Well, Palo Alto seems to be as close to as to what I consider the South Bay as we have gotten since I have been attending Nia. I really want to have a Nia Jam in San Jose. I am going to work on that for 2013. The Nia Jam for San Francisco Bay Area Nia Association in the South Bay in 2012 was at a Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto. As I have described before, a Nia Jam is a Nia class only longer with multiple teachers. It is like a Nia class on steroids. A typical Nia class is 60 minutes, a Nia Jam is usually 90 minutes. In a Nia Jam there is a group of teachers who take turns teaching. As with all Nia classes the Nia Jam had a focus and an intent. The focus of this Nia Jam was Yin & Ying of Creative Play, with the intent of providing both a high energy experience and a quieter, more reflective experience as Nia can support either or both. I have to be honest, I didn’t get a quiet, reflective experience out of this jam. We were on fire! The energy was so high it was tangible. It was amazing!
I am so glad that the energy is always so high because I had taught my Saturday morning class in San Jose. Then I stayed at the studio and took a class, then I raced over to Palo Alto to teach at the Jam. The energy energized me!
There were six teachers who taught. It is so fun to dance and be led by a variety of teachers. It is a wonderful thing to be able to experience a song, a kata, that you know, in a different way. While usually the basics are there, there is often a little nuance that the teacher adds to the song. It could be just a sound that is not normally made, a word not usually spoken, or it could be the addition of a different step or the removal of a step, it could just be their way of cueing that makes it different. Whatever the difference it is so invigorating to do what you know a little differently. I also love doing the unknown. I don’t know all of the Nia routines and I love to get to dance katas I don’t know.
At the same time a Nia Jam is perfect for someone new to Nia because they get to dance with many different teachers and experience different styles. They also can witness the warmth of the Nia community. New participants can also enjoy the astronomical energy that is present at Nia Jams. They can also confirm that Nia students and Nia teachers do sweat as Nia is a moving grooving cardio dance exercise. They can corroborate what I have been sharing — a great workout does not have to be done extremely fast and hard it can be done with movements of the whole body.
Monday in class my students were still talking about the Nia Jam. It was THAT fun! It was THAT energizing. It was great! I know Nia is a great workout. I invite you to go to a class, one of mine (click for schedule) or one you find near you (click for worldwide listings), but I implore you to go to a Nia Jam. If there is one not far from you, go. You will enjoy it for all the reasons I mentioned above, for reasons I have not mentioned, and for reasons of your own. Nia Jams are always fun and the Nia Jam for the South Bay on the Peninsula did not disappoint!
For more pictures go to: http://www.helpyouwell.com/nia-jams.html