for the Instructor Portal)
Question for all of you: What is your response to members (or non-members), friends and family when they ask what is the difference between the two? Without critisizing Zumba, obviously Sh'bam is different, and since I am in a Sh'Bam forum, I'll say it, it's better choreography, instructing, cardio, better music, connection, fun, party-like, etc. etc.
But how can you answer that without saying, it's just better! I feel so annoyed when people say, "oh she's certified in Zumba!" Well, no, I'm not! I correct them and try to politely explain the difference. Anyone else experience this, especially because Sh'Bam (Les Mills, in general) is SO new to our area.
Well admittedly, the essence is the same. They're both cardio based workout inspired from dance movements with the emphasis on fun and party.
The difference between the two is the quality of excecution and the behind the screens research.In my country it's easy to pass for a Zumba module, you just have to show up. Where as for the Sh'Bam module there is a possibily to fail.But these are hard to explain to the non informed. The easiest explanation I always use is just to say "Different feel, different music, different movements, different results."
What Anthonytorsoh said.
In addition, Zumba is more latin music flava while Sh'bam has different kind of music in the tracklist.
I'm certified in teaching Freestyle, Aqua, Body Jam, Body Combat as well as Zumba. In my experience yes I have had these questions regarding the three programs (Body Jam, Sh'Bam & Zumba), I usually respond in a diplomatic way in saying yes they are similar but different in their own, yes it is easy to pass a Zumba training but difficult for us when we go through the Les Mills training. Unfortunately some instructors didn't like my idea of going through the training (Zumba) and was called names, to me personally since I'm a Group Exercise manager as I have to look for other avenues in getting members into the club, so I purely did it in a business perspective rather than it's the "new thing". When Pittbull's song "Pause" was used for CX Worx 6 some of the members said it's a Zumba song! It kinda made the instructor uncomfrotable, but at the end of the class I spoke on the headset and educated them that some songs do tend to cross over to other programs such as Pa-Kumpa in Body Jam 48 and Zumba did a cover of it a few releases ago.
So in conclusion if a member asks you what is the difference, just say that they're both dance inspired cardio class try it for your self and take it from there. In this way you're not dissing any one, giving them the freedom of making up their minds (if they don't like it they surely will come back), and having a dignified stance rather than being CATTY this goes for some instructors I know.
That's exactly what I say. I know, that Zumba has to be at least 60% of latin. We in Sh'bam have more variety. If I tell them that, they are so excited to try!
And very happy after!
I was a ZUmba instructor for 5 years and just recently dropped my ZIN membership. iHave participated in Shbam and loved it.
Agree that anyone who atte nds a Zumba workshop can become an instructor. There is no asesment, initial or ongoing. There is very little fitness science element to the training. ZIN members receive new music and 30 minutes of choreography every 2 months. Each release has 2different sets of choreography to the same music. Instructors may choose which choreography to use, Or they can make up their own, they can use other non Zumba music. since most Zumba classes are 55. Minutes, and the training videos are 30 minutes, that leaves it up to the instructor to fill out nearly half of the class even if you choose to follow the video.
In essence, the biggest difference between the two programs is consistency.
I cancelled ZIN because the live class videos were becoming more like elaborate dance productions than fitness instruction. les Mills has spoiled me.
Being à club manager
with Les Mills classes and LM certified instructors I am already confident
about explaining the differences between the two concepts Sh'bam and Zumba.
We propose both at
our club, and while am convinced that Sh'bam is better suited to 95% of our
target membership; we are almost obliged to propose Zumba. We have two clubs in
France, one in the Paris region and the other near the Atlantic coast. We took
on Sh'bam at the start, when Zumba was just coming into world renown, and
because of the other Les Mills courses that we ran, the Sh'bam was quickly
adopted by our members. It was better attended in our Paris club than our Zumba
classes, because the members appreciated 2 things:
Sh'bam is correctly
certified and in France you must have a National Fitness instructor licence to
run a fitness class. ZIN accepts dance instructors who do not necessarily have
the skills to run a fitness class and no tests are carried to to see if the Zumba
classes were correctly understood. While
there are excellent Zumba instructors who have great dance and fitness
instructor qualities, it’s a real mixed bag out there - and as a club manager it’s
difficult to find one at the level we expect from qualified fitness
Most of our members
do not listen to Latino or African music on a regular basis, but there are a
large number who listen to the radio and love the idea of dancing to the latest
vibes LMFAO, Pitbull, Rihanna, etc. Most can't go out clubbing as they used
to...so what an opportunity to go mad on the dance floor with a
pre-choreographed routine with your girlfriends and get in shape at the same
But at the same time,
if you are not born into the Latino mould...salsa, reggaton, cumbia, and
merengue it may take some time to get up to speed. Zumba instructors consider that running a
class with a minimum of indications (verbal or visual) is better that the rigid
way of classic fitness classes.
” Look at me - do as
I do” is ok if your members are already familiar with the Latino style and
The main difference
between Zumba and Sh’bam is the publicity.
The Zumba publicity
machine is enormous!
We opened the club on
the Atlantic coast, most people had never even heard of Les Mills, but even the
Mayoress of the town knew what Zumba was, even if she had never tried. The town council pay top dollar for a Zumba
instructor who is at best mediocre.
Zumba targets the
club members -
Les Mills only do
publicity for their customers – the clubs.
Les Mills expects the
clubs to carry out publicity campaigns for Sh’bam but there is no way in our
humble capacity we can counteract the ZUMBA tsunami! If Club Med and other large organisations can’t,
we’re certainly not going to make an impact.
So we use Zumba to
get the people though the door and let them choose themselves afterwards.
Thank you for your response!! I love reading all of these, they're fantastic
It is so interesting to hear from people that are experiencing this world-wide, I think it is very helpful.
Zumba tsunami is a brilliant way of putting it.
I find it frustrating that Zumba's marketing machine has literally taken over the TV. Additionally, our Zumba instructors often (not all of them, but many), talk badly about Sh'bam and encourage their members to only do Zumba. I even team taught with a Zumba instructor who would not do Sh'bam choreography and just stood on the wall, checking her email.
My answer to the question is this: Zumba is mostly latin and can be freestyle, so it largely depends on the instructor as to what the content of the class will be. I tell them Sh'bam is pre-choreographed, which means that they will eventually learn the moves and that we get new choreography every three months. Additionally, I always hint that the LM training certification process typically ensures a certain level of instructor aptitude. :)