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Groov3 is a dance party that doesn't feel like exercise

Groov3 is a dance party that doesn't feel like exercise
Benjamin Allen, Groov3's founder, encourages a student during class. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Music helps make exercise more fun. After all, who doesn't love dancing the night away? Or how about dancing 90 minutes away on a Saturday morning? The other advantage of Groov3 classes, for those of us who never took a dance lesson as a child, is that all that concentrating on where to put hands and feet helps us forget about how hard we're working.

Groov3, founded by dancer-choreographer Benjamin Allen, calls itself a dance party, and unlike the old-school pounding music that accompanied workouts, this workout is dancing. I even felt like I might be able to use a couple of the moves I learned. The teacher of my class, Donisha Brown, who has toured the world with the show "Stomp," had enough energy for all of us.

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Groov3, 10 a.m. Saturdays at Blackbird Dance Studio, 305 N. Fairfax Ave., and other studios and times, www.groov3.com

Aura: There's a live DJ to enhance the party atmosphere.

Effort: All of us, from the dancers in the class to the klutz (me), got a great workout. Brown taught us the dance routine in bits, at half speed, and then had us dance "from the top" at full speed. Three times during the hour, the DJ blew a horn to signal a brief burst of traditional exercises, like push-ups.

Style: Completely accepting and lots of fun. I was nervous about my inexperience, but I needn't have been. Brown offered modifications for those who couldn't do steps the most energetic way. "Outside" the studio, she said, "no one is watching. Have fun."

Cost: $15 a class; slight variations at some locations.

If you have suggestions for classes, please let me know by email or Twitter @mmacvean.

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