Posts Tagged ‘Nia workshop’
Posted by terrepruitt on April 25, 2015
Today we had a workshop to talk about and discover the Nia Five Sensations. Just like a lot of things we do and use in Nia, the five sensations are not unique to Nia, but they are tools we use to enhance our dance exercise. In a Nia class we strive to be in sensation. Being aware of the sensations allows us to choose and dance what we need at the time of the class. We had a small turn out, but the number of attendants is never the measure of success. One of my Nia Students and fellow Nia Blue Belt’s helped me present the workshop. This workshop was held at the request of the Camden Community Center. Our participants shared that they felt they had a better understanding of the sensations and would be able to apply awareness to them either in a Nia class or just in everyday life.
First we started off moving right away. The participants walked in, we said hello then started dancing. We danced to two songs. Then we did a brief introduction of Nia then we shared the five sensations and how we experience them everyday. We shared how they could be helpful to know and be aware of in a Nia class. The 5 sensations are: Flexibility, Agility, Mobility, Strength, and Stability (FAMSS).
Then we moved to each sensation. As we talked we guided the students into the sensations. We shared that flexibility is sensed as energy moving outward. It is the opening your body, the lengthening and yawning. So we stretched and yawned our bodies open. We reached out to lengthen our limbs. We imagined our bones moving away from our center. We practiced sensing the sensation even as our bodies showed no outward movement.
We talked about how agility can be sensed in the quick start and stop of a movement. It is the physical feeling of pulling and pushing. We hopped and jumped. We chopped and slapped. We “played” soccer and tennis. We danced in a “strobe like” fashion. We even stood still and let our gaze bounce around as our eyes moved with agility.
When talking about mobility we said it is sensed as energy in constant motion. It is youthful freedom. (A description from the Nia Technique that I really like.) It is flowing movement, graceful, and easy. We twirled and whirled around the room. We let our bodies ebb and flow. We rolled like the ocean. We moved our arms. We moved our legs. We mobilized our spine. We allowed the energy of constant motion to energize us.
We used the ballet bar and wall to start us off understanding that strength is sensed as energy moving inward. With that first example it gives way to us sensing strength as a resisting, or a quality of weighted energy being moved in ways that allow you to sustain a movement or posture. It is the contraction of muscle. It is the muscle squeezing bone. We contracted and pushed. We squeezed and resisted. Allowing the effort to tire us a bit.
Then we experienced the calm of stability. Stability is sensed as balance and comfort. It is the physical feeling of harmony and peace combined with readiness for action.
After having practiced the sensations we then added them to the stances that are part of the 52 Moves of Nia. We moved through the stances in the 5 sensations. Then we put on the music and danced the stances in sensation. After two songs we reviewed the kicks that are part of the 52 Moves of Nia. We moved through the sensations doing the kicks. Then onto dancing again. We danced doing our kicks in sensation.
We finished off the workshop with two songs focusing on the sensations, but primarily using the Nia choreography and not so much sticking with the kicks and stances. This allowed us to practice dancing in the sensations to whatever moves that come as part of a Nia routine.
It was a great little taste of the Nia 5 Sensations. I can say that because no matter what I am teaching it is ALWAYS the students that make the class GREAT!
Are you aware of any of these sensations in your everyday life?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: 52 Moves of Nia, aware of sensation, Camden Community Center, dance exercise, energy moving out, FAMSS, Group Ex, Group X, Nia Blue Belt, Nia choreography, Nia class, Nia five sensations, Nia Playshop, Nia routines, Nia students, Nia Technique, Nia workshop, San Jose City exercise Classes, San Jose Parks and Rec | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 5, 2015
Sigh! I am a bit distracted lately. I have this Special Nia Event that I am promoting and it has me thinking about it a lot. So today I found myself grateful for a fly. Ewwww. I hate flies. They gross me out. Especially those ones that BUZZ loudly. They just fly around making all types of racket! I have a habit of leaving the door open when I go outside. I usually am going to “just be a moment”, but then it turns into longer. Or even when it really is just a moment, a fly always seems to come right in. Argh! Today after my Nia class I had a meeting about another Nia workshop and then I went to the store. When I drove into the garage I was thinking about the meeting, happy and confident it went well. I felt as if we had an idea of where we were going. That felt good. Then I opened the door and walked into the kitchen. The kitchen was a mess so the workshop was swooshed out of my brain and I immediately (after turning of the alarm) began to clean the kitchen. In an effort to clear some of the clutter I had all over the place, I decided to take something out into the garage. Here is when I encountered the fly for which I am grateful.
I stepped out of the kitchen with items in hand. As I began to put them on the shelf I heard that awful buzz of a fly. I turned quickly to shut the screen door which I had left open because that is my habit – I was just going to put something on a shelf – really fast. After I found room to put the items down I thought, “What if I open the garage door? Would the fly go out? Could I herd him outside?” So I opened the door. I spotted the fly and moved toward him at which point I lost sight of him but I was hoping I would kind of swish him out anyway and then I felt him on my hand. EWWWWWWW! I hate that! Icky! I touched the fly. I managed not to do the ewww-I-touched-a-bug-crazy-dance but I still was grossed out. But I also felt that he did go outside.
So I turned around to go back into the house. As I was walking towards the door I noticed an empty spot on the floor and I thought, “Huh we are out of that. Good thing I just went to the store and bought some.” Ahhhh. I had forgotten my groceries in the car. I had forgotten the groceries entirely! I completely forgot about them. I was focused on the progress I felt we made at my meeting, when I pulled into the garage. I wasn’t thinking about groceries. Then the kitchen mess sucked me in. It didn’t ever occur to me I had just gone shopping and had groceries. Geez!
So I turned around to get the groceries out of the car. I found myself grateful for that icky fly. Then I found myself rolling my eyes because I NEVER in a MILLION YEARS would have thought that I would have ever thought, “Oh, I am grateful for a fly.” But I was grateful for that fly. If I wouldn’t have stopped to get him out of the garage I would have left my groceries in my trunk and they would have gotten icky. I didn’t have any meat or dairy, but my veggies would have gotten wilted.
Ha, so there you have my day. And the my story about being grateful for a fly. (Ewww!) Who would have thought?
Please tell me you forget things, too. What have you forgotten lately? What are you grateful for?
Posted in Misc | Tagged: buzzing fly, messy kitchen, Nia class, Nia workshop, Special Nia event | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 26, 2013
One of the things I learned in a Nia workshop at the end of February, 2013 was the phrase “stay with your enoughs”. Trainer Helen Terry, currently located in Texas, was here in the San Francisco Bay Area to teach us how to dance a Nia Routine that she adapted to an entire album of different music. When Helen said that, I laughed. Because there has been so many times when I thought, “this is enough of that move, it MUST be time to move on” and I wasn’t REALLY clued into the music and I went onto the next move and sure “enough” I hadn’t stayed long “enough”. It was really funny at the time that I took the training because I was doing a Nia routine in which I almost always moved on before I should in accordance with the choreography. Shortly before the workshop I had just started telling myself (and listening to myself—what a novel idea!) that when I THOUGHT we were done is not when we should be if I were going to match the original choreography. There was at least one more bar to go through. And so when teaching that routine, my mind would say, “This is it. This is enough.” And my body would say, “Terre, we’ve been through this before. If you THINK this is it, then you KNOW it is not. Stay.” So Helen’s words “Stay with your enoughs” are perfect.
Nia is so lovely that pretty much most of the time if I lead us into the next sequences of moves before we are actually supposed to go or if we stay longer than the original choreography intended it doesn’t really matter. We might miss that wonderful “perfect match up” to the music, but it never really feels badly off. The choreography flows very well with the music so most of the time it doesn’t feel WRONG. We have the flexibility to stay and go as we please, but when coached to “stay with the enoughs” sometimes it is the perfect idea to help with those troubled spots.
In the workshop that Helen was leading since she was teaching us how to dance a specific Nia Routine to a specific album, there were specific songs and specific examples of where she thought it might feel like as if it is enough. The idea is to keep the faith and “stay with your enoughs”. Just stay past the point you think you should be done with that move. She said one track in particular would “give you a lot of ‘enoughs'”. Which for me that is not the “enough” song, but that is ok. She reminded me of the tool so I can apply it to any and all songs where I have enoughs. I get to relax and stay with them!
There were so many wonderful things presented in the workshop I could probably do a month’s worth of posts. But for now I’ll say “enough” . . . . until my next post . . . .
Do you stay with your enoughs?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: Helen Terry, Nia, Nia choreography, Nia routine, Nia trainer, Nia training, Nia workshop, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area Nia, stay with your enoughs, Texas Nia, Texas Nia Trainer | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on December 30, 2010
Tomorrow morning is my last Nia class of 2010, it will be in Los Gatos at 9:30 am. I mention this because I am ending 2010 with three classes a week. I mention that because someone was reminding me that the end of the year Holidays (Christmas, Bodhi Day, Winter Solstice, Advent, Yule, Pancha Ganapati, Hanukkah, Yalda, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Hogmanay, and the New Year – just to name a few) are difficult for some because it is a time of reflection and sometimes dwelling on all that was not accomplished in the passing year and maybe even dwelling on some of one’s failures. Once when I was sharing with one of my Nia students all that I still had to learn just in regards to Nia, she reminded me of how far I had come. Instead of listing my goals and resolutions for the new year, I am going to share some of the things I did accomplish.
–completed my second year teaching Nia
–consistently taught Nia at least twice a week all year
–taught up to four classes in one week
–subbed several Nia classes
–taught classes at a Park and Recreation Center
–consistently posted to my blog
–penned at least 200 blog posts (I post on other blogs)
–witnessed an increase of number of participants in my Willow Glen Nia class
–paid studio rent with funds solely collected from teaching Nia
–taught at a few Nia Jams
–held a Nia workshop
–raised over $300 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society
–been married for 12 years
–went from two Nia classes a week to three classes a week
–started up a new Nia class in Los Gatos
While some of these may seem small or as if they didn’t require a lot of effort, that is not the point. The point of this post / exercise is to celebrate things no matter how big, how small, how easy, or how difficult. It is just a moment to do a Snoopy Dance because they are. It is a way to not dwell on all that has not been done or all that has yet to be done. It is just to say, “Aahhh.” and with that ahh turn my face towards the future and the excitement of what 2011 will hold.
So? What about you? What is on your list of things you did?
Happy New Year.
Posted in Misc | Tagged: 2010, 2011, Boxing Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, Happy New Year, Kwanzaa, Los Gatos Nia, Multiple Sclerosis Society, New Year, Nia, Nia class, Nia Jam, Nia Los Gatos, Nia sub, Nia Teacher, Nia workshop, Park and Recreation Center, Snoopy Dance, teaching Nia, time of reflection, Willow Glen Nia class, Winter Solstice, Yule | 4 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 November 19, 2009
As a Nia teacher there are prescribed steps we are to take to learn a routine. It is easy to skip steps in the interest of time. We all learn in different ways and as humans we tend to follow the easiest path. No matter what we are doing our tendency is to do it the easiest way possible. So some of the steps might be skipped.
I recently attended a FAB*, it was short workshop that covered some of those steps. Being in a workshop with everyone focusing on the same thing made it a lot easier to learn. At home, when I set about working on learning a routine, I get very distracted by things. So being in a room where there was no cat, no computer, no dirty dishes, no laundry, and no cleaning that needed to be done was awesome. It really enabled me to focus.
The routine that we were working on is called Aya (one of Carlos AyaRosas, FKA Carlos Rosas). It is very Latin based–it has both Latin music and Latin moves allowing for a lot of hip swaying and sexy moves. One of the songs that we reviewed was not in English and someone translated it for us. I have to say that sometimes when you know the words of the song it can make the movements different.
This workshop was a shortened version of another workshop that was recently held in Concord. That was a two day workshop where they reviewed the entire routine. The one I attended in Nevada City was only four hours. We reviewed two songs. I will be honest and tell you that I could not do the songs without seeing them again. But I am confident that once I purchase the routine and set out to learn it, these two songs will be a snap.
I also returned to San Jose with a renewed sense of knowledge. I might KNOW something, but it always helps to review and to look at it from different angles. I enjoy hearing how information filters into people differently.
Nia is so wonderful because it is so many things. It is a workout, it is a practice, it is exercise, it is something that brings people together, it can be the basis of a workshop, it is just fabulous.
*FAB = For all belts. Nia White Belts, Blue Belts, Brown Belts, and Black Belts.
NOTE: The pictures are actually from the little birthday acknowlegement we had for the owner of the studio.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: and Nia Black Belts, Aya, Carlos Rosas, exercise, exercise routine, FAB, For all belts, latin moves, Latin music, Latin routine, latin songs, Nia, Nia Blue Belts, Nia Brown Belts, Nia Concord, Nia exercise, Nia Nevada City, Nia Practice, Nia routine, Nia San Jose, Nia Teacher, Nia White Belt, Nia White Belts, Nia workshop, San Jose exercise classes, San Jose Nia, San Jose Nia classes, San Jose Workout, workout, workout routine, workshop | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on November 7, 2009
There is always something Nia going on. Often times visting instructors will host a workshop or two. When they are in an area doing a workshop they often tack on a class or two so that even if you are not going to partake in the workshop you still can do Nia with them. It is a great way to other teachers from all over. This weekend there is a workshop that I am able to attend but I was able to go to the Nia class that was held the night before the workshop.
It was an hour and a half class. Due to the huge amount of commute traffic from San Jose to Concord we missed the first 20 minutes, but we were able to jump right in and get a great workout in the time we had.
The visiting instructor was Winalee Zeeb. She has been doing Nia since 1991. She is a first degree Nia Black Belt, a Nia White Belt Trainer, and she has her own studio in Michigan called Heartdance.
The event is being held at The Big C Athletic Club. The class I went to was also at that location. I had a great time moving on carpeted thick padded floor. We moved fast and slow, and experienced fire and soul. It was a great workout. Always amazing me because it never feels like exercise. I am always amazed when the class ends. It was the first time I had the pleasure of meeting Winalee. She said we did a bit of Aya and a bit of Velvet. I am not sure what other routines were in there, but it was a great time.
I often post events on my site so if you are interested in attending Nia workshops and events in my area check my site.
I was still trying to get in the swing of things when I decided to snap a few photos. I was planning on taking more, but since we had missed a few minutes already I didn’t want to take time standing around taking the pictures, but I snapped it and a couple more just to give you an idea.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: Aya, Concord, dance studio, Heartdance, Nia, Nia Black Belt, Nia class, Nia event, Nia exercise, Nia exercise class, Nia forms, Nia instructor, Nia routines, Nia San Jose, Nia studio, Nia teachers, Nia workout, Nia workshop, San Jose, San Jose exercise class, San Jose Nia, San Jose Workout class, The Big C Athletic Club, Velvet, Winalee Zeeb | 4 Comments »