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.