Nordic Superstars – Filming the Q2 Masterclasses
Niklas Bohlin: SH’BAM 51 & LES MILLS CORE 50
Claudia Kupferschmidt de la Mau: BODYJAM 104 & BODYCOMBAT 95
Billy Magg: BODYATTACK 120 & SH’BAM 51
Sander Johansen: BODYATTACK 120 & LES MILLS CORE 50
How was the trip to New Zealand and what were your first impressions?
Niklas: Once we arrived, we went to the Les Mills headquarters first. It was fun to see all the familiar trainers walking around in the gym, working at the reception and as personal trainers. All the presenters that we are used to seeing in the masterclass videos are not just presenting the classes, they are also working in the day-to-day business at the club.
Sander: The energy at the Les Mills club is high. We had some time before the rehearsals started so we had a chance to try out classes. We joined a BODYATTACK class at 6 am and also tried a few new programs.
Billy: The group fitness is on a totally different scale as there were about 150 participants in each class. We had fun trying some of the new programs like Les Mills Conquer and Ceremony.
Claudia: The group fitness studios are open spaces, and you can just walk in and join a class anytime. I loved Conquer. Conquer is a concept with 3 training stations with boxing, strength training, and treadmills. It was really cool and fun to see the new concepts. I hadn’t realized how much Les Mills works staying up to date, creating new programs, and reinventing.
Rehearsals and Preparing for Filming with the Crew
Before the filming, the crew participates in rehearsals where the key elements come to life. Different programs have different amounts of trials and different focus areas. Technique, performance, and musical connection all play a huge part. With BODYCOMBAT for example, the rehearsals started with different sessions, focusing on technique, followed by the five key elements. In the sessions, the choreography, technique, and coaching all come together. Rachael Newsham, who is one of the program directors, also did an inspiring session about performance and musical connection.
All of us have different experiences of the preparation process Billy explained. “With BODYATTACK and Les Mills CORE, we got the material about two weeks ahead of time, so we had time to learn the choreography. The new releases were still being processed so you get a raw video and a music list of the release at first.”
Claudia: “I got the BODYJAM choreography when we were on our way to New Zealand. Picture me walking around Dubai airport at 5 in the morning, holding my computer up in the air to download with the airport Wi-Fi. After that started the crazy bit when I started practicing the choreography and dancing at the gate. People stared and started to just sit and watch. It was bonkers. But somehow a part of the experience – wonderfully bonkers.”
What can you tell us about the new releases?
BODYATTACK 120 is all about dimensions and bringing the dimensions to life. With the BODYATTACK team, we got so much technique practice for the aerobic dimensions. It was so cool when we did track 8 and those super sharp angles looked awesome all lined up. As an instructor, you need to work with the program and amplify it with the content you have been given. It is a really fun release that you will enjoy teaching.
LES MILLS CORE 50 has very specific tracks targeting different areas and you can easily feel where the work is. For this release try to understand each track and how to amplify the feeling. How can you coach the participants to feel the pace and their heart rate? Amplify the feel in the body and enjoy the music.
BODYCOMBAT 95 pulled back on the simplicity of the choreography, and it gives more space to work with the different martial arts. The release highlights contrasts in the music and brings the martial arts to life. Going from kickboxing to Kung-fu and back is a big contrast. The instructor needs to show the moves and demonstrate them with their whole body. Also, the claw is back, and it’s a great combo with the roundhouse.
BODYJAM 104 has big bangers, new music, and known tracks. Special for this release is its highest peak in block one. The music in this release is amazing. Block 2 has a more Reggaeton and dance feel to it. It is important to dare to be yourself 100% unless you can be Santa Claus, then be Santa Claus😊.
SH’BAM 51, people have been asking for high energy for track 11 and now they will definitely get it. You will feel exhausted after that track, and it really feels like training. It is a good mix of dance and exercise.
What are your tips for learning the new releases?
- Make the release and tracks your own. Find joy in learning. Many instructors can learn their own way – it depends on how experienced you are. If you are not that experienced, you can feel comfortable listening to the masterclass and getting tips from it for your own coaching and script. If you have more experience, I suggest learning a release without any coaching and then making it your own. Figure out what you want to deliver and what is important to you in each track. It can make your teaching much more relevant, real, and inspirational. Then you will really start to connect with your participants, instead of just delivering a release. Of course, you should deliver the basics, learn the choreography and music, but make it your own.
- Focus and split your learning process up. For example, in BODYJAM learn it one block at a time, focus on that, nail that. Same with other programs, you can bundle a couple of tracks and follow the five key elements: Learn the choreography, technique, and coaching. Or take a really long flight and dance your way through the airports.
- You can always learn something faster than you think. You are just used to taking a certain amount of time, but you can actually learn it in much less time. Also, you should trust yourself and believe that you CAN do it.
How about tips for the technique?
- Don’t be afraid to film yourself. And don’t be afraid to ask a colleague to come to your class and give you some feedback.
- Do a grade review. You will get great feedback in all the key elements. It can be a great step in your development.
More highlights about the Q2 releases Q2'23 Release Highlights – Les Mills Instructors
You can also see the video from behind the scenes from Q2 filming