Fitness, Lifestyle, Music, 14.03.2017

Class Spotlight: Why Your Next Frame Sesh Should Be 80’s Aerobics

“Eighties Aerobics is one of the few classes that has been on the Frame timetable since day one – which was eight years ago!”, says Frame co-founder Pip Black. “For the first few years, everyone came in full 80’s gear… Leg warmers, leotards, thongs, you name it… Let’s bring that back! Honestly there’s no better way of putting a smile on your face and getting the endorphins pumping.”

Sounds gnarly, like totally.

Our friends at Massive Music talked to Frankie Taylor, who teaches the weekly 80’s Aerobics classes at Frame’s Shoreditch and King’s Cross studios, about the what makes us keep jumping back the decades…

Why do you like teaching 80’s Aerobics?
I remember when I was 6, I saw my mum doing a Jane Fonda video in her leg warmers. I thought, what is this? Everyone in the video was wearing the same outfits. It was so colourful. My mom looked so colourful; and she was a dancer, so she could really move as well. I really wanted to be part of this. Then I became obsessed with that whole genre: 80’s music, 80’s films, 80’s dancing, 80’s fashion. It inspired me as I developed as a dancer and fitness instructor to bring that back into fitness and dance.

It’s a very accepting practice, with lots of colour, smiling and is so much fun. Come and don’t take yourself too seriously, because how can you in such a ridiculous leotard?

What about male attendees?
More often than not, novelty dance classes can be dominated by female attendees. Which is a shame, as 80’s Aerobics was very mixed back in the day! Just as many men, gay and straight, would put on some spandex and go to a class. I have a couple of guys who come to my 80’s classes religiously, and I love it. I wish more guys would come!

What are your favourite 80’s songs?
I have so many! I spend a lot of time trawling 80s blogs and watching old 80s films. Soundtracks inspire me. I try to make my playlist as authentic as possible with tunes not everyone recognizes. My favourite artists are The Pointer Sisters, George Michael in Wham!, Jermaine Jackson, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Blondie, Bonnie Tyler.

My Top 4 tracks would be…
Kenny Loggins – “Danger Zone”
The Pointer Sisters – “Neutron Dance”
Bruce Springsteen – “Dancing in the Dark”
Bonnie Tyler – “I Need a Hero”

Where do you get your moves from?
I spend a lot of time looking at old aerobics videos studying people like Jane Fonda, Kathy Smith, Raquel Welch – people who pioneered the movements. Interestingly they did do some movements incorrectly. As fitness has developed, and we have learnt more about our bodies, so have the ways in which we teach moves and pass on knowledge. I make sure I take authentic 80’s moves but insure that they are taught safely and correctly.

Aerobics moves are high intensity, cardio and dance style. All the conditioning stuff (on the floor) come from Buns of Steel with Greg Smithey. Those leg lifts are very iconic 80’s Aerobics movements.

Why does 80’s aerobics put a smile on your face?
Two reasons.

Nostalgia: If you are an 80s baby or an 80’s teenager and you grew up to these tunes, you will get a nostalgic & positive feeling when you hear them again. It’s a time tunnel which takes people away from the stress of their jobs. Which brings me to the second reason…

Positivity: Come, dance and just forget everything else. It’s a novelty. Instructors are not there to reinforce negativity and shout at you military style. There is no negativity in these classes. Only positive vibes. I always do little freestyle sections at the end of each class. Just enjoy the tunes. I want people to leave class thinking that they are ready for anything. I don’t believe in finishing a class and feeling drained and burnt out. Getting a good workout doesn’t mean you have to leave feeling completely dead. I want people to leave feeling pumped & inspired.

Tell us what we should wear to your next class, Frankie?
Reebok high tops – THE aerobic shoes. The only problem is that they are not produced as running shoes anymore, hence the sole is not as supportive.

Unitards. I have an original pink Reebok one. Vintage. Etsy.com has a lot of good 80’s aerobics fashion items. I got a huge collection of authentic vintage leotards.

And leg warmers of course. But most importantly – vibrant colours.

Thank you, Frankie. To finish this off, let’s all watch this video. Clap yo’ hands!