By Eric Butler: PNT staff writer
Recreation centers have a funny way of being associated quite strongly with young people — and with good reason. It’s the youth who often seem starving for some kind of activity, or recreation, during the hours of the day when school isn’t in session and the parents aren’t at home.
Lately, though, the Portales recreation center is making efforts to reach out to adults, too.
The strategy is simple when it comes to marketing classes like yoga, belly dancing and toning: Make the cost extraordinarily cheap.
For a blanket fee of $10, adults can take one or as many of the classes as possible offered at the recreation center until June 1.
“It’s awesome, so let’s utilize it — get everybody down here. I think there’s a lot of us that would like to do stuff that’s not always that accessible,” said Terri Kreps, 53, taking a break from a belly dancing class.
“I like it because it’s limbering me up and enabling me to do things that my body was kinda slowing up on,” she added.
Kreps said in addition to belly dancing, she’s also taking a toning class with two of her friends and all three are planning on signing up for a yoga class that’s just starting this week.
Center Director Andi Copenhaver said only one adult class — belly dancing — was offered when she started at the job just under a year ago. Attendance is still sparse, but Copenhaver is continuing to expand the curriculum, so to speak.
She’s planning on teaching a kick boxing class in the near future, which would make a total of seven classes, including open walking and Zumba.
“Zumba is a latin dance aerobics and they do a little bit of toning and sculpting in the middle of that class also. They look like they have a lot of fun in there,” Copenhaver said.
Since the classes are in a recreation center, the chances of someone young looking in on the class is rather high.
“I guess there’s curtains if it bothers anybody,” said Kreps, laughing off the attention from the kids.
Kreps said the reason the center can keep rates low for the adult classes is because the teachers work for free.
“Here at the rec center it’s all on a volunteer basis, so I do this out of my own time,” said Yolanda Chavez, instructor for belly dancing. “I love teaching dance and belly dancing — that’s why I’m here.”