Anjelica’s 22 Minute Workout brings back the '80s — Spandex and all

Anjelica Scannura hosts Anjelica's 22 Minute Workout OneTV

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Remember the 20 Minute Workout? In the 1980s, the aerobics show featured Spandex-clad women purring suggestive instructions and doing cheeky exercises while cameras leered nearby. Basically, for a certain segment of the population, it invoked sweat for decidedly non-aerobic reasons.

But, it was fun. Not only did you get a good workout, but the music was catchy and you knew the instructors by name. That combination is exactly what’s missing from the fitness landscape today, says Anjelica Scannura, who hosts a throwback to 20 Minute Workout and other ’80s exercise shows on OneTV.

“There are so many boot camps and hardcore workout programs out there. I’ve seen a lot of people change their bodies from it, but I’ve also seen people busting gaskets because it’s so hard. And then I see apps that are practical but don’t offer any character development with the host,” she says.

“Basically I longed for a time where exercise was whimsical and fun. I thought the ’80s was a pivotal time in fitness where aerobics and tightly formatted exercise programs were just starting to become a global phenomenon — Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons — and fashion and music went hand in hand. A light bulb went off in my head.”

The result was Anjelica’s 22 Minute Workout, which airs twice daily on OneTV. Some parts of it are pure ’80s — white background, revolving platform, retro beats, tongue-in-cheek moves and plenty of Spandex. But technological updates (calorie counter, step counter, countdown clock) and more diversity bring it into 2019.

“I wanted to make it modernized and more inclusive of people of all kinds. Those ’80s fitness shows only had one kind of person. And while I really admired the esthetic of that era, the update was much called for,” says Scannura, who also writes, choreographs and associate-produces the series.

“I really wanted to showcase a vast array of people that are from everywhere, that have different stories, experiences, and they range from pro athletes to older people. We also have men.”

“Those ’80s fitness shows only had one kind of person. And while I really admired the esthetic of that era, the update was much called for.”

Scannura, who also hosts Anjelica’s Dance Workout on OneTV, has always made fitness a priority. She started dancing professionally at age five, took Irish dancing for years and is part of her family’s flamenco dance ensemble — her mom even appears on her new show. She also won the Belly Dancer of the Universe competition in 2013, no big deal.

But constantly setting foot to stage took its toll.

“Recently I got injured,” she says. “OK, my injuries started when I was 18 years old, but when you’re that age, you think you’re invincible. Then all of a sudden you’re frickin’ 28 years old and you can’t get up in the morning without everything cracking.”

So in addition to developing Anjelica’s 22 Minute Workout, Scannura has been branching out into acting and standup comedy but still teaching and performing dance — always with balance.

“Throughout the show you see that I’m not living off of green smoothies all friggin’ day. Sometimes I have a bad night, I drink a beer, I have five A&W hamburgers. What are you going to do? I think that’s why people get so afraid of working out, because they expect so much from themselves so soon,” she says.

“But I just ask for 22 minutes and I don’t take it too seriously. It’s on twice a day, and there are 30 episodes. Some are more challenging than others. Some you’ll feel like you’re rocking it and some you know you’ll have something to work on. It’s always going to be there for you.”

Anjelica’s 22 Minute Workout airs twice daily on OneTV

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