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Confessions of an Aerobics Instructor

A Banana Jolie Production.


Written, choreographed and performed by Joana Simmons

Creative Direction by Elizabeth Dawson-Smith

"Oh Gym" song by Jamie Burgess, lyrics by Joana Simmons

Technical Operations by Grace Newton

With thanks to the whole team at Te Auaha.

Special thanks to EDDY Fitness, Jak Darling, Grace at Les Mills, Bekky Boyce, Elza & Lucy, Tessa, Nikita and my whanau. 

Thank you so much for attending Confessions of an Aerobics Instructor and for supporting live theatre. It is so wonderful to bring this show to the place in Aotearoa I now call home. It’s been hard to keep going in the arts over the past two years, but your support makes me continue.

I first made this show in 2016. Aspects of the show are based on my own life, and some is based on research my friend, Amy Cooper, completed as part of her Masters’ Degree of Sports Psychology about the body image of female aerobics instructors. Every time I have come back to the work, it has been an opportunity to recognise the catharsis art can give us. Every time I have come back to the work has been an opportunity to recognise how my growth around the content and courage of showing up may have changed. I’m a true believer that art imitates life, life imitates art, and years on, the lessons and 'Confessions' Joy is making are getting more and more true. 

As I write this two days before the show, I'm not sure if I will be doing the show again as I think the story has served me for now. There are more things I want to do and make. There are more ways I want to share it all with you. 


I believe when you toss a pebble in the harbour, the ripples make the whole thing rise.  If this story touches your funny bones, gut feelings and heart strings, take those sparks and let them blaze the trail of change. This could be internal, or external. Some people remark on how brave it is me standing up and doing the show, and sitting here alone in my bedroom it doesn't really feel like I'm doing it alone. I push and strive and make the way that I can because it's all I've really known. I see it as an act of service. That all probably sounds deep and ambiguous for a comedy show, but life doesn’t make much sense either. 


If you enjoy the show, please send your friends along. Please write about it on your social media, or even better, leave a review on my Banana Jolie Facebook page; instagram is @banana__jolie, email


If you enjoy my work, please put your email on the list so I can keep you updated. Send me a message, I would love to hear from you. 


“Don’t wait for a miracle, let’s get physical”, BJ x

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