Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick

Posted by terrepruitt on March 18, 2014

Maybe Jack practiced Nia.  We do a lot of agility movements in a Nia class.  From Wiki’s definition of agility:

“Agility or nimbleness is the ability to change the body’s position efficiently, and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength, and endurance.”

When thinking of agility I tend to think of my entire body starting then stopping.  My entire body moving one direction then changing quickly, like the definition states. But agility can be just in the fingers, in the hands, in the arms, or just in the legs.  Our entire body does not have to move for it to be an agility movement—or at least that is how we call it in Nia.  We do a lot of movements that require agility.

I just posted about Creeper Crawlers.  That is an agility movement of the fingers.  They are starting and stopping and going one direction then the other.

Drumming is a great example of agility.  Your arms and/or hands are starting and stopping and changing direction.  We drum in Nia.  There are certain routines where it is part of the choreography.  There are times when we do it in FreeDance.  The music often calls for drumming.  Sometimes we listen.  Drumming is a fun way to connect to the sensation of agility.  Without actual drums we can drum all around our space;  up in the air above our heads . . . in one of our Nia routines they call this sky drumming.  We can drum below our bodies, to the sides, behind our bodies, around in a circle, all over.  Sometimes I invite the class to imagine they are in the middle of a HUGE drum set with drums all around them.  They can’t even move without hitting a drum.  That is some wild drumming.

Looking around and allowing the head to change direction is a form of agility.  Look!  Look!  Look!  As if you are watching a bug fly around.  Hip bumps . . . keeping those hips juicy with that left right action.  If you are really playful, hip bumps back and forth . . . it’s all about being agile.

Another great show of an agility move is kicking.  Kicking like a swimmer’s kick.  Fast feet, fast action action.  One direction then the other.  Back and forth.  Of course this can be done with the action from the knee or even the hip.  Whatever joint does the action, kicking is another great example of a movement that requires agility.

A number of Nia’s 52 Moves of the The Upper Extremities can be tied to agility.  Blocks and punches can be done with a quick change of direction, along with webbed spaces and palm directions.

Agility is one of Nia’s Five Sensations that we practice and play with in our Nia classes.  The other sensations are Flexibility, Mobility, Strength, and Stability.  Like many groups and professions we have many acronyms, the one for Nia’s Five Sensations is FAMSS.  The A is for Agility.

What do you do that can be considered an agility move?

6 Responses to “Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick”

  1. My French Heaven said

    I LOOOOVE your title. I am not agile at all. I need to lose quite a few kilos before I can start to move properly again… Food is slowly killing me… What a nice way to die though. OK, serious now! I need to eat better and then follow your great advice for a healthier life… I think it takes reaching rock bottom to be able to embrace change and make the necessary efforts…


    • Bummer . . . isn’t it? One of the things that brings you most alive (food, eating, cooking, etc.) is “killing you”. But really, my Friend . . . is food killing you or is the lack of movement the thing that is affecting you? 🙂 I send you hugs because you make me laugh. You are entertaining and . . . . I think you need them. 🙂

      I think part of your “problem” is your kitchen is too small. Just think . . . if your kitchen was three times as large and you had to hustle over to the sink, then back to a boiling pot on the stove, then back to the the counter to chop . . . you could get some agility movement in while cooking. Ha, ha, ha! Ok, now I am the one being silly!

      I think . . . you tell me, though . . . that your “eating better” would involve eating less? Yes? (Me too!) Because from what I see you eat very well. Lots of homemade goodness. Fresh food. Not the processed stuff we eat here in the US. So . . . . YOUR “better” is difficult because you are such a great chef. 🙂

      What if . . . you — for the moment — aren’t so concerned with moving “properly”? What if you just move? Then with movement the kilos get lost and the movement becomes proper? You are also so busy . . . . just looking at your photos I know because it takes time to take such beautiful photos.

      Thanks for being here. Tonight I will think of you when I put less on my plate!

      More hugs!


  2. niachick said

    Agility. One of my favorite Sensations…actually all 5 of Nia’s Sensations are marvelous, aren’t they?! Agility doesn’t have to be hopping around like a bunny! I absolutely love your description and examples of agility…I’m printing this out and plan to use this in one of my upcoming classes (giving you credit of course). Punches, Head and Eye Movement, Hip Bumps. You continue to invite me to go deeper into Nia…I wouldn’t have “consciously” thought of those moves for the sensation of Agility. Thank you!!!


    • Thanks. I am glad you liked it. I always remember Debbie saying, “start and stop” so to me if you are starting and stopping a move it is agility. So let’s lump ’em in there. Thank you so much for reading and enjoying. Hugs to you!


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