Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Witness – Do Not Interfere or Judge. Observe. — Nia FreeDance Stage 6

Posted by terrepruitt on January 10, 2012

I think this is one of the most difficult stages of Nia FreeDance.  And there is a reason they are numbered one through eight, and I don’t know why I started my postings about them backwards, but when I’m done they will still be here and they will tie together. On its own Stage 6 is a powerful tool, but it can also be applied when dancing Nia FreeDance stage one (FreeDance) and five (Authentic Movement).  Stage 6 of Nia FreeDance is witness.  We witness our movements.  While we are dancing we acknowledge how we are moving.  We observe our tendencies.  We observe our structure.  We are witness to all that our body can and can’t do, yet we do not interfere.  We just let go and move.  For many Nia FreeDance is a challenge because we are set free to dance without structure, we are set free to move as we sense the music.  In stage 6 we do so — move without structure and as our own body senses the music — without interfering or judging.  We are to just observe.

While you are dancing and witnessing, interfering would mean to change what you are doing maybe because you judged it to be a certain way.  As an example, say you heard a specific stand-out beat in the music and your body sensed it as little hops so you started hopping.  As you are hopping you start thinking and judging, you think, “Why am I hopping?  I must look silly.  No one else is hopping.  I should stop.”  While there was witnessing (YAY!), there was judging (not yay.) and then as a result interfering (not yay.).  Movement was changed because of a judgement.  Movement was changed not because your body sensed something maybe a new move from the music it was changed because you judged.  This is what Nia FreeDance Stage 6 is about witnessing but NOT interfering or judging.

Even if we observe our tendency to do the same type of move over and over.  This witness does not have an opinion, it just observes.  If you are dancing just stage 6 of FreeDance then you just keep going.  Observe, don’t judge or interfere.  Now is not the time to change.  Just dance.

This is not an easy stage.  It is not easy to witness, just observing and not judge or interfere, but this stage is a huge eye-opener.  This stage can tell us many things about our dance and our bodies.  We can see our tendencies and our comfort zones.  We can learn our strengths and weaknesses.  We can embrace the sense of self.  This stage is not easy, but it is powerful.  It is a great tool in the Nia tool box for both a Nia Practitioner and a Nia Teacher.

So while you are dancing in the shower, in the kitchen, in the living room — wherever it is you get to truly dance — try stage 6 of Nia FreeDance; Witness – Do Not Interfere of Judge.  Observe.  And see where this takes you.  See what you learn.  You could learn things like, you don’t allow your neck free movement,  your hips don’t get to dance, you are always bent at the knee, you can do a great shimmy, your hands are like graceful birds . . . . so many things.  What have you witness in your FreeDance?

6 Responses to “Witness – Do Not Interfere or Judge. Observe. — Nia FreeDance Stage 6”

  1. Mike said

    I really wish I had a clue what you were talking about. Sounds fun and interesting though. Maybe I’ll catch up in reading your posts.


    • Nia is a body-centered dance exercise. It is like Yoga in that you can make it a practice and learn more about it and go “deeper” into it. OR you can treat it like Zumba coming to class and getting a great workout, but not making it a “practice”. This is part of the practice, but it can also be used as a tool if you are interested in learning a bit out your body’s habits through dance.

      You can check out my website http://www.HelpYouWell.com for more information or the many Nia posts that I have hear. 🙂


  2. pegbur7 said

    I know I look like a fool dancing but if no one else is there to observe then I shouldn’t care, right?


    • You don’t know you look like a fool when you are dancing. You know you THINK you look like a fool when you are dancing. Those are two very different things. If you THINK you look like a fool then you do, to YOU. What if you thought that you looked like a graceful bird that was flying and floating through the air? What if you put on some really nice “floaty” music and that is what you danced? You danced as a graceful bird. You might be surprised that you can SENSE that. You can sense grace as you imagine flying and floating through the air. Then you will be a graceful bird flying and floating in dance. But if you are thinking you are judging. And that is not the sixth stage of Nia FreeDance. Witness, but no judging — just moving! 🙂


  3. I really wish my husband would follow this rule and not interfere with my desk dancing. I have to shake my booty in the chair sometimes. I just can’t help myself. But he always has to ask if I want fries with that. Sheez! Lol.


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