Anything Goes Is The Tagline For The First Stage Of FreeDance
Posted by terrepruitt on July 5, 2012
Nia is both a dance exercise and a life practice. Kind of like yoga. You can go to a class and get the exercise you want and have it end there or you can learn about its principles and take them into your life. There are levels of the practice. Nia has chosen to use a “belt” system as their levels. Instead of just having numbers or names, they have assigned belt colors to the levels. There are five levels; White Belt, Green Belt, Blue Belt, Brown Belt, and Black Belt. The intensives to gain the belts can be taken and enjoyed by people who aren’t teaching. Each belt has 13 principles, except Green. Green does not have its own set of principles because green is the belt level that is actually designed specifically for teachers and helps them hone their teaching skills. It delves into the 13 principles of the White Belt. The White Belt’s principle #4 is FreeDance. FreeDance as a practice has eight stages. I have posted about eight through two. This post is about stage one. Stage #1 of Nia’s 4th White Belt Principle is Freedance – Anything Goes (movement wise).
While you are dancing any movement is great if it is authentic movement. With Nia there is choreographed moves, but within the patterns of movement there is the ability to freedance. Also with many routines there is sometimes just freedance where we are allowed to dance free to the music without any choreography. Stage one: Freedance, anything goes, allows us the greatest of freedoms. You can dance using the wall, the mirror, a chair, the floor, or a ballet barre that might be in the room. You can dance fast, slow, high, low, or in the middle. Anything that you sense your body wants to do to the music. It is up to you.
The idea with freedance is to just let the body go. Don’t think about it. When you think about it often comes the judgment. Sometimes the judgment can interfere with movement, especially if it is judgment along the lines of, “Oh I must look silly doing this.” “Oh that probably isn’t pretty.” “Oh, I am not graceful enough to spin.” “Oh, I need to do this or that.” This is all inner dialog that clogs up the muscles and their movements.
Freedance also, as I believe I’ve mentioned before, in not club dancing. We are NOT just bouncing or undulating to the beat, we are moving to the music. We are moving our bodies towards as pleasurable sensation of health and well being.
Freedance is also not patterned dancing, we save the patterns for our choreographed movements. Freedance is just free. It is spinning twirling, diving and whirling. It could be hopping or dropping. It really is whatever your body does.
Freedance is not easy. It takes practice. It is not easy to just be on the floor and not think about how you are going to move and just let your body go. It is a challenge. But once you can stop thinking and talking in your head you will find yourself moving to the music. Sometimes you might even notice that you are moving in a way that you didn’t think about and it is really amazing to have that sensation. But don’t think too much, just keep moving.
I would like to invite and encourage you to make some space in your home or if you are so inclined find a space to dance outside . . . find a space turn on some music and just dance. Let yourself go. Let yourself be free. Allow the time, space, frame of mind and spirit to freedance. Remember, anything goes!
Wahoo! I have to add that in the middle of typing this up I secured another class to sub for the City of San Jose. So exciting to be able to share Nia through the city! Yay!