by Shawna Graves, Office of Public Relations

The lights are turned off in a dance room full of people, Cumbia music is turned way up and a strobe light is flashing for special effect. This isn’t a night club; it’s a Zumba fitness class at the Graves-Pierce Gym.

Zumba is one of many fitness classes available to gym goers at Sul Ross. The class is offered three times a week, open to community members with or without a gym membership and dedicated fitness warriors always pack the dance floor. Other shape-up options include total body workouts, group fitness, yoga, heart chakra meditation and belly dance.

The rotation changes each semester with different classes depending on community interest. An up to date schedule can be found under the Recreational Programs tab of the Sul Ross webpage.

Some of the classes require a fee, as determined by the instructor, but many are free and don’t require a gym membership. That makes it pretty easy for anyone to get involved without committing to a yearly membership.

For those wanting access to all gym facilities, memberships are available. Facilities include an indoor pool, basketball/volleyball courts, a sauna, racquetball courts, a cardio room, a weight room, a multipurpose dance room and classrooms.

Cardio equipment includes a treadmill, elliptical, climb mill, and spin bikes with more on the way. The weight room has free weights, squat racks, power racks and more.

Tennis rackets, balls and other sports equipment can be checked out at the front desk.

“We have a lot going on over here,” said Antuan Washington, Director of Recreational Programs and a certified group fitness instructor working on his personal training certificate.

His group fitness class is at noon and 6 p.m. daily, and costs $60 per month, plus membership. The class progresses in strength building over a period of four weeks then starts over.

Washington also offers personal training sessions at $10 per hour for membership holders. “Come in for an assessment and we’ll go over your background and goals and how to safely and realistically accomplish your goals,” he said.

Personal training sessions include personalized workouts and equipment training.

Membership for current students is covered through tuition and fees. Annual rates differ for family of current students, faculty, staff, retired university employees, alumni, state employees and their family, in addition to daily, weekly and monthly guest rates.

The fee schedule, hours, class schedules, facility and other gym info is located under the Recreational Programs tab at sulross.edu.