The Perfect Playlist

There are so many things that make classes at Vibe Vault Fit special. From the lighting to the carefully practiced choreography, every class is designed to be fun, effective, memorable and meaningful to every participant, both in the studio and online. Every detail is thought through, planned, and prepared ahead of time in order to make your experience as positive as possible.

While all of our classes offer a different style and focus to meet all of your fitness wants and needs, there is one aspect of every class that is of equal importance, regardless of the format. The playlist.

Music plays such an important role in our lives - it can help us communicate in ways that words alone sometimes fail us, it can be an escape, it can help set the mood for any occasion and it can give us an outlet for emotions we sometimes don’t even realize we are experiencing! Music sets the tone for so many different aspects of life, and also for each of our classes!

We spoke with a few of our instructors to learn about how they prepare their playlists for their classes. The process is a little different for each person, but the goal is the same - to set the tone for the movements that they have planned and to guide each and every participant through a journey that will make them stronger and happier than when they walked in the doors. From mapping out intervals to empowering us through difficult exercises, from pure emotion to pure motivation, a good playlist can make all the difference.

Vibe Guide Lucy has this to share about how she crafts her playlists:

“There is nothing I love more than making a playlist. I have spent as much as 4 hours JUST picking music for classes (it’s a lovely way to retreat from the world, like meditating but much louder).

I love getting to know everyone in my class by their musical tastes. I get to choose things I think they’ll enjoy and I know where to expect to see Opal lip-syncing to Todrik or Jen D. grooving to Christina. The right playlist for the right class is like reaching work-out Nirvana, it puts you in the zone and makes time move faster. It’s the musical pep-talk that gets you through the burning sensation in your muscles.

When I was growing up, making mixtapes and burning CDs was the ultimate passtime, and there was no greater expression of friendship than receiving one - who doesn’t want a musical love letter? Making playlists for class is my grown up version of this.”

For Vibe Guide Jen R, the process is a little bit different:

“For me, the songs I choose for my Classic Barre playlist are songs I hear on Sirius during my commute to and from work. That's why I have a different playlist each week. If I start choreographing in my head to the song playing, it gets saved as a potential candidate for class that week. I gravitate to the slow and steady beat, nothing too fast because I want to ensure proper form is achieved. If the song is too fast, then the move becomes rushed and proper use of the muscle is not obtained. When building my playlist, I like the first song to be melodic, not too strong of a beat to start class then intensity goes up and down depending on what I want the class to achieve. The workout finishes with the abs, and that requires a strong beat using songs that you can really use to help push you through to that final leg scissor! Then comes my favorite cool down stretch song to finish out class which solely is a song that speaks to me and what I'm feeling that day. Songs generate feelings and those feelings become a Jen R Classic Barre class at Vibe.”

For Vibe Guide Jen M, setting a playlist is a playful adventure as well as a puzzle to piece together:

“For Classic Barre, I love doing a subtle theme. Holiday themes are always fun, but it takes a bit more finesse and thought to create a playlist that has a more everyday theme that’s not as obvious. On national boss day I did a girl power theme and that was fun to do. And it’s fun to keep people on their toes. Even more fun when they recognize the theme. A few weeks ago I did early 2000s pop divas. It makes the class more memorable and fun.

For a format that’s more set choreography, where, regardless of the instructor, the track choreo stays the same, you have to think about your playlist as a whole, and also each track next to each other.  For example, Barre Pump is usually formatted as: warmup, legs, then arms, then full body, then repeat, then standing core in the middle, more legs, arms, full-body, floor section, cooldown.  If you stick your playlist on shuffle there’s a pretty significant chance two moves may overlap with songs right next to each other.  So if I have choreo for two songs that involve a lot of core rotation, I may put one song towards the beginning of class and one song towards the end so I don’t fatigue or bore the class. 

There is a deliberate thought process in place so that your muscles have the chance to recover and we can work different body parts in the meantime.  It really brings meaning to 'active recovery,' which is when we are still moving while resting a muscle group after something difficult.  If we stopped completely working the muscles, we would feel more soreness right away.  So we’re really doing our best to implement all these ideas into a strength format.

The playlist is crucial to any class going the way it should and being the most effective and doable.  You wouldn’t put 5 really high-intensity dance fit tracks right next to each other in Dance Fit because it would be nearly impossible to do and would discourage people.  So if you have a really quick merengue or salsa track, the next track you do might be a funky reggaeton as that active recovery again to make sure you have the endurance to keep it up for 55 minutes.  So while playlisting may seem like a last-minute addition sometimes, a lot of times it’s how we choreograph and how we can even create a class.  It’s crucial to providing the best experience.

As you can see, the playlist is an integral part of every class, no matter the format. From making sure that the tempo, beats-per-minute, interval and theme match the purpose, tone and desired outcomes of the class, to choosing music that are sure to bring a smile to your face, no detail is overlooked by our amazing crew of Vibe Guides.

So tell us - what music inspires you to keep moving?

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