Terre Pruitt's Blog

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A Great Move In Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on July 19, 2014

One of Nia’s 52 Moves is a nice move.  It can be done easily, it can be used in almost any dance, and it has numerous benefits, but the name is one I get crawly skin saying.  I don’t like to say it.  It is worse than Creepy Crawlers.  When we do this move I often start out using the actual Nia name, but then explain how I would rather not and I would rather do something else.  The move is fantastic though because it has many uses, but the name.  I mean, what do you feel when I say, “Catching Flies“?  I prefer not to.

But the move itself is a great move and very important to keep our hands, arms, eyes, and brain active.  When we “Catch Flies” in Nia we open the hands then we make a loose fist to “catch” and hold the “flies.  Ewwww.  Just thinking about it . . . I mean . . . really thinking about it grosses me out.  Thank God, I don’t think too much about it when I am teaching.  I do think enough to change it.  There is one routine I teach where I change it to “catching your dreams”.  It goes along with the whole sequence of moves before and after.  So I will often start out with “catching flies” then change it to “catch your dreams”.

Part of the move is to LOOK before you grab.  So we are not just randomly grabbing in the air.  We are looking as if we really were going to catch a fly.  Since most of us are not like cats — do you know what I mean?  Have you ever been playing with a toy with a cat and they won’t even be looking and they just reach out their arm and snatch the toy out of thin air?  (Crazy!)  Most of us are not like that, we need to look.  So we LOOK before we grab at the “flies”.  We engage our eyes and our brain — THEN we grab.  We are also engaging our neck and spine because we are catching FLIES after all.  See, the image makes sense.  It is a “good” one, but an icky one. But since it is good and it makes sense, I will start out saying “catching flies” so people get the idea.  Then I can change it if I want.

I think I got catching fairies from another Nia class.  A Nia teacher said it and I was thrilled, so I use that one.  Sometimes I say catching joy.  Or perhaps grabbing some energy.  There are many things to say after the initial move is understood and the Nia name is announced.

The Nia Technique book explains the benefits very well:

Practicing Catching Flies increases brain activity.  This move neurologically connects your hands, your head, and your eyes, and engenders manual dexterity and speed.  Emotionally, you can use the is move to express aggression, determination, anger, frustrations, playfulness, and achievement.

I am sure you can use it to express a lot more emotions.  When we practice this move we add variety.  There can be fast flies, slow flies, they can be flying high, they can be flying low, they can be flying right in front of us, they can be flying behind us, you get the idea.  The flies can be all over so it can be quite and active move.

It is like the Locust pose in yoga — GREAT MOVE, not so great name.

What do you think?  Do you want to catch flies?  Would you rather catch fairies?  Would you rather catch joy?  Can you understand what a great move it is?

6 Responses to “A Great Move In Nia’s 52 Moves”

  1. I have never heard of Nia until your blog, I’m trying to educate myself! I wish I lived in your area so I could take a class…maybe I’ll find something locally. Thanks for all of the great detailed info, and also on http://www.helpyouwell.com.


    • Jeanne – 🙂
      I rarely meet someone that has heard of Nia. That is why I blog and have a website. I want to meet more people that have heard of it! 🙂 I wish ALL my readers could come take a class with me! But, Nia is international, not as many teachers as say . . . Zumba. Becoming a Nia teacher is a lot more involved than becoming a Zumba teacher. They both have great training information, but Nia is different than just a dance exercise . . . as you may be able to tell from all of my Nia posts and information on my website.

      I am unaware of where you are, but there are classes all over the world. Some areas have more classes than others. I do hope you can find one. Let me know! Do you like to dance?


      • Thank you for elaborating on it, it’s fascinating and seems like something I would enjoy. I would be that uncoordinated person in your class that moves to the left when it should be to the right, and so on. I LOVE to dance, but maybe not that good at it…lol. Anyway, I love your posts and your writing style, and you have an energy that inspires me to be healthier. So thank you for being a positive influence, because you are, and have been to me. You’ve really got me thinking, and that’s a good thing. 🙂 BTW, I’m in Tucson, AZ.


        • Don’t believe you. 🙂 Part of what makes Nia to interesting is that the general focus in class is on the body. And the body is amazing. Most often it is the brain that “gets in the way” of the body. So, if you were able to quiet the “inner dialog” and just let your body move you would be fine. You would not be the “uncoordinated person”. You would be the dancing body of joy!

          Thank you. I appreciate hearing that because, as you know, it is not always easy to think of a topic to post about . . . then writing it . . . and all that jazz.

          Do you know where Expressive Art Studio is? (3838 E. Fort Lowell (1/4 block west of Alvernon on Ft. Lowell), Tucson)

          There is Nia there on:

          Monday 9:00am – 10:00am

          Saturday 9:00am – 10:00am

          Wednesday 5:30pm – 6:30pm

          Tuesday 5:45pm – 6:45pm

          And at
          Animas Studio
          5575 East River Road, Tucson, AZ 85750
          on Friday 10:00am – 11:00am

          Don’t know if any of that would work for you, but there are classes in Tuscon.

          If you go, just go with the idea that you will be moving and dancing. No other expectations and you will be amazed!

          I got that information of of NiaNow.com. It is always a good idea to call the studio or contact the teacher to confirm that the classes are still being held. Espeically with the Holidays coming up. Schedules often get adjusted during the holidays.


  2. Garrett said

    I’ve done Nia in Winnipeg, a few years back. My instructor (Tamara Hajsky) introduced it to us as ‘catching flies’, and I never noticed anyone having any issue with it. Your hands are darting out to catch flies. C’est La Vie 😉 No big deal!


    • Yeah, I don’t like bugs, especially flies. And I don’t care to hold them in my hand. It just doesn’t sound very pleasant to me. 🙂 So saying something other than flies is just a way to bring pleasure into our dance. That is one of the things that is GREAT about Nia, we can use different visuals, cues, and pearls to stimulate different moves and different emotions . . . . SUPER FUN STUFF!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


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