Focus On: SH’BAM

I tried SH’BAM…

and I liked it.

Is it weird that the reason I’d been holding off is because the name kind of turned me away? I thought it sounded like wizard aerobics, and in my head, I say it way more enthusiastically than probably intended (SH’BAAAAAAAM!!!!!!). I pictured myself dancing around to mystical music in genie pants or a long cloak. 

[Obviously] It’s not like that at all.

I told you guys I’ve been having a lot of fun with Les Mills On Demand, and have been excited to check out some new formats. BODYPUMP and BODYATTACK are my faves for now, and when I saw that SH’BAM was offered, I figured it could give it a whirl in the safety of home, and turn it off if I didn’t like it. I ended up doing the whole 30-minute workout, and had a lot of fun.



Here’s some more info about SH’BAM:

From the website:

A fun-loving, insanely addictive dance workout. SH’BAM™ is an ego-free zone – no dance experience required. All you need is a playful attitude and a cheeky smile so forget being a wallflower – even if you walk in thinking you can’t, you’ll walk out knowing you can! 
SH’BAM is available as a either a 45 or 30-minute workout.

What to expect:

To move the entire time. The instructors don’t really break down the steps during the class (even though there is the option to watch a video that will demonstrate everything for you before you begin). They provide simple cues so you follow along as well as you can. 

This particular workout combines a few different dance styles: there was more traditional jazz-type moves (chasse ball change, anyone?), some hip hop, Latin, fitness, and Broadway. There were also some light jumping movements, with the option to keep it low-impact if you prefer. 

The sizzler for release #20:



Dance cardio is one of my very favorite types of workouts because it doesn’t feel like *work*. It’s just fun! If you’re moving, you’re burning calories. I feel like these types of fun workouts can encourage everyone to get in activity, regardless of dance or fitness background, and that is amazing. 

The instructors had great energy, and I feel like they made the workout feel very approachable. 

The moves are simple and repeat themselves for each part of the music. Similar to Zumba, if you do something during the verse, chances are that you’ll do it again for the next verse. The movements would build, with the option to progress if you would like. For example, they’d start with a simple walk and then add the option to turn instead of walk. 

Each song is short (about 3 minutes), so if you aren’t in love with a song, you know it will be changing quickly. 


Too,much.instructor.karaoke. Don’t get me wrong because I LOVE Les Mills and know they use the song lyrics for motivation, buuuut I feel like sometimes this goes a little too far, and it becomes instructor karaoke. Since the instructors in SH’BAM don’t cue the moves the entire time -they mostly hype up the crowd and dance- they sing or speak the lyrics a lot, at least in the On Demand version.

I wasn’t particularly blown away by anything. For the On Demand version, we did the previous release (19, while 20 is what current classes are teaching). I liked the variety of songs, and some of the moves were pretty sassy (like partsin  “Womanizer” and “Black Widow”). There wasn’t anything that made me say YESSSSSS or want to watch/do it again until I got it right. This happened every.time I went to Dance Trance in Orlando. I couldn’t wait to learn the choreography because it was so sassy, involved the perfect amount of techniquel, and FUN. I didn’t quite get the same magic from this workout, but I think I’d have to take a live class to fully assess.

Have you tried SH’BAM? Dance cardio: yay or nay?

After my last Focus On post, so many of you told me to try Jazzercise. I found a class close by and am hoping to give it a whirl this weekend. 🙂

Have a great night!


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  1. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on September 2, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    This seems cool. I’d definitely give it a try!

  2. Valerie on September 2, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Oh man, all the singing/talking…I couldn’t even get through that clip you included…Oy.

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2015 at 9:26 am

      haha! yeah it’s a little intense

  3. Amy S on September 2, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    HAHAHA laughing about your imagined wizard genie pants or cloak for this workout!! Is Lululemon going to start stocking luxtreme cloaks for this? 😉

    Seriously, it sounds like fun. I always enjoy a good dance workout!

  4. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 2, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Instructor karaoke? That sounds really goofy! I think that’s why I could never get into dance fitness. I feel like it cheesy which is hilarious because I was a dancer for 12 years. I don’t think I was a cheesy dancer though.

  5. Cara's Healthy Cravings on September 2, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I have yet to try SH’BAA at my gym, the whole dance cardio thing is not for me…I find I try so hard to figure out what moves I am supposed to be doing that I don’t end up getting in that much of a workout (I admit, I am VERY uncoordinated when it comes to dancing)
    Have you tried Cize on beachbody yet?

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2015 at 9:20 am

      i feel like with dance cardio, the more you go, the easier it gets
      yes, i’ve tried cize and really liked it. shaun t makes anything fun 🙂

      • Cara's Healthy Cravings on September 3, 2015 at 10:25 am

        I agree with you…I was completely lost when I started doing Body Attack, but I kept going and familiarized myself with the moves and now I love it.
        And yes, Shaun T does make anything fun!!

  6. Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food on September 2, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I have never heard of Sh’bam but I’m sure it would be something I would enjoy, at least for a little while!

    Also…I’ve been a Jazzercise instructor for over 8 years and I hope if you try it, you really enjoy it! 🙂

  7. Britt@MyOwnBalance on September 3, 2015 at 5:27 am

    I really like Sh’Bam. I think the live classes are better than OnDemand (which is ironic because its the same video instructors use to teach). The moves are pretty simple and don’t really blow me away but they are fun. It is a more simple version of their BODYJAM, which I teach!

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2015 at 9:19 am

      i think that’s probably the case- i’ll have to check out a live class!
      bodyjam is more like progressive choreography, right?

  8. Erin on September 3, 2015 at 6:11 am

    This looks interesting. Is it like Shaun T’s new Cize workout? I am super intrigued by it. ‘Cause you know, it’s Shaun T 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2015 at 9:19 am

      no it’s very different. shaun t’s is more like progressed choreography, so you learn an 8 count and build onto it. i prefer cize over sh’bam from what i’ve tried so far

  9. Alex M on September 3, 2015 at 6:42 am

    My gym has Les Mills Body Jam, and I’m obsessed with it! It looks like it’s similar to this, but the instructors go over the moves and there isn’t a lot of karaoke going on 😉

  10. Amanda on September 3, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Is this on BB On Demand? I’m curious- I haven’t heard of it before!

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2015 at 9:18 am

      les mills on demand

  11. Tabatha on September 3, 2015 at 7:05 am

    This was the first thing I tried when I signed up for Les Mills On Demand (which I’m loving so far, btw!) This was one of the few Les Mills classes I haven’t tried, and I did enjoy the workout, but I definitely felt like the instructors were singing along way more often that I liked!

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2015 at 9:18 am

      yay, i’m glad you love it too!
      and YES. it was a little much

  12. Sara on September 3, 2015 at 8:27 am

    I can’t wait to hear a (possibly in the future?) Focus On Jazzercize! I’ve been doing it since March. I can tell you that it’s the ONE workout that I have STUCK WITH! It’s so much fun!

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2015 at 9:16 am

      yes, i will definitely post about it when i go! can’t wait to try

  13. Elizabeth B on September 3, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I also don’t like it when instructors use pop songs that aren’t the real artist for copy-write issues. Just don’t use the song if it’s not the real artist.. they always sound weird.

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2015 at 9:16 am

      that bothers me too, unless the copy version is REALLY good, which is hard to find

  14. Amanda F on September 3, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Maybe the singing varies by instructor. I take bodypump and there is one particular instructor that sings very frequently. It’s doesn’t bother me that much, but I can see how it might be distracting.

  15. Janelle on September 4, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Yay for dance cardio! Have you ever heard of REFIT®? I’ve been an instructor since January and have been teaching at a local gym since June. It’s so fun! You can subscribe to their classes On Demand as well. And they have a YouTube channel. Check it out! (REFITREV on YouTube).

  16. Holly @ on September 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    You have to try BODYJAM!! My favorite dance class!!

    • Fitnessista on September 7, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      i’ve tried it once at a fitness conference, but it’s been years! i’ll see if they have it on demand

  17. Sarah on September 7, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I’m so excited to read what you think about Jazzercise 🙂 I love it!

    • Fitnessista on September 7, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      i’m so excited to finally try it!

  18. Nicole on September 9, 2015 at 7:32 am

    I taught SH’BAM for years until my gym moved away from Les Mills. I haven’t tried the On Demand since I have the instructor videos but I think they are the same thing, except the On Demand is 30 minutes; a live class is 45 minutes. IMO the videos aren’t designed for human consumption (outside of being a learning tool) and I feel that LM is doing people a disservice by offering the same footage for On Demand as instructors.

    A live class has a different vibe and I would encourage people to try a live class to get the true feel for it. It’s meant to be a fun dance party, night out on the town with friends. (Whereas BODY JAM is a bit more advanced with two big blocks of chorey that you build up to but still a LOAD of fun!! Neither class wants you to take it too seriously so you set yourself up for failure.) Live classes bring out the personality of the instructor as well as the participants so you never know what someone might do or say to liven up things. And, we don’t sing to the lyrics the entire class. Promise!

    Lastly, the best thing about the class is that the more you go, the more comfortable you’ll get with the choreography. I prefer SH’BAM because you know regardless of who is teaching, if you hear Black Widow, the chorey is the same so you can really pick it up and make it your own. Plus, there are a lot of releases so instructors have freedom in mixing playlists and LOVE to take requests from participants.

    PS The name is very misleading. I think it is the number one reason people don’t try it. We’ve mentioned it time and again but at this point, it is what it is. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      the name! i wish it was something different! and totally agree that they should have filmed some live classes in there. i get that they did it because it had 0 production cost, but would have been worth it for the vibe.

  19. Emily P on February 17, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Nicole is so right! The name is so lame, and I am a Sh’Bam instructor! I cringe when I say Sh’Bam to people who have never heard of it because it sounds very silly. I find that Sh’Bam is doable for every single person over the age of 5 (sans the very sexy moves) but Jam is more technical and if you don’t have a dance background, you’re going to have to focus really hard to feel comfortable with it. I didn’t know LM on demand just posted instructor learning videos…I don’t think that was a great idea.

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