Mikey Perdue

Major: Musical Theater
Hometown: Lake Elsinore, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: Group Exercise Instructor | WREC

How did you first get connected with the Wildcat Recreation Center?
The first time I went to the WREC it was my sophomore year and I took a zumba class. I have a dance background – nine years of tap, jazz, modern. I had a great instructor! After the class, one of the supervisors approached me about possibly teaching a class, and now I’ve been here almost two years.

How would you describe your current position with the WREC?
I’m a group exercise instructor. I worked with other instructors to develop the fuego class which is like dance aerobics. My roommate helps me develop choreography for the class. We come up with a skeleton outline of what the class will include, what areas to work on like abs or legs. I’ve recently added weights to the class. I use top 40 music – a lot of house music, Nicki Minaj, etc. We’ll go through about 15 dances per class. I typically have about 55 students in a class and teach it two times a week for an hour. Come in and have fun, and I promise you’ll get in shape! I also teach classes in sculpting and abs, and this spring I’ll be adding kickboxing.

What does working in for the WREC do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
I’m very lucky to be employed with the Associated Students. I get to exercise and inspire others to do the same. We work hard, sweat, and have a lot of fun. It’s a way to have an impact on my community. It fulfills me in a way nothing else does. I can make people feel better about how they live their lives day to day. I feel like I’m able to foster change. My theater classmates come and support me and offer critical feedback which I really appreciate. I’ve also made better academic connections.

What do YOU bring to the table in your position as an instructor at the WREC?
I bring positivity. I’m not a drill sergeant in class, but I don’t coddle anybody either. I like to bring humor and fun to the class but still provide a really good workout. I feel super lucky to work with the people I do. All the instructors work together and share ideas, so we have a “mash-up”. At the end of my class while we’re cooling down, I have everyone sit in front of the mirrors and say, “I am enough. We are enough.” I try to get away from the idea that people aren’t satisfied with themselves and need to fix something. It’s all about being comfortable in your space.

What are your career plans and how does your job with the Associated Students better prepare you for that path?
I can make a mean latte, dance, do kickboxing and guts and butts, and all that is enough to get me to the next job! I want to be an actor so I plan to move back to New York (I used to live in Queens) where I have family.