Vanessa Varghese at The Design Conference Brisbane

May 11, 9:00am - 10:30am AEST. Hosted at Brisbane Powerhouse

part of a series on Commitment


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The Design Conference is a world class design, art and business event featuring a curated selection of talks, breakouts, exhibitions and epic parties disguised at networking events. We’re lucky enough to be hosting our May event at The Design Conference in 2018, for a third year in a row at The Brisbane Powerhouse.

We’re welcoming Vanessa Varghese to The Design Conference stage.

Training across New York, Paris, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Brazil and regional Australia, Vanessa is particularly fascinated with street dance and the way it is born outside of the dance studio context, often by an oppressed people in reaction to political and socio-economic turmoil. in 2016 Vanessa founded Groove Therapy, aimed at making dance accessible to all walks of life. The program has brought dance to at-risk youth, Indigenous communities, dementia sufferers, refugee girls and the every-day person, using the political and healing foundations that these street dance styles are built upon and mindfully appropriating it in new communities to help spark global conversation and cultural understanding.

Upon founding Groove Therapy, Vanessa has been named an ambassador for the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, been nominated for the NSW Young Achiever of the Year, been named a Young Social Pioneer 2017 by the Foundation for Young Australians, has been named one of Westpac’s ‘Unstoppable Millennials’ and was one of the six 2016/17 artists to be placed in the City of Sydney Creative Live/Work Space residencies.

Since launching in 2016, Groove Therapy has gone on to feature in documentaries, facilitate workshops, choreograph for and sign exclusively to the likes of Adidas, TedX Sydney, MTV, Vice, Frankie Magazine, Oyster Magazine and commercials for Samsung, ASOS and Mercedes Benz Fashion week.

Groove Therapy is a dance class series and events/talent agency that makes street dance accessible to all walks of life, championing diversity and correct representations of street dance in a pop-culture driven society where hip hop is all too often misrepresented. The Groove Therapy dance classes walk away from the typical dance studio domain to rebuild the street dance context, with classes held in warehouse and community spaces with no mirrors and dim lights to push the ‘safe-space, no-judgement’ vibe. With classes selling out across Melbourne and Sydney, the crew have now launched the across Brisbane and Byron Bay. Groove Therapy also holds community projects to bring street dance to marginalised communities with programs launched for dementia patients, at-risk youth and new-migrants struggling to transition into Australia.