Archive for the ‘FreeDance’ Category
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!
Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: Authentic Movement, City of San Jose, dance exercise, dance practice, freedance, Green Belt, Group Ex, life practice, Nia choreography, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia Practice, Nia San Jose, Nia student, Nia Teacher, Nia White Belt, Nia's White Belt Principles, San Jose Nia, stage dance, substitute teacher for the City of San Jose, Yoga, Yoga Practice | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 26, 2012
I have posted before about the 13 Principles in the Nia White Belt. The fourth principle, FreeDance, has eight stages. I am working my way backwards posting about each stage. This post is about second stage: Being Seduced by the Music – The Art of Listening. In the second stage of Nia FreeDance the exercise we perform is stillness. We keep our bodies still while we listen to the music. We allow ourselves to be seduced by the music and practice the art of listening. When listening to a song that is not familiar or doesn’t have that “get-up-and-dance” beat it is not so difficult, but when the song is one that makes every part of your body want to move, when it is familiar, or one you love it is not easy sitting still. It is not easy to sit with a tall spine that does not gyrate to the beat. But when we do practice the art of listening with only our ears we might hear sounds we had not been aware of before. While we are listening the idea is to name instruments and sounds that you hear. Sometimes you might not know what you are hearing, either you don’t know the name of the instrument or it isn’t really an instrument at all, so you can give them their own names. For instance something might sound like rushing water or trash can lids. I know a Nia teacher whose husband is in a band and she is familiar with a lot of different instruments and the sounds they make. She is very good at naming them when she hears them. Me, if you look at my bars you will see a lot of spaceships. There is a sound that I think of as a spaceship so I use that symbol to signify that sound. I HEAR a spaceship.
This stage might sound a bit like RAW, where we are Relaxed, Alert, and Waiting while we listen to the music, but it is not. Our bodies might be in the same position, of a lengthened spine and a relaxed state but in RAW we are just listening without opinion or too much thought. We have no inner dialogue so there is no naming of sounds. In RAW we are just waiting to receive. With Being Seduced by the Music we are practicing the art of listening and naming what we hear. We are engaged in the music even though we are not moving.
For me this stage of FreeDance might even produce a few pearls. It could be that I don’t know the instrument so I think of what it sounds like which allows us to move “as if we are sloshing in mud”. Or it could be that the sound just makes me think of a certain movement such as “throwing your arms in the air with a burst of sound”. While I might not be purposefully trying to think of pearls with the seduction I just let my mind flow. If there is a dialog then there is, if not, that is fine. I just let the music flow and I listen giving names to this sound and that sound.
Listening to the music without giving it dance or without it allowing to move us in dance allows us a deep relationship with it. We are not imposing our own ideals onto it as we move or we are not interpreting it, we are just letting it in. We are just listening. With that we learn about it. We hear things we might have missed while floating about the space. It is nice to be able to have that connection with the music.
Stage two of FreeDance, Being Seduced by the Music – The Art of Listening is just another toy in our toy box that Nia has given us to play with to become better teachers and better dancers.
Have you ever been sitting still listening to a song you have heard many times before and heard something you hadn’t heard before?
Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: 13 Principles in the Nia White Belt, Art of Listening, eight stages, Nia, Nia dancers, Nia FreeDance, Nia Music, Nia pearls, Nia RAW, Nia teachers, Nia White Belt, seduced | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 10, 2012
I have posted about Nia FreeDance before. Nia FreeDance is meant to encourage creativity. In Nia routines sometimes we have entire songs that are FreeDance. Not all routines have an entire FreeDance song, but all routines have at least one part as FreeDance. The one part could be that our feet have choreography and our arms and hands are free to move. The creativity is released. As the 4th Principle of the Nia White Belt it can also be used as a tool to help a Nia teacher learn a routine and/or explore his or her practice. The principle has 8 stages. The third stage of FreeDance is Feelings and Emotions with a catch phrase of: Pretend, Fake It, Act As If. This is the stage where you pick an emotion and you act it out. This is not the same as stage 4 where you draw on the real you and you act out a story you have experienced, this stage is pretend.
The idea of stage 3 of Nia FreeDance is to pick an emotion, a feeling and then act it out. Pretend you are feeling that emotion at that moment. This would be practice or play outside of a class setting where you are doing a routine. So when using this tool as a way to grow and create you aren’t even expected to dance. The exercise is to pick an emotion act it out for a bit, then pick another emotion. Acting and explaining the feeling with your body in an exaggerated way. If it helps create a story in order to fake that emotion. It can be somewhat fun because normally when you are angry you probably would not throw yourself down on the floor and kick and scream, but when we are pretending to be angry and acting “as if” you can. You can throw an angry punch. You can run and jump for joy. You can do anything you would like and since it probably wouldn’t be something you would be “allowed” to do in society it tends to spur creativity. And this creativity gets your body moving in news ways. It gets your heart pumping. It gets your blood moving. It gets your joints juicy.
I used this stage not too long ago as the focus of a few of my Nia Classes and it turned out to be very interesting. So within the class setting we actually danced our pretend feelings and emotions. We continued on with the routine we were doing at the time, but we added our “act as if”. So it altered our movements a bit. We allowed ourselves to follow the emotion so as we were dancing steps and hand movements might have been changed, but we still danced. As I said it was interesting because my class did not want to act the “negative emotions”. Some had a difficult time with some of the ones we deem as “negative” or ones that go against one’s normal self. We danced: keeping a secret, letting a secret go, happy, loopy, light, jealous, worry, love, angry, masculine, annoyed, bashful, brave, calm, childlike, guilty, fearless, and more. We tend to assign negative and positive, but they just are . . .I think that we can look at an emotion and or a feeling and it can be neither, but as we live with it it could become one or the other. If we let it affect us in a negative way, then maybe it can be perceived as a negative emotion?
The Embody and Share portion of the Nia White Belt Manual states: “Emotions are energetic responses to our experiences. We must learn to deal with our emotions to keep ourselves free and unblocked.” So my thought process is, that if an emotion “blocks” us or causes us stress then we consider it negative.
People didn’t like the emotions they felt were negative. There was a tendency to not pick them from the list I had displayed. But I think they are good for exploring movement. So it’s fun to play with them all. Remembering it is pretend, we are faking being (whatever the emotion is that we chose), we are pretending.
Well, what do you think? I invite you to make a list of emotions and feelings, then put on some music. Pick an emotion/feeling from your list and move to it. Stay with it until you are ready to move on and then pick another one from your list. Do this for a few songs. You might be surprised at your movements. You will probably be able to create ways to move that you didn’t realize. When you are not thinking of your movements it allows your body to release and —- ahhhh! —- movement creativity. Go ahead, you can do it. Let us know how it goes!
Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: 8 stages, Act As If, angry, creativity, dance exercise, Fake It, freedance, jealousy, love, masculine, movement creativity, negative emotion, Nia choreography, Nia Classes, Nia FreeDance, Nia Practice, Nia routines, Nia teachers, Nia White Belt Manual, Nia White Belt Principle #4, Pretend, Stage 3, worry | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on February 9, 2012
In Nia we have FreeDance. FreeDance allows for so many things. One way we FreeDance is we dance to the music with no choreography. We let our bodies sense the music and allow it to move us. When we let our body move freely without thinking and without judging it is a great workout. Many of the Nia Routines have songs where there is no choreography and we just FreeDance, and many of the routines have choreography in addition to FreeDance. Our feet might have set patterns, but our arms and hands are free. Or our arms and hands might have the pattern and our feet are free. Many combinations of dance, choreography, and body parts. Nia FreeDance also has stages. A Nia teacher can call upon these stages for many things. The stages in FreeDance are used for learning a new routine, they might be used as a focus in a class, they might be used for a playshop, we have many options. In Nia FreeDance the fourth stage is The Creative Source – The Real You.
With this stage during the White Belt Nia Intensive I participated in, we were instructed to remember a situation and tell ourself the story of the situation and allow ourself to feel the emotion of that situation. We all walked around the room telling ourselves a story. Some of us talked out loud, some of us were silent. All of us used the emotion the story evoked to move. Our movements might not have been considered a dance by some, because in this stage we are not necessarily dancing. We are not moving our bodies with the intent of dance, we are allowing the emotion from the story to move our bodies. Depending upon the story it could appear as if our movements were a dance. Yet, since we do “dance through life” in Nia, all of our movements are a dance . . . just not the typical dance. In this stage we are not intent upon dancing.
The purpose of FreeDance is to the purpose of stimulate movement creativity. So we use the stages to assist in that. So using a story and the emotions along with the story can really allow for movement we might not have thought to bring to the dance floor. Some stories we use to practice stage 4 might be happy, some might be sad, some might be filled with anger, whatever the story and the emotion it is what moves us.
In the intensive there was all types of movements when we practiced this stage. There was stomping, jumping, running, rolling, skipping, punching, kicking, screaming, laughing, smiling, frowning . . . . all types as you can imagine would occure with a group of people with many different stories. As stated this is a tool to awaken different movement.
When we dance I think that we have a tendency to move in the same pattern. We might move in different patterns to different types of music or different beats, but there might just be a handful of different patterns. When we are challenged by using the different tools of Nia, when we practice and play with the eight stages of FreeDance we move in different ways. Sometimes muscles that don’t normally get to join us in our dance come alive. They are happy to be allowed to join in on the dance.
Using different muscles than we normally do in our dance fuels the creativity even further. When you let go and FreeDance you will be surprised. Here I invite you to try this fourth stage of FreeDance. I suggest choosing music without lyrics. Sometimes lyrics and interfere with FreeDance when trying to practice specific stages because lyrics can sometimes compel certain movements or emotions. So music without lyrics allows for you tell the story and listen to your body’s response to the emotion.
Well, what story are you going to tell?
Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: dance pattern, Nia, Nia choreography, Nia class, Nia creativity, Nia Dance, Nia FreeDance, Nia FreeDance stage 4, Nia Intensive, Nia Playshop, Nia routine, Nia Teacher, Nia White Belt | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 14, 2012
Nia, the dance exercise that I teach, is a great cardio workout. Classes are fun and full of energy. To become a Nia teacher one must take the White Belt Intensive. It is 40+ hours of intense learning, discovery, play, dance, reading, listening, moving, sitting, and so much more. A person that is just interesting in learning more about Nia as a practice may also take the intensive. One does not have to have the intention of teaching to participate in an intensive. In the Nia White Belt there are 13 Principles. These principles are what teachers and practitioner use to expand their Nia practice. Working and playing with the principles actually help bodies to move “better”. Nia is a body centered exercise so these principles actually help us move our bodies. The fourth Nia White Belt principle is FreeDance, this principle has eight stages. The list of the eight stages is in my post Nia Class – Levels 1, 2, 3 – FreeDance Stage 8. The fifth stage is Authentic Movement – Change.
Nia is “about” many things. One thing Nia is about is Authentic movement. Our dance is not a performance. It is not meant to be pretty. It is meant to allow us to move in our own body’s way. The idea is that we will move in our own body’s’ way and we will move as we need to move. With freedom and authenticity we will be working our bodies as they each individually need to be worked. Yes, we do have specific steps in a kata or song. But everyone’s body does the steps maybe a little differently — to their own body’s ability. With practice the body will be able to do the steps and the moves in the Body’s Way, moving the way the body was actually designed to move.
With authentic movement we are letting the body move to the music in its own way. We don’t think of how to move it, we just let it sense the music and it moves. If one is practicing the Nia White Belt Principle #4, stage 5, then the authentic movement is done for two bars, two measures of how we count our music. After two bars change the movement. Do this for each song. The idea is that after a few songs the body will have gone through all of its “normal” movements. You will have danced out all of your movement tendencies. You will have danced all of your bodies patterns and your body will seek new moves. Your body will do things it does not usually do. You might be one that often moves your hips a lot, but after a few songs and continually changing the way you move your hips you might realize that you are out of hip moves, so your body plants your feet and you end up kicking up one leg at a time. Maybe kicking is not part of your typical dance move repertoire. Maybe once your legs start kicking your arms start punching. And this was not thought out or planned it just seemed natural. Leg kick, arm punch.
So the idea is to exhaust the normal and journey into new territory. If you have never done anything like this I want to warn you, you might be a little sore the next day. If you are a booty shaker and you change to a “how-low-can-you-go-er” you will feel it the next morning. If you always keep both feet on the ground and you start kicking or even just doing knee lifts to be different, your body will remind you the next day that you did something different.
If you let your body just dance to the music and switch it up, your body will give you great feed back on how you have never moved your foot/arm/head/butt/ankle/knee/whatever-you-moved-that-was-new the next day. You will go to move foot/arm/head/butt/ankle/knee/whatever-you-moved-that-was-new and probably sense it. This information will help you learn your movement tendencies and you can learn what new moves might help you improve your body’s movements.
Try it! Put on some music and dance with Authentic Movement, then change. Keep doing this through at least five songs and see where you end up. See what new moves your body comes up with. Ready? Go!
Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: 13 White Belt Principles, Authentic Movement, cardio workout, dance class, dance exercise, dance performance, dance practice, freedance, FreeDance Stage 8, kata, Nia, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia energy, Nia Practice, Nia student, Nia Teacher, Nia White Belt Principle #4, White Belt Intensive | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 10, 2012
I think this is one of the most difficult stages of Nia FreeDance. And there is a reason they are numbered one through eight, and I don’t know why I started my postings about them backwards, but when I’m done they will still be here and they will tie together. On its own Stage 6 is a powerful tool, but it can also be applied when dancing Nia FreeDance stage one (FreeDance) and five (Authentic Movement). Stage 6 of Nia FreeDance is witness. We witness our movements. While we are dancing we acknowledge how we are moving. We observe our tendencies. We observe our structure. We are witness to all that our body can and can’t do, yet we do not interfere. We just let go and move. For many Nia FreeDance is a challenge because we are set free to dance without structure, we are set free to move as we sense the music. In stage 6 we do so — move without structure and as our own body senses the music — without interfering or judging. We are to just observe.
While you are dancing and witnessing, interfering would mean to change what you are doing maybe because you judged it to be a certain way. As an example, say you heard a specific stand-out beat in the music and your body sensed it as little hops so you started hopping. As you are hopping you start thinking and judging, you think, “Why am I hopping? I must look silly. No one else is hopping. I should stop.” While there was witnessing (YAY!), there was judging (not yay.) and then as a result interfering (not yay.). Movement was changed because of a judgement. Movement was changed not because your body sensed something maybe a new move from the music it was changed because you judged. This is what Nia FreeDance Stage 6 is about witnessing but NOT interfering or judging.
Even if we observe our tendency to do the same type of move over and over. This witness does not have an opinion, it just observes. If you are dancing just stage 6 of FreeDance then you just keep going. Observe, don’t judge or interfere. Now is not the time to change. Just dance.
This is not an easy stage. It is not easy to witness, just observing and not judge or interfere, but this stage is a huge eye-opener. This stage can tell us many things about our dance and our bodies. We can see our tendencies and our comfort zones. We can learn our strengths and weaknesses. We can embrace the sense of self. This stage is not easy, but it is powerful. It is a great tool in the Nia tool box for both a Nia Practitioner and a Nia Teacher.
So while you are dancing in the shower, in the kitchen, in the living room — wherever it is you get to truly dance — try stage 6 of Nia FreeDance; Witness – Do Not Interfere of Judge. Observe. And see where this takes you. See what you learn. You could learn things like, you don’t allow your neck free movement, your hips don’t get to dance, you are always bent at the knee, you can do a great shimmy, your hands are like graceful birds . . . . so many things. What have you witness in your FreeDance?
Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: Authentic Movement, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia FreeDance, Nia FreeDance Stage 6, Nia Movement, Nia Practice, Nia practitioner, Nia Teacher, Nia witness | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2012
The principles of the different belts in Nia provide a foundation for our Nia practice. There are 13 Principles in the Nia White Belt. The fourth principle is FreeDance, this principle has eight stages. Eight things you can focus on that can become a part of FreeDance. When I attended my Nia White Belt Intensive we danced through these stages when we danced FreeDance. Dancing through the stages is something that can be done for fun. It doesn’t have to be because you do Nia. It can help you express yourself by turning on some music and applying the stages to the music. Dancing through the stages is also used as a technique for Nia teachers to become better aquainted with the Nia music. It is a tool that can help in learning a Nia routine. The seventh stage of FreeDance is Choreography, the tagline is: The Accidental “Click”.
I mentioned in my post about the eighth stage of FreeDance, Nia Class – Levels 1, 2, 3, that I often skip over dancing the first six stages of FreeDance when learning a Nia routine. Part of the reason is because I actually forgot about it being a step. I don’t skip them entirely, I do FreeDance about four of the stages to the music, but I don’t do all of them. I do believe that doing all six can be a great tool, so as I mentioned, I am working on implementing this action back into my “learning of a Nia routine”. Today in fact I started employing it with a the next routine I am learning.
Stage 7 of FreeDance, Choreography – The Accidental “Click”, is something that probably happens to all dancers and group fitness teachers alike. It kind of seems to happen in more than just dance actually, but with dancers the “click” is to the music. Often with the eight stages of FreeDance you are using more than one stage at a time. With experiencing the accidental click there is going to be stage two going on. There is going to be a lot of listening. The listening is to ALL of the music; the silences, the beat, the tempo, the instruments, the words the vibrations–all of it. With Nia we are taught to dance to all music, not just the kind that we turn on and can’t help but move too. We are taught to move to music we might not actually like. Many people are the type that when you turn music on something on their body starts moving. A foot might start moving, a head might bob, fingers might tap, this happens often. There seems to be some songs that EVERYBODY moves to, they just can’t help it. But then there is music that often clears the dance floor. The “everybody move to” music is easy to dance to. But the floor clearing kind sometimes can be difficult to dance to. In Nia we are taught to dance to it all. We are taught to listen to it all.
I will be the first to admit that sometimes there are songs I don’t like in a Nia routine. Sometimes there is just one noise that is to incessant or a beat that feels off, whatever the reason, I don’t like it all. Sometimes I like the music but not the moves. Sometimes I just can’t get the choreography and the music to mesh—in my head or in my body, whatever it just doesn’t work. So I keep doing that kata until it “clicks”. Eventually it will because Debbie Rosas Stewart and Carlos AyaRosas are great at creating routines, but sometimes it takes me a bit. The “click” is what state seven is about.
Stage seven is connecting to the sensation of your body. I think that often times I “don’t like it” (it being either the music or the move or whatever it is that is hanging me up) is all in my head. So if and when I stop thinking and get into the sensation of the body, I will find that the moves DO go with the music, I was just thinking they didn’t. Amazing how the thinking gets in the way of moving so often.
Here you have it the seventh stage of Nia FreeDance. Yes, I am posting about them backwards, from 8 to 1. It just happened that way. The days I went to type up a post my eyes fell on “Nia Class – Leve 1, 2, 3 for inspiration. So now I am going through the stages backwards. I bet even if you aren’t trying to learn a dance routine you can think of or recognize things in your life that click. Could be you are trying to remember a way to do something and you do it over and over and keep referring back to the instructions then one day “click”. In Nia it’s Choreography where we eventually find The Accidental “Click”, but in life it could be with anything. “Clicks” happen all the time. Even if you aren’t learning a dance routine, you’re familiar with that click, right?
Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: 13 White Belt Principles, Accidental click, Carlos AyaRosas, choreography, dance class, dance routine, Debbie Rosas Stewart, Free Dance, freedance, levels of intensity, Nia, Nia choreography, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia foundation, Nia Practice, Nia routine, Nia student, Nia Teacher, stage eight, Stage seven | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on December 27, 2011
In Nia there are 13 White Belt Principles. The principles provide a foundation, something we can learn, practice, explore, and build on. One Nia White Belt Principle, Principle number 7 has two parts. The second part of the principle is levels of teaching. I wrote about this when I was sharing about each Nia White Belt Principle. The three levels of teaching come up again as the eighth stage in Nia FreeDance. The eighth stage is Nia Class – Levels 1, 2, 3.
The eight stages of FreeDance are:
2-Being Seduced by the Music
3-Feelings and Emotions
4-The Creative Source
8-Nia Class – Levels 1, 2, 3
In addition to learning, practicing, exploring and building on the 13 White Belt Principles, Nia teachers are taught to use the eight stages of FreeDance to learn our routines and also to expand our Nia Practice and to have fun with Nia. FreeDancing to the music is often a step I skip. So is might go without saying that dancing the first six stages of FreeDance is something I often don’t do when I learn a routine. I am going to work on using this tool, FreeDance and its stages, to learn my routines going forward. I am also going to use this tool when I go back and practice and delve deeper into the routines I already teach.
In regards to Stage 8 – Nia Class – Levels 1, 2, 3, this is something that Nia teachers need to be able to share in a class. As I stated in my post about the second half of the 7th Nia White Belt Principle, everyone’s levels might be different, but the point is that I need to be able to show you different levels. The move itself does not change, it just might be done bigger or covering more floor. If the move is a cha-cha step, then my level 1 is a cha-cha, as well as my level 2, to make it more challenging in level 3 I don’t change it to a jazz square, I just make it bigger. Or I might even show the example of it being more bouncy. There are different ways to change the level and we all have different levels so we have different needs when it comes to changing the level.
Level 1, 2, and 3 does not necessarily mean “planes” as in low, middle, high, it means level of intensity. Now how “intensity” is interpreted DOES depend on the move. As I just mentioned it could mean bigger or more bouncy. It all depends on the move itself, but either way the spirit and the energy remains the same.
I do find that sometimes I don’t have enough time to show all three levels for all of the moves. Sometimes I just stick to level one if it appears that the move is challenging to most students. Then I might briefly demonstrate level two, but go quickly back to level one because I can sense I am going to be leaving most of the class behind. In that case, what happens is if there is a student that is ready for level three they get their on their own. It is fabulous.
I do think that it is really good for me to continue to remind my students that EVERYBODY has a different level 1, which automatically means that their level 2 is different, which dominoes into the level 3 being different. When playing with dancing freely to music it is fun as a student and a dancer to experiment with different levels of intensity of a move. Sometimes the music dictates the intensity as the music itself might change intensity. Sometimes it is just amusing to change it up to challenge the body, brain, and spirit. So, even as a student of Nia or dancer that dances because you love to move you too can also experience different levels of dancing free. This is a brief look into Nia’s FreeDance and Stage 8 Nia Class – Levels 1, 2, 3.
Ready to turn on some music and dance?
Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: 13 White Belt Principles, Authentic Movement, dance class, freedance, levels of intensity, Nia, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia routine, Nia student, Nia Teacher, Nia White Belt Principle #7 | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 14, 2009
In Nia (TM) we have FreeDance. It is not easy for most people to do. It is not easy for me to do. I am still learning. With Nia the purpose of FreeDance is “to stimulate movement creativity”. Whoa. Stimulate movement creativity.
Per an online dictionary:
Stimulate: to excite to activity or growth or to greater activity
Movement: the act or process of moving; especially: change of place or position or posture from the same source as above
And creativity: the quality of being creative or the ability to create
So we FreeDance to excite growth or greater activity in changing our place, position, or postures into new places, positions or postures. Hmmmm.
I will take this time to remind you that our bodies are built to move. And they are built to move a certain way. Our joints allow for certain types and amounts of movement. Now barring any ailment or disease our bodies should move like they are built. But we often don’t move that way. Our way of life keeps us from moving as our bodies were built. Sometimes social stigma keeps us from moving the way our joints would like. So in FreeDance you are invited and encouraged to break habits and to move like your body was built.
I have experienced that for some, moving their head is a new thing. Think of the old way models were trained with a book on the head, some of us were taught to walk and be in that position. Can’t move your head with a book balanced on it. So moving your head could be something new in FreeDance you could do and be amazed at the result. Something as simple as moving your head, breaking that straight neck habit could release oodles of tension.
Same with rigidly straight spines or tight backs. When you Free Dance you are not dancing like you would in a club, you are pushing the limits, you are moving your body to experiment with it. You are Stimulated Movement Creativity.
There is so much more to say on this. This is Nia White Belt Principal number 4. This principal has 8 stages, so that alone is a lot to talk about, but for now, I will leave it at FreeDance – To Stimulate Movement Creativity. See if you can add a little FreeDance into your day. It doesn’t have to be wild, it could be done where no one even notices, just move one move a little different than you normally do, and you will be on your way to FreeDance!
Posted in FreeDance, Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: dance, Free, Free Dance, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia Free Dance, Nia White Belt, stimulate, White Belt | 4 Comments »