Posted by terrepruitt on February 4, 2010
I always get questions about the Nia Routines. Are teachers given the routines? Do teachers make up their own routines? How many routines are there? And more. In this post I’ll just cover those three questions.
At the time of this writing there are 18 Nia routines showing on the teacher website for purchase. I know in the 26 years that Nia has been around there have been a lot more. I believe back when Nia started having routines, music rights and all that big business part of music was not an issue. Now, I think, that portion of life has affected Nia and the routines. I think they had to remove some from sale.
A routine is group of songs. I think 8 to 10 is the average, but it depends on the length of the songs. An average Nia workout class is about 55 minutes, give or take a few minutes. At the time of this post Carlos and Debbie were the creators of the routines.
As a teacher, we purchase a routine which includes a DVD disc, a music CD, and an information pamphlet. It is an amazing piece of educational material. This post is not about the fabulous package of material we receive or about learning the routine, it is just general information about Nia routines. But whenever I talk about the Nia routine packages I feel compelled to exclaim how wonderful they are. I will save the explanation of them for another post.
Teachers are encouraged to use their own creativity when leading a routine. Nia routines are very well thought out and put together. It is my understanding that with higher belt levels choreography is discussed, but with White Belts, Nia encourages them to use the routines that Nia has created. But at the same time we are encouraged to do the katas to different music than we are given.
With the encouragement of using our own creativity, I believe comes the impression that we can do things in Natural Time and to me, that means we can adjust routines. A kata might be less aerobic, but if we want to help make it more so we can add cha-cha-chas in place of a regular step, or just do fast side steps instead of a grapevine.
In addition to changing simple steps we are empowered with all of the different Movement Forms. When we employ the energies of the different movement forms they can change the routine dramatically.
I do mix up the katas from various routines to “create” new routines. To me this gives the participants a feeling of doing something new, yet at the same time they are moving to familiar patterns. Or once, I had an out of town friend attending my classes, after the first class, she admitted she couldn’t do turns. Well, if she were going to be my student for any length of time, you know I would put those in and work with her on them, but since she was only going to be in one more class, I put together katas that didn’t have turns so she would enjoy her workout more.
When I do mix it up, I make certain I adhere to the seven cycles of Nia. I also try to make it a well-rounded routine. I love it when I put something together and afterwards the class says, “Ahhh, I really liked that routine, what was it?”
I hope this helped to answer some of the questions about Nia routines. Please let me know if you have other question.
I am going to continue to you invite you, my reader to a Nia class. If you are ever visiting the San Jose/South Bay Area or you are local to me, please, come to one of mine . If you are not local, look up a class near you and try Nia in your area.