In February 2016, I hired a local community space and told people I was going to run a beginner adult dance class with no mirrors and dim lights. I never expected the response that I got. In just over a year the business has geared up to expand to six different locations with six different Groove Therapists, but the overarching premise for all of it is keeping the authenticity. We do this at Groove Therapy by keeping with the local community vibes and expanding the fam with a legendary team who don’t take themselves too seriously. We asked bboy and all time fav photographer Sam Wong to capture the vibes. Here’s a run down of who we are.
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Aside from being a make-up artist, professional dancer, velvet tracksuit enthusiast and Groove Therapist for our community programs, Amy Zhang is also our producer and the reason for keeping me sane when there are venues to book, promotions to launch, itineraries to write and Instagram cat videos to stalk. It’s never too serious with Amy around and every comment is tinted with bitter sarcasm followed by a fit of convulsive giggles. Her dry humour and honesty is refreshing and her caring side shows where it matters, through her actions.
When I first sat down with Hena to talk all things dance she paused to think before answering me. Her ethos, she said, was to contribute to society as a social worker through dance. It absolutely blew me away to see someone so beautiful, talented, passionate and knowledgable about legit street dance wanting something so far from shining a spotlight on herself. This is how I knew that she had to teach for Groove Therapy.
Rachell Dade is sunshine personified. Her warmth and bubbly nature is kindled within to create a radiance that beams outwards from every pore of her skin. When asked about what she wanted to facilitate as a teacher at Groove Therapy she replied “I want women and girls to value their minds and the importance of contributing to society just as much as their aesthetic. Being skinny and fit is cool but the exterior body is constantly changing, so if we focus solely on this then our joy and completion of self is going to be so unstable. So what’s actually going to make you happy?” Enough said.
When asked about the dance industry Wanida is not about complaining but instead embodying and actioning the change that she wants to see. Walking away from industry standards on what a dancer should look like, Wanida produces, directs and curates her own shows, hiring dancers based on their talent before looks. She has found that perfect balance between feminine boss lady, fierce nuturer and kick ass dancer (who casually win battles against all the boys). You’ll never really know what you’re going to get in class because her movement knowledge and vocabulary is so diverse but you know you’ll enjoy it.
Ben Bucho Garcia
When I first met Ben I was struck by how simultaneously endearing and punkass he was. I’d describe him as this cheeky bugger who has been brought up right by his family you know? Think mad breaking sets that end with his tongue out and a casual crotch grab towards his opponent in battle before he goes over and graciously shakes their hand. He’ll take the piss but always open doors or offers his seat to others. It makes you laugh and ‘awww’ at the same time.
Ben is the classroom facilitator that will leave you smiling, period. Class is a good time but also riddled with fundamentals and knowledge. The kid can dance and he knows his shit too.
BOOK GOLD COAST LAUNCH PARTY
That’s my name don’t wear it out. As you can see I’m a child of the 80s and painfully lame but insistent on cracking jokes. I’ve decided to go full boss lady and step away from teaching a regular class to hold more pop-up events. The free time let’s me hone in on researching and writing dance programs for marginalised community groups and also allows me to sit on my swivel chair in the office and make company director decisions. My dream for this company is to build a community, not a scene and I hope you fall in love with these facilitators as much as I have.
Want to try some Groove Therapy vibes with us? Book via this link