Athlete Students

Hilltop gets one thing right, and it isn’t the food

Kyra Price

More stories from Kyra Price

Across the Pond
May 9, 2024

Photo by Marisa Valdez

Since getting back from winter break, I have made it my personal mission to try as many Hilltop group exercise classes as possible. 

Winter break is a nice pause from the stress of school, but it is also a great way to offset any sort of structure or routine you had going during first semester. I was going to the gym regularly until I got back to my hometown, where I left the couch approximately twice.

Now by no means am I claiming to have tried every class, but I’ve gone to enough that I feel like I’m a reputable source.


It wouldn’t be fair for me to start this article with anything besides Zumba. This is the first class I ever tried and my absolute favorite. 

Zumba is cardio in dance form. This class combines different styles of dance into a fun, high-energy workout. If you want to break a sweat, but running is too daunting, this class is a great place to start.


I tried barre for the first time two weeks ago not knowing what to expect, and I loved it. Barre is essentially ballet mixed with yoga with hand weights.

The class can be intimidating to someone without a dance background, but the instructor is supportive, and it’s a great workout whether or not you know what “relevé” is.

Pilates/Yoga Strength

I have heard incredible things about pilates all over social media, so when I found out there was a Pilates class at Hilltop, I was so excited to try it.

This class was a lot of core work and balance, and I was definitely wobbling, but I pushed through and really enjoyed the class. We used yoga poses and added weights or pulsing to work different muscles.

I left this class feeling sore and tired in the best way.

Yoga Sculpt

It’s been a while since I last tried this class, and it isn’t on the schedule for this semester. Even so, I feel obligated to give you my feelings on yoga sculpt in case the school brings it back.

This was the first exercise class at Hilltop I ever tried, and it kept me coming back. Yoga sculpt is pretty true to the name. You add weights and strengthening exercises to yoga positions to help flexibility and muscle tone.


I’ve never been huge on yoga. I’ve tried over and over, but I can never relax enough to enjoy it, until the class at Hilltop completely changed my mind.

I was a bit apprehensive going into my first class, but my first-year roommate was teaching, so I really wanted to give it a try, and be there to support her if nothing else.

We did poses I’d seen before, as well as some I’d never heard of. Every move was easily adjustable to match different levels of flexibility or balance. As someone who has never been able to touch her toes, this was very reassuring.

With school, friends, family and of course, the newspaper, I’m always stressing over something, but after this class, I felt the most zen I have since, well, ever.

Meditative Yoga

Meditative yoga is an even more laid-back version of traditional yoga. This class focuses on steady breathing and grounding your body.

The instructor guides your body as well as your thoughts by helping you reframe your thinking and take a break from your worries. If you want to improve your mindfulness and have trouble with that on your own, this class is perfect for you.

We ended the class laying on the floor in savasana, concentrating on quieting our thoughts and steadying our breathing. I was so relaxed I nearly fell asleep right there.

Leaving the dimly lit studio and going back to regular life was a bit of a shock, but the more classes I attend, the more mindful I get in my day-to-day life.

My Consensus

I can recommend every class I’ve taken at Hilltop with confidence. The instructors are supportive and knowledgeable about what they teach, and classes are good for any skill level. The best part of all of this is that the classes are free for students.

I’m going to do the best I can to carve time out of my schedule and keep trying new classes. Who knows, maybe I’ll find a new favorite.

Price can be reached at [email protected].