Don’t be surprised if you find it hard sitting still while listening to Lion Babe. Dance is a huge part of the soul duo, which is made up of singer-songwriter Jillian Hervey’s soulful vocals and producer Lucas Goodman’s funk-soul beats. The pair agree that the group wouldn’t exist in its current form without the influence of dance. In fact, Goodman says, “Jill’s movement is definitely what attracts a lot of people to [Lion Babe].”

Today Hervey and Goodman are at a 100-year-old church in downtown Brooklyn, where they’ll pose for pictures and, in between takes, field questions about their career. Hervey, sitting upright with enviable posture, shares how she’s poured much of her life into dance—training since the age of two and hasn’t stopped since. Throughout her youth the 29-year-old was immersed in everything from modern, ballet, the Martha Graham technique, and competitive dance. She attributes her confidence with singing, performing and, well, existing, to this intensive background. “It was the thing that made me feel like I have an identity,” says Hervey.

Her fluid, confident movement is part of the reason for the success of Lion Babe’s first single, 2012’s “Treat Me Like Fire” and its accompanying music video. The song was an immediate hit and remains their most recognizable track. The video features Hervey dancing under pulsating lights, while her hair loose and curly (“that was the goddess version of me”) frames her face like a lion’s mane.