- I'm able to learn more material.
Granted, I am a bit of a self-admitted track snob. I take pride in learning new tracks and sharing them with my class, and it's nice to be able to switch the playlist last minute if I have an unexpected request or if I'm just feeling a certain song in the moment. Teaching this new way, I will learn never-before-seen (for me) or revisit tracks that I haven't learned/taught in a very long time. This means that my members will see more, and maybe find a new track they love or can connect with.
- It forces me to teach tracks I wouldn't otherwise.
There are several tracks within the Attack world that I don't care for and rarely teach unless requested. As I've said before, I feel like it's a mark of a good instructor to be able to teach music you wouldn't normally, since the class is more about your members then it is you.
- Sometimes your opinion (or in this case, mine) about a release can change over time.
The past two weeks, I have been teaching almost exclusively from BodyAttack 64 (watch for that review to come soon). This was the very first release I launched as a participant, and the beginning of my Attack career if you will. I remember at the time, both immediately post-launch, and then the first year after, that I didn't care for the release very much. Tracks 2, 5, and 12 have always been my absolute favorites, track 7 is an instructor favorite at my club, and track 9 is a huge crowd pleaser. The other 7 songs? I couldn't stand them at the time. When I made the decision to pull this release off the shelf and teach from it, I wasn't anticipating having a huge amount of fun with it. To my total surprise and delight, I've discovered a new love for tracks 3, 4, 6, 8, and 11. Tracks 3 and 8 in particular are really fun to teach, and I would say more fun to teach than just take as a participant. There are some great moments in there to play off of and create fitness magic, and I would now say 64 is one of my better-liked releases.
- It creates a better class flow.
It is totally fair to say that Lisa (or any PD) creates an entire release with flow and variety in mind. I remember speaking with Chris Maddox, one of the US trainers, who told me that he once unintentionally taught a class with 4 or 5 tracks that had drop squats. I myself have experienced the same thing with square patterns. And I will say if your focus in a particular class is that move or pattern, then this isn't a bad thing. But if it's unintentional, it can look very sloppy/lazy to have 4 songs with the same-ish choreography. Also, you can wind up with an entire class of female singers, a class dominated by a particular music style or artist, etc, or if you're REALLY not careful, you can go over the time limit. The releases do flow much better and provide more variety when taught as intended. At the Orlando quarterly I attended last year, Susan Renata told us that whenever she teaches releases more than 3 years old, she teaches the entire release for that week, and then puts it away for a while.
One thing I am still trying to figure out is how long I should keep the same playlist/release from. When we launch new stuff, we usually only keep it for the required 2 weeks. I understand this from the instructor's standpoint. Here in the states, we get our materials 2-3 months before we launch (I do not know why we do it this way), so by the time launch comes around, we are already pretty sick of the new music. Then, during launch, we teach the same material for 2 solid weeks, and because we are teaming more then usual, it's not uncommon to do the same release 10 times in a 2 week period. It gets mind numbing. I myself will keep the new release for 1 additional week if I and my participants like it. But now, as I teach older releases, should I keep them for a couple of weeks for consistency? My gut instinct is to do whatever I teach for 2 weeks and then switch. This seems easier to manage and a good balance for regulars vs newer members.
This is a topic which I would really like some feedback on. If you are an instructor, I'd love to hear your thoughts/practices on heavy mixing vs teaching releases in their entirety, and how long you keep your playlists for?