Thursday, December 30, 2010

Learning New Releases

One thing that often daunts us as instructors is trying to learn a new release and prepare for launch while managing a full time career, going to school, being a parent, or any number of other responsibilities. This is especially true if you are certified in and teaching more than one format. Often we find ourselves with a week before launch and anywhere between 20 and 50 tracks to learn. Although for some, choreography is very easy to memorize, I wanted to share the method I've adapted for the past 2 releases.

Pick one day a week when you're not teaching, taking another class, or otherwise have a dedicated/committed workout. Do the new release as your workout for the day. Do this every week for the entire "pre-launch" period. Voila... No prob.

Now I know what you're thinking... this seems unnecessary, you don't have the time, it's boring... etc. But consider the following points:

1. BodyAttack 71 is a butt-kicker. Tracks 4, 5, 9, and 10 are incredibly challenging. After I watched the masterclass for the first time, I knew that I was going to need to practice this release several times back to front just to build my endurance for the two peaks. I also knew my form would need work in 5 and 10, as I am uncoordinated and upper body strength is not my strong point.

2. Ok, so you say your endurance is not a problem and you don't need to worry about it? It's one thing to memorize counting and moves... it's an entirely different animal to actually get out in the "real world" and perform these tracks back to front... you could find yourself out of breath and struggling during track 3. You have no idea until you do a "dress rehersal" as it were. Would you go into a concert completely unprepared and without having practiced your material? Not even close. The same thing applies.

3. It's an opportunity to push and critique yourself without having to worry about failing in front of anyone else. Let's face it... we all have off days. One of my goals is to be able to do an entire class in high without having to take options. Obviously, teaching a class is not the place to do this, as we need to show options and cater to the class in front of us. Practicing on your own allows you to push yourself without the extra work of talking on mic. Also, if you do this in front of a mirror, it's a fantastic opportunity to check your technique and find room for improvement.

4. Finally, as instructors, it's our job to know our material. I know that many of us have other instructors team with us for launch, and that in a sense this makes it unnecessary to learn an entire release. Let me just tell you... this is a gamble and one that could bite you in the butt big time. For Attack 70, I decided to learn the entire release even though I had 4 other instructors who were teaming with me. At the last minute, 1 person dropped out and none of the other 3 knew the tracks she had been assigned to teach. Now imagine if all 4 had dropped out... see how you can easily find yourself in quite the predicament? Be a professional... learn your stuff.

For me, I really look forward to my Wednesday workout (that's when I do this!). It's a fantastic opportunity for me to check my progress of memorization, build my endurance, and watch myself for technical issues with form that I can correct. As you get closer to launch, you can change the DVD to music only, or just use the music, and even practice scripting a track or two!

For any of my local peers, you can find me every Wednesday between 2:30ish and 4:15ish in Chandler Studio B practicing the new release. You're welcome to join me anytime.

Happy Learning!

1 comment:

  1. I do the same thing with BodyJam. I wish I had the guts to teach Attack also, but I am still trying to get to the point where I make it through the class. You are an amazing instructor! Keep it up!