LMAP: Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Billy. In addition to being a certified Les Mills Instructor, I design artificial intelligence programs, products, possessed with a passion to build experiences that push the boundaries of emotion and imagination. For the past decade, I have immersed myself in the magical realm of Les Mills, teaching BODYPUMP®, RPM®, LES MILLS SPRINT®, LES MILLS GRIT®, and THE TRIP®.
LMAP: What inspired you to become a Les Mills Instructor?
Within the company of others, immersed in group-exercise class, I discoverd joy and serenity. I was ignited by the harmonious blend of music and movement in Les Mills programs. This compelled me to embark on the journey of becoming an Instructor, so I could guide others on their very own transformative journey where they can share in the same emotions that moved me.
LMAP: How did you first discover Les Mills?
Standing outside the glass door of a studio when a BODYPUMP class was happening in 2013 (I was at the age of 17), I was intrigued and drawn in by the infectious energy that seemed to radiate from the participants. I found myself transfixed. Their dedication and passion were palpable, as they seamlessly synchronised their movements to the pulsating rhythm. In that moment, I felt a yearning to create an impact, to elicit the same sense of exhilaration and transformation. It was like a calling: to become a leader for positive change.
LMAP: You became part of Les Mills Asia Pacific’s Trainer and Presenter Team at a young age. Tell us how this happened for you.
I had the incredible opportunity to join the esteemed TAP Team at the young age of 21, marking the beginning of a life-changing chapter in my Les Mills journey. I knew immediately after watching the Masterclass that I wanted to be in the team responsible for creating this community. Relentlessly, without fail, I would tell everyone I met my aspirations and dreams; it was as if the universe had conspired to guide me towards my destiny because shortly after, there was an audition for new Presenters to join the team. And the rest is history.
LMAP: Have you encountered situations where people judge you based on your age and if so, how did you deal with them?
Absolutely! Throughout my journey, I have encountered numerous instances where I have been unfairly judged solely based on my age. The comments "so young," "kid," and even "you're a baby" left me feeling frustrated and determined to prove myself beyond any doubt.
Ironically, the invaluable lesson I learned is that no one actually needs to prove anything to anyone but themselves. The key to overcoming these judgements lay, not in external validation, but in embracing my authentic self and being unapologetically true to who I am.
I made a conscious decision to remain professional, rather than harbouring resentment or engaging in futile arguments. I chose to pour my energy into this simple, yet profound, principle.
Over time, I kept my initial spark alive - reminding myself of the reason why I started teaching in the first place (i.e., the passion that ignited my desire to become an Instructor and the impact I wanted to create in the lives of others). By holding on to that purpose, I found solace and strength in moments of doubt and criticism.
So, to all the new ‘kids’ in town, regardless of age or experience I say: “be yourself, love yourself, love your participants. Let your authenticity shine. Your worth is not defined by others' perceptions, but by the passion and dedication you bring to your craft. Embrace the power within you, stay focused on your purpose, and the judgements will fade away with your impact on others”.
LMAP: You are going to be featured in a few upcoming Releases. How did this opportunity come about?
The incredible opportunity to be featured in upcoming Releases is a testament to the unwavering support of my extraordinary team. While I may have faced judgement and scepticism from some, I was blessed with a group of believers and mentors who saw my potential and nurtured it with unwavering faith.
Within the Les Mills Asia Pacific community, seasoned and experienced individuals have been my guiding lights, watching over me and recognising the passion and dedication I bring to my craft. Their support and belief in me created an environment rife with opportunity, where talent and hard work were noticed and celebrated.
I have always been a firm believer in dreaming in colour and shouting those dreams to the world. The universe, in its mysterious ways, has a remarkable knack for manifesting our desires when our hearts are in the right place. By fearlessly pursuing my aspirations and sharing them with the world, I believe, we set in motion the forces that lead to the fulfilment of such dreams.
LMAP: What do you love about being a Les Mills Instructor?
Ah, the joys of being a Les Mills Instructor - the essence can hardly be contained in mere words! However, if I were to distil it down to its core, there is one profound aspect that fills my heart with boundless love and gratitude: the butterfly effect.
As a Les Mills Instructor, I am blessed with the power to curate an experience that transcends the confines of the studio. It is a ripple that extends outward, influencing not just individuals, but their interactions with the world around them. The impact of that emotional experience can be felt in their relationships, their work, and every facet of their lives.
LMAP: What would you tell someone who is considering becoming a Les Mills Instructor, but who does not quite feel ready?
The concept of readiness is a notion that often eludes us when we decide to embark on a new endeavour: readiness is not a prerequisite for becoming a Les Mills Instructor; it is not a fixed state that you must attain before taking the leap. Instead, it is a journey - a continuous work in progress.
If you find yourself hesitating, doubting your readiness, I urge you to trust yourself and take the leap. Embrace the fact that you will be a work in progress, laugh and cry unapologetically during the ups and downs, for growth comes from pushing beyond your comfort zone.
You are not alone on this journey. The Les Mills community is a supportive network of individuals who have walked the same path, faced the same uncertainties, and emerged stronger and more confident. Lean on them, seek guidance, and allow yourself to be mentored and inspired by those who have paved the way.
Take the journey, celebrate the small victories, and be open to the transformative power that lies within you.
To follow Billy Aw on Instagram check out @billybumbum