Okay – I have read the threads and would like to contribute to this lively discussion. No matter how many LM classes I take I am always frustrated somewhere along the way. Cueing, stopping when heart rate is soaring, moves that are too complicated for beginners etc… There are issues with every class. I have even noticed that an LM class contains a “style” that belongs to the creators and it’s present in every new release. So participants aren’t really getting new choreography but rearranged choreography. This happens with those that create their own choreography. This is why we encourage our participants to try all the different workouts available.
Freestyle doesn’t mean”winging it”. Or it shouldn’t. Having sound musicology and understanding the numbers is basic for phrasing. A basic, vstep, and an Lstep equals 16 and self repeats or is symmetrical equaling 32 or one phrase. The instructor can then assess whether the participants can handle another layer of difficulty such as direction changes. It doesn’t matter how many layers the instructor has prepared if the group can handle only the first layer or scaffold then that is all you give them. Instead of layering in difficulty add a new group of 32 that is also balanced, easy to follow, and yet still engaging. In an LM class it doesn’t matter about the participant the class is predetermined from the get go.
One thing we forget as instructors is that we get bored faster than the group because we have practiced it to death. So we layer in changes too quickly and don’t give the group enough time to experience that feeling of success which is exactly what they need. Confidence. There is always someone new joining the class even an LM class. We can’t assume our participants know what’s coming. It’s our job to tell them.. It’s called cueing. Good cueing is crucial to the success of the participant.
Freestyle vs choreography? It all depends on your definition of the terms. I choreograph my workouts and practice in my home all the time but — if I have a group that look like they are struggling it can change in a heartbeat to suit their needs. Suddenly we are doing step/circuit or alternating easy patterns with intensity intervals. Is that freestyle or experience? Is it my workout or theirs?