In August 2020, while looking through my Facebook feed, a video popped up and caught my eye—about 25 guys wearing babies in carriers and dancing in synchrony to Play that Funky Music White Boy. It looked like complete fun and of course, I had to see what this was all about. I immediately made my way to the GroovaRoo national website and spoke to creators Amber and Meeshi Anjali about getting more info. The next training was in October ’20 and after “zooming” with them, I was all in!
What drew me in initially was seeing the fun the adults were having dancing and the fact that it involved young children. On a more personal level, this idea appealed to me because our first year with our first born child was stressful. My husband and I had all four of the major life stresses at once: the birth of a child, a death of a loved one Doug’s dad passed away eight days after Sam’s birth), a move (from Maryland to Brooklyn, NY) and a new job for Doug. Oh, and I forgot to mention… our car was broken into the night before Sam was born!
With so much to attend to, I felt overwhelmed. I wish I knew then what I know now after completing the GroovaRoo Dance eight-week training. So much of a child’s first year of life can truly be impacted by what parents experience through pregnancy, birth and beyond. We can’t prevent life’s stresses but we can equip ourselves with the tools to keep our heart, body and mind in a place that comforts, connects and brings peace to self, baby and to the family unit. If I had known a few of the short, soulful GroovaRoo dances when my children were young enough to be worn facing-in in my carrier, I would’ve happily thrown on the music and danced with my little dance partner until our oxytocin levels were topped off to serenity.
We all know the newness of a birth brings its own challenges to parents and I would suffice to say many of you are or will be ushered into parenthood with additional stresses of your own. Oh I almost forgot—we’re in a pandemic! Just a little stress.
I’ll be teaching some fun and soulful line dances to you and your little dance partner to current music you’ll know. If you’re home with your baby, it’s the perfect time to take an hour to bond, love and connect with a community—all at the same time your dancing like nobody’s watching (because nobody IS watching)! And some day, we’ll be able to dance together in person, but I’m choosing to dance now and not wait until that “some day.”
Come join me as we bring this safe, sacred and soulful movement that is GroovaRoo Dance to the NoVa/MD/DC area!
Linda Criscitello holds a BA in Theatre, University of California, Irvine and a MA in Deaf Education, Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. She has tap danced since the age of three and has kept on dancing to enjoy a musical theatre career touring in shows including 42nd Street, West Side Story, A Chorus Line, and Singin’ in the Rain. In 2002, Linda opened her Music Together® center, MT Sing and Groove (early childhood music for newborns to 8-year-olds and their grownups) in Northern VA and continues to direct and teach. She’s also a tap instructor at Cuppett Performing Arts Center, working with kids 7-15. For the past five years until the 2020 pandemic, Linda has had the pleasure of choreographing for a lovely group of women called the Diamond Tappers (ages 85-90). She feels truly fortunate to spend time singing and dancing with people ages newborn – 90!