Groove Therapy is a dance experience that embodies the liberating nature of dance that is at the core of Vanessa’s love of performance.
It’s something she feels anyone can benefit from introducing into their life, and by drawing on street and dance styles from around the world she offers classes and programs that present everyone with the chance to expand their lives through movement.
The project is designed to target some pretty interesting groups too, including a specially designed program for dementia sufferers whose use of the therapeutic sessions allows them to reconnect with loved ones through simple movement based activities.
Groove Therapy’s latest venture is another great initiative; a pilot program designed specifically for newly arrived girls who came to Australia under refugee status, with classes designed to teach conversational English through dance.
Alongside this amazing work, Vanessa’s upcoming project Groovelab is sure to be another big hit too.
In this impromptu shoot for IDYSM I was able to get an insight into the amazing work that Vanessa is doing, and in the process meet the first wave of ambassadors who have come together from around Australia to help shape Groovelab; Martjin Sedgfield (Melbourne), Amy Zhang (Brisbane), Andrew Huynh (Sydney), Cassandra Merwood (Brisbane).
Each of these dancers represent a wider community of industry level dancers in Australia who specialise in different sub-cultures of dance.
Vanessa saw a need for a weekly space in which professional dancers could share their dance backgrounds, teach each other, collaborate and test their freestyle technique.
Currently, professional dancers have to take class if they want to continue training, which is expensive and formulaic, in that a choreography is taught, learnt and executed with little room for boundless self-expression. Groovelab moves away from the safety of choreography and towards the limitless but terrifying concept of freestyle.
Vanessa hopes to bring about a culture of movement outside of comfort zones with professional dancers as this is where the magic truly happens.
While Martin, Amy, Andrew and Cassandra all share a passion and desire to show how movement is something that can benefit us all, at the core of the concept is Vanessa, whose selfless work is hugely admirable at a time when the street culture world is commonly awash with people more interested in themselves, their relevancy and their status than helping others.
So feel inspired and don’t take it too seriously out there, smile, shake a leg and embrace it, Vanessa’s influence could help you find that movement could add much to your life too!