My First Time... At Sh'Bam

Image with smiling woman. Arrow points to her with text saying 'Beth, Sh'Bam Instructor'. Text on top says 'My First Time Sh'Bam' and background is yellow, grey and blue stripes

SPOTLIGHT: Beth tells us about her first ever class

Welcome to the “My First Time…” series! I’m Ria and I cover all things social media and digital content here at ANU Sport. Like you, I’m moving through my fitness journey, trying to find the work out that works out for me. Through this series, I’m hoping to share insights and learn about the classes we offer. We can get to know the group fitness instructors and learn about their first time attending the class they’re now teaching. Hopefully by the end of this, we’ll know what to expect, so we can be prepared, comfy and excited for our first time!

It’s time to meet Beth! I’m honestly a little nervous. I haven’t written an article since year 11, but Beth immediately puts me at ease. She’s smiley and warm with an infectious personality.

We kick off with the basics: who are you?

“I’m Beth, I’ve been an instructor for about 5 years. I started with Sh’bam, then went and did Bodybalance, but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Sh’bam”

Beth is a busy human. She explains, “When I’m not teaching, I’m studying law at the ANU. This is my final year.”

As always, I ask for rates and hates. She rates “instructing, my cat and aerial acrobatics”, and hates “uni stress!”.

I’m excited to hear more from Beth so we jump into it: Tell me about your first time!

“The first time I ever went to a gym I actually had a massive knee injury from doing ballet, and they made me sign up to a gym. I was horrified so I went to this tiny all-female gym and I was really nervous.”

“They told me I was never going to dance again, and instead of taking my physio’s advice I found a loophole and found sh’bam as a cardio dance-like workout”. Beth laughs, explaining that she told herself “It’s not really dance it’s just like dance”, and snuck into a class.

The story gets even better at this point. Beth tells me that she was the only person who showed up that day. “It was just me and these two instructors.”

I ask how it went, and Beth is smiling, “It was definitely outside my comfort zone! I’ve been trained more as a classical dancer, so I was expecting more lunges and plies but instead we were doing all of these sexy dance moves! It was more like dancing around my house when I’m alone.”

“I got about 15 minutes in and I went ‘I want to do this! This is so much fun!’. It helped me let go in a way I never have before, and I think that’s what’s really fun about coming to Sh’Bam. If you’re the shyest person in the room you’re going to find a (new) part of yourself and let it out”

We talk about the workout side of that first class, and Beth tells me “I was so unfit, I was so sweaty, but I had so much fun! The music was really good so that even when I was super tired and I wanted to stop I kept going. Even thought I was like ‘I’m not very fit any more’, I didn’t feel like I had to be”.

I want to hear about the classes that she teaches, so I ask about what people can expect from their first class. Beth is excited, “We’re going to smash down some boundaries!”.

She goes on to explain, “We advertise it as the sort of dance workout you can do if you’ve never had any dance experience. We’re going to do lots of hip work, get yourself sweaty and comfortable and a little bit sexy even if you’re not used to doing that”

“I think the fun thing is you walk in being quite shy and not sure if you can do it, and then everyone around you is going so crazy that you end up letting go. I’ll always be absolutely ridiculous so no one is ever alone in that”

I want to know about more specifics, and Beth says, “We’re very cardio based so you’re definitely going to get that cardio sweaty workout, but we do sneak in a lot of good moves like some lunges and some squats where you don’t realise. A lot of our Latin tracks are quite deep in the hips, and we do a lot of reggae and hip hop so you can end up really working your shoulders and your back and your legs without realising”. She says you’ll “wake up the next day and there’ll be all these bits of you that are sore that you weren’t expecting”.

I round out our interview by asking if she has any tips and tricks to get the most out of your workout.

“Honestly, just be prepared to get silly and sweaty for 45 minutes!”

“You don’t have to worry if the whole room goes right and you go left. It doesn’t matter. You’re just there for a good time!”

Beth jokes that, “it’s a little bit like going out on a Saturday night, just cheaper because you don’t have to pay for alcohol!”

I love Beth’s energy, and by the end I’m certain that I’m going to a Sh’Bam class.

Sh'Bam runs on Tuesdays at 12:15. You can find our full group fitness timetable here: