So this was it….possibly the biggest competition for instructors that Les Mills have ever had – ‘The One‘. The chance to teach in front of 1000s of people, win a Reebok contract and win a trip to New Zealand to star in a masterclass filming DVD – big deal indeed for anybody in the Les Mills world.
One of my members sent me a Facebook message about this and said she thought I could win it, which I thought was really lovely (but I didn’t believe her at all!).
The first stage – initial entry.
I had to fill out an online form and write 200 words on why I think I should be ‘The One’, with an attached video of me teaching a class for two minutes.
The video attachment was easy enough – I film myself every week or so so that I can critique my own technique and teaching style. The challenge was finding something that I was happy with. In the end, I wasn’t happy with what I sent in (and still am not happy with it to this day), but thats OK as I think I could pick holes in any excerpt I could have sent!
The 200 words I found very difficult to write. How can you cram in how much you ‘want it’ into 200 words. So I didn’t. I went back to the reasons why I became a fitness instructor in the first place – I want to help people and make the biggest difference that I can.
This seemed to be enough to get me into the UK finals, which were in October 2015. I got the email saying that I had been selected for the final at around 1630, as I was packing up to leave work for the day. I was ecstatic, I cycled home and was in a fantastic mood! Why? Not because I was in with a shot of winning the UK final (I didn’t think I was in with a shot), not because of the free Reebok outfit we were going to get. No, it was the recognition. Someone, somewhere had seen my video and liked it, meaning that all of the work that I had put in to my teaching over the past year was being recognised. I was also excited as it was the chance to show the head bods at Les Mills UK what I could do.
The UK Final
I would have to say that the UK Final was the most enjoyable day I’ve had with Les Mills UK for a while. I met 7 other fantastic instructors, all of which I still talk to today. It was really interesting hearing their stories and seeing how they teach. Someone once told me that the ‘best instructors are the best thieves’, and I definitely got some inspiration and tips from the instructors that day!
We were allowed to bring guests along to this day which was great as I feel that I got loads of practical support from my girlfriend, like telling me to chill out! (it was also her birthday that day, so, on a personal note, thanks Nathalie for taking time out of what should have been your day to spend some time with me then!). We had to present a live class track to the group and have a panel of 3 judge us on choreography, technique, coaching, connection and performance. These are the 5 key elements that Les Mills instructors are taught.
Below is the video of the UK Final
What isn’t shown on the video was that all of us had specific feedback so that we could improve in the future.
My feedback was – be careful on arm lines as my wrists can go a bit weird, try not to go too big in round two (there are three rounds in my track) and lighter landings on my jacks.
The next day there were pieces of paper everywhere in the house, with messages such as ‘save it until round three’, ‘arm lines’ and ‘just enjoy it’. When I say everywhere I mean it. They were on the toilet mirror, inside the cupboard doors, on my chest of draws; everywhere. This meant I did not forget for a second what I had to work on before going to Stockholm to represent the UK in the grand final.
In part two I will go through what happened in Stockholm, what it was like on stage and meeting all the other finalists and why I didn’t want to blog about it 🙂