Power Remix is a dance fitness, cardio-based class where you’re having so much fun moving to the songs that you forget you’re even working out. Penn State fitness instructor Kristen Denezza tells VALLEY what it’s like to teach this unique class.
Penn State’s fitness program offers a variety of different classes, including Power Remix, which is held multiple times throughout the week. Denezza teaches Power Remix on Fridays at 4:15 p.m. in the IM Building, as well as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on Thursdays at 9 a.m. in the White Building.
Denezza, a senior majoring in industrial engineering, grew up as a gymnast and soccer player, using sports as her workout. During her summer session at PSU, Denezza felt frustrated never having been to a regular gym, so she decided to try out a fitness class, Power Remix in particular, and absolutely loved it. After repeatedly attending the classes, she began to see herself teaching them and did everything she could to make that a reality.
Originally, Denezza became an instructor because it was something she wanted to do for herself. She looked up to the other instructors and wanted to be able to teach her own classes. But once she began instructing, her love for teaching shifted to being about the people who attend her classes.
“It makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside when you see the same people come,” says Denezza. “It really does turn more into how your patrons are progressing and getting to see them each week.”
The process to become a fitness instructor is more vigorous than you might think. It’s required to take KINES 93, which meets five days a week during the fall semester. Then, after an audition and interview, you become a “junior” instructor during the spring semester and learn how to teach more specific classes like HIIT, barre and cycling. Junior instructors are paired with an older mentor who helps you throughout the process as you figure out what type of classes you would be interested in teaching.
Denezza was incredibly nervous to teach her first Power Remix; her constant thought was to just not forget the moves! But once she got up there in front of the class, she loved it.
Denezza’s favorite part about teaching Power Remix is that it allows her to be herself while still creating a hard workout for the people attending. Each instructor likes to incorporate their own style of music into their classes. DeNezza loves throwing in a mix of current songs with older hip hop style throwbacks.
“I really feel like myself when I’m teaching,” says Denezza. “I get to show my personality through my facial expression, the music and the moves I choose. “
In a class like cycling, you can physically feel the resistance pushing up against you. In Power Remix, however, you don’t realize you’re even working out half the time because of how fun it is.
One of the most satisfying parts of her job is when she gets to see how the people in class react to a certain track, whether it be a new song she added or a fan favorite like “Push it to the Limit” that’s played every class.
When creating a dance, Denezza explained that it’s important to keep in cardio-based moves, such as jumping jacks, high knees and squats.
“A big stereotype that I’m trying to break is that Power Remix isn’t a workout,” Denezza explains. “When people come for the first time, they realize it’s harder than they would think. It’s still very much a workout, you just don’t realize how much you’re sweating until the end.”
It’s a workout for everybody! The instructor always gives the option of modifying a move to make it easier or harder, and no equipment is needed
Anyone can attend the class, no matter their fitness level. Working out and listening to awesome music is the perfect way to start your weekend.