Dan Cohen (New Zealand)
Rachael Cohen (New Zealand)
Hernan Lopez(New Zealand)
Shaunna May (United States)
I'll admit it.
I was very, very, VERY nervous about this filming.
I have good friends who are regulars at BODYCOMBAT, and being away from the Central gym this time around (and unlike BODYJAM, BODYSTEP and BODYATTACK, the smaller gyms like New Lynn and Takapuna don't get to see the new choreography until launch) I didn't get a chance to experience the release prior to filming. I had asked them to give me some feedback on what BODYCOMBAT 46 was like, and there was a natural hesitation. Reason being? I didn't hear much that was all that positive.
I kept an open mind going into the filming, since after all, I'd only spoken to a few people and hey, the first time I saw BODYJAM 55, I didn't like it. And the first time I saw BODYJAM 52, I hated it. Both of these releases have turned into two of my favourite Jam releases!
When the warmup kicked in, straight away there was an incredibly energy in the room. Track 1a and 1b for BC46, by far, is the best warmup I've ever seen for a long, long time. I liked Track 1b from BC45, even though it is quite a long one. The moment I heard that warm up, I thought, "Oh MAAAAAAAAAAAAAN this release is going to be AWESOME!!!", and I was totally geared up for a heart stopping release.
The theme of this release was encouraging participants to go into their warrior zone, and the warmup set that up nicely.
I'm afraid from there on though, most of the release didn't really hit my sweet spot. Track 2 was cute, and Shaunna May from the USA is a absolute ball of fire and bundle of energy, though to me, it was a bit too cutesy. There is an opportunity to have a bit of fun with the song and the lyrics with this track, though I'm unsure of the longevity of it. I'm also unsure of how such a track fits in with the 'warrior zone' idea of the release as it is, though maybe this track might work better when it is mixed with tracks from other releases.
I felt the same way about track 3. I was unsure about how the very 'lovely' style of song really suited the warrior zone theme of the release. It might work well when mixed with tracks from other releases, just like track 2, but it didn't quite go off for me the way that some of the other track 3s have done.
Here's where my brain goes to mush a bit and tracks 4 and 5 blur together a bit. I do know that one of them (I believe it is track 5 - a while ago I was certain it was track 5, but now I'm not so certain) was too strange for my liking. The moment I heard the beginning of the track, as soon as the choreography started, I just wanted the track to be over. I'm sorry... I don't like saying this, but I hated that track. I could very happily never do it again. Sometimes unique and weird sounding music (Warriors Dance from BC42, anyone?) works well in Combat, but I wonder if trying to be original and creative with this track selection may have backfired. I found it very difficult to draw any energy and inspiration from the music and the choreography.
I know I've made it all sound like doom and gloom though. It's not! Track 6, in my opinion, is AMAZING. With the lack of energy I felt from tracks 4 and 5, I got it back tenfold from track 6. It's heavy, aggressive, and really showcases the essence of BODYCOMBAT. It's the first track 6 that I personally have enjoyed since BC43. Track 7 for me was unmemorable (mind you... 'You're Shining' from BC44 was unmemorable the first time I did it, although the second time I did it, it became one of my favourite track 8s ever!), and I was waiting for track 8 to captivate me and provide a strong finish to the release.
The track 8 from BC46 is not one of my favourite track 8s. It might grow on me, like I said, with You're Shining.
The conditioning track has zero trickery to it. It's all simple, uncomplicated choreography, to the point where I was scratching my head going, "No... this isn't a Combat track? Surely Glen Ostergaard choreographed this? Is this supposed to be a bonus track for BC76???" It will be a breath of fresh air, particularly for the Australians who due to the PPCA have had nothing but alligator pushups for two quarters in a row. In fat, Rach intros this track by saying, "You asked for it, and now you've got it."
The cooldown ties in nicely with some of the choreography from track 6, which is quite cool.
Overall? The highlights of this for me are the warmup, and track 6. Shaunna May is a great presenter, and alongside Hernan, Dan and Rach, it was a great team. The four of them were donning the new range of LMI clothing, and my personal opinion is that while the t-shirts are nice, they're not special. LMI have also come up with a new range of Combat board shorts, which I'll leave you guys to form your own opinion of.
During the filming, there were a couple of stoppages - mainly where Dan kept upper cutting into his microphone (instructors - have you ever done this? I can imagine myself doing it, so it's probably a relief to know that it happens to even the big guns of the game!), and his mic belt kept sliding off. I'd taught RPM that morning, and I had the same problem, so I could empathise with him! It really is annoying and off putting feeling that belt slide down your body when you're trying to give it your all up the front.
I hope BODYCOMBAT 46 grows on me, I really hope it does. Though I am looking forward to doing that warmup again. I wish it was a proper working track rather than having it wasted in the warmup, but all the same, I can't wait to do it again.
It'll be interesting to see how I feel about the release when I see it again, as opinions change over time.
LesMills have a new program!
And it's called Sh'Bam.
Despite best efforts to keep the existence of this program under the radar in its pilot phase, news spread fast of a new program developing, and videos and false information started hitting the web.
It looks as though that's about to happen, and then the official showcase of Sh'Bam - with the filming of Sh'Bam 3 - will take place at GFX 2010 in November at Auckland.