Shannon Dooley's weekly aerobics class Retrosweat gives patrons an authentic 80s aerobics workout - in multiple locations across Sydney each week.
Every class is an utterly immersive experience, from the choice of mirrored-wall dance studios where the classes take place, to the height of Shannon’s blonde mullet to the array of high-cut G-string leotards worn by teacher and punters alike.
Over the four years she has been leading the retro revival, Shannon has expanded her offering into collectible clothing, an international social media following, corporate and pop-up events and a regular spot on The Morning Show.
I talk to Shannon about her background studying at NIDA, and how her emergence from three years at drama school into a career landscape where she didn’t find she had a place, forced her to create one for herself.
This is a great interview for anyone who feels like they just want to dance their own steps.
1. Anything acid wash - I recently picked up an acid wash power dress with shoulder pads and an easy access zip down the front.
2. Coloured eyebrows - I'm in a new romantic inspired mood and making use of my natural lack of eyebrows, I'm taking a leaf out of visage and David Bowie's book and playing with abstract brow possibilities.
3. I have The Cure on repeat this week. I went to see them live on Monday night and was so thrilled to hear Robert Smith's voice sounding as good if not better than it didn't on his first albums. It's so refreshing to experience an artist who has maintained his skill set and not let years of musician life fuck him up physically and psychologically (which is too common!)
4. I'm all about Dynasty star Linda Evans this week and in particular, her hair and in particular, that fringe. Linda wrote a book in 1983 entitled 'The Linda Evans Beauty and Exercise Book' which I'm currently searching for a copy of.
5. London based designer Mark Sadler aka @forcescreative and I are currently working on graphic designs for the Retrosweat home workout series which is landing soon both on VHS and the internet. I'm enjoying researching 80s motion graphic techniques on classic aerobic workout videos on YouTube.