Some people feel uncomfortable dancing, and look, I’m of of them. The minute people start cutting shapes on a night out, I’d rather go out back to the human ashtray than join in on what, honestly, looks like one hell of a good time on the dance floor. I just can’t dance for the life of me, nor can I imagine a way to catch up to the groovers and shakers in my mid-20s.
Thankfully, for anyone who’s just like me and feels like a fish out of incredibly dope water on a night out, there’s a solution that. Aussie Vanessa Marian has created an all-inclusive business (and movement) to help us dance floor lemons get in on the game.
It’s called Groove Therapy – no choreography, no mirrors and most importantly no judgement – just dim lights and good vibes. Founded only last year, this newborn is popping the heck off and d-floor’s across the country (and soon, the world) are benefiting greatly as a result. Watch all about it below:
If you’re still freaked out about being an Elaine circa-2017, know that everyone feels that way before walking through Groove Therapy’s doors. “Almost everyone that’s new that walks in gives us this disclaimer of ‘Hey, just to let you know, I’m gonna be the worst dancer you’ve ever taught.’ We’re just like yep, every single person tells this to us,” Vanessa told us.
But once you come out? Guess you’ll have to find out for yourself. Find a class near you here, and keep reading below to see how Vanessa turned cutting shapes into a fully fledged biz.
ON HER CAREER PATH TO THIS POINT
I tried everything else before Groove Therapy actually became what it was. I’ve always danced, ever since I was 5-years-old but I never took it seriously and refused to call it a proper job. So I went to law school, I studied law, I studied commerce, double majoring in marketing and management. I decided that I didn’t want to dabble in either of those things so I decided to also do a diploma in interior design and I decided to move to Melbourne to pursue that… and all of that fell apart.
So, I decided to move to Sydney, start a online homewares [business] and that didn’t really work out, because I didn’t really know what I was doing, and then I worked as a brand manager for a fashion company, and just dabbled in freelance dance teaching here and there.
ON WHY SHE STARTED GROOVE
When none of it worked out and I didn’t really know who I was or what I was doing with myself, I remember I had fallen off the dance wagon a little bit, so I just went to class to feel better, and by the end of class I’d booked a job, and then another, and then another, and I realised how much I relied on dance to just feel good.
Then when I told people that I danced, they freaked out. There was this sense of ‘I’ve missed the boat and I can’t dance and I’m too uncoordinated, I didn’t do it as a kid’, all of these things, although they admired dancers and wanted to be dancers, so I started Groove Therapy. It was for the purpose of brining that therapeutic side of dance without making it a dance studio context. It’s the anti-dance class dance class, in a way.
ON ACCEPTING FAILURE + PURSUING PASSION
There’s a fine line between faking it til you make it and actually failing with flying colours. Something I’ve learned about myself is that if I don’t necessarily believe in something, I’m not very good at doing it.
It doesn’t matter how boring the task is, if I believe in it, I’ll do a good job – that was a big lesson for me as far as running Groove Therapy – there’s programs that I haven’t believed in as much that I’ve had to cull. I could honestly list that many things that I’ve failed at. They’re the best lessons I’ve ever learnt and it is the reason Groove Therapy has succeeded.
ON HER STRATEGY FOR GOIN’ GLOBAL
It begins with streamlining and standardising everything right now, as it is, so that you do just have this template to pick up and transplant in a new place. As we get more and more teachers I realise that teachers do need more direction. It’s about knowing as much as I possibly can about a company, about this company and how to run a company, before I go international with it.
ON LAPPING UP THE REWARDS
I think when someone comes up to you after class and tells you that it impacts their life and it impacts their lives for these reasons, and it helps them on a mental wellness level for X, Y and Z, all those obvious reasons, that’s pretty rewarding.
Image: Napoleon Dynamite