Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Messing Up Is Fun

Posted by terrepruitt on October 24, 2013

After Nia class once a month we meet for a visit.  We walk to a coffee house and get a beverage.  Some of us have coffee, some of us have tea, some of us have nothing, but that is not the point.  The point is that we visit.  It took almost two years for me to learn one of my students is a Naturopathic Doctor. As the teacher, often times I am busy with “teacher/business” duties.  I miss some of the interaction and conversations that my students have.  It is so fabulous to see friendships formed and conversations happen.  But I wanted to be in on some of the conversations and I wanted my students to be able to share with each other as a group.  I love when I can make a connection . . . when one person can meet the needs or desires of another.  So, so, so fulfilling.  It is difficult to learn about people while dancing . . . so an after-class visit is just the thing.  Students can share what they do and what is going on in their lives and we can get to know each other a bit off of the dance floor.  Also, I learn a lot of other things about my students and what they like about Nia.

I was sharing with one of my students something about the moves.  I was using a specific example and I said, “You know when I am talking about because you were giggling.”  And she said, “I was giggling because I messed up.”  She said after we did the move over and over and over she was still getting it wrong and so she was laughing.  She said messing up is one of her favorite parts of Nia.  I LOVE that.  I love that she “gets” that part of Nia.  Nia is not about doing it right.  Nia is about moving.  Nia understands that sometimes for so many reasons, you just don’t get it.  It could be a move you can normally do in your sleep but for some reason at that moment it is escaping you.  Instead of getting upset and frustrated with yourself and STOPPING, embrace the mistake and keep moving.  Use the opportunity to do the move in a totally different way.  If you are still able to move with the count, but the choreography is escaping you for the moment, move in a different way but with the same count.  If you are able to do the movement, but it is the count that you are having issues with, vary your speed even MORE.  Go faster or slower . . . what have you got to lose, not the count because you’ve already lost that!  Just IN JOY it, be in joy.  Have fun.

I love, love, love that my student loves messing up.  She embraces so much that is Nia.  She takes that as an opportunity to play.  To “be a kid again” and just not care.  You know how kids are — before they are taught differently — they just move and dance in their own way and they don’t care what opinion people have.  Also in the messing up and going with it, it is a lesson in letting go . . . . letting go of judgment, letting go of feeling you have to be perfect, letting go of making your body do something it is clearly not doing well – at the moment.  It is freeing to just move the best you can.

Now this is different from Nia Free Dance.  I mean Free Dance is where we are purposefully dancing to stimulate movement creativity, not dancing in a choreographed way.  Where we don’t think and we just move.  This, when you just can’t get a move and give into NOT getting it, is you dancing what you are capable at the moment in the choreography.  Get through it then join back in.  I would think you would keep trying to do it or continue with the modification you made, but it is not free dance.  It is more of a embrace-the-mess-up-and-have-fun kind of dance.

I was just very happy to hear that she was ok with messing up.  She was ok with allowing herself the freedom to not be perfect.  She was embracing and celebrating movement for Joy and not for moving exactly like the choreography.  She was having fun.  Awesome!

So do you enjoy messing up in a situation like an dance workout class?  Can you laugh it off and keep going?  Can you allow yourself to dance your way and get back on track when you are able?  Can you see the difference between this and Free Dance?

6 Responses to “Messing Up Is Fun”

  1. suzicate said

    In group dance classes I am one BIG MESS, however, I’m usually embarrassed by it. I wish I felt that same freedom as your student. Catching up on some of your posts and enjoying them!

    Like

    • SUZICATE! How wonderful to see you here!

      Well, in Nia one of the things we practice is NO JUDGEMENT! And for many that is a challenge. The NO JUDGMENT applies to ALL. No judging your fellow dancers as well as yourself! We have a tools for that. We apply witnessing where you are just an observer set out on just observing and not judging. It is something some have to learn. It is a practice. The saying is “you are your own worst critic” and that is so often true. I will go out on a limb and say we all do it whether it on the dance floor or in our daily life. So that is why when she said that it made me happy because she has one of the aspects of Nia down pat!

      Thanks for visiting. I have been thinking about you and your family and holding space. Hugs!

      Like

  2. niachick said

    Oh my…this is such a wonderful post (another wonderful post!!). My Wednesday night class goes out once a month — actually we don’t go out, we have our Night IN (since the studio is in the same area as the coffee bar and we also bring wine, yum yum).

    Okay messing up…ha. I don’t know that I’ve ever taught a Nia routine (and I’ve been teaching for 12 year) in which I have not messed up at least once. In my Facebook profile, I mention that I graduated from MSU. Making Stuff Up. That’s the beauty of Nia…the 52 Moves are what I fall back to when I’ve forgotten what I’m supposed to be doing! Ooops…missed that jazz square, okay, let’s do a cross behind cha cha cha (until I can remember where I am in the routine!). It’s so much fun messing up. I think my students all know now to just laugh when they goof up. I hear little giggles every so often…and if someone is getting miffed at themselves for messing up I either say something silly to lighten up the atmosphere or I’ll talk to them afterwards. Sometimes we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to grow through our little mess ups. No judgement!!!

    I love you!!!

    Like

    • I was always jealous that you and your Nia class visited after. I had always wanted to do it. Your posts further inspired me. If I had a studio we could do that.

      Yes, the tight but loose, the freedom to forgive ourselves when we as teachers “mess up”, the no judgment — yup. Exactly what you said . . . . but not everyone is able to do that. It really is something that some have to learn. And I have learned that some are really going to learn it in Natural Time, and I am not a part of that (so I don’t always say anything and I don’t talk to them after class). 🙂 I just keep teaching the Nia way and they will get there when they get there.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Love you too!

      Like

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