Posts Tagged ‘Nia teachers’
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 December 11, 2012
Nia Blue Belt Principle #3 – Awareness, Insight, Clarity – Pearls and the Realms, is an exciting principle. I found it really exciting because there are things that Nia teachers are supposed to do in Nia class that I really wanted to learn to do better. There is a particular way we are supposed to teach or more accurately there is a tool that we have available to us to use while we teach. The “tool” is called a pearl. When I go to other Nia classes I often find myself wanting to stop moving and just write down what the other teachers are saying. I often find their verbiage, their wording for something to be just what the move is about and so I want to use that in my class. Since I don’t REALLY want to stop dancing I repeat it in my head while I am dancing and sometimes I can even convince myself that I will remember what they said. Sometimes I do remember and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have a vague recollection that leads to a pearl of my own that works out fine. These pearls are what we use to enhance the class. They are words that allow the participant to connect to a move, the music, a feeling, a sensation, almost anything . . . . and this in turn allows for a better experience. Part of the Nia Blue Belt Principle #3 – Awareness, Insight, Clarity, was a lesson on how to come up with pearls. It was insight into where they can come from.
As a reminder, in these first posts about the Nia Blue Belt Principles I am just writing quick about what I initially got out of it. I am just sharing and getting it down in print as a tool to help processes it. This principle has a lot more to it than just assist with what to say and how to describe things in a Nia class. As I said the principle is Awareness, Insight, Clarity, with a tag line of Pearls and the Realms. And it is the pearls that I have been longing to learn more about. So that is what I gleaned most about this principle. As I go back and read the manual I am sure I will even get more. As I continue to teach even more will be revealed.
Have I mentioned before that the manual is 276 pages? Yeah. It is intense. It is a lot of information. It is amazing.
Anyway . . . this principle gives us the place that the pearls come from. It helps categorize them. In knowing where they come from it is easier to allow them to come. In the categories or realms a Nia teacher can decide to utilize pears from all realms. To me this can help balance a class.An example of pearls we could use for each realm in a class would be:
Everybody sense your ankle. This would be from the physical realm.
Everybody feel lonely. This would be from the emotional realm.
Everybody imagine you are a dog. This would be from the mental realm.
Everybody wiggle and jiggle. This would be from the spirit realm.
I was so excited to learn the different type of pearls. Part of my excitement came from confirming pearls don’t have to be physical and part of it came from realizing I did use pearls more than I thought. I thought I used them a lot less, so it was nice to learn I use them, I just didn’t know it.
So the pearl portion of Nia Blue Belt Principle #3 – Awareness, Insight, Clarity was a great eye-opening. And, of course, you really can’t have the pearls without awareness, insight, and clarity, right? I didn’t explain that here, but it’s true. This post jumped right to the middle. I may or may not do a post explaining about the first part. I really think I should leave somethings for you to learn when you do your Blue Belt Intensive.
Do you get excited when you think you are not doing something you are supposed to be doing but you find out you are doing it?
Posted in Blue Belt, Nia | Tagged: emotional realm, mental realm, Nia Blue Belt Principle #3, Nia class, Nia Intensive, Nia manual, Nia participants, Nia pearls, Nia teachers, physical realm, realms, spirit realm | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 18, 2012
I teach a Nia Class for the city of San Jose. The city has it set up pretty cool in that instructors can have a day and a time at a specific community center that we can call “my” class and we can also teach other people’s classes as a substitute. We have this forum where we post requests and needs. Many instructors have full time jobs and kids so they have other responsibilities that call them away from their regularly schedule class. Plus there is always a cold, a serious illness, or a bump/bruise or strain. This network of teachers allows us to live our lives and take care of ourselves when necessary. It also helps expose our community to different types of workouts and different teachers. I have shared before how at one point I was trying to make Nia be more like whatever it was I was subbing for. If you haven’t read that post, I am sure you might be able to imagine how that turned out. It made this Nia teacher very unhappy and I don’t think it was a great service for the attendees either. One of the reasons I applied for the job with the city was so that I could share Nia with the community. Recently I taught Nia as a substitute class for Zumba, and my thoughts on Zumba and agility were confirmed.
A few of the student came up afterwards to talk to me about Nia. Some shared how they like it because it was gentle yet allowed them to work up a sweat and get a great workout. One woman made me giddy because she said the same thing that I had just decided about Zumba. It took me a while to get to this conclusion and she jumped to it her very first time. She said that Nia is more complete. She said that she loves Zumba, she does it three times a week, but the moves are not completed. She said it was nice to be able to finish a move. Nia allows you to move through the entire range of motion, through the entire range of the joint. I loved that she was able to get that from one class. I also love and appreciate that she can like both, Nia and Zumba. They are both cardio dance exercise workouts, but they are different. Seeming to always have to explain the two together, I am always thinking about it and just recently reached the agility conclusion. I explained in one of my posts how I feel Zumba seems to only move in one sensation. Well, having gone to a training and experienced the Zumba Fitness Program I believe a Zumba class can move in all five, but it concentrates on agility and touches on the rest. But they are in there if you know to look for them.
So this student who was talking to me after class picked up on that fact that in Nia we move through all five sensations and Zumba focuses on one. This is not to say that is bad, this is just again pointing out how they are different. Also this is me sharing that it is not just other Nia teachers and my Nia students that think that, it is other people who are more familiar with Zumba than Nia. This is just a happy confirmation post sharing that I felt I got it right when I explained Nia and Zumba in that way. Yay.
Both Nia and Zumba are great fun. I encourage you to do whatever it is that will get you up and moving! If you decide what type of movement you want it can help you decide what you can do to get it.
Do you like to take different types of exercise classes? Do you like to just stick to one type of class?
Posted in Nia, Zumba | Tagged: agility, cardio dance, cardio workout, City of San Jose Nia Classes, dance exercise, Dance Workout, Nia class, Nia five sensations, Nia instructors, Nia network, Nia San Jose, Nia students, Nia teachers, San Jose Nia, San Jose Nia class, Zumba, Zumba class, Zumba Fitness | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on July 24, 2012
In Nia we use the clock a lot. We don’t actually USE the clock, but we use the idea of a clock face on the ground. When we are moving and dancing we often times refer to the hours on the face of the clock to indicate where to put our feet or move our body. I had mentioned this in my post about Katas. I find that it works well when I am learning the routines. I note the “o’clocks” on my bars. I find it works well when sharing the moves in my Nia classes. And I find that Nia students appreciate having a reference point. It REALLY helps me when there is an actually clock in the room in my line of site. I know that probably sounds silly because the reason we use a clock to assist in the dance is because it is something familiar and constant, but sometimes it just helps to be able to glance up and be able to say, “Step to one o’clock.” I use the clock a lot.
Often times our stepping isn’t exactly on an hour. Often times I feel as if it is BETWEEN the hours, say between one and two, but it is still a great reference point. As with many of our moves in Nia it could be that we are stepping on the foot we have placed at a specific hour or it could be that we are pointing or tapping on the hour. Using the hours of the clock as a reference can help prevent confusion when required to state which foot is being used. Since we are moving to music one does not always have time to state, “Cross your left foot to the right diagonal and stop.” And saying, “Left right diagonal” could be confusing, so it is nice to have a set “direction” by using the hours on a clock. So I can say, “Left at 1:00″ and that is even more clear than saying either one of the instructions previously stated. It is clear that the left foot is to cross over and land at 1:00.
Also it seems to even work better than just saying the directional left and right. If I were to say, “Put your left foot out” I have not actually indicated WHERE to put your left foot, but when I say, “Left to 9:00″ it is clear where the left foot should go when it goes “out”. Another example is a bow, it could be executed with the leg directly behind or crossed back so again the clock adds a greater level of instruction.
Of course, the participants in a dance exercise class are watching the instructor but giving them verbal instructions allows them to do it in their own body’s way instead of just trying to do it the exact way the teacher’s body is doing it. Some people might have a LARGE clock face on the ground on which they are dancing and other’s might have a smaller one. It all depends on where they leg reaches, but at least they know what direction.
In Nia there are even moves that refer to the clock. Within our 52 moves we have a “slow clock” and a “fast clock”. So as I said we use the clock or at least the idea of a clock a lot in a Nia class.
Makes Nia sounds easy, huh? It is. And it is fun. Find a class near you nianow.com or check out my Nia class schedule on my website (www.HelpYouWell.com).
Posted in Nia | Tagged: clock dance, clock face, dance, dance moves, fast clock, katas, looking at the clock, Nia class, Nia Class Schedule, Nia Dance, Nia katas, Nia participants, Nia routines, Nia students, Nia teachers, Nia's 52 Moves, NiaNow.com, slow clock, www.HelpYouWell.com | 4 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 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 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 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 »
Posted by terrepruitt on September 29, 2011
Nia White Belts focus on the body. The body is what we can use to teach. It is fascinating. By the time we teach a routine in front of a class we should know the music and the choreography so well we don’t have to think about it. I know I have shared before about how there is a point where I can’t learn any more without taking it to the class. That is not necessarily the way we were trained to do it, but that is how I do it. I have worked on learning a routine, got as far as I felt I could go, taken it to class and only done it for one class before I go back and work on learning it some more. With that one class I was able to get past the learning plateau. But for the most part we know the music and the routine well by the time we share it with our Nia students. This allows us to concentrate on what we are sensing. This is White Belt Principle #13, Teaching What You Sense.
One of the Nia White Belt Manuals says:
While Nia impacts every aspect of our lives, it is first and foremost a somatic practice rooted in physical sensation.
© 2010 Nia Technique, Inc. | NiaNow.com Principle 13 Lesson Plan | 1
Teaching what we sense, what we are experiencing in our own bodies allows us to connect with what is going on in our students’ bodies. When I feel the stretch in my side, I can say, “Everybody sense your side.” This allows each participant, each individual body to sense what is going on in his or her own body. It could be a stretch. It could be a twinge which might be a signal to tweak the movement. Whatever is sensed belongs to the individual. I am not saying, “You SHOULD feel . . “ I don’t know exactly what they should sense. Each person is different. Nia teachers invite Nia students to SENSE parts of the body so each person can get the workout their body needs.
While we are dancing the moves we are showing the Nia students the Nia choreography, we are also guiding them with our words. In addition to guiding them through the Nia routine’s choreography we are guiding them through a somatic workout. A workout that is rooted in the Body’s Way. By teaching what my body is sensing participants learn what THEIR bodies are sensing and in turn we all learn our our own individual’s body’s way.
Learning all of this in a cardio dance workout class might seem like a lot, but it is something that happens over time. It might also sound different than other exercise classes, and that is because it is different. It is unique. Each class brings new awareness. When students desire to they can take what we touch upon in class out into their lives. Being aware of the body’s sensation as we live and go about our everyday chores and pleasures. We could call it “Noticing what we sense.” But for me, as a Nia teacher/student I am encouraged to teach what I sense and it makes a world of difference in the workout you receive.
Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: cardio, cardio dance workout, Dance Workout, Nia cardio dance workout, Nia choreography, Nia class, Nia Music, Nia participants, Nia routine, Nia students, Nia teachers, Nia White Belt, somatic practice, the body's way, White Belt Principle #13 | 2 Comments »