Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for July 27th, 2020

Nia White Belt P4 – FreeDance – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on July 27, 2020

I have several posts regarding Nia FreeDance. When I was teaching often there was a period when we had FreeDance Fridays. That was fun. I feel when I am teaching multiple times a week it is really great to have one class be FreeDance. I have posted about the 8 stages of FreeDance. There are a couple of posts about a FreeDance Playshop I produced once and one about the tools for the eight stages of FreeDance that we can use to help us “to stimulate movement creativity”.  We just had our class regarding FreeDance, Nia White Belt Principle #4. I am happy to report, not much has changed. Again, some of the language used has changed and certainly the way it is presented. I want to clarify that the training is always evolving, Nia is always finding new and better ways to deliver the information, but the core information is not changing. That is a great comfort to me and it makes sense. I want the organization I am involved with to grow and improve, but I don’t want it to change the core of what it does. So, 2020 Nia White Belt Principle #4 is FreeDance.

Now in my previous documentation of it, you may see FreeDance written different ways and that is because I understood Carlos (one of the original creators of Nia) to have different ways of writing it. The principle was one way (FreeDance) and then the first stage was another (Free dance). So, if you see differences that is why. And moving forward I will endeavor to keep it FreeDance.

This term sometimes confuses people because they think the class is free. I have experienced this many times. But FreeDance is something that Nia participants do, it is a practice, it is a principle of Nia. It is “stimulating movement creativity”.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via ZoomDebbie said something today that clarified something for me, she was talking about form and freedom, we have a lot of that in Nia. In light of the 2020 Nia White Belt, we have form in the way of choreography and we have freedom in the way of dancing free. Debbie equated form with “structure” and how that makes people feel safe.  Freedom could be compared to “no structure”, which sometimes makes people feel unsafe. The freedom in an exercise class can be intimidating for many people. Being told what to do and how to move the body is the way most people are taught to exercise, so when they come to a Nia class and they are told, “Move your body.” They don’t know what to do. It is just like the story Debbie tells about when she first when to a Dojo. People can be told to focus on moving their arms, but they want to know HOW to move their arms, they want specific movement instruction. We have language to guide people to move in FreeDance, but there is still a lot of freedom in that and for some people that is a huge challenge.

There is a triad for this principle, like with all of the principles, it consists of Move, Explore, and Create. They put the numbers for the 8 stages going counter clock-wise on the triad, but have created a separate graphic with the stages going clockwise. Instead of drawing the triad and creating the graphic I chose to write out the eight stages. We can use the eight stages to helps us move. Here I am just going to list the stages:

1 – FreeDance
2 – Being Seduced By The Music
3 – Feelings + Emotions
4 – Creative Source
5 – Authentic Movement
6 – Witness
7 – Accidental Click
8 – Body-Centered Choreography

The next post will contain the tag lines for each stage and the information I wanted to high-light for myself.

So, Dear Reader, how do you feel about dancing with no instruction?  How do you feel about dancing with little to no instruction in a cardio exercise class?

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