Every Tuesday and Thursday, junior Megan Molloy goes to the Mirror Room in the Fitness Center to teach ‘Hustle Fitness,’ what she calls her adaptation of Zumba. Despite struggling to get people to come, she keeps trying to encourage busy students to try group fitness out.
Fall Term of Molloy’s freshman year, the Insanity circuit training instructor told her class that he was graduating early and the school would need a new instructor. The instructor recommended Molloy get her certification, which Molloy did over winter break.
“I took over teaching Insanity at the end of my first year, at which time the girl who was teaching the Zumba class was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m transferring,’” she said.
Given that she already taught one of the classes, Molloy approached Assistant Football Coach and Adjunct Assistant Professor Andy Gibbons to see if he wanted her to get trained in Zumba as well. He did and she got certified over the summer.
“So, round about way, I went to the class for long enough and then the people who were working the jobs defected, so I took over,” she said.
Now Molloy teaches two Zumba-style classes a week. She now calls them ‘Hustle Fitness’ to avoid Zumba’s requirements on what kind of music can be played and thinks the change may have confused some people leading to a recent decrease in attendance. Molloy is responsible for promoting the class.
“Unless you’re already like at the gym, a lot of people are like, ‘eh.’ You have to be into it,” Molloy said, “I started going to the group fitness classes here because I like group fitness and a lot of people don’t because they think everybody’s looking at them and it’s awkward.”
Since attendance varies, Molloy said she does not really vary the difficulty of the lessons. However, with her only regular attendee, she said she has been doing routines more like Zumba Strong than the normal routines.
“Yes, it actually is a workout,” she said.
Beyond just a workout, the class has become a way for Molloy and her students to relieve stress from their lives.
“Even when I don’t want to go, I end up leaving feeling better. The endorphins don’t suck. Plus any job where you get to jump around and be silly with other people is a pretty good gig,” Molloy said.
For her students, the relaxed atmosphere helps them to feel comfortable and not feel pressured to go to every session if life gets in the way.
“She gives positive feedback, so a lot of the time when I come, when I’m feeling like a little stressed out, she’s really nice about that and she understands if you can’t make it to class all the time. I try to drag my friends along sometimes but they’re like really busy so, if it’s just me sometimes, I don’t mind,” sophomore Aliya Estes, one of the regular attendees, said.
Molloy said she knew people might be worried about being judged by others in the class but that everyone is generally watching the instructor so they did not need to worry. Instead, the classes can offer motivation to get into fitness and a supportive group atmosphere.
“Usually around mid-term attendance will pick up again, because everybody’s like ‘Oh, yeah, I’m always going to be busy, I might as well try to take care of myself anyway,’” she said.