Zumba vs. Body Jam

Last post 01-13-2011, 5:49 PM by shimarella. 64 replies.

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  •  11-08-2007, 12:48 PM 17756

    Zumba vs. Body Jam

    Has anyone ever taken a Zumba class before?  A class is coming to the local community and I'm wondering what the differences are between the two. 

    From the website it looks like it's just latin dance moves?

    Thanks! 

  •  11-08-2007, 1:30 PM 17757 in reply to 17756

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    I have taken Zumba. It's fun but it really depends on the instructor. (like Jam) I'll say that the requirements to become a  Zumba instructor are much more lax than those of BodyJam.

    It is a latin dance based class. Typically the music ranges from Tango to Reggaetón to Salsa... As I previously mentioned, it depends on the instructor. Try it!  It's nothing like Jam. Nothing is.


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  •  11-08-2007, 2:01 PM 17758 in reply to 17757

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    Thanks, that's what I thought.  I had some people ask me about it and I wasn't sure.  I agree about Jam.  It ROCKS!

  •  11-08-2007, 3:08 PM 17762 in reply to 17758

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    We will be losing one of our Zumba instructors next summer.  I'd like to bring on BodyJam.  Do you think that members will be accepting of Jam??  Or, will I have a revolt on my hands?
  •  11-09-2007, 8:02 AM 17787 in reply to 17762

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    Jam will be different because of the more challenging choreography and the far-less free-form nature of the format. That's what I like about it though! It's not like you'll be replacing Zumba with Jam, it's a new and different thing for them to try.

     

    I'm certified in Zumba ( it was a pretty easy course) but I choose not to teach it because I like Jam much better. But it is a lot of fun esp. if you love Latin music. It's one gigantic line-dance party! If I recall my training correctly, they don't like a lot of verbal cueing and want instructors to keep things very easy as far as cueing in general, so be careful of high-impact options.

     Try it and enjoy the change of pace!
     


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  •  11-09-2007, 10:07 AM 17793 in reply to 17756

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    I just went through the Zumba training and am also a Jam instructor - I just wanted to get a different perspective on dancing. I love both styles as my background is modern dancing but also have a lot of hispanic friends that drag me to the latin clubs around town. Zumba is a great alternative for people who feel too uncoordinated to do jam- which can be frustrating to some members - some people just want to come to class and move and not to think about what they do. So compared to Jam - Zumba is way easier to pick up and learn and to follow and you break a huge sweat right in your first class. I wish more Gyms would put both on the schedule to give people more choices  :)
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  •  04-20-2010, 5:21 AM 82965 in reply to 17793

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    our gym has both programs and it is killing Jam - we have alot of new to fitness people who take zumba cause they know the name, everyone else is taking it, and it's very easy to do. Zumba is KICKING JAM's butt!  I've been able to very slowly build my Jam classes over the past year but it's still no where near what zumba is pulling.  I am faced with having to come up with creative ways to pull some of the zumba crowd into Jam and do BOTH programs. It's quite frustrating.

    I even thought of holding some sort of event that highlighted both programs to build awareness to both formats and to just dance and have a blast. 

  •  04-20-2010, 6:24 AM 82969 in reply to 82965

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    It pretty much killed Jam at my club but I am hoping to bring it back in the summer.

    When we had both, my team-mate and I held dance parties ( 1 1/2 hour classes) where we mixed up both formats. We had mixed results...mainly because we did a little more preview for the Jam tracks than I now think is necessary, but the fact that Zumba instructors face the mirror and hardly ever cue also made the break between the two programs difficult to overcome. We had fun though!

    Zumba's level of difficulty really depends on instructors' choices. I subbed for a friend the other day, and apparently my class is harder because its dance-ier. Makes me wonder what goes on in some Zumba classes ;)


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  •  04-20-2010, 8:34 AM 82973 in reply to 82969

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    I had this thought last night as I was watching the Zumba class finish up before my Pump class...

    Having never really done Zumba - except for at a conference one time where Beto (? is that his name) taught it - I honestly didn't know much about how it was taught. But watching last night, I really saw that the instructor teaching it was hustling through a *whole lot* of moves without cueing, per the Zumba 'way.' She would just switch gears suddenly, and start doing a new move without warning. And after 2 or 3 reps or so, the entire roomful of members would be moving with her (more or less). They didn't really NEED "warning;" they just needed to see it a couple of times and then try it for themselves.

    It got me thinking that sometimes BodyJam instructors OVERcue and it can make it seem more complicated than it really is. One of my BodyJam colleagues on the team here is notorious for having these looooong drawn-out previews before she presses 'play' on a block. She makes sure the microphone is loud and the music is quiet (?!) so that she can precisely explain every detail of every move as they go. In her mind, she thinks that she's helping them by explaining it as much as possible - visually, aurally and kinesthetically - but I've often thought that the over-explaining just puts people off.

    For instance, she cues the techtonic armline in 52 as we're doing it: "Circle, circle, cross, away, circle, circle, left, right!" (or something), over and over again, every time. Nevermind that it totally wrecks the vibe of that bizarro armline that goes so well with the music (which you can't hear anyway because her cueing is overpowering it), but also? It doesn't AT ALL make it any easier to follow. If anything, it makes it seem even more chaotic. People get exasperated. Why not just shut up and let them figure out how to do it themslves? Or let them invent their own armline if they can't get that one? We are under no obligation to make sure the participants "get it" perfectly. I mean, it would probably give me chills to have a sea of Jammers moving in complete unison in front of me, but it's not reality. And I certainly didn't see that unison in Zumba last night... but it still looked like people were having heaps of fun.

    And honestly, the moves I saw in that Zumba class didn't look that much easier to follow than the moves in a Jam class, but maybe because the instructor was letting the members get the moves on their own time, it made it SEEM easier to follow.

    So maybe Jam instructors could take a lesson from Zumba instructors, and talk less.

     

  •  04-20-2010, 2:45 PM 83003 in reply to 82973

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    That is definitely something I've learned from teaching Zumba, Erin! I think the best dance fitness instructor is someone who has a good handle on when to verbally pre-cue ( or preview) & when to use visual/aural cues to move the class along.

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  •  04-21-2010, 9:38 AM 83056 in reply to 82973

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    What to say, how to say it, and how often....the most that can be achieved, I believe, is a good balance.  Because, as true as it is that most people will just follow, even without verbal cues, it's also true that the frustration sets in pretty quickly for some people when the instructor switches without notice and they're behind.  At least, I see it in their faces and have heard about it afterwards.  Hard on the body (the knees) to switch without warning sometimes...not so much fun forever playing catch-up, etc.

    I teach the move/pattern...and then as it goes along work it down to key words so that the auditory followers esp. get the cue.  As do the newbies.  But try to take it to minimal.....how could anyone talk over the music and the perfectly matching arms in the Techtonic part of 52?  I imagine Gandalf designed the whole routine around that music and arm moves and wouldn't be able to stand myself if I talked all over that.  And I'm sure the class would agree. lol

    Do try to say/remind participants at least once during the class....there's no perfect way of doing it...we're going for individual style as well.  Usually say it in a way that gets a laugh...and can usually see some of the pressure fall off from worrying about doing it exactly.  Then see the enjoyment more.  Seems like that's an inherent strength in Zumba...given that the leading style, it can't help but be.  But doesn't have to be a weakness in Jam.

  •  04-21-2010, 9:55 AM 83057 in reply to 82973

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    ErinC:

     

    For instance, she cues the techtonic armline in 52 as we're doing it: "Circle, circle, cross, away, circle, circle, left, right!" (or something), over and over again, every time. Nevermind that it totally wrecks the vibe of that bizarro armline that goes so well with the music (which you can't hear anyway because her cueing is overpowering it), but also? It doesn't AT ALL make it any easier to follow. If anything, it makes it seem even more chaotic. People get exasperated. Why not just shut up and let them figure out how to do it themslves? Or let them invent their own armline if they can't get that one? We are under no obligation to make sure the participants "get it" perfectly. I mean, it would probably give me chills to have a sea of Jammers moving in complete unison in front of me, but it's not reality. And I certainly didn't see that unison in Zumba last night... but it still looked like people were having heaps of fun.

    This sounds like the "phonetic" cueing discussed in BS 79 education.  Personally, I find it helpful as a participant when it's not overused. -  (This last segment is not a quote.  I'm just having trouble figuring out how to get my text visible outside the quote box.)

     

  •  04-21-2010, 12:17 PM 83064 in reply to 83057

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    I'm not a BodyStepper anymore, but I do appreciate phonetic cueing, and definitely think it is awesome in moderation!
  •  04-21-2010, 12:40 PM 83068 in reply to 83064

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    What is phonetic cueing, exactly? Sounds interesting.

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  •  04-21-2010, 2:00 PM 83077 in reply to 82973

    Re: Zumba vs. Body Jam

    Hi there,

    Last weekend I went to an Advanced Instructor Module for Body jam, during the module it was mentioned that (in a study) they found people who attened Jam are FIRST and foremost there to have fun!! pritty simple. They want a social and fun experience. I think like you were saying above, some instructors do tend to overcoach in Jam taking away from the fun of the class and making it more complecated than needed. This could possibly be where Zumba has the upperhand much as I hate to admit it. Something for all of us to think about!

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