Students and faculty join OU mascot Grizz to dance to the Oakland Fight Song March 21 at the  OU O’Rena.

Students and faculty join OU mascot Grizz to dance to the Oakland Fight Song March 21 at the OU O’Rena.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Dancing for cardio and class credit

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published March 27, 2018


ROCHESTER HILLS — Oakland University health students had no problem making a decision when faced with the choice of creating an exercise video or taking an exam.     

“I said, ‘If you can pull this off and work together, there will be no final,’” Tamara Hew, associate professor of health sciences, told her students.

“I challenged my class to create a short video encouraging daily exercise and healthy eating as a lifelong habit, since it is during these formative years (when) obesity spikes 28 percent,” Hew said. “It is better than lecturing them about how important exercise is while they sit and take notes and eat doughnuts.”

The video tackles exercise and eating healthy as part of the students’ learning process. Approximately 50 students and a few faculty members joined Grizz, the OU mascot, to kick and spin to the music March 21 in the OU O’Rena basketball court.  All danced to the Oakland Fight Song.

“This is an introductory class that meets three times a week,” Hew said. “I gave them the task, and they did it — and they got people excited.”

Landin Kiegel, an OU freshman who lives on campus, was in charge of choreography for the video.

“I’m on the Grizz Motion dance team here,” she said. “We created a mixture of movement and dance for exercise, and we tried to get the cardio in. It was really fun.”

Caress Dean, OU assistant professor in the school of health sciences, said the video wrapped up the heart-healthy month of February.

“The school is putting on a few events,” she said. “A healthy food option of an oatmeal bar and encouraging people to work out more.”

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Fortunately, it is largely preventable, and being active can help reduce the risk.

At least 2 1/2 hours of physical activity each week is recommended. The activity can be broken up, and even small amounts of exercise add up and give lasting heart health benefits, officials stated.