class before, so I was a little nervous, but after getting into it, I’m really happy I did it,” Reed said.
Reed himself enjoys bodybuilding. He says anyone can find a place in the class no matter their usual fitness regime or experience.
Reed said, “We do have modifications for anyone who needs it. No one should be discouraged from working out.”
He said the class is for anyone and everyone, and he is growing alongside those in his class since he is new to being an H.I.I.T. instructor.
Reed’s class is at 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the aerobics room of the rec center.