Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Nia Free Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on May 14, 2009

In Nia (TM) we have FreeDance.  It is not easy for most people to do.  It is not easy for me to do.  I am still learning.  With Nia the purpose of FreeDance is “to stimulate movement creativity”.  Whoa.  Stimulate movement creativity.

Per an online dictionary:

Stimulate:  to excite to activity or growth or to greater activity

Movement:  the act or process of moving; especially: change of place or position or posture from the same source as above

And creativity:   the quality of being creative or the ability to create

So we FreeDance to excite growth or greater activity in changing our place, position, or postures into new places, positions or postures.  Hmmmm.

I will take this time to remind you that our bodies are built to move.  And they are built to move a certain way.  Our joints allow for certain types and amounts of movement.  Now barring any ailment or disease our bodies should move like they are built.  But we often don’t move that way.  Our way of life keeps us from moving as our bodies were built.  Sometimes social stigma keeps us from moving the way our joints would like.  So in FreeDance you are invited and encouraged to break habits and to move like your body was built.

I have experienced that for some, moving their head is a new thing.  Think of the old way models were trained with a book on the head, some of us were taught to walk and be in that position.  Can’t move your head with a book balanced on it.  So moving your head could be something new in FreeDance you could do and be amazed at the result.  Something as simple as moving your head, breaking that straight neck habit could release oodles of tension.

Same with rigidly straight spines or tight backs.  When you Free Dance you are not dancing like you would in a club, you are pushing the limits, you are moving your body to experiment with it.  You are Stimulated Movement Creativity.

There is so much more to say on this.  This is Nia White Belt Principal number 4.  This principal has 8 stages, so that alone is a lot to talk about, but for now, I will leave it at FreeDance – To Stimulate Movement Creativity.  See if you can add a little FreeDance into your day.  It doesn’t have to be wild, it could be done where no one even notices, just move one move a little different than you normally do, and you will be on your way to FreeDance!

6 Responses to “Nia Free Dance”

  1. Nancy said

    Hi Terre,
    Thank you for this post. I love to dance Nia and I found myself feeling a little ackward when it came to the free dance. Of course I thought I was the only one experiencing this. For one I have some arthritis in my back that does not allow me to move as freely as I would like to although excersising does keep the pain away. My body is stiff but knowing that movement allows you to feel and move energy that is surrounding you and free your Spirit I knew I had to push myself a little to break free. I knew this was something my Spirit would love to do because it is so energizing. And your Spirit loves being energized. So thank you for showing me that I may not be the only one experiencing this and for the tips on how to get started Free Dancing.

    Nancy @energizespirit


    • Oh Nancy, thank you so much for commenting because you are NOT alone. A lot of people are not comfortable just dancing in public (as in “club dancing”) and that is just the moves that they are comfortable with and their bodies are accustom to doing. So when you add the element of “To Stimulate Movement Creativity” — wow! — that really can make people uncomfortable. BUT at the same time it is freeing. If you have a room full of people doing pelvic thrust because that is not a typical move for them, you feel (just as you said) the Spirits energized and the actual physical body too! Our hips were made to move like that but it is kind of looked upon as sexual and odd, so we don’t move like that and when we do —- our bodies go — ahhhh!

      I just used that move as an example because it is one of those moves that really is healing and it is something that we can all picture and relate to. But for everyone it is different. A golfer would be used to raising and swinging his arms and twisting his torso, but that could be a totally different move for someone who works at the computer all day. So something as simple as lifting his arms and twisting his torso could be his Free Dance. Everyone’s Free Dance is not the same, it is DIFFERENT than what our bodies normally do. We can Free Dance through life. Just do something different than normal. Your body loves it!

      Thank you for also sharing that you have pain, but you were able to listen to your body and keep moving it to a place of pleasure. You didn’t stop, you just kept trying until you found something that worked and felt good.

      You made so many excellent points. Thank you. I have so much more information that I will be sharing about Free Dance. And, please, you feel free to share too!


  2. Hi Terre,

    Alot of “new to Nia” students find FreeDance a bit alarming. Having danced my whole life (not professionally…just dance), I love FreeDance. FreeDance has 8 Stages which lots of students don’t realize. I just held a FreeDance playshop where we went through the 8 Stages. The first Stage which most folks know of as FreeDance is “Anything Goes” – 100% Attention on Movement Sensations. Stage 2 is Being Seduced by the Music – 100% Attention on The Art of Listening. Stages 3 and 4 have to do with Emotional Expression through movement; Stage 5 (my favorite) is Authentic Movement – staying with a move through 2 bars of music and then changing the move — 100% Attention of Variety. FreeDance is RICH and FULL of fabulous ways to break movement patterns and inhibitions. I’m delighted that you’ve blogged about it…and now so have I!!
    Jill Campana
    Black Belt Nia Instructor – Wisconsin


    • Thanks, Jill. I plan on blogging about each stage and doing a lot more blogging about Free Dance in the future. There is a link from the blog to my page that lists the 8 stages. Even though I have danced most of my life, I still find Free Dance a bit challenging–at times. Speaking strictly of the tagline for Principle #4, it is sometimes difficult to allow for the stimulation of movement creativity. Sometimes it is easier to just go into my body’s normal, comfortable dance pattern. To let go and just let the creative movements flow is not always easy. I hold Free Dance sessions a couple of times a month (on Sundays) to allow people to come in and practice.

      I am delighted (I love that word. I don’t use it often enough!) that you stopped by my blog. Thanks!


  3. Laurel said

    In the bigger scheme of points, healthier consuming will contribute to
    healthy living.

    Liked by 1 person

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