Cult Sydney aerobics class Retrosweat is expanding into online streaming to lift our spirits and get our bodies moving during lockdown season.
With gyms and group workouts paused nationwide, there’s never been a better time to return to the 80s when aerobics was broadcast to your living room.
For those unfamiliar with Retrosweat, the premise is simple: get into your lycra, follow the instructor and be prepared to laugh and sweat through a vintage workout sesh.
Retrosweat TV will follow a similar format with the group’s delightful and captivating founder, Shannon Dooley, leading the class from her styled-up studio space in Sydney.
Broadcast via YouTube, Retrosweat TV will offer hour-long episodes, that are part-exercise tape, part-comedy special and variety show.
“I want to do something that really lets people escape for an hour,” Dooley says. “I’m ready to entertain the hell out of everyone. If there’s one thing I know how to do it is to make people laugh, and that’s why Retrosweat has lasted for eight years.
“It is about joy and forgetting your troubles, and at a time like this people need to jump up and down and listen to Wham! and forget it’s 2020.”
If you can’t make the live broadcast, there’s also Retrosweat’s VHS Workout Club where you can subscribe and enjoy the videos at your leisure.
Dooley is one of many Sydney creatives embracing the adversity of our unfamiliar new world, adapting and sharing her skills with the community for free.
“Human beings are incredible problem solvers and they’re incredibly creative. This is just an example of how people go, ‘well, we can sink or swim’ and I do believe that what is going to come out of this is some incredible renaissance,” she says.
“It’s tearing us back to the bare bones of what’s really important in life, and that is community.”
Social distancing rules permitting, Dooley hopes to involve as many of her creative peers in her projects as she can.
“Really, all I need for the TV show is me and a cameraman,” she begins. “But within the constraints of social distancing, my plan is to incorporate as many creative people as I can and give many creative people opportunities as well.”
While she hopes to have special guests on Retrosweat TV in future, Dooley has already enlisted the help of local prop designers to help craft her set, and is also working on a Retrosweat clothing line with some creative peers.
While not ready just yet, the clothing line—made from authentic vintage sewing patterns—will eventually be available to purchase. Keep an eye on the Retrosweat socials for announcements, and in the meantime, you can support Shannon and her team by donating through PayPal.me/retrosweat.
You can also keep moving with this rolling list of virtual fitness classes.
Image credit: Retrosweat