Pure Aqua: Choreography Anthology Continued

Tuesday, July 02 2019

And the beat goes on! Pure Aqua is the fourth installment of a 5-part Fitmotivation choreography anthology. This video showcases the choreography style known as Pure Patterned Repetition. This instructional style features choreography that is learned by repetition. In other words, you teach a combination with little or no breakdown and the participants whoop it up by performing the combination several times.

This is Old School aerobic instruction at its finest. Pure patterned repetition has been around since the origins of group fitness. Do you remember going to an aerobic class where the instructor taught a routine to the song YMCA? Do you remember the arm pattern they taught during the chorus of Y-M-C-A? Yeah, me to and I always hated it. Likewise, I inflicted similar pain in my step classes during the 90’s with The Macarena. Don’t even get me started on Vogue.

Pure Patterned Repetition can be themed like the examples of the YMCA and The Macarena, but it can also be taught in a non-thematic manner. Since I am not exactly a “theme” kind of guy, Pure Aqua is taught in a non-thematic manner. The end result is simple; seven combinations are taught to seven songs. When a song ends – the combination ends. There is no predictable sequencing or adding-on of combinations.

Zumba Fitness is a good example of Pure Patterned Repetition. In a Zumba class, dance combinations are typically taught to individual songs. The instructor offers very few verbal cues. Instead, the participants learn by following the instructor’s visual cues and performing the dance combination repeatedly. If you are anything like me as a Zumba participant, you finally figure out the dance moves just as the song ends.

The Pure Aqua video offers some instructional tips for teaching with Pure Patterned Repetition. And one of those tips is to keep it simple. Avoid the temptation to create complex combinations. For me, that is like “the pot calling the kettle black.” However, I have gotten better. Instead of inventing fancy choreography, I now preach the gospel of teaching base moves and their variations to keep routines simple, effective and doable.

In Pure Aqua, the combinations are taught for the length of a song, which is typically around 5 minutes. Therefore, each combination consists of 4-7 base move variations that flow with smooth transitions. Base move variations are simply creative variations of base moves using different arm patterns, travel, impact levels, tempo variations and more.

If you keep it simple, the goal is that you will NOT have to verbally cue the combination after going through it a couple times. The participants will learn from your visual cues and from repeating the combination. This is a huge bonus if you do not have access to a microphone. Pools are noisy places and yelling is no fun for your throat. Additionally, visual cueing allows the students to HEAR the music and this enhances the motivation and enjoyment of working out to music.

Speaking of music, teaching with Pure Patterned Repetition makes it more fun to select music choices. As stated before, many instructors use themed Pure Patterned programming. Similar to Zumba, they create aerobic routines that are often based on international music and dance styles, such as Latin, Irish, German, African and more.

When it came time to select music for Pure Aqua, I chose seven, high energy, dance songs and created a custom mix with Yes! Fitness Music. Creating a custom playlist allowed me to design a mix with 10-second gaps between each song. Because I was creating combinations to individual songs, the gap was important. If you are interested in hearing the Pure Aqua playlist, I’ll be happy to share the Yes! Fitness custom mix I created. Just leave me a comment at the end of this post and I’ll email you the link.

As stated above, Pure Aqua is the fourth installment of a 5-part Fitmotivation choreography anthology. AEA recognizes five choreography styles, Linear progression/freestyle, Pyramid, Add-On, the Layer Technique and Pure Patterned Repetition.

In 2011, I started the choreography anthology with Aquatic Pyramids, a DVD and workshop that featured Pyramid Choreography. The Layer Technique was next in 2012 with my workshop and DVD – Aquatic Layers. In 2013, Add-on was featured instructional style in Aqua Add-It. That leaves Linear Progression/Free style as the last choreography style in the series. Stay tuned for Aqua Free in 2015!

Interested in watching the full length Pure Aqua choreography video and printing out the notes? Go push that button and subscribe!

Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.