A San Diego business specializing in parent-baby dance classes has gone viral with a clip featuring dads dancing with their little ones nestled in baby carriers strapped to their chests.
The clip, making its rounds on social media, shows a group of dads wearing their babies while line dancing to the funky Wild Cherry hit, “Play That Funky Music.”
The boogie session is part of a class held by GroovaRoo, a small, San Diego-based baby-wearing dance school founded by Del Mar residents Meeshi and Amber Anjali – a couple expecting their first baby on June 4.
The couple started the company in September 2015 after seeing a YouTube video from Spain of a baby-wearing salsa dance class. Over the past several months – and over the course of Amber’s pregnancy – they’ve seen their little dance school grow quickly.
Meeshi told NBC 7 he has been teaching multicultural dance classes for 20 years, including dance classes for men. Amber has worked as a birth doula, post-partum yoga instructor and baby-wearing consultant. The couple combined their two passions to create one fun, groovy exercise class for families to enjoy together.
“We want dancing to be another activity – like playing catch – that families can do together,” Meeshi said.
On Monday, the couple posted a clip of dads dancing with their babies to the GroovaRoo Facebook page. In just a few days, the adorable video has received widespread attention from media outlets around the world – from “New York Post” and Buzzfeed to “The Today Show” and “Inside Edition.” The clip has also been shared by thousands of people on social media.
In the video, the dads enthusiastically nail every move, sliding, fist-bumping and swaying while holding their infants close in their baby carriers. About 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the song, the dads use their babies like tiny air guitars to really drive home the funk. The dads are then joined by the mothers of their babies, who also bust out their best moves.
The Anjalis say their baby-wearing dance classes are held several times a week in Encinitas and South Park and include between 10 and 15 students. Meeshi and Amber say about 40 “regulars” attend the classes weekly with their babies.
The couple said the dad dance session-gone-viral was part of a class for fathers to show the mothers of their children how much they love and appreciate them.
Meeshi said that, while you can’t hear it in the video, he used a lot of sports analogies throughout the dance to keep the dads focused and pumped move after move.
He said he hopes the video and the GroovaRoo classes help eliminate the fear and stigma sometimes associated with men dancing.
"One of the main visions in starting these classes is to expose a whole new generation of American babies and baby boys, in particular to dancing right from the start before they can even walk," the couple told NBC 7. "We feel that it is important for American dads to model that it is okay for men and boys to dance, and we hope that these dads grow in confidence with bonding and dancing with their babies."
The “soul line” dance style practiced in the couple's classes includes a lot of rocking, swaying and gentle hip motions. Meeshi said the moves have proven to be soothing for little ones in their carriers.
“About two-thirds of babies are out and napping once we start dancing!” he said.
The couple is currently in the process of training new GroovaRoo dance teachers from around the world so the movement can spread even further.
The founders believe “dancing with your family is your birthright,” and should be practiced regularly and passed down from generation to generation.