Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia! THREE group classes a week!

    Tues, and Wed 9 am

    Thurs 8:45 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia and/or Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘Nia workshop’

Slow Down, Catch Some Chickens

Posted by terrepruitt on March 28, 2013

Nia is a great dance exercise.  Go to a Nia Class and get a great workout.  It is also a practice.  As with any practice there are workshops.  In one particular workshop produced by Danielle Woermann and lead by Helen Terry we were reminded to go slow.  Helen was here teaching us her adaptation of a Nia Routine to a specific album.  Helen is hilarious.  She is down to earth, professional, wonderful to listen to (she has an English accent), and currently living in Texas.  The “currently living in” needs to be mentioned because of one of the stories she shared with us . . . but before I get to that let me tell you something she reminded us of.  She reminded us to go slow.  I know often times I want to rush moves . . . that could mean doing it faster than it needs to be done or not “staying through my enoughs”.  But either way the idea is to slow down.  When I slow down I can be aware of more.  I can pay more attention to a move or even to my class.  There seems to a tendency to rush, could be our livestyles and/or society, whatever, so the lesson was to slow down and the result could be catching a chicken.

There is one song in particular in her adapted routine that I am severely challenged in slowing down.  It just seems so incredible slow.  I have not yet been able to FEEL/SENSE the music and I have been doing the routine for a month.  Which, with the current way I am structuring my San Jose Nia classes, equates to eleven times, thus far.  I have done it correctly, but only when I am COUNTING.  Yes, I am having to COUNT in order to get it.  For this song I really have to learn to listen, sense, feel, taste, hear, smell, become the music in order to slow down.  I have even announced to the class so I have a better chance of doing it, “We have to go really incredibly slow here.”  Sometimes I have to close my eyes so I don’t see them rushing through and join them.  S L O W.  (Where’s that chicken?)

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaSlow down.  Work the muscles.  Enjoy the song.  Enjoy the movement.  EnJOY.  SLOW.  Geez . . . it seems so difficult to slow down sometimes.  Sigh.  But really often times slowing down in combination with “staying with the enoughs” (as I already mentioned) helps in catching those chickens!  Ah-ha, here we are . . . . at the chicken story . . . (remember this is coming from a person who is currently living in Texas!).

I might not have the details exactly right, but you will get the point.  Helen said that one day her husband and her neighbor were going to work on building a table.  The neighbor says, “Let’s go catch some chickens.”  This sounded very odd to Helen because they were building a table not catching chickens.  So she asked her neighbor what he meant.  He said that when he was young his mother used to send him out to get dinner.  He said that he would go outside to do the task, sometimes he would end up with a handful of feathers and sometimes he would end up with a chicken.  A handful of feathers means not quite getting it.  So catching the chicken is when task is accomplished!    Makes sense!

In dancing this routine all month, I have enough feathers to fill a king sized down comforter!  So . . . see there?  Feathers really aren’t all THAT bad.  Feathers can be useful.  Feathers can be fun.  A handful of feathers does not ruin a Nia class or even the moment, but it is NOT a chicken.  When you hit the mark, the music, the cue just right that is catching a chicken.

Whatever it is, whether it is slowing down or staying with the enoughs, or learning the music really well, it is a great feeling to catch that chicken.  When you attend one of my Nia classes you might hear me sputter and/or you might hear me “bacbac”.  When you do, you will know either I grabbed a handful of feathers and the escaped ones are floating at me causing me to sputter or I caught that chicken!

You know what we’re talking about when we say, “Catch a Chicken”, right?  Isn’t that a great feeling?  Do you ever feel the need to slow down?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Stay With Your Enoughs

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.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaNia 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: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Looking Back to Look Forward into 2011

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Putting Students to Work

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.

(Thanks Students!)

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

A Little Bit of Aya

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nia In Many Forms

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.

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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.

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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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »