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Sue Bush
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Berkshire Dance Theatre Introduces Summer Dance Fitness Classes

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, June 23, 2005

Adams – Summer is a great time to bend, stretch, and reach for improved fitness levels at classes designed to meet a variety of abilities and desires.

The Berkshire Dance Theatre is offering four different opportunities to shape up, limber up, have fun and enjoy new friends through a seven-week dance fitness session at the theater’s 34 Commercial St. studio.

Beginning June 28, Pilates, Nia, body conditioning and strength training classes will be taught by certified instructors Judy Babcock and Tricia Nester. Babcock is scheduled to lead body conditioning and strength training classes while Nester is scheduled to teach Pilates and Nia classes.

The cost is $10 per class, and discounts will be available for those interested in multiple classes, said BDT President and Executive Director Eileen Clark.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to get yourself in shape, keep yourself in shape, and have a lot of fun at the same time,” Clark said.

Hour-long classes are scheduled. On Tuesdays, all four classes will be offered, with 5 p.m. body conditioning followed by strength training at 6 p.m., Pilates at 7 p.m. and Nia at 8 p.m.. On Thursdays, body conditioning will begin at 7 p.m. and strength training at 8 p.m., and Pilates will be offered on Fridays at 5 p.m. followed by Nia at 6 p.m..

The body conditioning class will be taught similarly to an aerobics-style class and strength training will utilize light weights.

Pilates couples specific exercises with breathing patterns. The original Pilates concept was developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, who taught the technique for many years with his wife Clara.

Nia [neuromuscular integrative action] is a movement-based technique that offers three levels of intensity in each movement, variety of range of motion, and movement choices. Nia is promoted as being adaptable to any fitness level, age group, and body situation, and uses whole-body movement in place of repetitive jogging or lifting. Movements associated with dance arts and martial arts are incorporated to create Nia.

Casual, loose, comfortable clothing is recommended for all the classes, said Clark.

“We do the Nia and Pilates barefoot,” said Clark. “For the body conditioning and the strength training, you’d want a good pair of sneakers. Shorts and t-shirts are fine to wear, just be sure to be dressed cool and comfortably.”

To sign up for classes or acquire more information, contact BDT office manager Jessica Gwozdz at 413-743-4645 weekdays between noon and 4 p.m..
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