Every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, a group of fit CC students gather to work their bodies and minds through 90-minute rhythmic routines.
“It’s probably the best hour and a half of my day,” senior Shaye Smith said. Smith is a member of the Pilates adjunct that Colorado College offers during seventh and eighth blocks. Students earn a quarter of a credit for their time spent in the adjunct.
The adjunct meets from 2:45 to 4:15 p.m. three days a week in the South Dance Studio (where yoga classes were previously held) in Cossitt Hall. Dance professor Patrizia Herminjard, an artist-in-residence, instructs the course.
“[Herminjard] is wonderful,” sophomore Martha White said. “She does a great job making sure classes are interesting and filled with a variety of different exercises.”
There are 27 students registered in the adjunct, some in the grade track, some auditing it, and others taking it pass/fail. The curriculum follows Joseph Pilates’ principles of exercise infused with intention and fullness of expression through centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow.
The students do not use machinery that many Pilates classes rely upon, both because the class size is too big and because Herminjard believes wholeheartedly that Pilates should be able to be practiced anywhere.
“While the routine is essentially the same every day, we vary it by adding different elements, such as partner stretches, Theraband exercises, or today, inversions, such as headstands,” White said. (Theraband exercises involve using a stretchy plastic band to add resistance when strength training).
Students warm up with stretches before spending the majority of class engaging in rhythmic routines, and ending with the practice of “corpse pose” for 10 minutes.
“I definitely noticed an improvement in my strength and flexibility after just the first week, especially in my core,” said freshman Lily Biggar.
“I also noticed a dramatic improvement in my core strength from the difficulty and repetition of the exercises,” Smith said.
Smith explained that in addition to increasing strength, she enrolled in the class because she is a graduating senior and wanted to take advantage of the adjunct schedule.
“I leave each session feeling relieved, refreshed, and rejuvenated,” Smith said.
“While we’ve all gained strength, I also really appreciate the more emotional aspects,” White said. “It’s relaxing, calming, and emotionally beneficial at the same time as it functions as a workout. I really look forward to the class each week.”
“[Pilates] is a strength exercise full of rhythm – it’s almost a dance. I’m so glad I decided to participate and I’ve already enrolled for next year,” Biggar said.
Next year, the adjunct will be offered on a similar schedule over fifth and sixth blocks. There are still spots open, but if this year is any indication, the class will fill up quickly.