I had written a blog about The Groove Method and PL3Y a couple of years ago, but I never got around to posting it (until now). But, the other day, The Groove Method popped up in my Facebook feed. Nothing had changed about this program, it was simply an advertisement for the same DVD series and workout routines. But, The Groove Method now sells itself as the World Groove Movement. ... I'm only a little bit jealous!
Given this obsession with "Groove," I was surprised that I never stumbled upon The Groove Method. It shares many characteristics in common with my own "brand" of fitness dance (Organic Dance or Mind/Body Fitness Dance) as well as with other fitness dance programs I write about like 5 Rhythms, Jamie Marich's Dancing Mindfulness, and Nia. In fact, when I first stumbled upon "Groove" via a MSN link about new fitness trends, and saw the call to "try an organic workout," my first reaction was "she stole my idea." But the idea(s) behind Body Groove, Organic Dance, Nia, and other such fitness dance programs--while "owned" by some--can't be contained by brands. These ideas--community, authenticity, awareness, pleasure, self-care, mind/body movement--are the basis of feminist fitness.
Convincing people of the idea of a dance workout that is not Zumba is not an easy feat. I have taught a variety of dance programs to a varying degree of success. When I decided to try it out on campus, I wrote a blog explaining Mind/Body Fitness Dance and inviting my community to participate. It was successful only to the extent that a few of us got to experience this stress-relieving, empowering form of fitness dace.
For a variety of reasons, my fitness work has focused more on yoga for the past couple of years, but this focus on yoga has only shown me the similarities between yoga and the form of mind/body dance that I have created, honed, and taught over the years. This dance has always drawn from yoga and the many other fitness forms I have participated in over the decades.
My Mind/Body Fitness Dance classes have also drawn from my academic work in women's studies and American studies. Thus, during my sabbatical I have been developing a new theme for this program--Girls on Fire. The connections are somewhat obvious since my past incarnations have often had a girl power theme. But in this program I am more purposefully combining power and empowerment, self-care and dystopian survival. I am linking my forthcoming Girls on Fire book with Women and Fitness in American Culture.
So, perhaps this new Groove is temporary, an experiment of sabbatical freedoms. Or, perhaps it joins the beginning of a fitness dance revolution. A movement.