Growing up male in America, dancing was not a socially acceptable option for me. Even though I loved disco/soul/funk music as a kid, the only time I danced was in the privacy of my bedroom (with my headphones on). My parents never danced, and so I didn’t dance. I grew up like most other boys of my generation, feeling disconnected from my body, my feelings and my joy. I stayed this way until I my first great awakening on my 25th birthday.

 

That morning, I looked in the mirror, and saw myself as a vibrant “talking head” attached to a numb and lifeless body. At that moment, I made an unwavering commitment to do “anything” to reconnect myself to my whole body. I started with “talk therapy”, but eventually found myself drawn to dance classes with live drums and a syncopated beat. For the next 20 years, I studied Afro-Brazilian Dance, Afro-Cuban Dance, and Lindy Hop Swing Dance, and 5 years ago, I found Soul Line Dance, and where I was able to finally dance to the disco/soul/funk music I loved as a child.

 

I had my second great awakening in 2015 with my beautiful wife, Amber. A birth doula, nanny and post-natal yoga instructor, Amber saw a video on YouTube of a couple dancing Salsa while babywearing. We had just found out we were pregnant with our son, Aemon, and she shouted excitedly to me, “Let’s do dance classes with babies, but instead of Salsa, let’s use the low-impact, baby-friendly movements of Soul Line Dancing.” We did some research, and other than babywearing ballet, there wasn’t anything in America close to what we envisioned. So we decided to go for it and make it happen, and thus, GroovaRoo Dance was “birthed” in October 2015.

 

After going viral worldwide with our funky babywearing dance videos, we’re very excited to move to Phase Two in our GroovaRoo family dance vision by partnering with Luma Yoga to offer both PRE-NATAL and post-natal community dance classes. People always ask us, “When is the best time to start dancing with your baby?” Our answer: “While you are still pregnant!” Amber danced all the way from conception to her birthing day, and the gentle, rocking movements of soul line dancing help to strengthen her core while keeping her hips open and flexible for birth and recovery. Tailored for pregnant mamas, our PRE-NATAL dance classes will keep you active and fit during your pregnancy while you bond with other expecting mothers (and their partners) through soulful movement and dance.

 

GroovaRoo’s inclusive family dance vision is important to us, because we want our boy, Aemon, to grow up in a culture where boys dancing is not only acceptable, but normalized. The best way to start normalizing dance in America is by dancing with our children from the very start and modeling to them that dancing is something that people of all ages do together for fun. Personally, we are not interested in seeing more children become dance professionals, but in having more families dance together as a normal, everyday social activity, as it is in Latin American and African countries.

 

Rhythm is your birthright, dance is your calling. Do it as a family.

 

Join Meeshi and Amber’s pre-natal dance classes on Thursdays at 11:30a, and post-natal dance classes on Mondays at 11a & Saturdays at 12p at Luma Yoga in Santa Cruz.

 

To learn more about GroovaRoo Dance, visit groovaroo.com