Be the Groove is a rhythmic performance ensemble that believes rhythm is not just a beat—rhythm is a mode of expression. This Chicago based group fuses a variety of movement, percussion, and rhythmic techniques to create a unique style of its own. Through high-energy performances and a strong commitment to education, Be the Groove seeks to share its love of rhythm with people everywhere.

Press Release

Happy Holidays and New Beginnings with Be the Groove

Be the Groove was founded in 2006 by Artistic Director Stephanie Paul and Executive Director Davora Sides, both alumnae of Northwestern University. They began with a dream of forming a performance company that would empower people to recognize the power of their own bodies through music and movement.

Throughout its existence, Be the Groove has shared rhythm and energy with countless audiences around the country and globe, bringing Stephanie and Davora's dream to a reality. Stephanie writes,

My time with BTG has resulted in some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. From jamming with brilliant Chicagoland students to performing in Louisiana street festivals to participating in a life-affirming exchange of culture and rhythm in Oman; BTG has encouraged me to invest in people and engage with the world!

After an amazing 11 years, I will be stepping down from my position as Artistic Director. In this next chapter, I will focus on choreographing and creating in theater and concert dance. Despite this transition, as Founding Artistic Director, the groove will never leave me and I will stay connected to BTG as a collaborator, friend and fan.

I am forever proud of the work Be the Groove and I have done together and will always cherish the artistic family we've built. It's been an incredible journey and I am grateful for all of it!

Be the Groove is pleased to announce that Kevin Durnbaugh, Steph's longtime Associate Artistic Director and friend will be stepping into the role of Artistic Director effective January 2018. The ensemble is ready to move forward and continue with our mission of sharing rhythm, energy, and music with everyone we encounter. Stay tuned for additional events in early 2018, including an open company class at 7:30pm on Monday, January 29th at the Athenaeum Theatre 3rd floor East Studio. Be the Groove is also looking forward to presenting a public Chicago performance later this year, so please check out our website and social media for additional details on dates and location. We are proud of Stephanie as she takes this next step, and couldn't be more grateful for the invaluable guidance she has given to the company since its inception. Thank you for your continued support, and we hope to see in you in the new year! Enjoy the holiday season.

Performances

Red River Revel 2017 — Shreveport, LA

Red River Revel 2017 — Shreveport, LA

Chicago Pride Parade with WGN Radio

Chicago Pride Parade with WGN Radio

International Rhythm Festival, Muscat, Oman

International Rhythm Festival, Muscat, Oman

Education

Be the Groove is deeply committed to education and we strongly value sharing our fun and energizing technique with people of all backgrounds. In addition to performances, Be the Groove offers classes, workshops, and residencies focused on our unique combination of dance and percussion. Our ensemble’s goal is to motivate the development of teamwork and individual self-confidence through the language of rhythm and dance.

Be the Groove's teachers work with students of all ages and skill-levels, regardless of experience. While our classes generally focus on skill-building activities, they also foster teamwork, spontaneity, ensemble-building, self-confidence, healthy exercise and movement, and body awareness. Our classes are a great way to get kids motivated and moving, and to get people thinking on their feet!

Press / Reviews

“Unstoppable energy and noteworthy polish... There is nothing uneven about the troupe's percussive abilities, or the pop dance acrobatics of its women, led by beguiling and passionate Stephanie Paul, Be the Groove's able artistic director.”
Sid Smith
Chicago Tribune
“They're loud, pounding and incessant, but finely detailed, too... Listen to the noise—or relish the choreographic niceties.”
Sid Smith
Chicago Tribune
“These are the proverbial kids with buckets o' talent. They've got creativity, stage presence, tremendous energy, and bravura chops, too... The 10-member cast of Be the Groove's Embrace the Fire combine rap, film, hip hop-influenced dance, and all manner of percussion—drumline licks to body slaps—to create a series of tightly choreographed pieces.”
Tony Adler
Chicago Reader

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