who we are
GRACIE WHYTE (she/her)
While many floorwork-related concepts were shared with me throughout my training, I consider the true beginning of my floorwork journey to be in 2010 when I trained with Jorge Crecis, a Spanish choreographer and teacher at The Place in London. Jorge comes from a sports science background and his movement style is full of momentum, athleticism, and often incorporates additional items to heighten awareness and train presence (throwing water bottles around the room while also taking class, for instance). My time in London was also formative for me in studying other types of floorwork such as Flying Low and capoeira.
When I relocated to LA in 2014, I started teaching my own open class which gave me the time and space to deepen my understanding of my personal relationship to floorwork. My approach has continued to evolve and change over the years — and is informed by my relationship to to injury and working safely with a focus on longevity and joy. When Laura and I started teaching together in late 2014, this process became even more collaborative and floorwork became an integral part of our teaching identity in LA.
LAURA BERG (she/her)
I was introduced to floorwork by Stephanie Nugent in 2010 at CalArts. Rooted in release technique and yoga, Stephanie's approach focused on imagery, meditation, and breath. My training with her had a really nice theme of softening — “butter down” is a phrase she is infamous for! — and we focused on slow, controlled transitions in and out of the floor. Stephanie is also a contact improv queen, and I participated in jams with her and the contact community while in college. Stephanie frequently explained our relationship with the floor, as one mirroring the relationship between human partners, a distinction that has been vital to my understanding of how to interact with the floor. Additionally, I trained with Becca Lemme, whose floorwork style focuses on momentum and releasing unnecessary tension and took many brilliant Countertechnique workshops.
After college, I started learning from and working with Gracie, whose floorwork style at the time felt smaller, more meticulous, more muscular than Stephanie/Becca’s — and also super FAST! And such my floorwork knowledge has infinitely expanded! I am deeply excited by creating new material, uncovering unexpected pathways, and the overarching physical challenge of it all.
“Ground Grooves” was born in 2016 as a weekly floorwork class that we ran in alternating weeks with Mollie Wolf until the pandemic. In 2020, Mollie went to grad school, and we continued the class, expanded the name and brand, created an online studio, and expanded our in-person offerings.
While the name "Ground Grooves" was born in 2016, we started teaching together in 2014 and our class has evolved quite a bit since then. It started as a release technique, floorwork, and WHYTEBERG (our choreographic platform) rep class. Then slowly transitioned into a release/floorwork class, until eventually becoming more acutely focused on floorwork as we felt there was a need for it in the LA dance ecosystem.
The style of floorwork we teach has evolved significantly as well. Some of the movements we do today were used in the very first iteration of the class, but the quality is different (more lush and articulate) and the style of teaching is also different (more focused on transitions, textural quality, and specificity). The Ground Grooves vocabulary has expanded a lot since its beginning days, inspired by experimentation, the people who come to class, and the needs of our personal bodies as we worked through major injuries.
There are many martial arts and dance forms we were not personally trained in that we see as being part of the same floorwork family. A great example is breaking. Although we aren’t bgirls, we are influenced by all the amazing bboy/girl/humans who are in our community and see the direct influence that incredible art form has had on what we teach.
arletta anderson (she/her)
justin morris (fluid pronouns)
Joey navarrete-medina (he/they)
In Person classes
Los Angeles, CA
Capoeira at Brasil Brasil Cultural Center
Jessie Lee Thorne at Genesis Studios
Joining All Movement (JAM) — Tricking, Martial Arts, Gymnastics, stunts
In Person classes
VincaniTV - Breaking Tutorials on Youtube