By: Jan Agaton | Social Media Coordinator

No, CHAARG is not a typo; it’s actually an acronym for “Changing Health, Attitudes, and Actions to Recreate Girls,” and it is a national organization offered at fifty universities in the U.S. CHAARG helps girls “find their fit,” meaning it exposes members to a wide variety of ways to work out to show girls that working out does not have to be a chore and that it can be fun, but you just have to figure out which types you enjoy most.

Last week was their recruitment week for the spring semester. Once you’re a member of Purdue CHAARG, there are workouts offered every Monday called “Studio Spotlights,” and on Thursday, January 18th, CHAARG offered a free Zumba class as a sample. In case you don’t know what Zumba is, it is simply a fitness program in which you follow instructors’ dance/aerobic moves; it originally featured various styles of Latin American music and dance moves, but has been modified for a multitude of other genres as it gained popularity. For instance, the music at this particular event did include a few songs that follow the traditional style, but also more well-known songs, such as those played on the radio. This “Spotlight Teaser” was available for current members to bring friends, as well as for non-members to see what CHAARG is all about. The Zumba class took place at 8:30 P.M. in the Feature Gym at CoRec and was taught by professional instructors named Eleni and Julie, who oh-so-kindly traveled to Purdue from Indianapolis. They are actually Purdue alumni who studied pharmacy, so they love coming back to help CHAARG out, and have been doing so for the past six years!

Prior to this event, Purdue CHAARG already has over 100 members, and there were approximately sixty-five girls who attended Zumba, so CHAARG is expanding rapidly.

I personally heard about CHAARG a couple weeks ago, and I signed up to be a member as soon as I got home from the callout meeting because I figured it would be a great way to get back into a routine of hitting the gym on a regular basis while also trying numerous other ways to work out that I probably never would try on my own. I went to this Zumba class, and I had a blast. I’ve also been to a few organized CHAARG events since then, and I love it already; it is so much fun meeting a bunch of girls at once who care about health and fitness as much as you do, who won’t judge you, and who are actually happy for you and your accomplishments. I felt like I belonged to this community immediately, and I know many, if not all, of the other girls in CHAARG feel the same way.

Kristen Meal, CHAARG Ambassador: “Just seeing smiles on everyone’s faces tonight while dancing around people they may or may not know made me so happy! You can really see the positive aspect of simply coming to a CHAARG event. I joined my freshman year of college back in 2014 when CHAARG first started at Purdue, and now I’m Ambassador, which is crazy! I truly love it so much.”

Chelsea Shafer, CHAARG Treasurer: “CHAARG is literally the most supportive community ever. It’s always such a great time. CHAARG girls are always, always, always there for you, and it’s a place where you don’t have to be worried about being proud of your accomplishments; we’ll always be there to support you and lift you up, unlike those people who feel the need to judge and bring you down when you post a gym selfie on Instagram.”