In Nia We Travel
Posted by terrepruitt on November 14, 2013
Nia is a cardio dance exercise that I teach. It is more than that, but that is one way to describe it. One of the ways it is more than that, is, it is a practice. If you chose to treat it like a practice, as one might treat yoga as a practice, one would become aware of Nia’s 52 Moves. There are 52 moves that get choreographed into the Nia Routines. One of the moves is Traveling in Directions. This is a great move for many reasons.
One reason Traveling in Directions is great is because it is very easy. Another reason it is great is because it is very adaptable and can be used in almost every song and in every routine. The main way to travel in a direction is to simply walk. Using the Heel Lead technique just walk forward, then change the direction you are walking, then change the direction, etc. With the simplest of forms you look where you want to go before you move in that direction. So before your feet actually start going a different direction — LOOK. There is a little bit of thinking involved because we look before we go. Allow your arms to move freely. Step confidently in whichever direction you choose to look. Move your body as a whole.
The Nia Technique book states: “Practicing Traveling in Directions keeps your body agile for moving through space in all directions, able to change direction with ease.”
When we use this move in our routines we have a lot of fun playing with it. The move really is as easy as stated, the fun comes when changing directions quickly. You can be the leader of your own movement or sometimes you are being directed by the teacher. This makes agility one of the Nia sensations we practice with this move. Moving one way then quickly stopping and going another way. Stopping, changing, starting. Varying the speed at times will allow for additional Nia sensations such as strength and stability to come into play.
When Traveling in Directions on your own you become aware of the direction you want to go, then you look, then you go. As I said, there are times when you might be listening to the direction of the teacher, which would still mean you would need to become aware of the direction you want to go, but when being told where to go your body’s reaction is quicker. There is a quick look then a move in that direction. Less thought is involved for you as the participant because someone else thought of the direction you were going to go.
Often when this move is done in a class, quick thinking, quick moving, and quick reacting are additional skills that receive attention because we are dancing with others on the floor so we might have to switch our trajectory quickly to avoid a dance floor collision.
Modifications of the traveling can be done by going backwards or sinking low or even rising high. So many ways to travel in directions. All of them are great opportunities to try out the Nia Sensations, the more you do, the more ways you move your body. If you want you can even skip. Skipping in different directions adds a new dimension to the move.
Sometimes this move is choreographed into the Nia routine with specifics and sometimes is allowed more of a Free Dance. However it is added to the Nia workout it is a wonderful way to dance.
How would you Traveling in Directions to your current favorite song?