Retrosweat, authentic 1980s freestyle aerobics classes are fast gaining a following in Sydney, and have expanded to two classes per week and special events to meet growing demand for exercise that is fun and entertaining.
Lycra, leotards and leg warmers have never gone out of style for Shannon Dooley, the NIDA acting graduate, FIA qualified fitness trainer and founder of Retrosweat.
Her authentic 1980s freestyle aerobics classes are fast gaining a following in Sydney, and have expanded to two classes per week and special events to meet growing demand.
Founded in a rustic mirrored dance hall at Redfern PCYC three years ago, Retrosweat offers a full body cardio and toning workout set to 12 tracks of original 1980s music. Think grapevining to Madonna, star jumping to Belinda Carlisle, squatting to Prince and abdominal crunches to Wham. The class has a loyal following of regulars, and beginners are welcome to start at any time.
“Retrosweat is for anyone who wants to have fun and get a sizzlinʼ hot bod simultaneously. Each session burns calories and tones your entire body. It strengthens your heart, improves posture, flexibility, co-ordination and confidence,” says Shannon.
Retrosweaters are encouraged to dress in iconic aerobics outfits from the 1980s. Retrosweat instructor, Shannon, leads the pack with the largest leotard collection this side of Oxford Street but is willing to be rivalled for the title.
“Anything worn in the workout room during the 1980s is highly recommended. Dedicated Retrosweaters sport their latest vintage thrift shop finds and mix spandex and lycra pieces with shimmer tights, leg warmers, sweat bands and crop tops,” says Shannon.
“People love coming to Retrosweat because it encourages them to enjoy exercise and do something positive for their bodies. It is a social event, and gives us all a chance to be creatively and physically expressive! Each week I offer a different combination of classic 80s hits, outfit themes and we also award a best-dressed prize,” says Shannon.
Retrosweat classes take place on Tuesday and now Thursday night, 7.00pm for a 50-minute class at the Redfern PCYC, 638 Elizabeth Street, Redfern, Sydney.
Classes cost $15.00, and multiple class passes are also available to purchase.
What it is: a fusion of high-intensity cardio and toning, incorporating classic aerobics moves such as the grapevine, chassé, core work and deep squats and lunges for creating buns of steel.
Calories burnt: Shannon estimates 800 calories are burnt per class.
Music: 12 x original 80s tracks in one class.
What to wear: Spandex and lycra pieces, shimmer tights, leg warmers, sweat bands and crop tops, short shorts and supportive sneakers. Dangly earrings, multicoloured eye shadow and crimped ponytails add a touch of glamour!
Famous retro aerobics queens (Shannonʼs inspiration): Jane Fonda, Heather Locklear, Olivia Newton-John, Denise Austin, Patti Sorenson and Cher.
About Retrosweat Founder Shannon Dooley: Shannon studied Fitness at the FIA in Sydney and is a NIDA Bachelor of Arts graduate of 2007, studying movement and dance during her 3 years at NIDA under the tutelage of the Keith Baine, Julia Cotton and Baz Luhrman’s official choreographer, John “Cha Cha” O’Connell.
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