World United: How to rock your launch party!
by Sarah Shortt
Fancy dress, giveaways, raffles and team teaches are all par for the course when it comes to rocking the new release launches. WORLD UNITED is THE fitness event of the year and it’s all about reinvigorating your classes and creating an unforgettable experience for your members. We reached out to some of the biggest crowd-pullers on the LES MILLS club timetables to get their advice on ensuring members keep coming back for more.
Make it fun
“It has to be FUN!” says Suli Tuitaupe, a stalwart of the Les Mills club in Christchurch, New Zealand, since 2002 and one of the legendary names on the group fitness timetable. “I love connecting my members to the workout, the music, the sense of community with each other, putting a smile on their faces. I create a party atmosphere and I love themed classes, so I give each class I teach a party name: Party PUMP Tuesday, Wicked Wednesday RPM™, and Church of ATTACK Sunday. I teach Christmas classes too, to share some cheer with those who may not have anyone to share the day with.”
Engage your members on social media
Promoting your WORLD UNITED launch on social media is a great way to reach a wider audience, create hype around your classes, and maintain a dialogue with members beyond the end of the workout.
“The biggest benefit of social media is filling your classes,” says Program Director Rachael Newsham. “When you post on social, you automatically reach a wider audience and you can keep people updated with when you’re doing covers, telling them what tracks you’re going to teach… it’s a way to keep the conversation going outside of class, and helps your members feel more connected with you. And at the end of the day, we all want to feel connected.”
Download your social toolkit to promote your launch!
Build a community within the class
“You know, I say to my class – we see each other more frequently than we see our families. And so it’s so much more than a workout,” says Christchurch-based Trainer Bevan James Eyles. “I try to meet the people in my class and encourage them to talk to each other. We spend a lot of time with our members and you can really create some cool friendships. You know, your class might be the highlight of their day. Embrace the people around you, say ‘hello’ and get to know them. Over time, you can develop some pretty amazing, lifelong friendships.”
Suli agrees. “It’s about building a lifelong relationship with people. A couple of years ago, I was walking down a street in another city when I noticed someone from a class from years back. I asked how she was and we had a chat. She wrote into Les Mills Christchurch, impressed that I knew her name and was genuinely interested in how she was doing in her life.”
“Our members pay for us to give them an experience, so I want them to give them their money’s worth and more,” he concludes. “We live in a competitive environment and I want them to choose us – Les Mills Christchurch – as their place of physical activity, happiness and wellbeing.”
It’s all about the members
“I never forget that it’s about the people in front of me,” says Mark Sinclair, who has been an Instructor at Les Mills Auckland City for 28 years. “I worked out really early on that the class is not about me, but about helping the people in the room. Someone can be having the worst day ever and our job is to get them out of that. So my advice is to be yourself and not think it’s all about you. It’s about the members.”
“My members know I’ve got their back,” says Auckland Trainer Khiran Huston. “They can rely on me, they know they're getting all of my authentic, raw, unfiltered energy every time, irrespective of the program, time of day, or how many other people are in class. If you're turning up, I AM TURNING IT UP, YO!”
Make people feel important
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a hardcore regular or a new member: my commitment is that you will be acknowledged, whether there’s 1 person or 111 people in the room, and I’ll aim to deliver your best workout yet,” adds Suli. “I want my members walking out feeling satisfied, buzzing and ready to face the day ahead.”
“Suli literally knows everyone’s name, and if he has a new person in the class, he makes sure he knows them before they leave,” confirms Les Mills International Training Director Maureen Baker. “And it’s not just their name. He knows and remembers stuff about them and their families: what they do, what they like, what challenges they have. If he knows someone is struggling to get to class, he’ll often go and pick them up.”
Key tips for team teaching
- Share your focus for your track(s) with your team so they can match your feel, attitude and emotions.
- Tap into the musical and emotional journey of the release by ensuring there is contrast between tracks. You may only be teaching one track, but if everyone treats their track like it’s the BIGGEST one, how will that affect the participants’ experience? Ride the highs and lows of the tracks to create stand-out moments across the entirety of the workout.
The etiquette of shadowing (also known as: How to ensure everyone is still friends at the end of the class)
- The teaching Instructor should stand slightly forward in clear view of everyone; just make sure the positioning on stage looks balanced.
- The teaching Instructor is responsible for coaching, showing side profiles and options, and correcting technique as if they were teaching alone.
- Lead Instructor fluffs the choreo? You go with them! It doesn’t matter if that Deadlift is now meant to be 2/2 instead of 3/1. Follow their lead, timing and energy and respect their time leading the class.
- The job of the Shadow Instructor is to remain connected with the Lead Instructor but also to engage with the members. Show your love of the workout as you look out to the class!
- The members should be focused on the directions of the Lead Instructor, so Shadows should avoid visually coaching or distracting the members from the Lead Instructor’s directions (even if you have THE best move ever that needs to be pulled out – wait your turn!).
Get involved. Visit lesmills.com.au/united for more information and resources.