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How is a Les Mills release created?

Part 5: Quarterly Workshops

It’s Workshop day! Over three months ago, the Program Directors started putting this release together and now the day has come where the fruits of their labour is presented to Instructors. This is the final part of the series, how is a Les Mills Release created?

As soon as the releases become available, 4-5 weeks prior to Workshops, the Les Mills Asia Pacific (LMAP) Presenter teams get straight to work. “As soon as I get the email saying our kits are available, I drop everything and go download my music and kits,” Jamie Winbank, Presenter in SH’BAM and BODYSTEP says, “It’s honestly like Christmas every three months!”

Head Trainer, Dee McNeil explains, “[to prepare] I participate in the classes at home and listen to the music all the time. After this process (it usually is a week of just this), I start to write up the choreography in my own format. I then trial teaching at home to my imaginary class of 500 people (2-3 tracks at a time) using basic coaching language and feeling where the gaps in understanding may be. I focus on how I can improve my Layer 1 cues for smoother transitions.”

While this process is happening in the Presenter team, back at LMAP HQ there is a whole other hive of activity. Claire Giannasca (Training & Events Manager) and Jess Oyston (Training Team Manager) work tirelessly arranging Workshop venues, timetabling each Workshop and scheduling the Presenters in the various Workshop locations. This can be likened to arranging 5,000 piece puzzle. Once the dates and venues are confirmed, Marketing kicks in to gear spreading the good word of Workshop dates, locations and building the excitement of another Quarter.

Back in Presenter land, Dee shares “whilst preparing for the releases, I also adjust my other training to assist in any gaps that may be release specific. For example, we may have a leg conditioning track which we have not had for a while so I will add more challenge for the legs in my weights training. We might have a pose in BODYBALANCE that requires different flexibility so I stretch differently.”

At the same time across the ditch in NZ, Les Mills International (LMI) is already in preparation for the next release. No rest for the wicked. Debriefs. New release focus. Finding the right music. Creating Choreography. Trial. Error. Trial again. Filming week. Master Class filming. Writing choreography notes. Proofing. Kit distribution. Downloads. Trainer and Presenter preparation. Workshops. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.