Saturday – April 27, 2019
Morning: After waking up at 4:30 AM, we started the drive at 5:10 AM to New Jersey. I ate two eggs with spinach and mushrooms in the form of a frittata and two pieces of AppleGate turkey bacon in the car around 7 AM. The training began at the gym facility in New Jersey at 8 AM. We met the BARRE trainer, and then headed to a masterclass taught by her at 9 AM in another studio. After the masterclass, we had a lecture relating to choreography. I had two packs of Made Good mini chocolate chip soft baked cookies before our second big calorie-burner of the morning. We proceeded with the first technique clinic, which reviewed all of the main positions and sequences in BARRE: arabesques, plié, retiré, relevé, glissade, glissé, and arm lines.
Afternoon: At around noon, we took a longer break to eat lunch. I packed three glass containers: one with grilled chicken nuggets and Aldi’s Mac and cheese, the second with crispy potatoes, and the third with strawberries and blueberries. I didn’t drink much water in the early morning, but made an effort to make sure my fluids were in check during the rest of the day. After lunch, we had a lecture on Coaching Layer One cues. When teaching a class, layer one cues are the set up cues for the move/position. We had a break between that lecture and our first presentation. I re-watched my assigned track of the masterclass that was recorded in China, and I tried to memorize cues for each move and sequence of track two. My first presentation was very nerve-wracking, as it was my first time wearing a microphone and coaching. I only had to coach one track of the entire release; still, my first presentation produced more nerves than I expected. After presenting Track 2 of BARRE 6, we took a break. All of the presentations lasted about an hour in total, and were quite exhausting. The trainer recorded her feedback as we coached, so we could watch back to review for the next day. We listened to a lecture on Layer Two cues and then proceeded with the second technique session to review more positions and sequences: battement, échappé, pirouette, sissonne, sauté, Rond de jambe, and cambré. Prior to the end, I ate one hard boiled egg to refuel.
Evening: The first day finished at 4:45 PM, and we headed straight for dinner. We ate at the Chimney Rock Inn in Flemington, NJ. I ordered a buffalo chicken wrap with French fries and finished a little over half of it. As we left the restaurant, it was around 6 PM. We spent the rest of the evening at our hotel. We stayed at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott, and it was absolutely gorgeous! I am not a huge fan of hotels, but this one was very clean and looked brand new. I felt very comfortable showering, using the facilities, and sleeping in this hotel.
Sunday – April 28, 2019
Morning: I woke up around 6:30 AM, and ate my breakfast in the hotel dining area. Our hotel provided complementary breakfast, which both of my parents enjoyed. My breakfast was already packed, so I just used the hotel’s microwave and toaster to heat up mine. I ate one Dave’s cinnamon raisin bagel toasted and topped it with Trader Joe’s peanut butter and fresh banana slices. I also ate 1/2 of an egg frittata (2 eggs, spinach, mushroom), and Applegate turkey bacon. Once I arrived at 8 AM, we started with a welcome presentation. We then started the second round of presentations: I coached track two and shadowed track three as I was assigned. We later watched our performance back and critiqued it for improvement points. Right before lunch, we listened to two lectures on coaching Layer Three and the connection piece with class participants.
Afternoon: I ate the same thing as on Saturday for lunch: grilled chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, strawberries, blueberries, and crispy potatoes. After lunch, we lectured on the performance aspect of coaching, and watched a few reference examples from masterclasses. The BARRE Challenge followed that, which was a 40-minute mix of various BARRE tracks that was intended to create great fatigue. The last part of the day was the third presentation, which was just the coaching of track two for me. We ended at 4:30 PM, and arrived home at 7 PM.
Evening: After arriving home, I immediately showered and ate three hardshell chicken tacos from a local Mexican restaurant. Overall, the weekend was very productive. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from my first Les Mills Initial Training, so hopefully this trip diary shed light to more of what it is about. I wasn’t too sore going to bed that night, but I definitely felt slight soreness the next morning.
These trip diaries are for my personal reference, but I hope you take something away from them as well. I always love documenting new experiences, especially those that challenge different parts of me. I can’t wait to put what I learned to practice, and work to get certified in Les Mills BARRE.