Thursday, July 9

Body Step Update

Research has suggested that one nearly sure-fire wat to keep your brain healthy, active and lucid into the advanced years of life is to keep challenging it with thoughtfully engaging activities like:
-doing crossword puzzles
-brushing your teeth with the "wrong" hand
-playing an instrument

... well I've come up with one more that kills at least two of those birds with one stone... teaching Body Step!

What is Body Step? It is an intensely athletic, physically challenging step aerobics class that can burn anywhere from 500-800 calories in just one hour. Outside of three Cardio Peak tracks that rev the heart rate up to the anaerobic threshold, there are tracks for strength building, agility training, arm and abdominal sculpting too. When someone leaves a Body Step class, they know that they've done some serious work. Now add to that the memorization of every second of choreography for the 60 minute class, mirror teaching (this means you face the class... so when you tell them to step with the right foot, you're actually stepping with your left), executing picture-perfect technique, teaching the moves and giving feedback to your class participants, and you've got yourself a brain teaser extraordinaire!

The training that I attended was just as I expected... physically intense, long, technical... just imagine about two weeks' worth of exercise crammed into two days... but I lived through it, acquiring blisters on my blisters and consuming bottles of Aleve! A trainee receive one of three grades from the class, all of which move you forward in the process... some of them just taking longer than the other. I received the middle grade - "Pass Withheld." But a "Pass Withheld" is still a pass... I will just have to complete eight team teaching sessions (instead of four) before I can start teaching classes on my own. Hooray!

Once I complete eight team teaching sessions, I'll be teaching my class for a video review that will be sent to the official Body Step certification folks. They will give a very specific, extremely detailed review of my teaching style, execution of movement, response to my class, and more other stuff than you could even imagine. While the video reviewers know that no video will be completely perfect, as the instructor, you want it to be. Striving for perfection=hours of practice, determination and a healthy dose of nerves.

Therefore, I appreciate every little bit of extra feedback I'll be getting from my team teaching sessions. Not only is learning the choreography outside of my comfort zone, but the technique of the actual moves is so specific that I must work hard to perfect it. There are twelve music tracks for the class. As of today, I've learned eight. I anticipate learning the rest this week so I can get on the ball...

... you know what they say... practice makes perfect!

Essentially, it all boils down to this: if you can manage a Body Step a few times each week, you'll are guaranteed to be fit and strong. Between the fun of the music, the "dance" of the choreography and the physical challenge, just doing the class is regularly a highlight of my week. To be able to share this fun with others, well, that will be completely worth every bit of challenge that I endure to make it happen...

Hope to see you in Body Step soon!

Don't forget to check out the Body Step "widget" on the right side of this page to get the feel for what the class is like... you can even search for the class nearest you!

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