Diverse activities focus on overall wellness

2020-09-04 Spin Class

Media: Sandi Yanisko/The Hill School

2020-09-04 Spin Class

Music rings about the walls of the dance studio as dancers both new and experienced gather to learn and perform a variety of dance forms. Nearby on the hardwood floors of Sweeney Gym, sweat is the spin class’ favorite accessory. Out on the Far Fields, fall athletes remain focused on making the most of their seasons, while winter and spring athletes are taking advantage of newly offered training during their off-seasons.

           This fall, students have been introduced to a unique list of afternoon activities, consisting of 10 new options to select from. These additions include Outdoor Education, Recreational Sports, Yoga, Cross Training, Spin, Dance, Recreational Squash, Gardening, and Eco-Action, Journalism / Hill News, and, for remote students access, Positive Intelligence.

“A lot of our students have different interests, so we wanted to offer some opportunities for recreational sports and general fitness,” said Athletic Director Seth Eilberg. “The other thing we wanted to do was slightly expand our non-athletic co-curriculars. One, because those are things that a lot of our students have an interest in and sometimes maybe don’t have a chance to pursue those activities. Secondly, they’re very accessible to our remote students, so we wanted to continue to have that co-curricular experience available to students who may need to be remote.”

As these new activities gain traction, favorites amongst students have been highlighted across campus and have received positive feedback. 

“I think [spin] is super fun and a really good option for people who want to exercise but don’t do a fall sport,” said Sarah Kenvin ‘23. “I like that we rotate between spinning and other things too since we only spin three times a week.”

Much like Spin, dance has also made its afternoon activity debut this fall. Being an art of interest to many students around campus, the enthusiastic response toward dance being offered as more than a class was inevitable. 

“Afternoon dance has been great! This is our first opportunity at offering dance in the afternoon, and we are thrilled to have a great turnout,” said Adjunct Dance Instructor Laura Cobbs.  “We have several new Hill dancers that have joined us for this term. As a team, they are committed, cohesive, and enthusiastic about learning new choreography. Although this group of dancers has mostly just met, there is a strong cohesion and support. It is inspiring to watch and gives me momentum in advancing the Hill dance program. It’s exciting to think about what the future might hold.”

           Along with the 10 newly activated afternoon activities, Hill is continuing to offer training to fall athletes who have lost their competitive seasons. “We wanted to ensure that our student-athletes, even if they weren’t going to have an interscholastic season, had the opportunity to train and develop fully,” Eilberg said.

           In addition to implementing these new opportunities, Hill has garnered several cutting-edge pieces of equipment. “We really stocked up on a number of our ball sports, to make sure we had plenty of balls. We invested in 15 new bikes for spin, as well as our strength and conditioning equipment,” Eilberg said.

           With the commotion surrounding the new afternoon activities, one question remains: Are these activities here to stay, or are they solely to accommodate the demands of the pandemic? Eilberg answered, “We’d like to continue where we’ve seen interest and health and wellness, but we also feel strongly that there is a unique value in interscholastic competition. We’re doing a study to observe what will best fit both what students are demanding and what we know to be best for our students’ health and wellness.”