Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia! THREE group classes a week!

    Tues, and Wed 9 am

    Thurs 8:45 am

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    I am also available for private Nia and/or Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘ballet’

Kicks; Front, Side, Back

Posted by terrepruitt on March 1, 2014

Here is where it is obvious that the moves we include in the 52 Moves of Nia are not unique to Nia. Kicks are part of many dances, martial arts, and movement forms. Kicks can be done in many different ways. They are great for many things. In Nia while we dance we often do kicks. We count each kick as a separate move so the Front Kick, the Side Kick, and the Back Kick are three of the 52 Moves of Nia moves.

I know that we did kicks in country line dancing and in West Coast Swing.  They kick in ballet and jazz dance.  We all know they kick in all types of martial arts such as karate, jujutsu, and kickboxing.  Kicks are even a part of exercise routines and sports.  I know they do kicks in Jazzercize and Zumba.

Each kick requires balance, and that is one of the things that kicks are good for.  The act of kicking helps improve, helps challenge, and helps retain balance.  One must be on one leg and/or foot in order to kick the other leg.

With a Front Kick, in Nia, we balance on one whole foot, we lift the other thigh so the foot is off the ground.  We keep our alignment of our three body weights.  We use our arms to help maintain the balance.  The leg we are standing on is firmly rooting to the earth yet the knee is not locked.  Then we extend the leg of the foot that is off the ground, allowing the shin and foot to move forward, away from the body.  We look where we kick.  We kick at our own level.  It could be that you are able to lift your thigh so it parallel to the ground or possibly your knee is higher than your hip.  Remember it is your kick so it is your balance practice.

The Side Kick starts as the front kick, on one leg, the we lift our thigh, but instead of sending the foot forward and away from the body we shift our hips so the one that has the leg lifted it higher than the other one and our knee crosses the midline of the body, the we push our foot out to the side of the body.  The same side as the foot that is lifted.

The Back Kick has the same start as the front kick and side kick.  Stand on one leg and lift the other thigh up.  As with the front kick your body is in alignment.  The we push the leg that is lifted, back, as if we are stepping on the wall behind us.  For an additional challenge to balance you can look behind you.

Just like all the 52 Moves in Nia, while doing these kicks in our Nia routines we often modify them a bit.  Sometimes the kicks are slow and powerful.  Sometimes they are fast and done with a bit of ease.  Sometimes the choreography allows for the foot to rest on the earth before rising again to kick, sometimes not.  Sometimes the kicks are done in a fast repetitive fashion.  Sometimes they are meant to be done low, sometimes they are meant to be done high.  But all kicks are meant to be done in your own body’s way.

In addition to balance, kicks help with strength.  Both legs, the standing and the kick leg get the benefit of that.  Also kicking is good for exercising your coordination, especially when there is travel involved and/or arm movements.  Kicks are a great addition to many dance modalities and exercise forms.  I would bet you are familiar with kicks.

Do you do kicks in your cardio dance class?  Do you include kicks in your workout routine?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ready to Receive – Natural Time

Posted by terrepruitt on October 22, 2011

Nia class, Nia Teacher, Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia, cardio workout, cardio dance class, fun exerciseI have learned a lot in my 43 years.  I know there is a lot more I could learn, but one thing I have learned AND that I find fascinating is that I need to be ready to receive.  Have you ever shared something with someone and they “pishawed” you?  You had tried to tell them something you found fascinating/interesting/money-saving/yummy/good to do and they had acted as if you didn’t know what you were talking about.  Then two weeks later they come to you to tell you the very thing you tried to share with them?  I used to get offended, even upset, but I am starting to see it differently.  I am starting to see that when I tell people things and I feel as if I have been “pishawed” it is not as I once perceived it . . . it is not their mind is snapping closed . . . but, maybe, just maybe it is the mind just saying, “What? I have never heard of that . . . let me deal with that later . . .” And then when it is heard again the mind has a space for it because they had heard it before, so their mind is more open to accepting and listening.

It is somewhat like Natural Time in a Nia workout.  In Nia, in our workouts, we have natural time allowing individuals to move their bodies in their own time.  Could be they are not ready to do the move the first time they see it, but after a few repetitions they are ready to receive.  Their bodies are ready.  — Funny.  I didn’t start this post off as relating to Nia, but as I was sitting here typing it dawned on me that being ready to receive is Natural Time.  And as you know, all of the Nia White Belt Principles can be applied to everyday life.  Just as many principles from any practice; Yoga, Jujitsu, aikido, Ballet, etc. can be applied to life.

Sometimes we have so much on our minds that adding something new just isn’t gonna work.  So maybe when we first hear something we just say, “NO!”  Then our brains move on.  But maybe the new “thing” left a spot, like rust . . . . but good, where it just stays and either it actually starts seeping into our brain or it just sits there until we hear it again.  Then we are able to open to the idea.  It is like the old idea of a seed.  Sometimes it is not ready to be planted, but it is there in its own little space.

I can actually remember specific times when this has happened, especially with my hubby, but I am posting about it because I recognized awhile ago that I do this.  Because I have heard something and pishawed it then later examined it.  It fascinates me.  It makes me wonder why I didn’t recognize good advice/information when I first heard it.  I wonder why I am not smart enough to recognize beneficial information when I see it.  So that is why I think that we have to be ready to receive.  It really doesn’t have to do with being intelligent.  Sometimes being ready is something of natural time.  We have to be ready in our own time.  In our own time is the best time in which to learn.  Amazes me.

Have you ever learned or heard something and when you really thought about it realized that you had heard the same thing before but it didn’t sink in?  Have you ever experienced the second time around as being the time you benefited from something?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

It’s Out There

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Nia and Duncan Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on January 23, 2010

As you might now be aware Nia includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts. From the dance arts, we borrow from Duncan Dance. Duncan Dance was brought to us by Isadora Duncan.  Isadora believed in the freedom movement.  She did not care for the stucture of ballet opting for movement of a more natural flowing nature. 

Duncan Dance, like Modern Dance, helps bring freedom to Nia.  For me I think of “child-like” when I think of Duncan Dance in Nia.  It encourages us to skip, run, do somersaults, jump, hop, giggle, growl, laugh out loud, kick balls, jump rope, catch a balloon, and just release our adult contraints and enjoy movement for the sheer joy of moving.  We are not moving to get to one place or the other.  We are not moving to build a muscle or burn calories, in this modality we are moving because it is fun.  Because, like a child we have so much engergy inside we need to skip-run-jump-hop-hop-hop across the floor.  Then, while we are having so much fun we will be moving our muscles and burning calories, but we don’t THINK about that.  We imagine we are chasing a balloon and trying to catch it.  We imagine that we are playing kick ball or blowing bubbles and chasing them, we imagine we are having fun and we end up having fun.  We let out our inner child that gets tucked away during our normal busy day.

While infusing our workout with this energy one might notice their ankles joints and spine opening and moving more freely.  With the “child mind” one might tend towards being more “open”; standing tall, reaching up, reaching out, and standing on tippy toes.  With these movements come exercises in balance, while standing on tippy toes reaching for your red balloon you are not even going to notice that you are having to balance.  With being more “open” physically it sometimes helps with being more open mentally, this can assist with releasing the stress and tension of the our adult lives. 

The form also encourages spontaneity, like that of a child.  With less stress and tension you might find yourself giving in to your inner child and you might find yourself racing across the floor.  Nia encourages it!

I think with all of the different ideas, concepts, movements, and energies that are woven together to form Nia, there is something for everyBODY.

Please note:  The photo is a portion of the “Nia Energy Type Questionnaire” in The Nia Technique, by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »