Sometimes I struggle to find the right words to describe THEGROOVE. This was especially true when I first started teaching, especially in a town that didn’t have any exposure to THEGROOVE previously. I found I had to continually compare and contrast it with NIA.
Luckily, in 2011 Lynn Trezise brought me in at the YMCA to start teaching there to fill a gap following the departure of a NIA instructor. It’s been a tremendous learning and growth opportunity to really gain ground in my facilitation.
Even as I’ve cultivated language around what THEGROOVE is I still find I define it by what it’s not when I’m trying to explain it.
Case in point is my email to places around town as I look for more opportunities to share THEGROOVE with Asheville.
The focus of THEGROOVE is a mind-body connection cultivated through dance. Its focus is on body positive messaging and connection to and awareness of one’s body and breath. The class belongs in a mind-body studio, and so I’m reaching out to you.
What it’s not: it’s not a Zumba class. It’s not a NIA class. It’s not “free form dance class”
What it is: transformational movement that improves balance, confidence, strength, flexibility, stress relief, and grace (not unlike yoga…)
It’s a practice of yoga off the mat, of noticing how our bodies feel and how we can make them feel better. This practice empowers people to take steps toward loving and honoring themselves as they are.
We have specific actions put to music so that we’re unified in a common movement, with that cohesiveness (and “safety” of knowing “what to do”) people can start to express it individually. Also not unlike yoga, we conclude with a relaxation and centering on the floor.
So herein I’ve returned to a comparison of unlike subjects to make a case for something completely different. In a way, it’s a paradox of THEGROOVE. I’ll give you this “thing,” this “move,” then you make sense of it for yourself. It doesn’t always fit the way our society works today, but I think it will continue to gain ground.