Totally Un-Fonda

Fashions on the hip-hop workout scene don’t look anything like the aerobics outfits made famous by Jane Fonda: color-coordinated spandex leotards along with matching slouch socks and hair ribbons.

Street-dance exercisers look more Bohemian, with Lycra bike shorts and baggy T-shirts in a color spectrum heavy into coffeehouse black or smoky gray. Hair is braided, worn in a tangle of black netting or stuffed under a baseball cap. Some just let it fly.

Shiny, black lace-up ankle-high boots are popular, as well as knee-high boots with sensible heels. “Lots of people wear soft-soled narrow shoes so they can move more easily,” said L.A. Workout instructor Johnny Torres. “You need something with less of a grip to do the dance moves.”


Elaine Dorfman, of Tarzana, said she once had to look “very chic, very Encino” when going to Fonda’s gym “or you were an obvious outcast.” Now, she said, the outfit is not important. People wear what’s comfortable, what’s easy to move in, she said. “The emphasis is on the freedom you feel while learning the dance steps and burning calories.

“When you’re doing the hip-hop,” she said, “the last of your worries is if your spandex matches your hair ribbon.”