UCSB’s Leisure Review, which has been offering a multitude of recreational courses like sailing, rock climbing, fencing, yoga and wine tasting to the community for a small fee since the 1960s, is still a thriving entity on campus four decades later.
What’s more, the Leisure Review offers new courses almost every quarter; this Spring saw the creation of the UCSB Beach Boot Camp, a high-energy fitness training program.
According to Leisure Review Coordinator and Chair Pilates instructor Christine Burleson, the classes allow students to break out of a rut and engage in introspection.
“Our mission is to give students a wide variety of non-academic recreational activities where they can get out of their books and out of their heads and ‘Zen out’ with pottery, yoga, guitar classes,” Burleson said.
The program’s course listing boasts an array of diverse hobbies and activities to engage in, ranging from adventure programs, arts and crafts and dance to music and martial arts.
Clarence Chan, a third-year biopsychology major, said he was excited to learn that he could become fully accredited for scuba diving through Leisure Review.
“It’s funny ‘cause a lot of people don’t know all the cool classes you can take through Leisure Review,” Chan said. “[The program is] a really great chance to pursue the unusual things you like and want to learn.”
The quarterly classes are offered in eight-week intervals and meet once or twice weekly at a variety of campus locations. Costs typically range from around $20 to over $150 for specific certifications such as scuba or first aid, although UCSB student are charged a discounted rate.
Cara O’Callaghan, the Recreational Center’s club sports account manager, said she recommends the pilates class to students looking to lower their stress levels or improve exercise habits.
“It’s focused on posture, breathing, contracting your stomach muscles, and you notice you even use the techniques outside of class like sitting at a desk or standing up straighter,” O’Callaghan said.
Pottery instructor Dane Venaas has been teaching his class for over 25 years, encouraging tactile learners to create keepsakes while relieving anxiety at the same time.
“It’s fun, recreational and therapeutic,” Venaas said. “People like working with clay and the idea of taking it home with you.”
At a cost of $70 a quarter, wine connoisseurs in the 21-and-over crowd can enroll in wine tasting. Instructor Edouard Giessinger teaches his students to appreciate everything from the wine-making process to the subtle hints of flavors within spirits.
“Edouard is very eccentric,” tasting room associate Brittany Cullom said. “It’s not just about tasting the wine. You learn about wine and how he, Edouard, makes it. There’s a history where it comes from and it’s something fun to do on a Thursday night with friends.”
For more information visit www.recreation.ucsb.edu/leisurereview/default.aspx.