Dance off calories with DAZE

Dance+off+calories+with+DAZE

The Rec offers a DAZE workout class. CW | Marie Walker

Ellen Johnson

Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous, boring or pain-inducing. The Student Recreational Center and the Student Activity Center at Presidential Village offer a number of stress-free group exercise classes.

The classes are free of charge to students and anyone with a SRC membership, and there are a wide variety of options to help students find the classes that are best for them. 

DAZE, a cardio dance class, has become one of the most popular classes offered at the SRC thanks to its calorie-burning dances choreographed to catchy throwback tunes as well as today’s hits. It’s offered four days of the week and seeks to make exercise seem less terrible and more like a dance party. 

Whitney Pape, coordinator of Group Exercise for University Recreation, created DAZE three years ago. Pape said she enjoys watching patrons grow and continue through the program.

“I have been an instructor for nearly 10 years,” Pape said. “My favorite part about being an instructor is the participants and helping them reach their personal and fitness goals.”

Each DAZE instructor is carefully selected based on not only their strengths in fitness, but also their ability to create fun and lively dances that also serve as exercise at the same time.

“DAZE choreography is based on the instructor’s experience, skills and technique,” Pape said. “Each instructor is very gifted when it comes to choreography and that is a major reason why they are hired.”

Instructors put their heads together to choreograph dances they think fitness patrons, even those who don’t like to dance or haven’t experienced a class like this before, will most enjoy. 

“We work together to come up with the dances we do in our classes so that they are special and unique,” Pape said. “Music definitely drives the creative process as well!”

Katie Huff, a sophomore majoring in Dance and Public Relations, has become a SRC regular since she began attending DAZE almost a year ago. DAZE offers her an alternative to other forms of exercise.

“DAZE is great because I hate working out, like I just don’t enjoy it,” Huff said. “Running sucks- it’s so boring and you have no goal. You’re just doing the same thing over and over again.”

Since running and other mainstream workouts can become mundane and stressful, Huff turned to DAZE.

“But then when I got to DAZE it was much more exciting because I got to dance to really great music, some good throwbacks in DAZE,” Huff said. “And it’s like you’re dancing at a party, but you’re burning calories. DAZE is really a big party- all that’s missing is a disco ball.”

Maddy Willioughby, a freshman majoring in Elementary Education, attended DAZE for the first time a few weeks ago and found the class to be easy-going and enjoyable.

“Exercising with other people is a lot more fun and a more encouraging way to exercise,” Willioughby said.

Pape encourages students to come and check out group exercise classes.

“Engaging in group exercise classes allows the participant to have accountability and let’s face it, working out with others who have the same interests as you makes working out a lot more fun.” Pape said.

For a full schedule of group exercise classes, visit http://urec.sa.ua.edu/fitness_groupexercise.cfm