BY day Emma Levine works in an office, but at night, Monday nights specifically, she travels through time back to the halcyon days when leg warmers, sweat bands and shimmering high-cut leotards were workout de rigueur.
About two years ago her bosses at advertising agency The Village of Useful wanted to do something special for her. They took her out to lunch and gave her a choice: decide between a wad of cash, they call a “grownus” or take the contents of a mystery box. Being a bit of a risk taker, Ms Levine chose the box.
Much to her delight it contained a travel pass to any destination in the world, but there was once catch. While she could come up with a short-list of places she would like to go, the final decision would not be hers.
“I took about a month to decide what I wanted to do … one was to go salsa dancing in Cuba and the other was to go to Sarajevo to a film festival,” Ms Levine said.
“They got a board of my peers in … and a whole lot of friends as well, I presented my ideas and there was some fierce debate between the panel.
“At the end the panel decided they would send me to Cuba.”
But in order to get there, Ms Levine figured she would need a little more spending money. And that is when she came up with the idea of teaching a dance class to make a few extra bucks. But not just any dance class, we are talking Fondalicious.
“I have always been a dancer, I taught dancing on and off between different jobs,” Ms Levine said.
Fondalicious sees as many as 30 women dressing up with a heavy dose of inspiration from the original fitness guru Jane Fonda in order to sweat it out to classic tracks from the 80’s.
Students go to great lengths to look the part, which often includes hair and make-up.
“If you look at old Jane Fonda videos ... they all have their hair out, and they look a bit glamorous,” she said. “I like to wear blue eye shadow and pink blush.”
The class operates on a drop-in basis. It costs $10 and is open to all ages and sexes. It is held at 48 Watt Street, Newcastle, every Monday night between 7pm and 8pm.