// Shake it and shape it with SH'BAM!

The transition of dance moves from nightclub to fitness studio has been happening for some time, says Marie Anagnostis, but with SH’BAM™, the new program from Les Mills, the move looks to be complete.

These days you can be forgiven for walking into a gym and thinking you are walking into a dance studio; and there are perfectly good reasons why dance-based workouts have samba’d and shimmied their way onto gym timetables across the country. Firstly, dancing is heaps of fun, and secondly, it achieves the physical benefits members expect from a gym workout, such as fat burning, improved coordination and increased cardio fitness.

Hot on the heels of the gym-floor-come-dance-floor phenomenon comes SH’BAM™, the simple 45-minute dance workout that anyone can do. Participants can leap, salsa and chasse their way through the latest dance class featuring basic moves, a rocking soundtrack (think Bad Romance, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, My First Kiss) and, most importantly, the credentials to burn fat and get fit.

Developed by Les Mills, the creators of group fitness classes such as BODYPUMP® and BODYBALANCE®, SH’BAM™ is being nurtured in Australia by group exercise legend Michelle Dean. With an impressive resume that includes Les Mills national account manager, 2007 FILEX Presenter of the Year and host of Aerobics Oz Style, Michelle brings 22 years teaching experience to her role as head program coach.

Recently Michelle conducted 18 trial classes in Sydney and was amazed to watch the program grow and grow with every class; ‘It’s one thing feeling confident that a program is going to go off, but it’s another thing to actually see it happen. The SH’BAM™ trial started on a Monday morning with about 50 people – a great turnout for the first class – but six weeks later the classes were averaging 120!’

An incredible story to come from the trial classes was that of a member called Marilyn, who turned up to all 18 of the classes. Marilyn is deaf, and having enjoyed the first class, she brought along some friends who are also deaf to experience the next one, after which they all became SH’BAM™ regulars. Michelle found out that Marilyn attends many group exercise classes and can follow through feeling the beat and using her other senses to grasp the full workout experience. She communicated to Michelle, however, that during SH’BAM™ she can feel the music in ways she has never done before. The combination of the moves, atmosphere and energy was something she had never experienced in other classes.

Being rolled out in fitness facilities from early 2011, Michelle says that Les Mills’ latest workout is here to stay. She adds
 ‘I am 100 per cent confident that SH’BAM™ will revolutionise the way people move’.


Marie Anagnostis
A BODYATTACK® and BODYPUMP® instructor, personal trainer and figure competitor, Marie is passionate about the fitness industry. In her role of marketing manager for Les Mills Asia Pacific, she combines her love of group exercise with her desire to spread the word about its benefits..

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