Feb 062006
Authors: Skylar Rick

Aspiring fitness instructors might have a chance to dance and kick their way to their dream. The Student Recreation Center kicked off a set of fitness instructor classes Tuesday that will last through April.

"In theory, the students will have the foundation to teach almost anything," said Nicole LaRocque, strength and fitness coordinator for the Rec Center. "They then pick two classes they really want to teach, and shadow the instructors that teach it, working toward those classes."

After students finish the program, they get the chance to audition by teaching a mock class.

But the program isn't all dance and games. Students also learn basic nutrition, anatomy and physiology, LaRocque said. This is important because it helps to create efficient workout routines and could help in crafting a diet more conducive to fitness.

Although it is not required, students with a background in dance are at an advantage because they tend to be able to count beats better during workouts done to music.

But the class is open to everyone – even those not in the best shape.

"Someone who is overweight should not be self-conscious about signing up for this class," said Kari Joslyn, a senior health and exercise science major with a sports medicine concentration. "Although it will be important to be able to teach a class in a safe and effective manner, there is plenty of time to get in better shape.

"Health and fitness is a journey, and it is important for our students to see we, as instructors, work at it as well."

After learning the foundation of classes, the students will be able to start focusing on training in the classes they most enjoy.

The classes also prepare students to take the American Council of Exercise (ACE) certification test. This $85 program includes all the textbooks required to pass the test.

After completing the class and becoming ACE certified, the students will have the opportunity to apply for a job at the Rec. Center, among other places.

"To work at any club or gym you have to be certified for insurance reasons," Kercher said "This is a good certification to have because no matter what you do, if you need extra cash you can always find a gym, so it's a great career move."

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