Learning Choreography, Les Mills™ Instructors!

Choreography Notes
Choreography Notes

All the time instructors discuss the best way to study and remember different choreography.  But there is nothing called the best way, there is the best way for each one of us. Studying choreography needs some attention, and people learn in different ways, taking in consideration their different skills and mind-sets. Some people depend on what they read,  others depend on what they see and some depend on what they hear. People are different and they learn in different ways.

I have seen people learning in different ways and I have also read different discussions over Les Mills forums, as instructors there also discuss all the time ways to learn their choreography, here are some basic tips!

  • Learn your music:

It’s important to keep listening to the music over and over till you know it by heart. It’s important to be able to know when are the changes in the music are coming, (verses, pre-choruses, chorus, bridges etc). This is going to help you learn the choreography faster. 

It’s possible to listen to music everywhere now, and we all get stuck in traffic, use that and listen to your tracks, or in the office, while gardening, washing the dishes or surfing online.

  • Watch your DVD:

Some people once they get their new releases rush to watch their DVDs. For me I would do that to see if there are any new ideas in the new release, but none of what I’d see in the DVD would stick to my head from the first glance. But for some people it works perfectly fine, they watch it twice or thrice and it’s all in their heads! Magic, right?

In case you are not a visual learner, you will have to stick to option one first.

  • Read your choreography notes:

Reading the notes helps us find our bases or hints to study. Some of you might just listen to their music and follow choreography notes, reading them carefully a few times without the need to see what’s happening in the DVD.

Some people’s brains register what’s being written or read, so you might be one of these who’d rather read something to remember it.

Choreography Notes

Choreography Notes

What if sticking to one method only doesn’t help?

Then you should try and combine methods together. For me I listen to the music first till it’s in my head, then I pick up the choreography notes and I follow while listening to music. Once I memorize it, I might try and script it, and at the end I watch the DVD to see and visualize what I learned.

Some people actually follow the DVD physically, they push play and apply whatever is in there over and over till their bodies get used to it, like Wii games.

Some people find it effective to practice together in pairs or groups to learn together, others find that disturbing, or a waste of time.

Once I have gone through an online discussion over this matter, and one instructor suggested a very cool way to study and learn choreography, which I actually tried and liked a lot, here it is:

write on a piece of paper, after watching the DVD or reading the choreography notes, the choreography your own way, the simplest way possible for you to understand. If you use the subway or lots of trains, you can benefit from the time spent there by listening to your music and following your own notes. Or while driving and getting stuck in traffic you can stick that paper in front of you, say over the CD player, while listening to your music follow the notes you’ve written, if you do that over and over you will be able to learn your choreography easily. For me this works and I learn this way faster.

PLEASE! Be careful while driving, I don’t wanna be the reason if anyone of you gets hurt! try the previous only when you are stuck in traffic!

Good luck learning new releases, be creative and let me also know how do you learn your choreo!

Kia Kaha!
Katia

BODYCOMBAT™ 59, My Personal Review!

Hello there!

I guess I forgot to tell you that I’m a LES MILLS™  BODYCOMBAT™ instructor. Although I was hooked up for a while with BODYPUMP™ I haven’t reviewed any BODYCOMBAT™ releases. My bad!

Anyway, BODYCOMBAT™ 59 has been already launched in some countries, not Jordan though, we are still waiting! But that doesn’t mean I can’t review it!

Let’s start with the warm up in BODYCOMBAT™ 59; personally, I’m sorry, I didn’t like the first musical track used for the warm up, but the second is pretty cool (I Knew You Were Trouble, and Everything About You). The warm up this time isn’t challenging but rather playful, the upper body warm up or as we call it (1A) starts with Boxing, moving towards Karate then Capoeria which is pretty interesting to include the Capoeira in the upper body warm up.

The lower body warm up (1B) starts with Karate takes us to another level with some Muay Thai kicks, then changes to Taekwando.

The warm up generally is easy to follow. I hope you enjoy it!

Track 2 (Combat 1); the track (Danger Zone) is making the workout looks tougher than it is. I like the music. Here they combined Boxing, Swords and Taekwando together. The track is relatively short, but can be really fun.

Track 3 (Power Training 1); Wooohoo!! Alright if you think your upper cuts are not so good, here is the time for you to go to your instructor before or after the class and let them teach you how to upper cut properly! This track focuses mainly only one arm training at a time, almost. It goes in three rounds, and it finishes with an interesting (1,2,3) counts for upper cuts then a combo of jabs and upper cuts. I like this one regardless of the music :P, because it’s quiet challenging. If you think your upper body is weak this one will give it strength and endurance, try it out!

Track 4 (Combat 2); THIS ONE IS CHALLENGING! A lot of focus goes here to the legs, with a taste of different martial arts, you are going to feel your legs burning and your heart rate is going insane, it’s a fast moving track. I do appreciate the music choice a lot here (A Warriors Call); tough, heavy and artistic music! If I say challenging that doesn’t mean you get scared of it, take easy options for a while till you can go harder.

Track 5 (Power Training 2); Cardio, cardio and more cardio. This one got me a bit emotional (hehe) I dedicate this one to my best friend and fitness buddy Shahed Muflih, why because: Bright like the sun you are always shinning there for me, etc. I LOVE OUR FRIENDSHIP BUDDY!

Anyway back to reviewing it; 3 rounds, lots of hooks and sing alongs! The Last round is quite interesting with the pushes and the lungings! Loved it!

Track 6 (Combat 3); Kung Fu and Capoeira? Sounds interesting no?

Actually awesome! To learn to balance on one leg, to help balancing the strength of your legs muscles as you kick slow, to get the chance to conditioning your legs by doing esquivas and to jump lung? This is madness mixed with dubstep! Well designed, your abs are definitely gonna love it!

Track 7 (Muay Thai); if you day dream often of running in some street fighting random enemies and monsters the music will give you a great background to day dream stronger (Lost in Space). I can’t say more, nothing new in the Muay Thai tracks since a looooooooooong time!

Track 8 (Power Training 3); you will be (Falling From The Sky) after finishing the 8 tracks. Pretty cool song here, the speed will work you out. I have always been a fan of combining the upper cuts with the hooks and you will get to experience this in round 3.

Right, so let me criticize something here, sadly the presentations we used to see on DVDs were much of a better quality in terms of performances, techniques and the teams used to be more organized on the stage than we see now. For a while we had Dan and Rach alone on the stage, and I personally thought they should get more people to perform with them, but too many is not good either for the mess that happens on the stage, for the minimum amounts of standardizing the teams. I personally don’t agree with this, especially for the new instructors to see this, they won’t get the chance to take a look at many good role models. I don’t see the point of having a whole army of people on the stage, sorry!

Enjoy the new release, and if you are an instructor please focus on the techniques of your members.

Salute!

Katia J