Step back in time for a workout with an ’80s edge


Welcome to the 1980s, where crimped hair, legwarmers and shimmery leotards are encouraged – in fact, rewarded.

A few years ago, Shannon Dooley thought it was high time the best parts of the aforementioned decade were brought back, and so began Retrosweat.

If you’re not rocking a leotard or shimmery tights, you’re underdressed.

With its fun, easy-to-follow choreography and popular ’80s music to sing along to, Retrosweat is perfect for everybody wanting to get fit without getting belted by a pushy personal trainer at the gym. It’s particularly convenient for those who live or work in the city – the class is held twice a week (at Redfern on Tuesdays and Bondi on Thursdays).


The tropical-themed class yours truly attended was moved from inside Bondi Pavilion to the lawn across from Bondi Beach, but despite being in such a public sphere, each of the 50-odd participants owned what they were doing – and so did the passersby who decided to join in! On a summer night that was scheduled to rain, the heavens held out and instead sent a fresh breeze down to assist with the workout.

If this is the first time you’ve exercised in a while, yes, you will be puffed out (have a bottle of water nearby) and yes, you will ache for days – but in such a good way!

And don’t worry about being pushed out of your comfort zone – Shannon just wants everybody to have a great time. Sure, she’ll shout out the odd encouragement and instruction: “Keep it going, guys!”, “Five more to go!” and “Hashtag Retrosweat!” (that last one was mainly for the onlookers taking pictures), but all she asks is that you do the best you can. It’s for your benefit, after all.


The hardest part of the whole experience will be figuring out what to wear, so here’s a tip: if you’re not rocking a leotard or shimmery tights, you’re underdressed. You may find yourself cringing at the very thought of donning skin-tight clothes, but once you join the group, you’ll be happy you took the leap.

Oh, and don’t forget your bright eyeshadow!

By Sarah Friggieri


a: Redfern PCYC Dance Hall, 638 Elizabeth Street, Redfern; Bondi Pavilion Seagull Room, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach

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