It’s almost 4:30 p.m. and the quiet of Redwood Hall is cut by a 2004 classic – Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
Rounding the corner, it’s obvious something electric is happening in room 292.
For the past four years, the Africana Studies and Kinesiology departments, in conjunction with the Los Angeles-based dance program GROOV3, have held an annual Hip-Hop workshop on campus. Wednesday was one of the events this honoring Black History Month, all the while promoting health and wellness.
“There is a large population of black students on campus, and we want everyone to experience this,” said Assistant Professor of the Department of Africana Studies, Aimee Glocke. “It’s one our department’s biggest and best events.”
Because the department receives more funding during Black History Month, events like these are possible, and can be made free to students and outside visitors.
Kinesiology major Kaya Espiritu, 18, is one of more than 60 participants spread out in the dance hall. Founder Benjamin Allen instructs the class on a 12-step routine.
“I used to dance but I haven’t been in a studio for over a year,” Espiritu said. “Knowing what [GROOV3] is now, I wish I would’ve known about this before. I’ve been looking for an excuse to dance again.”
The “3” in GROOV3 stands for dance, sweat and live.
“This is where people can dance like a superstar, sweat out their day and live a happier, healthier life,” said Allen, who has an impressive 18 years of commercial dance experience in his repertoire.
The group is also open to the non-dancers. Even if people are the rhythm-less.
“Our mission is to inspire change and to build a global community through dance,” Allen said. “This an accessible way to expose people to dance who don’t normally get to.”
Physical application encourages students to get out of their comfort-zones, and out of the classroom. Glocke explains that in a classroom, where culture is theoretical, GROOV3 is an opportunity to experience it first-hand. Extra credit is an incentive, but by the end of it, it’s the furthest thing from everyone’s minds.
“If you’re doing something you absolutely love,” Glocke said. “Your spirit is free.