Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Reasons for Sounding in Nia Class

Posted by terrepruitt on April 26, 2012

I’ve post about the Healings Sounds. I’ve posted about how we used the Healing Sounds in our Nia class. I’ve stated that making noise is a great way for people to know that you are breathing. There are other reasons to sound, one being it helps stabilize your core. In Nia or in other dance exercise classes there are times when you are moving and playing with balance so having a stable core can assist in proper balance. With the effort to stay stable there is also strengthening. On the exhale the abdomen is tightened.

In Nia we do a lot of movement where core stabilization is key. Some of the moves we do that require a stable core are punches, blocks, and kicks. In order to punch and/or block with strength and authority the spine needs to be straight, the ribs squeezing, and the abs tight. All of this can be accomplished with one loud sound, any sound can do it. Kicking is the same thing, even if you are doing a side kick where your body might be leaning, the spine is still straight and the torso needs to be tight. A joyful “HA!” can take care of all that!

Another reason to sound is release. We are often taught to be quiet. It could be as deep and as damaging as we were taught our opinions don’t matter. It could be more of a social “norm” where we were taught to respectfully keep one’s opinion to oneself or respectfully not sing, shout, or cry out loud because it would be inappropriate even though that is what we really want to do.  All of these social confines can lead to blocked energies.  Having to behave can lead to us feeling bad, so sounding in a Nia Class is a huge release. We can experience a release.  Healing sounds aren’t the only ones to be made, anything will do.

Often times for me I am busy with listening to the music, thinking of the next move, getting ready to cue, dancing, and breathing I don’t THINK about sound it just comes out. Sometimes a move makes its own sound. Also depends on the move. I did a routine recently where the moves were very quiet for me. It was odd. It was as if the moves had no sound. I am wondering if that is because it was so new. I am looking forward to doing it again to see if sounds reveal themselves.

In addition to breath, stabilization, strength, and release sounding is fun. Children are expected to shout, laugh out loud, and be joyfully noisy, but adults not so much.  Kids can run and scream on a playground, adult aren’t often afforded such a luxury, but in Nia we can.  It really is fun. It is fun to make noise. It is fun to HA, HOO, FOO, SHOO, HI-YA, WAHOO, WHOOO, and SHHHHH to the top of your voice. It is fun to play with the volume and the tone of the noises. All of this playfulness adds to the joy.  We can whoop it up as we did when we were young.  The vibrations of sound heal the body. The fun heal the spirit and the soul.

I often wonder how people are able to keep quiet in a Nia class.  I believe they have not yet experienced the good it will do for them.  There is the breath, the added stabilization, the strengthening, the emotional release, and the fun that it brings all good for the body, mind, spirit, and soul.

While I am saying we do sounding in Nia class, don’t think it is restricted to that.  So while you are exercising don’t forget to breath.  Try making some noise.  If you are in a class that doesn’t allow for it find a Nia class and whoop it up there!

Do you make noise while you exercise?

5 Responses to “Reasons for Sounding in Nia Class”

  1. Yes! I sound for many reasons. I use ‘hut’ for support and I hum along to the music. I also like to talk out to the teacher; like if she’s making jokes or asking for feedback.
    Since being exposed to sounding, I couldn’t imagine not making noises. I tap into joy through my voice and my ‘song’.
    I love these posts about sounding.
    Thanks for them.


    • Uh, Jason, I CANNOT be the first one to tell you that you tap into OTHER people’s joy with your voice. 😉 Yes, Dear, you have a great voice. A very commanding and attention getting voice.

      And while you say you cannot imagine not making noises, I have a difficult time understanding how my class doesn’t make noises. I have a few “sounders”, but others have been trained NOT to make noise so they might never know the joy!

      I am sure people love having you in class because you participate with your voice. I know I would love it!

      Thank you so much for sharing your voice (in a different manner) here with us!


  2. Great article Terre!!! Yes sound can be so healing and so wonder-full for self expression. It also allows me to sense and really “be” with what I am feeling in my body. It is a journey to reclaim our voice and sound for who we truelly are – creatures of courage, love, tenderness, anger that helps move us into action, and joy! Lots of Love, Laura


  3. Vally said

    Hallo! ThanksTerre for your article 🙂 I really enjoyed it. I am also a Nia teacher and I am more and more interested in the Sounding. I love to sound myself and I would love if my students would sound more 😛
    If you don’t mind I think to report your experience in my next workshop.
    Greetings!! Vally


    • Hi Vally,

      I love sounding when I am teaching. I make ALL kinds of sounds. Often times my students laugh because I make silly sounds. I think that many people are taught to NOT make noise while exercising and so they don’t. Also, I think that people often don’t want to bring attention to themselves, so they don’t sound. Some people don’t want to be the only one doing it. I have notice that over the years some of my students are making sounds. I feel like I can tell when it is just something they can’t help and they let out a “whoop!” Makes me so happy. My heart jumps for joy!

      I hope my post helps motivate some of your students to sound. It could be just all about Natural Time.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my blog, Vally. Nice to “meet” you! 🙂


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