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How is a Les Mills release created?

Part 2: Choreography

You know that feeling when you’re teaching choreography and it’s kind-a sort-a there, but mostly not. That feeling when you’re teaching your best cues, but they’re just not landing and they feel awkward and uncomfortable?         

You’re not alone – it happens to the best of them, that feeling is encountered more often than not when Program Directors (PDs) create and trial their new choreography.

Following from Part 1 of this series (Music Selection) Part 2 is about Choreography – the moves to the music. All PDs trial their new choreography in their classes at the Les Mills gym in Auckland and typically spend 8-10 weeks in this phase – plenty of time for trial…and error! Rachael Newsham (PD for SH’BAM & BODYCOMBAT) says “The worst feeling is being in front of people when something is bombing. In that moment it’s then trying to figure out how to make it work, or to resign to the fact that it just doesn’t!”

Feedback on the choreography is a continuous process during this period and is a constant back-and-forth of teaching and refining, teach and refine, and teach and refine some more until there is a finished product that lands as intended. Another layer of complexity is ensuring the classes adhere to the latest in fitness trends, safety, research and music.

The process of feedback doesn’t end with the finished product – many of you will be familiar with BLAH (Be Loud And Heard – the on-line portal where instructors and members alike can have their say on the most recent releases) where PDs are able to apply the wider feedback to future releases.

And you had better believe while we’re delivering the latest releases this quarter, the PDs are all hands on deck looking to the next release to start this process all over again.

“It certainly keeps us on our toes!”

Next step

Once the choreography has been nailed, the next step is the excitement of: filming week, the third part in this 5-part series.