The principles of the different belts in Nia provide a foundation for our Nia practice. There are 13 Principles in the Nia White Belt. The fourth principle is FreeDance, this principle has eight stages. Eight things you can focus on that can become a part of FreeDance. When I attended my Nia White Belt Intensive we danced through these stages when we danced FreeDance. Dancing through the stages is something that can be done for fun. It doesn’t have to be because you do Nia. It can help you express yourself by turning on some music and applying the stages to the music. Dancing through the stages is also used as a technique for Nia teachers to become better aquainted with the Nia music. It is a tool that can help in learning a Nia routine. The seventh stage of FreeDance is Choreography, the tagline is: The Accidental “Click”.
I mentioned in my post about the eighth stage of FreeDance, Nia Class – Levels 1, 2, 3, that I often skip over dancing the first six stages of FreeDance when learning a Nia routine. Part of the reason is because I actually forgot about it being a step. I don’t skip them entirely, I do FreeDance about four of the stages to the music, but I don’t do all of them. I do believe that doing all six can be a great tool, so as I mentioned, I am working on implementing this action back into my “learning of a Nia routine”. Today in fact I started employing it with a the next routine I am learning.
Stage 7 of FreeDance, Choreography – The Accidental “Click”, is something that probably happens to all dancers and group fitness teachers alike. It kind of seems to happen in more than just dance actually, but with dancers the “click” is to the music. Often with the eight stages of FreeDance you are using more than one stage at a time. With experiencing the accidental click there is going to be stage two going on. There is going to be a lot of listening. The listening is to ALL of the music; the silences, the beat, the tempo, the instruments, the words the vibrations–all of it. With Nia we are taught to dance to all music, not just the kind that we turn on and can’t help but move too. We are taught to move to music we might not actually like. Many people are the type that when you turn music on something on their body starts moving. A foot might start moving, a head might bob, fingers might tap, this happens often. There seems to be some songs that EVERYBODY moves to, they just can’t help it. But then there is music that often clears the dance floor. The “everybody move to” music is easy to dance to. But the floor clearing kind sometimes can be difficult to dance to. In Nia we are taught to dance to it all. We are taught to listen to it all.
I will be the first to admit that sometimes there are songs I don’t like in a Nia routine. Sometimes there is just one noise that is to incessant or a beat that feels off, whatever the reason, I don’t like it all. Sometimes I like the music but not the moves. Sometimes I just can’t get the choreography and the music to mesh—in my head or in my body, whatever it just doesn’t work. So I keep doing that kata until it “clicks”. Eventually it will because Debbie Rosas Stewart and Carlos AyaRosas are great at creating routines, but sometimes it takes me a bit. The “click” is what state seven is about.
Stage seven is connecting to the sensation of your body. I think that often times I “don’t like it” (it being either the music or the move or whatever it is that is hanging me up) is all in my head. So if and when I stop thinking and get into the sensation of the body, I will find that the moves DO go with the music, I was just thinking they didn’t. Amazing how the thinking gets in the way of moving so often.
Here you have it the seventh stage of Nia FreeDance. Yes, I am posting about them backwards, from 8 to 1. It just happened that way. The days I went to type up a post my eyes fell on “Nia Class – Leve 1, 2, 3 for inspiration. So now I am going through the stages backwards. I bet even if you aren’t trying to learn a dance routine you can think of or recognize things in your life that click. Could be you are trying to remember a way to do something and you do it over and over and keep referring back to the instructions then one day “click”. In Nia it’s Choreography where we eventually find The Accidental “Click”, but in life it could be with anything. “Clicks” happen all the time. Even if you aren’t learning a dance routine, you’re familiar with that click, right?