Not Silent About The Silence
Posted by terrepruitt on November 21, 2015
Wow. This non-verbal cueing that we did in Nia has brought up some stuff. So here is another post about it! I have really noticed since the “silent class” that cueing sometimes disrupts the dance for some participants. Since people are so different, we all hear differently, see differently, concentrate differently, and learn differently, it is different for different people. What I noticed is that when I mention something, some people stop or they look to be interrupted. I had noticed this before, but it seems more obvious to me now that we had the silent class. Nia teachers are supposed to cue at a specific point, to me it is so that the person has a moment to finish the move they are in the middle of, have a moment to know what is coming, then perhaps be able to seamlessly change to the next move. That is the idea. The idea is to NOT interfere with the dance. I see it happens sometimes. I see sometimes it does not. So I think it might have to do with what the person is thinking while they are dancing. It could be, if they are completely in their bodies there is no disruption of the movement, but if they are thinking something else while they are moving, then a cue is given, their thoughts are interrupted so their movements get choppy, then they either finish the present move or move onto the next. I am not sure of the reason for what I am seeing, but it is very interesting.
I feel as if in the silent class they actually have to pay attention MORE. They have to LOOK at me if they want to see what is happening. When you have to LOOK at something, it might help with concentration. It could be that the mind is not wandering and counting on the verbal cue to tell you what to do.
As I mentioned in the last post, the participants were in sync, but that was after the move was done at least once. Without verbal cues there is no way for them to know what the move is after I clap until they see it. So once they saw it, or sometimes in the middle of seeing it they knew what to do.
Since they were so synchronized and got there so quickly, I am also thinking that without verbal cues from ME they were letting their bodies cue them. Muscles have memories and without the benefit of me telling them what to do, they just did what their bodies knew to do. As I mentioned in the first post about the “silent class” we have been doing this routine for a few weeks. Plus it is one they already “know”.
I have had people tell me either before or after classes that they need CONSTANT instruction. They want the instructor to say each move through the entire song. I have had people tell me that I don’t tell them what they are supposed to do enough. I have had people tell me that they don’t like Nia because there is not enough of the teacher telling them what to do. I share that to let you know, as I said before, there are different ways to learn and people like different things.
That is why Nia is so fun. We can do it different ways. If you like constant instruction, think of what new things you are being introduced to with less instruction. If you don’t like any instruction, think of what new things you are being introduced to with minimal instruction. It is all about keeping the body, mind, emotions, and spirit challenged (BMES). Learning and doing new things or learning and doing “old” things but in a “new” way. The BMES likes to be flexed and stretched and stimulated.
I love that the Nia participants that come to my Nia classes are so willing to try new things. I love that they like to play and experiment. This had opened some new doors for me. It will allow us to have more fun!
Have you been to a Nia class yet?