Posted by terrepruitt on February 5, 2011
I teach Nia. I found Nia while looking on the internet for a workout that was exercise as well as dance. Dance is exercise and with so many people enjoying dancing I was hoping to find a combination of both that I could teach. Nia is a non-impact cardio dance. The “non-impact” often causes people to think that it is low intensity, but with Nia you regulate your own intensity. Nia was created using The Body’s Way, and designed so that you can practice is in Your Body’s Way. So participants receive the workout their body needs at that moment.
I believe that is one of the great things about Nia, but it is also one of the things that greatly challenge people. Some people do not know how to listen to their own bodies and give them what they need. They are accustomed to being told what they need and what to do. So Nia might not be for everyone. But there is something out there that is.
In the Fall 2010 issue of Conscious Dancer, they shared 100 modes of movement. They highlighted movements from A-Z. They pointed out AcroYoga, AlivEmotion, BeachDance, Bellyfit, Biodanza, Chakradance, Dancing with Pain, DolphinDance, 5Rhythms, Gyrotonic Expansion System, Hoop Dance, InterPlay, Jazzercise, Laughter Yoga, Nia, Pilates, Shake Your Soul, Soul Motion, SpritisDancing, Trance Dance, Wowzacise, Yoga Booty Ballet, YogaFit, Zumba, and more.
From yoga to yoga dancing, spiritual exercise, water workouts, healing, structured, non-structured, standing, sitting, rolling, running, jumping, bouncing, everything from here to there and anything you can thing of and more. So what is your excuse? Maybe there isn’t a Nia class in your area or that is convenient to you or your schedule. What about a Zumba class? Get some of your Latin on. Zumba not your thing? What about BellyFit? Maybe there is a class near you and a form of fitness that has a bit of yoga, meditation, and Pilates in it is something you would like? Laughter Yoga (who doesn’t like to laugh?) is in 60 countries. Maybe you would like the group type of moving mediation that is 5Rhytms. Or you wanna take it back to your childhood circling your hips and other body parts in a Hoop Dance. Have you tried Jazzercise lately? Even though it has been around since the 60′s it has kept up with the times. Like Nia, you learn that the joy of dance that is Shake Your Soul can be a healing experience. What about Wowzacise? Created by Wowza it is a form of fitness done on different size stability balls. Yoga Booty Ballet is a set of workouts that is yoga, cardio, and ballet and there are DVDs so you don’t even have to go out to do that one.
See? So as I am often saying there is soooooo much out there. If you don’t like one thing try another. Take into consideration your goals and what you really like to do, then go out there and find it. It has to be there. Even though Nia is for everyBODY, it really is not for everyone, but please find something that is for you and do it and stick to it!
Posted in Dance Workout, Nia | Tagged: 5Rhythms, ballet, Bellyfit, Biodanza, cardio, cardio dance, Chakradance, Councious Dancer, dance exercise, Dance Workout, DolphinDance, Gyrotonic, healing, Hoop Dance, http://www.consciousdancer.com/, InterPlay, Jazzercise, Laughter Yoga, meditation, modes of movement, Nia, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia exercise, Nia workout, non impact ardio dance, non impact workout, Pilates, Soul Motion, spiritual exercise, SpritisDancing, trance dance, water workouts, Wowzacise, Yoga, Yoga Booty Ballet, yoga dancing, YogaFit, Your Body's Way. AcroYoga, Zumba | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on November 4, 2010
One of my San Jose Nia class students lent me a book*. With all that is going on I haven’t gotten to get into it in depth but I read the beginning and I love it. I was very happy to see that this particular book addressed whole body conditioning.
The author, Eric Franklin (yes, THE Eric Franklin), says that aerobic training is necessary for dancers. Yet, he states that dancers are able to achieve what they do because their training involves presence and awareness. He is talking about the mind body connection. In Nia we call it body mind connection because we go to the intelligence of the body. Either way the idea is that they are both connected and when exercising the benefits are greater when they are working as one.
This book is wonderful because it states much of the same information that is incorporated into Nia. That your state of mind and attitude has an effect on your movements and results. That is just a small example.
It also states the same information we actually apply to personal training. Such as, training specifically for a specific result—the Principle of Specificity. Also it talks about the Principle of Progressive Overload–how you need to increase the intensity in order to improve. But it also advises you to listen to your body and learn to work with it.
I need to spend more time reading it to see what else he has to say. I will definitely do another post on it because it has much more information in it and it is so exciting to see that it mimics so many other things I have learned. It matches up with so much information from other fitness modalities and the information they are saying. It is nice to hear that so many people are recognizing the mind-body / body-mind connection. It has been happening for awhile now, it is just nice that it is getting so “mainstream”. It is exciting to see we are all on the same page—whole body conditioning is better conditioning.
*Conditioning for Dance you can purchase through Amazon, its under “Interesting Reading”.
Posted in Dance Workout, Dancing, Training and Exercise | Tagged: aerobic exercise, aerobic training, Body-mind, Conditioning for Dance, Dance conditioning, dance exercise, Eric Franklin, mind body, mind-body exercise, Nia exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia students, Principle of Progressive Overload, principle of specificity, San Jose Nia, whole body conditioning | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 29, 2010
We often step on the ball of our foot. We often call it the toe. The Ball of the foot is one of the 52 Moves of Nia. Ballerinas are actually on their toes and they do it in special shoes that have a support in them where their toes are. We usually are stepping onto the BALL of our foot when we step on the “toe”. It is the ball portion of the foot that supports the weight when we are “on our toes”.
This is plantar flexion and assists with keeping the ankle joint flexible. If you are standing on the foot you are flexing it can also assist with strength.
In a Nia workout class we do all types of movement and sometimes we are using the ball of our foot. We could be stepping or standing. The moment might call for us stepping ONTO the ball either forward, back, or even laterally. Or it could be that we are standing and just rising up. This could be a position where we stay either in a display of balance or it could be a display of agility, a temporary place where we quickly move onto another move. Either way it is all part of how the body was designed to be moved.
It might be a nice idea to keep in mind that moving and working the foot in different ways than it is used to being worked might cause some muscle soreness or tenderness through the entire leg. If you are never on your the ball of your feet and suddenly your dancing a few moments on them, your calves might remind you of it later that day or even the next day. Same goes for the whole foot, if you are not in the habit of moving on the whole foot your ENTIRE leg could end up letting you know you worked some leg muscles.
As with the whole foot, the ball of the foot can be used in the stances of Nia.
Just as I have done with the heel lead and the whole foot, I am going to suggest that you take note of this foot position. As you walk notice when your stride gets to the point of the ball of your foot. As you reach for something on the top shelf and you balance on your toes, notice the flex of your foot and the muscles in your calves. As you walk through your day notice the ball of your foot.
Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Dance Workout, Nia | Tagged: agility, ankle joint flexibilty, ankle strength, balance, Ball of foot, ballerinas, DOMS, felxibilty, leg muscles, Nia, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia dancing, Nia workout, toe shoes | 10 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on August 15, 2009
Here is a picture of the Nia spear fingers, one of the 52 Nia moves. You pose your hand as if you are going to salute someone.
The benefits according to The Nia Technique book (page 161) are that it will help with tension that “tends to build up in your wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and jaw.”
Also pictured is a modified version of the spear finger. At this point I use this version in a song that I lead. Throughout the entire song our hands/fingers are in the spear finger position and I find that is too stressful on my wrists. And Nia is about exercising and working out in a pleasurable manner so, I have adapted the spear finger to a more comfortable position for me. In other instances where we use spear finger for not such a long time, I employ the actual technique.
Nia is about so many things, but one thing we want to ensure participants do is modify and adapt to their own body’s way. My body’s way for that move is to cross my thumb over my bent ring finger and little finger. When you come to class you will be encouraged to listen to your own body and move the routine as your body wants to move. You will be encouraged to sense pleasure. Come experience it for yourself.
Posted in Dance Workout, Nia | Tagged: exercise classes 52 Nia Moves, Nia 52 moves, Nia Classes, Nia exercise, Nia spear fingers, Nia Technique, Nia workout, The Nia Technique, The Nia Technique book, workout classes | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 30, 2009
Where is it written that you have to walk into a workout class or a dance class and know every step? Can you point me to that grand writing? No. It doesn’t exist. Nowhere is it written that you walk in and know the steps or even that you know them after the first workout or the first class. But we still think that we should “get it” right away. Almost immediately we pull out labels like awkward and uncoordinated. Not often do we stop to give ourselves a break. Did we not have to learn how to walk, why is it that we think we must know how to move or dance?
I bring this up because I keep having this brought up to me. People say they feel like a klutz or that they have two left feet. Well, this could all be true as a feeling of what they feel, but how are they ever going to get over it?
With Nia (one of) the point(s) is to move how you need to move that day, in that class, in that moment. NOT to move exactly like the teacher or like the other students, or to be perfect or workout like it is a performance. It is to move how your body needs to move. It is to stop judging HOW you are moving and just MOVE. Yes, there are steps, there is a routine, most of the time you are doing guided movements, but you aren’t expected to know them and do them perfect. And even if you do know them, sometimes you might need to adjust them.
I understand that there is a desire to do it right, but with Nia™ we really take that saying “If you stumble make it part of your dance” to heart. No one is perfect, we are not expecting the routine to be done perfect. We are expecting respecting, respecting your body and your heart. You move, you mess up, you forgive yourself, you keep moving. It is not because you are awkward or uncoordinated no labels, take the next step. Come to class, learn, practice. Once you get the moves down then the fun really begins because then you can play with the move making it big or small fast or slow do it with ease or make it dynamic.
But you have to start at the beginning.
Honest? Want me to be honest here? After I get the gist of the routine down, I stop watching the training DVD. I refer back to it when I get stuck or want to refresh my memory or “tighten it up”. But I don’t practice to it. I don’t move like Debbie or Carlos*. I can’t concentrate on my music and the movements when I try. I have to turn them off and tune them out and concentrate on me and my workout. I have to listen to the music and sense when I am supposed to cue. I can’t learn what my body needs and get the work out I need if I am trying to do it exactly like them. I am not them. I am me. I have to pay attention to what I can do especially since what I can do in my living room is entirely different then what I can do when I teach. I have to make certain I practice the different levels so I have a chance to show them in class. When I workout to the DVD, I don’t practice level one, I am trying to keep up with Debbie.
So what I am saying is give yourself a break. We cannot all move the same. So we need to practice quieting our inner dialog that tells us we have to do it like whomever, and just do it like our body needs. It probably won’t be perfect because we are not perfect. We are there to move and improve and enjoy. So are you ready to give yourself a break and just move?
My schedule of classes in San Jose and Los Gatos.
*Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, the people that have brought us Nia.
Posted in Dance Workout, Dancing, Nia | Tagged: Carlos Rosas, Debbie Rosas, Los Gatos Workout, Los Gatos Workout class, Nia, Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia, San Jose performance, San Jose Workout, San Jose Workout class, workout, workout class | 8 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on April 28, 2009
Here are a few pictures from the 2009 event. I believe this is what is pictured:
Belly Dance – Raqset Wadi al Shams (Saida)
and Middle Eastern Belly Dance – Hala Dance Company (Hala)
And don’t forget Halanda Studio Celebrates Bay Area National Dance Week by offering FREE attendance for new students.
Participating classes include:
Tuesday April 28:
Zumba Fitness: 5:30pm-6:30pm
Fusion Bellydance: 6:30pm-8pm
Hip Hop: 8pm-9pm
Bellydance Basics: 9pm-10pm
Wednesday April 29:
Nia Technique with Terre: 9am-10am
Hala Dance Troupe Rehearsal: 6pm-8pm
Bellydance for Fun & Fitness: 8pm-10pm
Thursday April 30:
Yoga and Core: 6pm-7pm
Tribal Basics: 7pm-8pm
Tribal Fusion: 8pm-9pm
Friday May 1:
Nia Technique with Terre: 9am-10am (Halanda’s website does not state this, but let’s go with it!)
Near Eastern Dance: Bellydance & Beyond: 6:15pm-7:30pm
Saturday May 2:
Zumba Fitness: 8:15am-9:15am
Thursday May 7:
Dances of Persia and the Silk Road: 9pm-10pm
To attend for free, please sign in at the door and let the instructor know you are attending for National Dance Week. Please note that classes which are not specifically on this list are not able to offer free classes during this week.
This is an annual event so you can look forward to attending next year!
Posted in Dance Workout | Tagged: Bay Area Dance, Bay Area National Dance Week, Belly Dance, fitness, Free Belly Dance Classes in San Jose, Free Classes in San Jose, Halanda, Halanda Studio, Hip Hop, Middle Eastern Belly Dance, National Dance Week, Nia, Qi Gong Flow, San Jose Fitness, San Jose Hip Hop, San Jose Nia, San Jose Nia Technique, San Jose Zumba, Terre, Terre Pruitt, Tribal Dance, Zumba | 4 Comments »