who’s struggled to keep up during complicated Zumba routines or avoided
dance classes like the plague will bless Misty Tripoli, the Salt Lake
City native who created Groove, a dance method that prizes united
self-expression and banishes mimicry. Rinda Ungricht (administrator and
Misty’s sister, pictured right) and Laurie-Lynn Macdonald (master
trainer/facilitator, pictured left) are working to build community dance
parties by offering free classes through mid-May. To keep the party
going, they’ll also be training new facilitators April 4-6 (City Weekly readers can receive a discount for mentioning this article). For class times and locations, visit Facebook.com/SLCGrooveCommunity.
I haven’t seen Groove on Dancing With the Stars—what’s so special about it?
Rinda Ungricht: It’s movement that everyone can do. It gives people the freedom to be creative and unique. We ultimately unify to a single rhythm, with two to three movements per track, allowing you to make those movements your own. Everybody’s successful, and we measure that success not by how well you’re following the leader, but by how you’re connecting to the music, to the community, and if you’re using your whole body.
We also measure success by how much you’re smiling and sweating by the
time class ends. In Groove, we’re dancing authentically, with no
mimicry. Instead, you’re connecting to how the music makes you feel—our
method integrates mind, body, heart and soul. It’s not technical at all.
If the goal is to dance your own way, why leave the privacy of your living room?
RU: We encourage dancing in your living room! We even have at-home DVDs, though I want to stress that we’re not here to sell products—we’re here to build a dance community. You come to classes to be a part of the magic, part of the joy of everyone dancing together. We give you the space to feel confident in your movements and in your own skin.
People walk out crying because they’ve never experienced anything like
Groove before. We have what we call the Groove Truths: 1. You are
unique. 2. You can’t get it wrong. 3. Nobody can do it for you. 4. You
should look different. And 5. No one cares what you look like (and if
they do, it’s their problem). When you come dance with us, we’re
creating an atmosphere, a safe space, which also allows you to process
everything at the end in stillness.
What kind of music plays during Groove?
RU: We play all kinds of music—everything from African to Top 40 to hip-hop to country. We do this for two reasons: It’s more appealing, and it helps open people up to music they might not listen to otherwise. It’s good for the brain to hear different sounds and rhythms! There are 12 to 14 tracks per class, so we have a good mix, unless we’re doing a theme night like disco, tribal, family, etc. We also take the local culture into account, so there are tracks we won’t use if they have curse words, for example.
LM: Groove really blends the best of both
worlds—with each music track, we have a little structure so dancing
isn’t completely freestyle. We give you options for being creative with
your movement, so you feel like you did something—even if it was just to
lose your mind, go nuts and explore. And we do turn the lights off!
Who shows up to classes?
RU: Everybody and anybody. Men, women, seniors, people with disabilities, kids. There is no dance or fitness background required. All you need is a desire to move your body and a love for music. If you move, you can groove.