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Benjamin Allen leads a local Groov3 class

Sometimes while we’re exercising, we’re not feeling exactly great about ourselves. A glance in the mirror or at our classmates’ gazelle-like bodies can make us feel less than perfect.

But now we’ve found a place where camaraderie and easy choreography combine, inspiring us to happily funk our way to fitness. GROOV3 is a dance-class workout and pseudo underground cult led by hip-hop teacher Benjamin Allen. Allen’s a professional dancer (he was featured in the movie Rent), but his is no snobby, competitive class. The hour-long workout has a live DJ who spins hits of the 90s while Allen patiently demonstrates easy-to-follow steps.

Offered from Santa Monica to Silverlake, GROOV3 ($12 to $17) is diverse. Hunks and model-types dance next to senior citizens, teens and even the seriously out-of-shape starting new fitness regimens. The hour starts with a quick warm-up of easy head rolls and full-body stretches, then moves on to low kicks, music-video moves and a turn or two. 

While we forgot parts of the dance halfway through, we kept moving and caught up thanks to our fellow students--one woman even stepped aside so we could see Allen better. And for the entire sweaty, musical hour, we didn’t think once of how we looked--only how much fun it is to dance.

Edge Performing Arts Center, 1020 Cole Ave., 4th Fl.; 323-962-7733 or

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