Posts Tagged ‘Debbie Rosas’
Posted by terrepruitt on May 9, 2013
I teach Nia. I actually like to say I lead Nia because to me teaching a dance is more instructive. What I think of as teaching is the type of class where the instructor demonstrates a step or two then the students do the steps a few times, then the instructor demonstrates more steps and the students practice them. Eventually the steps are strung together in a dance. But in my Nia cardio classes it is just lead follow. I do – you follow. I give verbal instructions and/or verbal guides but it is not the type of instructional class where I show you, then you do, then we practice and then we string all the steps together. So I guess it is not an “instructional” or “instructed” dance class. But I do teach by example. You follow my lead. In order to be a Nia teacher I had to take the Nia White Belt Intensive. I have talked about this before, but to review the White Belt is the first level of Nia. The White Belt Intensive is over 50 hours of instruction and is open to anyone. Individuals do not have to have the intent to teach. The Nia White Belt Intensive is about the body so anyone is welcome to join and learn. In order to be a Nia teacher there is an additional licensing fee. The fee is due annually and it includes four routines that we, as teachers, agree to learn per year. I was just looking at my DVDs. I have two routines that I have not learned. I have 19 that I have learned. I have been teaching almost four and half years so I am keeping up with the four per year schedule.
Now, I want to clarify that I have learned 19 routines. That means that I basically did the bars and have shared 19 routines with my students. That means I roughly know those 19 routines. I could stand up right now and lead you through some of them, but some of them I would have to look at my bars, and some of them I would have to study my bars. But I also feel I am better at just doing. While I want to do the routine as per the choreography, I am not as afraid as I once was to just DO the routine.
When I am preparing to do a different routine for my class sometimes I have a chance to practice and sometimes I don’t. I will look at my bars for each song. Sometimes I look at the first few lines and think, “Oh yeah, I know this one.” Then when I am leading it my body and my mind don’t remember it as well as I thought and I just dance through it, but then when I get home I look more closely at my bars or re-watch the DVD. It really is about moving and having fun. As long as we are moving and we are doing it close enough then it is good. Then, like I said, I come home to get the choreography better established in my head and body!
The routines I have learned are:
Alive – Carlos AyaRosas
Amethyst – Debbie Rosas
Aya – Carlos Rosas
Beyond – Debbie Rosas and Ann Christiansen
Birth – Debbie Rosas and Collaborators
Canta – Carlos Rosas
Clarity – Carlos Rosas
White Belt Dream Walker – Carlos Rosas
Earthsong – Carlos Rosas
Humanity – Carlos AyaRosas
Miracle – Carlos Rosas
Opal – Debbie Rosas
Passion – Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas
Sanjana – Debbie Rosas
San Medusa – Helen Terry
Sexi – Carlos Rosas
Velvet – Debbie Rosas
Vibe – Debbie Rosas
The names of the routines that I have on my shelf that I need to learn are Butterfly and Oshun. I just renewed so I have four routines that I need to pick out as my new routines. Picking routines is always a challenge because everyone has such different tastes. Some people LOVE, LOVE, LOVE some of the routines I have and I don’t love them. So for me it is a difficult decision. I try to pick routines that I think my students will like, but then that is just a guess. I know which ones they like out of the ones I teach because they request them often.
If you were just picking a routine from the name which one would you pick? As a Nia student which one out of this list is your favorite? What about Nia teachers, which is your favorite out of this list?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: Ann Christiansen, Canta, cardio class, cardio dance exercise, Carlos AyaRosas, Carlos Rosas, dance exercise, dance instructor, dance teacher, Debbie Rosas, Dream Walker, Earthsong, Global Unity, Nia, Nia bars, Nia choreography, Nia Dance, Nia DVDs, Nia licensing, Nia Practice, Nia routines, Nia stuents, Nia Teacher, Nia White Belt, Nia White Belt Intensive, Opal, Sanjana, Sexi | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on April 6, 2013
You might have read my post about a couple of Nia Celebrities coming to the San Francisco Bay Area (for that post, click here) and around this month (April 2013). Well, they arrived this week and have been doing classes since Thursday. Today was the class in Palo Alto at the Equinox (Gym). The classes are scheduled around the North Bay, East Bay, and Peninsula. The class was great. The 52 in the title refers to what the classes was about. All of the classes in this series are based on the 52 moves of Nia. I have posted about the Nia Moves before. They are not uniquely Nia moves, but Nia has compiled them and bases our routines on them. Nia has also set guidelines as to how they are to be done. As I have also mentioned in my posts about the 52 Nia Moves, when they are included in a dance sometimes they are not done exactly to specifications. Anyway . . . this class was definitely interesting. I love the gathering of Nia people. And when a celeb is in town the energy is astronomical. There are – as of today, April 06, 2013, a few chances left to take a class with Debbie Rosas (one of Nia’s founders) and Nia Trainer Kevin VerEecke. If you can make it I recommend it.
As I just mentioned it is always fun to gather and dance with Nia people. This time was really great for me because several of my students were in attendance. I love that they were able to take a class with Debbie. She is like many successful company leaders . . . dynamic and a force of her own. I think that when you can be in the presence of the person who started something (whether it be a fitness craze, a company, a restaurant, whatever) you get a different understanding of the workout (company, restaurant, etc.). Even if you are just in the same space as the person and you observe them without even talking to them . . . you get a better sense of things. Being able to be in a Nia class led by the founder of Nia is really an education.
This type of class is a different direction for Nia. It is not a dance exercise class it is an exercise class where we do a move from the 52 moves for a minute. The moves and the timing is not based on the music they use a timer. Most moves were done slow, then fast, and then as fast as you can. They are calling it Interval Training, but it seems to copying the “Intermittent Training” formula that Zumba uses. So it reminds me of a Zumba class without the dancing. It is truly an exercise class with loud music and a lot of sweat!
It is easy to do all 52 Nia Moves in an hour especially if you are doing one a minute. With nineteen of the 52 Nia Moves being movements done with the arms, hands, and/or fingers they are easily combined with foot and body movements. So we were even able to do a few of the moves for more than one one minute cycle. But not all Nia routines have all 52 moves so this is another way to get a great workout in!
I am usually torn at a Nia event because I want to dance . . . . I don’t want to miss a moment, but I also want to take pictures to document the event. This exercise class was a little easier to break away from because they were either doing the move slow or fast, so I could jump right back in and be right on the mark.
Here are a few shots that I took. As you can see everyone is happy, sweaty, and having a fabulous time!
Have you ever met the creator of something you love? Did you find it exciting? Are you going to make it to one of these Nia 52 Moves classes?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: 52 Nia Moves, April 2013, California Peninsula, Debbie Rosas, East Bay, Francisco Bay Area, Intermittent Training, Interval Training, Kevin VerEecke, Nia celebrities, Nia class, Nia education, Nia founder, Nia Moves, Nia pictures, Nia routines, Nia students, Nia trainer, North Bay, Palo Alto Equinox, Zumba | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 23, 2013
Whether you do Nia, Zumba, yoga, Pilates, country western dance, motor-cycle race, play tennis, or just about anything there are the “Gods” or celebrities of the practice/dance/sport. Often the “Gods” or gurus are the masters or the top teachers, but sometimes it is the CREATOR himself/herself. That is when the event is really rockin’. That is when the events sell out or get so crowded it is crazy. Well, Nia is going through a lot of changes and they have been working for a couple of years training the top instructors to move up even further to become top trainers. The male of the male-female combo that created Nia, Carlos AyaRosas (FKA Carlos Rosas) retired a bit ago, so that left the female creator to continue on. She is coming to the San Francisco Bay Area . . . . . which is a rather large area. She is going to be in the North Bay, the East Bay, and the Peninsula. And it is going to be rockin’. She and a top trainer are going to be here.
Debbie Rosas is the (co-)creator of Nia. Kevin VerEecke is a Nia Trainer. They are going to be in the San Francisco Bay Area in the beginning of April (2013). They are going to have seven classes. It is going to be incredible. Every thing has its superstars, its celebrities and these are ours. It is really exciting.
I took my Nia White Belt Intensive at the Nia Headquarters in Portland. The trainers doing the intensive were Debbie and Carlos. Plus they were here for a “Spirit of Nia” tour within the last four years. So I have met them both. I have never met Kevin.
I am excited that Debbie and Kevin will be here sharing the Nia experience. The classes that they are going to be doing are 52 Moves classes. While we have a basic set of 52 Moves we don’t typically do all 52 in every Nia Routine. We do many, but not usually all. In these classes they are going to lead us through all 52 Moves. There are going to be seven chances to check it out.
The first class that will be held will be with Keven VerEecke only in San Rafael. Then Friday’s classes, Saturday’s Classes, and Sunday’s Classes will be both Debbie and Kevin.
The flyer indicates that all classes will have a different playlist. I guess for some people that is important. I know Nia enough to know that all seven classes could be the same EXACT playlist yet all seven classes could be totally different. That is the beauty of Nia. And with two masters leading the dance it wouldn’t matter. BUT . . . the flyer does indicate all classes will have different play lists.
I hope you will take this opportunity. Nia is always fun, but when you have the creator up in front of a room full of people who are there to dance, move, and have fun there is no way you can experience anything but MAGIC.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: 52 Nia Moves, Bay Area, Carlos AyaRosas, Carlos Rosas, celebrities, country western dance, dance, Debbie Rosas, Kevin VerEecke, master teachers, motor-cycle race, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia Headquarters, Nia instructors, Nia Intensives, Nia routines, Nia San Jose, Nia teachers, Pilates, play tennis, Practice, San Francisco Bay Area, sport, Yoga, Zumba | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 7, 2013
At the present time I am fortunate enough to be holding Nia classes at four different locations in San Jose. Each location allows me to meet different people. At one of the locations I have been teaching for four years and some of my students have been coming to my classes that long. At three of my locations I am a new teacher and Nia is new. Most of the people are new to me. It is exciting to met new people and discover new relationships. There is the relationships between my students and me and there is the relationship between Nia and the students. One of my students told me after one class that she loved the part of Nia where we compare things to nature. The specific example she stated was “tickling the clouds”. She said that the mention of nature in Nia reminded her of one of her favorite poets, Mary Oliver. She asked me if I had heard of Mary Oliver or if I was familiar with her. I said no. I also said that I would look her up. Well, the following week, my student came into class and handed me a copy of two poems. As soon as she held out the paper, I remembered that I had said I would look up the poet and that I had forgotten. I gratefully took the paper without reading the poems because class was about to start. After our class there is another class so I did not stop at that time to read the poem either. It was not until today I picked up the paper to read the poem. On the second line I realized I HAD heard this before and I laughed. This very poem or at least a portion of it is in the Nia White Belt Manual.
I thought it was funny that my student related Mary Oliver’s work to Nia and obviously so did the creators of Nia, Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, because they put this poem in the manual. Only the first few lines are in the manual, but I recognized it right away.
The lines are:
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”
From Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese poem.
That portion of the poem is at the very beginning of the section which is Principle #1, The Joy of Movement. The last line of that section really struck me.
I want to continue to share with my students that a Nia class is not just about learning the moves and doing a routine. It is about doing what the body loves. It is about their relationship to their body. It is about their relationship to Nia. To me that is why we do a routine over and over. That is also HOW we do a routine over and over and not get bored with it. If we move and let our body do what it loves then it is moving in a different way. Once we have done a routine a few times we can play. We can move lower . . . if that it what the body loves . . . we can move higher . . . if that is what a body loves . . . all the time moving in the general pattern of the routine. It is when we are not in tune or when we cannot let go, that the routine is tiring or boring. If we are only moving the way it was choreographed and not putting our spirit into the moves it is as if we are walking through a desert on our knees. Suffering through a workout. UGH! Repenting for the cream we had in our coffee, the workout we missed yesterday, or the cookie we had at lunch.
I used to do a different routine every class. I thought people would get bored with the same routine. But then I realized that the more I knew the music and the choreography the more fun I had and the more playful I could be. I asked my class and they said they liked the fact that after doing the routine a few times they, too, could be less concerned with the choreography and more aware of their own spirit, dance, and play. So it is a relationship with Nia and the body that we are building and experiencing in a Nia class, we are not just learning a routine, we are not just moving through choreography.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I work on a routine schedule, playing with it to see what works. I want to ensure my students don’t get bored, yet I want them to build a relationship with Nia. I want them to be able to dance and play with the routines.
I love that my student shared her thoughts with me. To me that is me being able to witness her budding relationship with Nia. I love that because of my thoughts about repeatedly doing a routine, I was able to look at this poem and relate it to that. Like many things I might look at it sometime from now and have it relate to something else. My relationship with it might change, just as my relationship with my students and with Nia will change and grow. That is the nature of it all.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: Carlos Rosas, Debbie Rosas, Joy of Movement, Mary Olive, Nature, Nia, Nia choreography, Nia classes in San Jose, Nia experience, Nia locations, Nia Music, Nia relationships, Nia routines, Nia San Jose, Nia students, Nia Teacher, Nia White Belt, poems, poets, Principle #1 of Nia White Belt, San Jose Nia classes, tickle the clouds, Wild Geese | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2013
There are a few posts on my blog about sounding in Nia. I even have a separate category for it. See over there to the left under categories, under Nia? Sounding is what we call making noise in a Nia class. Sounding is great for many reasons. Sounding is a release. It can help release tension, emotions, spirit . . . whatever needs “releasing”. Sounding is fun. Sounding can assist in the stabilization of the torso. Sounding can help ground you . . . physically, emotionally, and your spirit. Often times when I am doing Nia both when I am teaching and when I am a student, my spirit just makes a sound. I don’t plan it, I don’t think about it, a noise just comes out. I “woo” a lot. But sometimes other sounds comes out. Sometimes the sound I make makes me laugh because I really don’t think about the sound, something just comes out. I could be thinking of something, for example, maybe the move we are doing reminds me of a swirling skirt, so then the sound could be a “whosh” as in the sound of a skirt, or it could be a giggle of a girl twirling in a skirt. I don’t always think about the sound I just let it out. Sometimes I do think of the sound. Sounding can be purposeful. The noise can have a purpose. I have posted about healing sounds and sounds associated with the chakras. This post is about the sounds that are associated with Nia stances, which are part of Nia’s 52 moves.
The picture in this post is an approximation of how MY feet would be placed in the various stances. Remember that your stances would probably be slightly different. The width would be according to YOUR body and your body’s way. The picture is just to give you an idea and maybe help remind you of the various stances. At this time I have a post associated with four of the six stances.
In Nia’s closed stance the sound is the vowel sound “o”. The sound is made to “create volume in your chest cavity”.
In Nia’s open stance the sound is (to say) “balance” or “ground”. Saying the word “balance” can assist you in your balance. The word “ground” can assist with allowing you to feel grounded and sense balance.
The sound for Nia’s “A” stance is “aaaaahh!”. You say it on an exhale. Letting out all your breath until you are ready to inhale.
Sumo stance or riding stance (feet as wide apart as if you were riding a horse) has an explosive sound. Say “ha!” To me this helps with stabilization.
The bow stance has a sound of “u”. The bow stance is done with either foot in front, not just with the left foot in front as shown in the example.
The cat stance (standing on one foot, with the other foot pressed against the standing leg) has the sound “wooooooo” associated with it. This is done on the exhale. This stance is also done on the other foot and not just the left one as in the example.
So as you are practicing the Nia stances you can use the sounds associated with them for added benefit and fun. It is just fun to make noise. To me it adds to the experience. In my classes I encourage people to make any noise they want. I also like to play with the noises, sounds, and words associated with the move.
Do you attend a dance exercise class or exercise that encourages you to make noise?
Information regarding the sounds made with the Nia stances can be found in The Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas (NKA, Carlos AyaRosas). The book can be purchased from Amazon.
Posted in Nia, Sounding | Tagged: A Stance, Amazon, Bow Stance, Carlos AyaRosas, Carlos Rosas, Cat Stance, closed stance, core stabilization, Debbie Rosas, making noise is fun, Nia, Nia class, Nia Sounds, Nia Stances, Nia Teacher, Nia teaching, open stance, Riding Stance, sounding, Sumo Stance, The Nia Technique book | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on August 30, 2012
Now, I know that I’ve been doing the knee sweep a lot longer than I have been doing Nia. So it is true that Nia’s 52 moves are not necessarily unique to Nia, but they are part of the core of Nia. You will find a large portion of Nia’s 52 moves in every routine. There are correct ways to do them, but Nia allows for the body’s way and also, I believe Nia allows for the move to be incorporated into the dance. For instance, The Nia Technique book states that the starting position for a knee sweep is the sumo stance. I am sure that I have done a knee sweep from a sumo stance at one time, but the first dance that pops into my head where we do the knee sweep it is not from a sumo position. But the by the book (oh, yeah, that reminds me, “BUY THE BOOK!” ), anyway, the by-the-book version of the knee sweep starts from a sumo position, complete with arms in ready position and everything. Then the body rises as you come up on one leg bringing the other leg up with a bent knee. The knee crosses the midline of the body, the opposite hand “pushes” the knee out. The knee swings out so the pelvis is open. Then the leg comes down and the foot lands on the earth. That is the knee sweep of Nia’s 52 moves.
The book does not indicate that when your foot comes down it is in the toes-to-the-front position, but that is how I teach it. I don’t want my students landing on their foot with their knee out to the side. If we are just doing knee sweeps as an exercise, maybe I would have them do that, because they would be aware of the torque in their hip, but probably not.
When I was first doing this move in Nia I was trying to do it as the book shows and as many of the people on the Nia instructional DVDs do and as the instructor does (whether it be Debbie Rosas or Carlos AyaRosas). And that was with the knee out to the side very wide. REALLY opening the pelvis. But when I did that I noticed a “something” – I don’t know what it was, but it was something – in my lower back. So I decided that opening my hip that wide and having my leg out that far was not MY body’s way, so I do not do that. I share with my students that I found the comfortable spot to be about as far as my forearms can reach. I “glue” my elbows to my sides and hold my forearms out to the side. As far as they can go is as far as I allow my knee to go. That is what works for me.
Some of the time that we are doing the knee sweep it is at the end of a “up-two-three-four (knee sweep), back-two-three-four (knee sweep)”. So that would not allow for the sumo position to be the start. Other times we are standing upright. As I said, I am sure I have done it from the sumo position because I bet it is in a routine I am not thinking of. But the ones I am thinking of it is done from a walking or standing position.
The amazing thing about the knee sweep is that it calls for the knee to cross the midline of the body. So that means that if you were doing a left knee sweep (with your left leg) your left knee would enter into the right hemisphere of your body. If you were doing a right knee sweep (with your right leg) your right knee would enter into the right hemisphere of your body. It is a great thing when your limbs cross the midline. It helps stimulate the brain. So there is a reason in many exercise routines and cardio classes that we have you do “cross overs”.
The knee sweep is one of those moves that requires balance. Since at one point you are standing on one leg, you will be able to improve your balance or practice what you have. Also the moving of the leg helps with that stability. Standing on one leg helps with strength and opening the hip helps with mobility and flexibility. The knee sweep of Nia’s 52 moves does a body and brain good!
Are you familiar with this move? Have you done it before in your exercise class? Did you give it a try?
Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: Cardio classes, cardio dance class, Carlos AyaRosas, cross the midline of the body, dance, Debbie Rosas, exercise routines, flexibility, improve balance, Knee Sweep, Mobility, my body's way, Nia, Nia instructional DVDs, Nia routine, Nia students, Nia's 52 Moves, stability, strength, Sumo Stance, the Nia Technique books | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 12, 2012
We move our hips A LOT in Nia. With all the hip movements we do I say we have juicy hips. Not only do we shake and shimmy our hips we take time to stretch and open our hips. Hip flexors are a group of muscles that move the thigh towards the chest. These muscles can get short and tight, especially from sitting. Office jobs usually mean sitting in a chair all day while at work. Add the commute time to the sitting on the job and many people end up sitting over eight hours a day. Sometimes the hip flexors can become so short and tight they can keep an individual from standing up straight. In addition, the origin of one of the muscles in the hip flexor group is in the lower back, if this set of muscles is short and tight it can sometimes result in lower back pain. For many individuals stretching and lengthening these muscles can bring relief from back pain and help individuals stand up straighter.
There are a lot of stretches that can help lengthen this group of muscles. The yoga Pigeon Pose comes to mind. This is a great pose because the leg that is straight out towards the back get the lengthening benefit and sensation, while the bent leg assist in opening the groin area and stretching those muscles. The butterfly stretch really stretches the groin area, too. The closer you can get your feet to your pelvis the bigger the stretch, and the close the knees to the ground the bigger the stretch. This is a great stretch you will definitely feel in the inner thighs. The spinal twist both supine and seated can bring great relief. So whether you are laying down and allowing your legs to be on one side of you or whether you are sitting up with one leg out and hugging one bent knee, you still get a nice stretch for the pair of muscles whose origins starts in the lower back.
One stretch I love to do is somewhat like a spinal twist in that you let the legs twist to one side, but instead of bringing them over to one side as a pair you let one leg start its journey to the other side of your body and the other one follows in its own time. Think of your legs as pages in a book.** One leg goes then the other leg flips (as a page) slowly. No rush. Also if you allow one leg to fall to one side while the other is on the first side (think open book) it is similar to the butterfly stretch but with hips completely open. Then ”close the book” having your legs end up on one side while gently twisting to the other, you get the nice gentle stretch in your back. In Nia our floorplay cycle often includes many of these.
Swinging your leg from front to back either in a standing position or lying down on your side can stretch the muscles. Let the leg swing as far to the front as comfortable and then as far back as is comfortable. In both the standing and lying position you want to keep you back straight. Don’t let it get into the swing of things, just let your leg swing.
Some exercises can assist in stretching the muscles too. The lunge, especially a long lunge, helps stretch and lengthen the muscles and open the hips a bit. The leg that is stretch back with get the stretch in the front. You can either do the lunge stepping forward or back, but the longer the step the bigger the stretch.
These are just some simple stretches that might help loosen up your hips if you have tight hip flexors. If you tend to sit at a desk that could be something that is happening. Make your hips juicy and happy by stretching them a bit. It might even help you walk taller and with more ease.
**This image I learned from Debbie Rosas at my Nia White Belt Intensive. I use it all the time in class.
Do you ever sit so long when you stand up you kind of are bent over at the hips?
Posted in Training and Exercise | Tagged: back pain, butterfly stretch, Debbie Rosas, groin area, groin muscles, Hip flexors, hip movements, hip muscles, hip shake, hip shimmy, lunge, Nia, Nia cycles, Nia exercise, Nia floorplay, Nia White Belt, Pigeon pose, spinal twist | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on April 7, 2012
In Nia we do something that is called cooking all four sides. When I first learned this I thought it to be just when we were on the ground. “Cooking” to me was the “side” of the body that was on the ground. When you “cook” all four sides you allow your belly, your back, your left side, and your side to “cook” on the ground. So basically you are lying on a different “side” at one point in the dance. In one routine, I can’t remember which one, while we are standing we turn and face one wall, then turn again, then turn again, then turn again and Debbie called it cooking all four sides. I thought, “Wow! I hadn’t thought to call THAT cooking all four sides, because (as I mentioned) I think of ‘cooking’ as being on the floor.” But it works. We are “cooking” or facing all sides, all walls. In country line dancing we call it a four-wall dance. Often times there are a few steps then a turn, a few steps, then a turn, and so on, eventually you face all four walls. There are two wall dances and maybe even three, but the point is you face a different direction. Generally the back becomes the front and the front becomes the back.
I’ve posted about Nia Routines before. I explained a bit about how the routines are created and teachers can purchase them. Nia routines used to be choreographed and performed on the training DVD by Debbie Rosas or Carlos Rosas or both. I’ve also posted about the fact that Nia morphs and changes. At the end of 2010 Carlos AyaRosas, the male co-creator of Nia retired. As with any company that wants to continue on after a founder retires Nia had to make some changes. To me it seems as if Nia had been thinking about this for a while. I know when I attended my Nia White Belt Intensive both Debbie and Carlos talked about Nia continuing on after they leave. So it seems to me that they had plans and ideas for how Nia will change. I think it is evident in the way that Nia does not seem to be a flag flapping in the wind, it has true direction. With the exit of Carlos a new era has been born. Debbie is now co-creating routines with Nia Black Belt Trainers. I love Nia and enjoy both the routines Debbie created and the ones Carlos created. There are some I like more than others. I am not saying that I like the new one I have seen more than I liked the “old” ones, I am just saying, “Yay! Nia is not disappointing me.” The new routine I have looked at is just as fabulous as the old routines I love.
As a little background: In order to teach Nia we must pay a licensing fee. When we pay the fee we are purchasing the right to teach, continued education, and four Nia routines. We are free to purchase additional routines when they are available, but four are included in the licensing fee and we are obligated to learn at least four a year. I just recently renewed my license and ordered my routines. I ordered two that are older (from 2007 and 2008) and two that are considered our new ones, dated 2011. Usually I skim through all four before deciding which one to learn next. One of them I ordered I have done once before in a class so I know that I like it and I was planning on learning that next, but my curiosity about one of the new ones got to me. I decided to learn it next after having watched it.
I am very excited about this routine because it has the “four-wall” or cooking all four sides technique in it. The routine I am currently teaching has it too but only briefly, this new routine has this technique in more than one song. Since a Nia class is not a dance lesson we just lead follow like other cardio workout classes the cooking all four sides is to not a series of complicated steps, but it does allow us to face other directions. In FreeDance there is always opportunities to face many directions and sometimes in the Nia movements alone one can be turning far enough to achieve facing another wall, but this is choreographed to have the entire class turn. It allows the class to see a different perspective. I think it is fabulous.
It could be making me nostalgic and thinking of country dancing days . . . but more so, I am excited to have this technique used in a Nia routine so my students can see things from the front if they are always in the back or the back, if they are always in the front. It will help move the class in new directions and Beyond!
Have you ever thought about the fact that a cardio dance class is pretty much like a line dance?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: cardio class, cardio dance, cardio workout, Carlos Aya Rosas, Carlos retired, Carlos Rosas, CEU, continued education, cooking all four sides, country line dancing, dance class, dance technique, Debbie Rosas, four wall dance, freedance, Nia, Nia Black Belt, Nia class, Nia DVD, Nia education, Nia license, Nia routine, Nia students, Nia teachers, Nia Technique, Nia White Belt | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 8, 2012
Have you ever heard about doing a random act of kindness? We are often encouraged to commit acts of kindness. The acts can be simple and they could be random. Pay the toll on the bridge for the person behind you, pay for the coffee for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop, help someone whose car is broken down, things like that. Always for other people. But how often do you hear about doing small acts of kindness for yourself? Small acts of kindness for your body? I’m going to go out on a limb and say not often. I am not talking about getting a massage or buying something new that will add to our happiness. I am not talking about the “take time for yourself” kind of kindness. I am talking about little things that we probably don’t even realize would be a small act of kindness to ourself and to our body.
I was listening to a Nia Continuing Education recording and Debbie Rosas said to do small acts of kindness for ourselves throughout the day. In this Nia training she briefly mentioned the act being a shift in posture, something having to do with the body. The reference to an adjustment in the body reminded me of the information in my post about Dance Conditioning Tips. In reading the tips I thought they were not just for dance and could be applied to everyday living. The tip was to sense your body while doing a task and see if is in alignment. Well there are more things than just “off” alignment that could cause discomfort, so I was thinking of things that we could do to be kind to the body. Maybe some of them are just adjustments in the way we are sitting that can be made. If your neck is tense is your keyboard to high? Can it be lowered or can your seat be raised? Would the small act of sitting straighter be kind to you back? How about the much talked about and needed break? Taking just a few minutes away from the desk for a little stretch or shake out.
What about a glass of water? A small and simple way to be kind to your body. Would you object to closing your eyes for a moment and taking deep breaths? It’s a great way to show some body kindness. I bet you could go for taking off your shoes and wiggling your toes and flexing your feet moving your ankles—-I bet your feet would LOVE you for that small kindness.
Ok, I have one, it is a big one, and don’t deny you have done it because I would bet we ALL have done it at one time or another . . . . . don’t wait! Don’t hold it. Get up and go to the restroom. I bet more of us have done that than not. We have to go to the restroom because of that small kindness of a glass of water, but we just want to finish one more thing, then we will go. Then that one thing turns into another and next thing you realize you are sprinting to the restroom. Do your bladder a small kindness and don’t “do one more thing”. Stop what you are doing and go to the restroom.
These are all little things, so small, you might not even realize how big of an impact they can have until you try one. The “small” part allows you to do them without much or any interruption to your day. Just little adjustments or small acts of kindness for yourself to fit in easily to your day.
So what do you think? Do you think you any of these would be something you can do? Can you think of a small act of kindness that you can do? Can you think of a small act of kindness that you can do for your body? Do tell.
Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: body kindness, dance conditioning tips, Debbie Rosas, kind to the body, Nia, Nia Continuing Educations, Nia training, Random acts of kindness, small act of kindness, take a break, taking time for yourself | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on December 8, 2011
I was talking about Nia with my Nia students recently after our Nia Class. They were telling me what they think Nia is. They said that Nia should come up if they were doing a search on the internet using the term dance exercise. I was really happy to hear that. I always get stuck when people ask me what Nia is because to me it is a lot of things. If you have read any of my posts on this blog about Nia you know how its principles can be applied to life and how at its very basic level it is a workout. But way beyond that it is a practice. When people ask me about it my enthusiasm takes over and I want to tell them ALL about Nia, when I could just stick to the basic level – it is dance and dance is exercise.
Even though it is exercise and it is a workout it is fun. I love that “Dancing With The Stars” really helped show people what a great workout dancing is. Dancers have always known that dancing is a great workout–both aerobic and strength. I think people have always known to some extent that PROFESSIONAL dancers get a workout, but I think that show opened the door to more people understanding that dancing even if you aren’t a professional is a workout. Yes, the “stars” do end up dancing as much as professionals to learn the dances, but still for some reason it seems like it enabled people to see that dancing is exercise—but it is fun!
As with any workout the participants can put what they want into it. If you really want to get a workout you can move bigger, farther, higher, lower, faster . . . whatever works for you to get the workout you need and want. The possibility to move small, slow, and just be mellow is always there. It is very versatile. It is cardio but if you really move — especially during floorplay — it can be a great strength training workout.
I actually started teaching Nia because it was a dance exercise. I don’t know if I have mentioned that before in this blog, but I was looking for something to teach that was very dance-y yet was exercise. I knew a lot of women who said they loved to dance and they would like to dance but their partners didn’t like it, so they thought that a workout that was dance would be great. It is. It is very fun. We dance to all types of music. There is a lot of opportunity for self-expression. Even when we are doing specific steps there is a lot of room for one’s own movements.
Nia was created to be fun, to address the entire being. Debbie Rosas-Stewart and Carlos Aya-Rosas brought us this wonderful movement practice through years of hard work and research, that started in 1983. Carlos retired at the end of 2010, and Debbie is moving Nia forward in a great direction. Body-centered, spirit-filling, and mind-blowing. We are dancing up a storm and loving it. It is dance, it is exercise, it is dance exercise and if you try it you will love it.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: aerobic workout, cardio workout, Carlos Rosas, dance exercise, dance practice, Dance Workout, Dancing with the stars, Debbie Rosas, Nia, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia Practice, Nia students, Nia teachers, Nia workout, professional dancers, professional dancing, strength training workout, White Belt Principles | 4 Comments »