Posts Tagged ‘Jazz Dance’
Posted by terrepruitt on July 21, 2011
When we possess a better understanding of things it allows us to work better with them. By “work” I mean anything from enhancing, to changing, to bettering, to “dealing with”, to molding, to melding, whatever. It just is that the better we understand something the better “it” can be. There are personality types, as an example Type A and Type B. When there is an idea of how a specific personality acts, sometimes there can be ways of interacting with that personality to allow for harmony. With any “typing” there is variation, so nothing is exact, it just can give us an idea. In Nia, we have a little bit more in-depth approach to “types”. It is energy type. Now no energy is necessarily better than the other. What is better or “best” is to have BALANCE of all the types. So this form of “typing” can be utilized to allow you to learn what type you tend towards and give you a chance to work at balancing your types. The system of energy typing Nia uses is connected with the nine basic Nia movement forms; T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga.
In The Nia Technique, a book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, there are questionnaires that can guide you to understanding what your particular energy type might lean towards. They are “True/False” questions. Here are some examples from each energy type:
(T’ai Chi) “I am often, soft, relaxed, and internally calm” and “I breathe with great ease”
(Tae Kwon Do) “I love speed and power” and “I am physical, conscious, precise, focused, and directed in my life, getting what I want through hard work and precision”
(Aikido) “In life, I am all about win-win” and “I move with grace and seamless dynamics, turning lines into circles”
(Jazz Dance) “I am impulsive, lusty, sassy, demonstrative, showy, alive, fun, and electrifying to my friends” and “I love to shimmy, get dressed for the party, and be uninhibited”
(Modern Dance) “I love playing with extremes and contrasts” and “I love contrasts, gravity, surprise, and the start and stop of life, as well as moments of continuity”
(Duncan Dance) “I am all about the soul, and in life I move in childlike ways” and “I flow spontaneously through my life”
(Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais) “I am all about sensation” and “I am healthy and love anything that is healing”
(Alexander Technique) “I explore life with ease and flexibility” and “I seek the simple, useful, authentic, and organic ways”
(Yoga) “I can be gentle, powerful, focused, conscious, and receptive” and “I love lying down, sitting, being prone, and playing with back bend motions.”
There are nine questionnaires with nine statements you mark as true or false. After answering each one there is information for those with “mostly true” answers and “mostly false”. The idea is to be able to identify which energy is stronger and which one is weaker. Then you can work on strengthening the weaker energy during your Nia workout and in your life. It is interesting to find out where your tendencies lie. If you are interested in finding out what your Energy Type done the Nia way is, get a copy of The Nia Technique. It is a great way to get to know Nia and you’ll probably learn a lot about yourself on the way.
Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: Aikido, Carlos Rosas, Debbie Rosas, Duncan Dance, Energy types, Feldenkrais, Jazz Dance, modern dance, Nia, Nia energy, Nia Energy Type, Nia flow, Nia workout, nine basic Nia movement forms, personality questionnaires, personality types, Tae kwon do, Tai Chi, the Alexander Technique, The Nia Technique, Type A personality, Type B personality, win-win, Yoga | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on September 30, 2010
With Nia you get a workout. It is not necessary to have any experience in any type of dance modality or martial arts, or any type of practice (Yoga, Pilates, etc.). Any BODY can walk into a class and join in and following their own body’s way get a great workout.
In the Nia practice there are three stages. So if you want you can take your workout into these areas. The stages are:
1—Learn the Move
When you learn the move you are learning the name, you are thinking about the move. The concentration is on placing your feet in the proper place, learning where your limbs are supposed to be. Maybe trying some of the different intensity levels and the different planes. This is the stage where you are actually doing a lot of thinking.
2—Move the Move
This is the stage we you move the move. You are doing a routine and just moving. Getting the moves into your muscle memory. Your body is learning the move. Here is where you are learning the combinations. This stage is where you let your body lead and you don’t think too much. The body has an intelligence of its own and if you let it sense it can flow.
3—Energize the Move
This is the stage that you can achieve once your body knows the move. This stage could be during a song the first time you do it, if you feel comfortable and your body senses the moves you might be able to just put the energy into it from one of the Nine Movement Forms. Or it could be the stage you get to once you have done the song a few times. It really depends on the you. It depends on how you feel and how you sense the music. But this is where we really get to play with our routines, where we can energize with the energy of T’ai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Jazz Dance, or Yoga.
This weekend (10/03/10), in Willow Glen/San Jose I am holding a Nia Playshop where we will Learn the Move. We are going to play with some of the moves that make up the 52 Moves of Nia. Then after we are going to have a Nia Class where we Move the Move. Since we will have spent an hour Learning the Moves I am hoping that some of you will be able to Energize the moves. See you Sunday!
Posted in Nia | Tagged: 52 Moves of Nia, Jazz Dance, Nia class, Nia Class in San Jose, Nia Playshop, Nia Practice, Nia Willow Glen, Nia workout, Nine Movement Forms, Pilates, San Jose Nia, San Jose Nia class, San Jose Nia practice, San Jose Pilates, San Jose Yoga, Tae kwon do, Tai Chi, Willow Glen Nia, Willow Glen Workout, Yoga | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 20, 2010
Part of the purpose of my blog is to share what Nia is and to invite people to take one of my classes. I have learned that when teaching people it is sometimes helpful to share what something ISN’T to help them understand what it is.
Nia isn’t a class where you won’t sweat.
Nia isn’t a class where the teacher shouts at you to motivate you.
Nia isn’t a class where you just think about moving.
Nia isn’t Jazzercise.
Nia isn’t sitting around.
Nia isn’t about pain.
Nia isn’t hard jumping.
Nia isn’t Tai Chi.
Nia isn’t Tae Kwon Do.
Nia isn’t Aikido.
Nia isn’t a mindless workout.
Nia isn’t Zumba.
Nia isn’t taught to Nia teachers in a day.
Nia isn’t new to the fitness world.
Nia isn’t Jazz Dance.
Nia isn’t Modern Dance.
Nia isn’t judgmental.
Nia isn’t a strict combination of linear movements.
Nia isn’t a class where you are told EXACTLY how to move your own body.
Nia isn’t Yoga.
Nia isn’t stiff.
Nia isn’t rough.
Nia isn’t (necessarily) just a workout.
Nia isn’t JUST Free Dance.
The BEST way to learn about what Nia isn’t and what Nia is, is to go to a class and see for yourself. Nia class finder. Want to find a class near you?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: Aikido, dance classes, Dance Workout, fitness, Free Dance, freedance, Jazz Dance, Jazzercise, Jazzercise classes, Nia, Nia Classes, Nia teachers, Tae kwon do, Tai Chi, workout, Yoga, Zumba, Zumba classes | 19 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on December 1, 2009
As you might now be aware Nia includes elements from three different movement forms from three different arts. One of the arts is the dance arts and one movement form is Modern Dance. With Modern Dance concepts added to Nia it allows us to play with balance, play with shapes, and play with space. We can form any shape we want. We can use arms and legs, fingers and toes, torso and head to make the shapes we envision. We can allow gravity to pull us to the ground, or gravity to pull us heavenward. With all that Modern Dance inspires us to do we can gain strength and flexibility. Agility plays a part also as we shift our weight and change our speed.
Jazz Dance allows us to play and be showmen, and Duncan Dance allows us to play and use our imagination, and Modern Dance allows us to play and in addition really use our bodies. Muscles get a great workout as we expand and contract, shifting our weight, and making shapes. An invitation to experiment with all planes, directions, and levels only helps to confirm that our muscles will be used as we dance and play. Bringing Modern Dance into your workout can also be an exercise in timing and speed. Modern Dance can be the encouragement to make different combinations. For example, walk across the floor, walk high, walk low, walk fast, walk slow, stumble and recover.
This movement form is a great way to explore the floor, you could fall gently to the earth, then rise up slowly, fall gently and spring up. Again, multiple combinations can be a result of letting Modern Dance into the workout. This form also suggest moving one body part and allowing others to follow, so maybe as you are on the ground your hand rises into the air and your body follows and your hand takes you around the space you are in.
Modern Dance really allows for freedom in Nia. It gives you permission to mix things up and make the steps of a routine your own. It is another form that gives us permission to play and make the workout fun.
The Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual have additional information regarding the movement forms that were blended to create Nia. The books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.
Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: agility, dance arts, dance exercise, dance routine, Dance Workout, different movement forms, Duncan Dance, exercise that is fun, flexibility, freedom dance, fun exercise, fun workout, Jazz Dance, modern dance, Nia, Nia exercise, Nia routine, Nia workout, strength | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on November 28, 2009
As you might now be aware Nia includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts. From the martial arts, we borrow from Tae Kwon Do. Not just “moves” from Tae Kwon Do but also some of the other elements of it. With its kicks, punches, blocks, and stances it helps allow Nia to be a great leg workout and provide a stable base for some of our other moves. Tae Kwon Do can also contribute to one’s confidence by providing exercises that allow one to become strong and stable. These are the things Nia gains from Tae Kwon Do.
Nia calls Tae Kwon Do the Dance of Precision.* So when delivering a punch, block, kick, etc. with the energy of Tae Kwon Do, it is done with precision and intent. However, Nia likes to play so at times even though we might not be executing a punch or a kick, but we might choose to energize our movement with “Tae Kwon Do” like energy, and be forceful and aggressive even adding sound to our movement.
Adding the energy of one form to the moves of another is one of the things that make Nia fun and keeps is challenging. It takes different muscles to skip with force and authority than to skip like a child without a care in the world. That is an example of how Nia incorporates different moves with different energies.
In Nia we don’t “DO” Tae Kwon Do, things have been gleaned from it and brought into Nia and mixed in with aspects of Tai Chi, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Yoga, the Alexander Technique and the teachings from Feldenkrais, and the combination from each form is Nia. A lot of Nia routines include moves and concepts from each discipline, but not always. In an effort to keep each workout fresh, fun, and joyful teachers often mix things up.
If you are near San Jose, come to one of my Nia classes. If not, I hope that you will find a Nia class near you and give Nia try.
*Both the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual state this. Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. **V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual
Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: Aikido, Carlos Rosas, Dance of Precision, Debbie Rosas, disciplines, Duncan Dance, exercise class, exercise classes, Feldenkrais, Jazz Dance, joyful, leg workout, martial arts, Martial Arts Disciplines, mind, modern dance, movement, movement class, Nia, Nia Classes, Nia Movement, Nia Practice, Nia San Jose, Nia Teacher, Nia Technique, Nia White Belt, Nia workout, Nia Yoga, San Jose Nia, San Jose Yoga, sounding, T'ai chi San Jose, Tae kwon do, Tae kwon do San Jose, Tai Chi, the Alexander Technique, White Belt, White Belt Manual, workout class, Yoga, yoga classes, Yoga Exercise, Yoga Nia, yoga poses, yoga pracitce, Yoga San Jose, Yoga workout | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on September 29, 2009
A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts.
From the dance arts, one dance we call upon is Jazz Dance. Jazz Dance allows us to bring in the fun! With Jazz it is about fun, showmanship, and expression. It is about big and little. Many elements from Jazz are incorporated into Nia. Isolations, syncopations, combinations, rhythm steps.* We could do a little flick of the wrist or full body shimmy, enabling us to exercise our intrinsic muscles and show the playful side, the sexy side. We could do a jazz square, a hip bump, or big arm circles allowing us to express ourselves. Bringing Jazz Dance into Nia helps bring in the rhythm and it can be a lesson in agility–where we start or move a body part and quickly bring it to a stop.
There is also facial expressions that can be associated with Jazz Dance; the big smiles, the teeth, the pout, the laugh, the wink—all can be jazzy! And of course, the hands, can’t forget “jazz hands” for one. With that it can be an expression of self, or beats of the music, or whatever you want. We can also do a lot of finger motions, pointing, flicking, “come here, Sexy!” gestures—all assisting in the health of the hand.
Jazz Dance brings a lot to Nia, it helps us be playful and have fun.
What moves, gestures, steps, etc. make you think “jazzy”? What movements do you do that you could add a “jazzy sparkle” to? And how?
Some of this information is from the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual, V3. Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.
*V3 – White Belt Manual.
Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: Carlos Rosas, dance arts, dance exercise, dance lesson, Debbie Rosas, elements of Jazz, Jazz Dance, jazz dance lesson, Jazz Exercise, jazz square, movement, Nia, Nia Dance classes, Nia exercise, Nia Lesson, Nia White Belt, Nia workout, playful exercise, rhythm dance, sexy exercise, shimmy, The Nia Technique, three disciplines | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on September 26, 2009
A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts.
From the martial arts, we use moves from T’ai chi. Actually it is not just “moves” from Tai Chi but also some of the “ideals” from Tai Chi. Nia calls Tai Chi “The Slow Dance”.* Tai Chi allows for the elements of grace, ease, precision, power, and lightness to be accessed and brought in to our dance that is our workout.
So while we do not do the sequences of postures that form a Tai Chi routine or exercise we might have some of the Tai Chi moves incorporated into a routine. And/or we might take a portion of the routine and execute it “Tai Chi like”, moving slow and graceful. Being mindful of our movements and moving from the feet with relaxed joints establishing that fluid Tai Chi like flow. We might also incorporate circular movements and shift our weight to assist in balance, all the while sensing the gentle flow of chi.
Some things we do in class to assist us in moving “Tai Chi like” is leading with our heels when we step, using our eyes to allow for our head to be included in our movement, keeping our joints open and soft, focusing on moving from our energy center, using our breath to generate power and support for movement, and moving systemically.**
Hopefully this post will serve to address some of the inquires about the aspect of Tai Chi in Nia. This will give you an idea of how Tai Chi is brought into Nia.
I love to watch the people in the parks of San Jose doing Tai Chi. I actually see them all over the Bay Area. In Nia we don’t “DO” Tai Chi, we glean from it and allow what we’ve gleaned to mix with aspects of Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Yoga, the Alexander Technique and the teachings from Feldenkrais. It is all combined to be Nia.
*Both the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual state this. Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.
**V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual
Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: Aikido, Bay Area Nia, Bay Area Yoga, Carlos Rosas, Debbie Rosas, Duncan Dance, exercise classes, Feldenkrais, flow, Jazz Dance, joy, joyful, martial arts, Martial Arts Disciplines, mind, modern dance, movement, Nia, Nia classes in San Jose, Nia classes in the Bay Area, Nia San Jose, Nia White Belt, Nia workout, San Jose Dance classes, San Jose exercise, San Jose Nia, San Jose parks, San Jose workout classes, Tae kwon do, Tae kwon do San Jose, T’ai chi, T’ai chi San Jose, the Alexander Technique, The Nia Technique, White Belt, Yoga, Yoga San Jose | 12 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 31, 2009
Nia™ is about joyful movement. Move with joy. Move for joy. Move to joy.
A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts:
From the martial arts, we use moves from T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Aikido.
From the dance arts we embrace styles from Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, and Duncan Dance
And from the healing arts we are mindful of teachings from Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga.
At times we might move slow focusing on movements centered around the body’s inner core, as in T’ai chi. We might kick or punch as one might do in Tae kwon do, and these movements might flow into a spiral motion that is associated with Aikido. We could decide to play the showman and do the entire routine with a jazzy flair or just add movements of creating shapes, dropping and then recovering the body’s own weight as a modern dancer might do. There is always a chance we could give in to our inner child and run free and honest with the playfulness of a Duncan dancer. While we’re doing one these things we are keeping in mind the teaching of Moshe Feldenkrais and being conscious of sensations. We could stretch to the top with utmost concentration one might contribute to the Alexander Technique, then move onto a dance of bone alignment increasing awareness, relaxation, and balance the could be thought of as Yoga.*
So in one workout you can experience all those things. Strength is balanced with grace. Fun is balanced with seriousness. Body is balanced with mind.
The music is varied and is intended to promote the movement of the routine. There is no doubt something for everyone.
*based on information from The Nia Technique by Debbie Rosas & Carlos Rosas
Posted in Nia | Tagged: Aikido, Carlos Rosas, core, dance arts, Debbie Rosas, disciplines, Duncan Dance, Feldinkrais, flow, fun, grace, Healing Arts, inner child, Jazz Dance, joy, joyful, martial arts, mind, modern dance, movement, Nia, Nia San Jose, playfulness, San Jose Nia, sensations, showman, strength, T'ai chi San Jose, Tae kwon do, Tae kwon do San Jose, Tai Chi, the Alexander Technique, The Nia Technique, Yoga, Yoga San Jose | 4 Comments »