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Ohio University Well-Being & Recreation hosts Cardio Dance Classes at Ping Recreation Center. Credit: Ohio University Well-Being & Recreation

Cardio dance class brings excitement back into working out on campus

Ping Recreation Center is home to many free group workout opportunities on campus, including the widely popular cardio dance classes. Starting on Aug. 30, Ohio University students were ecstatic to dust off their dancing shoes, relieve some stress and enjoyably break a sweat.

Cardio dance is exactly as it sounds, an exercise that keeps you moving to a beat with little room for breaks in between.

Madison Ausbrooks, a freshman instructor studying exercise science, said the workout centers around repetition.

"It's just a set of repeating moves as the song repeats so eventually people can catch on," Ausbrooks said. "I always tell people if they don't know what I'm doing, just to keep moving, keep trying and keep walking it out."

Students can attend cardio dance classes in Studio 219 with Ausbrooks. Classes are four times a week, all with optional attendance, and are 45 minutes long. Current sessions are Tuesdays at 9 p.m., Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m., Fridays at 2 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m.

Current attendants said they particularly love the nighttime classes, especially after a long day of juggling coursework and extracurriculars.

"It makes you feel really good," Lauren Mazzacone, a junior studying psychology, said. "It's at night, so it's a little bit later, but it's a great way to end your day, especially if you have been sitting in your classroom all day and you feel like you really haven't done any activity. It's just a great way to do your exercise."

Mazzacone says that her friends inspired her to attend classes, and she continues to return for more.

"In the beginning, it was because my friends just wanted to go out and do it," Mazzacone said. "Then afterwards, I realized it was such a great way to be active and also have fun. You're working out and you don't even realize it."

Likewise, Mayson Chapnick, a sophomore studying child and family studies, said that cardio dance allows her to meet people outside her friend group.

"You'll meet a lot of people there I think because everyone's really there for fun," Chapnick said. "No one's really being competitive in any way. You'll always see someone — like I always go and I see someone I know from outside of my friend group … so that's fun. It's a good community. It's mostly girls, so it's not uncomfortable or anything."

According to Ausbrooks, classes have been well this school year, regardless of the number of people in the room. All in all, she just wants to make exercise fun for people.

"They've been pretty good," Ausbrooks said. "There's been a couple of them where only five people show up, but it's still pretty fun. People bring in a lot of energy, which is awesome."

Centered around empowerment and promoting a healthy, low-maintenance way to stay in shape, cardio dance classes seem to be a hit at Ping, making hearts pump and legs groove.

"I will have to say these classes are definitely more towards girls, so if a girl is a little shy about going to the gym, this is a way for her to get her cardio in and then maybe take a look around (Ping)," Ausbrooks said. "I just think it's a good way to get your heart pumping and get the move on as well instead of just being stationary."


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