Teaching What You Sense
Posted by terrepruitt on September 29, 2011
Nia White Belts focus on the body. The body is what we can use to teach. It is fascinating. By the time we teach a routine in front of a class we should know the music and the choreography so well we don’t have to think about it. I know I have shared before about how there is a point where I can’t learn any more without taking it to the class. That is not necessarily the way we were trained to do it, but that is how I do it. I have worked on learning a routine, got as far as I felt I could go, taken it to class and only done it for one class before I go back and work on learning it some more. With that one class I was able to get past the learning plateau. But for the most part we know the music and the routine well by the time we share it with our Nia students. This allows us to concentrate on what we are sensing. This is White Belt Principle #13, Teaching What You Sense.
One of the Nia White Belt Manuals says:
While Nia impacts every aspect of our lives, it is first and foremost a somatic practice rooted in physical sensation.
© 2010 Nia Technique, Inc. | NiaNow.com Principle 13 Lesson Plan | 1
Teaching what we sense, what we are experiencing in our own bodies allows us to connect with what is going on in our students’ bodies. When I feel the stretch in my side, I can say, “Everybody sense your side.” This allows each participant, each individual body to sense what is going on in his or her own body. It could be a stretch. It could be a twinge which might be a signal to tweak the movement. Whatever is sensed belongs to the individual. I am not saying, “You SHOULD feel . . “ I don’t know exactly what they should sense. Each person is different. Nia teachers invite Nia students to SENSE parts of the body so each person can get the workout their body needs.
While we are dancing the moves we are showing the Nia students the Nia choreography, we are also guiding them with our words. In addition to guiding them through the Nia routine’s choreography we are guiding them through a somatic workout. A workout that is rooted in the Body’s Way. By teaching what my body is sensing participants learn what THEIR bodies are sensing and in turn we all learn our our own individual’s body’s way.
Learning all of this in a cardio dance workout class might seem like a lot, but it is something that happens over time. It might also sound different than other exercise classes, and that is because it is different. It is unique. Each class brings new awareness. When students desire to they can take what we touch upon in class out into their lives. Being aware of the body’s sensation as we live and go about our everyday chores and pleasures. We could call it “Noticing what we sense.” But for me, as a Nia teacher/student I am encouraged to teach what I sense and it makes a world of difference in the workout you receive.