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 May 19, 2011
Today I taught Nia. It was not a Nia class, but a one-on-one session. No matter what I am teaching, a class, a playshop, a move, a song, an individual, I always learn things myself. It is amazing. Sometimes I am reminded of something. Today I was reminded of how fun it is to teach someone something new. To explain something in a way that allows them to understand. In some instances it might be the information is received and then there is still learning or “mastering” to be done, but they have the tool you gave them. In some instances they just have it. It just depends on what it is. But it is amazing.
When I am learning a new routine I would love to be able to take a perfect “product” into my class. But there is often a point where I know it is not perfect, but I can’t learn anymore by myself. So I take it into class and usually that first time in that one hour I learn more than (or just as much as) I had learned in the time it I spent getting to the point I where I took it into the class. Amazing. I might have actually said this very thing before in a previous post, so it might sound familiar to you. Or it could sound familiar because you have experienced something similar. Learning as you are teaching. I love that!
Well, it is May and for the past week, maybe two it has been cold and raining here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I don’t mind it so much. Especially since, as you may know, I have a new found love . . . making soups with my immersion blender! The last one I made I made it too spicy and I couldn’t eat it. I was very sad. But my husband loved it which was great because he was stuck eating the whole pot. I was thinking it would be the last batch before the warm weather comes in and I might have been right. The past two days have been pretty warm and very beautiful.
It seems like spring might actually finally be here.
During the cold one of my friends posted a picture of some of her flowers. She had cut them and brought them in the house and posted “At least it’s springtime inside the house.” She inspired me. It took me a few days, but I cut these from a tiny rose bush we have in our yard. These are VERY small roses. The bush is probably not even two feet high.
I just wanted to share. I wanted to share the beautiful flowers, the beauty in a sign of spring, the excitement of learning as you teach, the wonder and beauty of the world. I wanted to share and I wanted to say I am looking forward to living in the beauty that is, and learning as I go.
Posted in Flowers, Misc | Tagged: Bay Area Nia, beautiful flowers, beauty, emulsion blender use, Flowers, immersion blender, learning as you teach, May 2011, Nia, Nia Bay Area, Nia class, Nia Playshop, Nia routine, Nia Song, rain in May, rose bush, Roses, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area Nia, soups, spring, teaching Nia | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 7, 2010
There is a book about Nia. The Nia Technique Book authored by Debbie Rosas* and Carlos Rosas**. When I first thought of teaching Nia I bought it. I think I have said before that I thought Nia was a little too “woo-woo”. When I read the book it helped me see that Nia is based on the science and the design of the body. I often refer to my book. I have little tabs stuck on almost every page and that gets bothersome.
While the book has a table of contents it is sparse and it does not have an index. I always find myself searching and flipping and going back and forth in the pages because I can’t find what I want and I know it is there. Last week when planning the Nia Playshop I just flipped back and forth one too many times. So I created an index.I created an index of all the things I want to look up and arranged in alphabetically. I also arranged it so that there are subsections within the index. But then that seemed so long so I did an index with just the main sections and a separate index below of the subsections. So, yes, I have the index arranged three different ways so that you can have a choice on how to look at it. It’s on my site HelpYouWell.com.
One of the “bothers”, cat eating tabs.
If you would like a copy of the Excel format just let me know.
*now known as Debbie Rosas Stewart
**now known as Carlos AyaRosas
Posted in Nia | Tagged: Carlos AyaRosas, Carlos Rosas, Debbie Rosas, Debbie Rosas Stewart, Debbie Stewart, design of the body, helpyouwell.com, Index, Nia, Nia Playshop, Nia Technique, Nia Technique Book | 3 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 5, 2010
I teach Nia in the San Francisco Bay Area. One thing I am trying to do is increase awareness of Nia and also, at the same time, increase my class sizes. So recently I hosted a Playshop in San Jose at the studio in Willow Glen where I hold my Nia classes. My topic for the Playshop was some of the 52 Moves of Nia. It was a success. I felt good about it, even though I put my students to work.
I had spent a day and a half or so preparing what moves I wanted to go over in the Playshop and what Nia katas from the various Nia routines I wanted to use in the Nia Class. I wanted the class routine to include all the various moves we explored in the Playshop. I spend a couple of days between doing other things reviewing to make certain I was comfortable with my presentation and to make certain I could get through it within the allotted time. So I was confident the Playshop and the Nia Class would go smooth. What I was nervous about was being able to get in and set up.
If you are a teacher of almost anything, you know that here is time needed to set up. Showing up early to set up and be ready to greet your students is not always possible with the time allowed in between workout classes. In exercise class situations sometimes there is NO time in between classes. They are scheduled to end on the hour and start at the same time. So I had scheduled 15 minutes in between, but there was still things that needed to be done and I wasn’t wanting to rush the class before us out.
So I came up with an idea . . . . now, I would bet I am not the only one to come up with this and I bet if I were to do minimum research I would find all the “Planning a workshop” information to tell me exactly this, but I am still going share it.
I realized that I could put my students to work! So I did. Most of the time people are more than willing to help. One of my students showed up really early—before me even. So I knew she was ready to do something. So I set her on one task. Then two of my students who I had been plotting to do this work all along were assigned tasks.
This assigning of tasks can also be connected to my post about “If You want something done right“. Because I had to be willing to “let go” and let my students do the tasks. And I have to say they did them beautifully. I was so proud. I was proud of myself for having thought of having them do it and I was proud of myself that I just let them do it. And I was especially proud that they did it so well. I believe they did better than I could have–it was awesome.
It was a great learning experience for me.
My hubby (thanks, Hubby!) also came to help. With him mopping the floor and some of my students setting up the room, I was able to concentrate on the participants coming in that needed to sign waivers and get settled. All of this allowed us to start on time . . . which allowed us to end on time — for the Playshop at least. The Nia routine I put together was a little longer than an hour so we went over on that. But all-in-all it was my students that allowed me to have a successful Playshop.
Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: exercise class, katas, Nia 52 moves, Nia class, Nia exercise, Nia exercise class, Nia katas, Nia participants, Nia Playshop, Nia routines, Nia San Francisco, Nia San Jose, Nia students, Nia Teacher, Nia Willow Glen, Nia workout, Nia workshop, San Francisco Bay Area Nia, San Francisco Nia, San Jose Nia, San Jose Nia class, SFBay Nia, Willow Glen Nia, working students, workout class | 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 »