Back in the 1970s, when for many women a career as a teacher, nurse or secretary was the typical way to go, Jackie had her eyes set on different sights. She studied physical education at university and represented New Zealand as a gymnast and aerobics champion. She then switched her focus to medicine, becoming a GP, obstetrician and specialist in nutrition. At the same time she was working with her husband, Phillip Mills, to shape the very first Les Mills group exercise programs.
Now, as Les Mills Chief Creative Officer, Jackie oversees the development of all LES MILLS workouts, which are fully updated every three months with new music and fresh choreography. She is involved in all aspects of the routines and filming of the masterclasses that are used to train a global tribe of 140,000 Les Mills instructors, and teams up with daughter Diana Mills as co-program director for BODYBALANCE™/BODYFLOW®.
In recent years Jackie has led the company’s expansion into areas that reflect some personal passions. This has involved helping children fall in love with fitness through BORN TO MOVE programs and creating education resources and tools that encourage people to take a holistic approach to nutrition and exercise. She also provides ongoing support to her children Les Jnr and Diana as they drive Les Mills programming into the future with some new exciting innovations.
Passionate about the empowering qualities of exercise, Jackie believes LES MILLS programs have long been part of a wider societal movement.
“The 1980s felt like a real-time of revolution for women, a time where women could create their lives with greater freedom and employment opportunities – a time of empowerment. Women began training at the gym because of group fitness – it provided the social aspect and community that they valued, while also helping them feel stronger, fitter and more powerful.”
She adds that these days the sense of empowerment continues.
“People fall in love with LES MILLS programs because they create incredible energy, they deliver great results, they keep you up-to-date with the latest moves and music and they leave you feeling amazing.”
If you’re keen to experience one of the most recent workouts developed by Jackie and daughter Diana give BODYBALANCE/BODYFLOW a go.
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