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University Recreation News

  • T-Town Pull Down 2014 was a Rocking Success

    Posted By: UREC, February 03, 2014
    The T-Town Pull Down was a success today at the University of Alabama Student Recreation Center!

    The Outdoor Rec hosted the climbing competition, and over 75 climbers and climbing enthusiasts came from all over the south to crowd inside the climbing room. Music and cheering rose to a joyful degree, as climbers took to the wall to pursue different problems.

    After three rounds of competition, six finalists competed: three men and three women. Then plenty of freebies from sponsors was given out, including tents, backpacks, jackets, and chalk and chalk bags.

    Sean Wilkinson came from Valdosta State University with 8 students to compete. Wilkinson is a graduate assistant at the Valdosta recreation center and he said his school is planning a competition in March. He wanted to learn tips from UA.

    “The energy in there was insane,” Wilkinson said. “This was my first competition and I was blown away – everything is running so smoothly.”

    Another competitor was Sydney O’Brien from the University of West Georgia.

    “I like the wall a lot and I like how many problems there are. It’s a lot of practice for me,” O’Brien said. “All the judges are really nice and supportive.”

    Clemson University had a large showing, with 20 students. One student made it in the finals. Clemson student Taylor Mason said he competes at climbing events regularly, and the T-Town Pull Down is his favorite.

    “I like that the wall is focused on climbing and training,” Mason said. “And the facility is really cool and there’s great prizes and support from the community.”

    Miles Atkinson from Clemson spoke about the “culture” of climbing.

    “Everybody is really kind and supportive, and not so competitive,” Atkinson said. “It’s a friendly atmosphere – very welcoming.”

    Check out the Rec Center Facebook page: 2014 T Town Pull Down Comp pics
  • Size doesn't matter: take down your opponent with pure skill in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    Posted By: UREC, January 17, 2014
    Jiu-Jitsu back for the Spring Semester!

    Do you want to learn how to take down an opponent, no matter how strong or big that opponent may be? UAchieve’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu course will teach you how to excel in this.

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that also functions as a combat sport and a self-defense system.

    Jiu-Jitsu promotes the idea that a smaller, weaker person using proper technique can successfully defend themselves against a larger, stronger assailant.

    Instructor Mike Shuttlesworth said he was addicted at his first lesson in 1997. He has been training others in the art and technique for years.

    Jiu-Jitsu focuses on grappling and ground fighting. The objective of the class is to gain the dominant position using joint locks and leverage holds, forcing your opponent to submit.

    Shuttlesworth says he love Jiu-Jitsu because of the emphasis on technique.

    “It’s like a physical chess game,” he said. “Each move can be your demise or victory.”

    By the end of the class, Shuttlesworth will make sure every student is proficient in three-deep counters, meaning that they will have three ways to get out of any situation.

    “Every action has a counter, every counter has a counter,” Shuttlesworth explained.

    This Jiu-Jitsu course is designed for students of any level, strength, flexibility or size. It is perfect for anyone who wants to train for competitions or just to know how to defend themselves and get out of potentially harmful or fatal situations.

    Shuttlesworth says there is a misconception about having to be strong to succeed in Jiu-Jitsu.

    “People think it’s about strength and stamina, but it’s really about technique,” he said.

    Every student will have practice partner who will help them. Partners will practice the techniques they have learned until one person is in a “tap-out” position. Students need to remember, though, that Jiu-Jitsu is not about winning every time.

    “Jiu-Jitsu teaches you self-control and how to conserve energy,” Shuttlesworth said. “It also teaches you humility and not to be a big shot.”

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will be on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30. The course lasts from January 28 until March 19 and the cost is $80, due on the first day of class to the instructor.

    To register or learn more information, contact

    Whitney Spota, Coordinator, Group Exercise 205-348-5131

    Mike Shuttlesworth, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor, 205-233-3911

    Click here for more information
  • Do you Dare to Dance? Hone your dancing technique and practice your passion with our Dare2Dance class!

    Posted By: UREC, January 14, 2014
    For once a week, you can lose yourself in the world in dance. Music, your favorite kind of music, floats in the air and you feel excited inside, motivated to keep learning and honing your technique. You are practicing what you love, whether it is a long-time passion or a newly realized interest. Do you dare to dance?

    Dare2Dance is a long-running and popular class at the Student Recreation Center. Kristen Stockdale Howard has been teaching Dare2Dance for almost 4 years now.

    During this 8-week course, students can expect to learn techniques from jazz and lyrical styles.

    Kristen says her main clientele with Dare2Dance are people who danced in high school and wanted to still actively dance and focus on their technique. Though the class is usually comprised of students who are intermediate level, or have had some training before, the class is not limited to them.

    “People are looking for an outlet,” Kristen said. “They want something that still lets them be able to dance.”

    Basically, she will help students reinforce any technique they learned in high school at a studio, or will help beginners learn the basics.

    Every two weeks, Kristen teaches her students choreographed combinations. At the end of the class, students will have learned four dance combos.

    Kristen said this class is perfect for students who still love dance but don’t have any other opportunity to do dance in a learning and productive environment.

    “Unless you majored in it, there weren’t a lot of places you could go to practice,” she said.

    As for the music, Kristen says she plays a little bit of everything: old jazz, old blues, popular current songs, Whitney Houston, country and more.

    “You never know what walk of life a student is coming from,” she explained. “I play whatever makes them feel more like dancing. You can always tell when a student shines a little bit more when you play their favorite kind of music.”

    Dare2Dance is an 8 week course offered through UAchieve. The cost is $80 for the whole course and is due when you register. The class will meet on Tuesdays from 8:00-9:30 from January 28 – March 18.

    For more information, contact
    Whitney Spota, Coordinator of Group Exercise, 348-5131


    Kristen Stockdale, Instructor
  • Shake and shimmy into Belly Dancing - starts January 22!

    Posted By: UREC, January 21, 2014
    Check out Basma's website, Bamma Shimmies!

    Shake, shimmy and dance your way into this fall’s Belly Dancing class! A part of the UAchieve series at University Recreation, Belly Dancing is a six-week course that will help students improve their stamina, balance, posture, strength and grace.

    Instructor Basma has been dancing for most of her life. She started with a foundation in ballet, tap and jazz but moved away from these styles eventually. She found joy in Middle Eastern dance and now she is passionate about sharing belly dance with others. Her website ( describes her as “blessed with an energetic spirit and inviting presence.”

    Besides helping students improve physically, belly dance can empower students. Basma has a Master of Arts degree in Women’s Studies, and sees teaching dance as a way to improve women’s lives through female empowerment.

    “A lot of times women are told ‘you have to be a certain way or look a certain way to be desirable,” Basma explained. “What belly dance does in addition to exercise is that you have to take charge of your body, own it. You can’t shrink away when you’re shaking and covered in glitter and using thumb cymbals.”

    And, belly dancing will just improve your day.

    “It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re up dancing and having a good time.”

    But, Basma adds that the end goal of this five-week class is not for students to perform.

    “This is just an introduction; you can do what you want with it. This is a good foundation in the dance for newcomers.”

    During class, students should expect upbeat, Middle Eastern music and rhythms to dance to. Basma is certified in “Cabaribalusion,” which is a fusion of American Cabaret, Modern Egyptian, Tribal, Indian, African, Spanish and Gypsy styles.

    Students should wear loose pants and either a tank top or sports bra. Bare feet are preferable, but students can also use jazz or ballet shoes.

    Belly Dancing class at the Student Recreation Center will leave fortify students’ bodies and minds.

    “Middle Eastern dance is a rare art form that is not only mesmerizingly beautiful to watch; it also has the power to heal and nourish a woman's mind, body and soul,” according to Basma’s website.

    Belly Dancing is a six-week course that starts Wednesday January 22 and goes until February 26. It will be held on Mondays from 7:30-8:30 in Studio B of the Student Recreation Center. The cost for the course is $50, which is due the first night of class by cash or check.

    To register or learn more information, contact

    Whitney Spota, Coordinator, Group Exercise 205-348-5131
  • Restorative Yoga: deeper relief for mind and body

    Posted By: UREC, June 28, 2013
    You stretch into a comfortable pose and rest there, all stress leaving your mind and body as the pose relieves built-up tension that you’ve been holding deep within. For the first time in a long time, your mind is quiet. Your nervous system is soothed.

    All of these benefits come through ease and effortlessness, not strain or sweat. When class is over, you ask “where did those two hours go?”

    And even throughout your day and week you’ll notice the lingering effects of Restorative Yoga.

    For the first time, Restorative Yoga will be offered at the Rec, as a part of UAchieve.

    July 28 and August 25 are the first announced dates for the class.

    Restorative Yoga is a mind-body class for the person who finds the stress of their daily routine weighing on their mental and physical health.

    Yoga instructor Diana Jones calls Restorative Yoga the “gentlest form of yoga.” Supports such as blocks, bolsters and blankets are used to help open the body up in a way that that doesn’t strain the muscles. Rather, the muscles are stretched out in an effortless pose, allowing for them to relieve tightness in a deeper way than regular yoga does.

    “Being quiet in mind and body is the beginning of stress relief,” Jones said.

    Though many people turn to cardiovascular exercise when facing stress, Jones says this can sometimes exasperate the problem. Restorative Yoga can help people realize what they are stressed about, and motivate them to make positive changes in their life.

    “Many of us hold so much mental tension in our body,” Jones said.

    For the two hours they are in the class, students will realize how relieving it is to be quiet, restful, and free of the stress that being constantly plugged into technology causes.

    Jones said that once students learn the poses in class, they can always do at least some of the poses at home.

    “When you learn to rest in your own awareness with a quiet mind, it helps with stress, concentration and sleep,” Jones said.

    The details:

    Dates: Sunday, July 28 and Sunday, August 25.

    Time: 3:00-5:00

    Place: the Student Activity Center (SAC) at the Student Recreation Center

    Cost: $20 and checks are payable to the instructor only by cash or check

    How to register: there is a 10 person maximum limit, so you must pre-register in the Administrative Office of the Student Recreation Center

    More information: Whitney Spota, Coordinator of Group Exercise: 205-348-5131

  • Massage Therapy back at the Rec

    Posted By: UREC, June 11, 2013
    Massage Therapy is back at University Recreation!

    Beth Murphy is our massage therapist, and she has had extensive experience before joining us. She is a graduate of Red Mountain School of Massage Therapy in Birmingham, Al and has had over 720 hours of training.

    Since 2008, she has provided massage therapy in various settings including spas, a chiropractic office, and individual client settings.

    And in addition to all of this experience, she has contracted with the University of Alabama Athletic Department to provide massage therapy services to the football and track teams.

    Beth offers five types of massages: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, Neuromuscular, and Chair.

    A Swedish Massage is a vigorous system of treatment designed to energize the body by stimulating circulation.

    Deep Tissue Massage helps with chronic pain and injury rehabilitation, accessing the deeper layers of the body, where pressure is applied with the purpose of finding the resistance of the body and sustaining the pressure until the resistance is released.

    Sports Massages are designed to enhance athletic performance and recovery; helps to establish blood flow and warm up muscles, calms the nervous system and begin the process of flushing toxins and waste products out of the body and can reduce recovery time, allowing an athlete to resume training sooner.

    Neuromuscular Massage is also referred to as trigger point myotherapy. Alternate levels of concentrated pressure on areas of muscle spasm with the fingers, knuckles, or elbows are applied. The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes this form of massage therapy as an effective treatment for back pain caused by soft tissue injury (such as a muscle spasm).

    Finally, chair massage incorporates techniques the provide massage to fully clothed back, neck, shoulders and arms. The purpose is to relieve stress, provide relaxations and improve productivity.

    $25.00 for 30 minutes
    $55.00 for 60 minutes
    $75.00 for 90 minutes

    Deep Tissue
    $35.00 for 30 minutes
    $65.00 for 60 minutes
    $85.00 for 90 minutes

    $35.00 for 30 minutes
    $65.00 for 60 minutes
    $85.00 for 90 minutes

    $35.00 for 30 minutes
    $65.00 for 60 minutes
    $85.00 for 90 minutes.

    $15.00 for 15 minutes
    $30.00 for 30 minutes

    Hours of Service
    Tuesday: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
    Wednesday: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
    Thursday: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
    Friday: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
    Saturday: per request

    For more information or to make an appointment, call 205-348-5140.
  • Meet the team: Personal Trainers!

    Posted By: UREC, June 05, 2013
    Interested in hiring a personal trainer? Meet the team with our one-on-one videos with each trainer! Go to our Fitness tab, then click on Personal Trainers to watch the videos!
  • Tower Jump was a "splashing" success!

    Posted By: UREC, May 01, 2013
    Last week’s Tower Jump was a huge success! 41 participants came out to experience the thrill of jumping off the 5-meter and 10-meter platforms, which are usually closed off. UA diving coach Pat Greenwell as well as some UA divers were in attendance, helping students as they got acclimated: everyone first had to master the 1-meter, then the 3-meter, then the 5-meter, and finally: the 10-meter!

    “Everyone enjoyed the jump,” said coordinator Shane Reeves. “It was really fun.”

    UA diver Paige McCleary was at the jump, instructing others on how to jump safely.

    “There were a lot of people that came out to jump,” McCleary said. “It definitely was fun for those who helped out and for those who were able to jump.”

    Greenwell said the Tower Jump was a great time to share with the students.

    “We had two very big splash makers at the end but I think over all experience and thrill to jump as a fun test for everyone,” Greenwell said.

    Make sure to check the “Photo Gallery” section of the University Recreation website for pictures from the jump!