Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach yoga, Nia, and stretch online!

    ALL CLASSES ARE ON ZOOM

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:00 am

    Nia: Wednesday at 10:00 am

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:00 am

    Please see my website for details!

    I am also teaching a yoga class for the City of San Jose on Wednesdays through June at 5pm

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training all virtual, of course!

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Archive for the ‘Nia’ Category

Improve Your Zoom Class Sound

Posted by terrepruitt on May 11, 2020

I have not been feeling very bloggy lately. Sometimes when I have an idea I don’t have the energy to write it. And when I have the energy I don’t have any ideas. I have been wanting to share something regarding online classes so I thought I had better write it up so I can have it ready for Monday. Last month I taught a Nia live stream class and I was told the sound was good. The students could hear the music and me. Now keep in mind I do not have a studio nor equipment made especially for streaming classes. I am pretty much like most of the other dance exercise instructors that decided they needed to live stream classes. For Nia I am in my living room, most often having to try to not step on a cat. I am very lucky that we do have a laptop that I can use. And since my hubby is working from home he was able to lend me his home monitor and brought his work monitor home. Also, I am borrowing the office microphone. It is not a headset microphone, but it is super cool. For music I use my Block Rocker. I don’t know what they hear, I experimented with recording it before the actual class, but that was just a test . . . I don’t know what it sounds like when I do the actual class, but for the first class they said it was ok. But in between classes I have been visiting with people on Zoom and I had adjusted my mic volume and forgot. So my second Nia class had audio issues. They couldn’t hear me. There are so many things it could have been, so I went through everything and I just wanted to share some settings with you that might help your sound quality in your classes.

I know that Zoom has a lot of videos and instructions on many things. I get e-mails from them all the time saying they are holding classes regarding how to do this and how to do that. So they probably have some information out there regarding this but maybe not because they were originally designed to be a meeting platform. With what is going on in the world we all took it over and we are using it for everything.

The first thing I had to make sure wasn’t causing sound issues was the mic cord. So we got new ones to take care of that in case that was an issue. Then I went into the Zoom settings. Every time I use Zoom it needs an update so every time I update it I check my settings because I am afraid that they will be changed with the update and that is where I discovered I had turned down my mic. I had turned it down for a Zoom visit and didn’t turn it back up for the class.

So, I think the best way to get the best sound is to turn up your mic AND . . . go into advance settings and make sure you disable “Suppress Persistent Background Noise” and “Suppress Intermittent Background Noise” I think that having them on auto confuses the system when teaching. Originally I had both of them on “auto” because I was thinking . . . I don’t want the jackhammering outside my house to be heard, but then I thought what if the system is thinking my music/voice is background noise. Because my students had said that the music cut out once or twice. So I think, it either considers my voice or the music as “background noise”. Because, remember this platform was not designed for music and voice, and especially not designed for either/both to be directed at it from three feet away.

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Turn up the mic and speakers in the “Audio” section of “Settings” – Open settings by clicking on arrow next to audio in lower left hand corner

Now I am not sure how it sounds when the music isn’t louder than the background noise and there actually is background noise (like the jackhammer). But if you disable the suppressions it might give your students a more consistent sound. The last two classes I taught with the new cord and the adjusted settings, the students had said the music didn’t cut out and they could hear me fine.

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If I were in an uncarpeted space, I would change the “Echo Cancellation” to “Aggressive” because I have taken classes that sound so “tinny”, and I would hope that the change in setting would help that. But in both spaces where I teach I have carpet.

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I also have “Enable Original Sound” OFF because Zoom’s site states if your mic HAS auto enhancing capabilities then the sound from it will be enhanced, but if it DOES NOT, then you don’t want to use it. This might actually be the key to better sound as it allows the “Audio Processing” to work.

So, I think having music and talking as one does in a live streaming dance exercise class turning the suppressing settings to “Disable” are a good bet.

So have you taken any Zoom classes? How do they sound?  What do you think?

Posted in Nia, Online Classes, Zoom | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Answers To A Few Questions About Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on January 22, 2020

I think it is time to revisit some things.  A compilation of re-visitation.  How does that sound?  This is in regards to Nia.  I have all of this information spread out in various posts on my blog and in various places on my website but I thought I could revisit some information for a post.  This will help to get the information out there.  I will answer some questions that I have received recently as a new group of people are going to be treated to a Nia class.

How is Nia different than Zumba?
Well, based off of my Zumba and Nia training and based off of the Zumba and Nia classes I have attended the main difference is movement, both speed and type.  Zumba is regularly faster.  Nia can be fast, but in general is slower than Zumba.  Zumba’s movements tend to be more Latin; focusing on movement of the hips and feet, whereas Nia is more of an entire body movement type of dance class.  Nia incorporates three art forms into the dance (martial arts, dance arts, and healing arts – more about all of that can be found in the “The Nine Basic Movements Forms Of Nia” post.)

Is it sweaty?
Well, that is based entirely on you, the individual.  Some people dance Nia and don’t sweat, it could be that they just aren’t the type of body that sweats or it could be that they really didn’t move enough to sweat.  I remember teaching one class years ago and a student came up to me as I was toweling off and said, “You really don’t sweat much in Nia, do you?”  As I said, I was toweling off, my hair was wet, I was blind from sweat, and my glasses were fogged up.  And I said, “No, no YOU don’t.”  Because this person had stood behind me the entire class.  I never saw this student’s arms or legs or head.  So, in other words, this person didn’t move a lot, this person never lifted their arms up or out, nor did they kick out, so there wasn’t a lot of movement on their part so they didn’t sweat.  And that is fine, if that is what your goal is.  If you want to go to a cardio dance class and not sweat don’t move a lot.  If you are the type of person that sweats when you move and you decide to move in the class, then you will sweat.  It really is all about what you want for your body that day, during that class.

What do I wear?
Anything you want in order to feel comfortable.  Something you can move in and that you don’t mind being on the floor in.

Is Nia done barefoot?
Yes.  Nia is designed to be done barefoot.  Again, we do not jump – sometimes a trainer might get fancy and excited and include a little jump or two when s/he created the routine, but for the most part we do not jump.  We don’t typically twist on our feet, we pick up our feet.  There is a lot of foot work in Nia designed to stretch and strengthen the foot.  Nia believes that – while shoes can be lovely – they restrict the movement of the foot, so moving in bare feet allows the foot to move as it was designed.

What type of music is played in a Nia class?
All types of music.  Some routines run the gamut of tunes from rock to classical, some routines contain only one genre or one artist but the music for Nia as a whole varies.  You can click here and click around if you would like to hear some samples of the actual music in some of our routines.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaAs a note, people constantly confuse IMPACT with INTENSITY. We had been trained to think we have to move fast with high jumps up and down (impact) in order to get a “good” workout and in order to sweat. But if you stand with your feet in A stance (slightly wider than your shoulders) and do squats for three minutes, you might get a little sweaty. You will have done an INTENSE exercise, but not one that is high impact. Nia is not high impact, yet it can be intense.  People who do the moves in their bodies way, always come up to me and say what a great workout they just had in Nia.  The routines are created from movements that the body was designed to do, but Nia knows that not everyone’s body can move that way so dancers are encouraged to move in their own body’s way.  And with that in mind individuals get the workout they need.

Above I mentioned sweating in a Nia class, well, it could be you do sweat when you workout, but it could be that you are taking a Nia class in the middle of your work day or you are meeting friends for lunch after class so you don’t CHOOSE to move a lot and you want to take it easy – that is perfectly acceptable.  It is perfect to dance how you want to/how you are able to at that time.

So, these are the questions that I have received of late.  I can go on for pages talking about Nia . . . and I have if you look here on my blog you will find plenty of posts about Nia.  Or you can check out my website, here are some pages that might interest you:

Nia Information / Nia Class Cycles / Main Benefits of Nia / Tips for a Pleasurable Nia Experience / Principles of the Body’s Way / Nia Tips for Moving with Nia / Sounding Tips / Nia’s 52 Moves / Nia Belt Levels and Focuses

Also, feel free to contact me if you any other questions or want more information.  Yay to new Nia dancers!

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Nia Fundamentals

Posted by terrepruitt on July 31, 2019

So Nia has a few fundamental ideas, this post is a brief summary of the information that can be found in The Nia Technique book. The book is by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. It was first published in 2004. This information is on pages 16 through 19.

The Joy of Movement Is the Secret of Fitness. The idea is to not exercise. For many people exercising is not enjoyable. So stop, don’t exercise . . . MOVE. Move in a joyful way, not in a mechanical way that doesn’t bring any pleasure.

Fitness Must Address thev Human Being, Not Just the Body. Exercise that is done just to exercise is not fun and will probably be put aside after a little while. But movement that is fun and engages the mind, emotions, and spirit in addition to the body is something that one might stick with for a long time. Your body will benefit from exercise, but if you like the movement you are doing and if it is created to affect more than just the physical you can get more benefit from it. If you walk away from the activity with a clearer head, a happier and/or satisfied disposition, and a lighter spirit it is something you will want to do. Your health will be better overall.

Movement Must Be Conscious, Not Habitual. Haven’t there been studies that prove thinking about what you are doing, focusing on the movement results in greater gains? Being aware of your movement and the sensations of the body makes for a more fulfilling workout. Just hopping on the treadmill and turning on the TV is less satisfying. You also don’t affect the BMES.

Use Your Body the Way It Was Designed to Be Used. Replace the linear exercise with full range of motion movement. Vary the speed and intensity of movements. Move to improve your FAMSS!

Take the Path of Least Resistance. Move the way your body is. Not to say you cannot improve in areas that you want to improve in, but recognize that everyone cannot be a contortionist or run a mile in three minutes.

The chart is from page 19. I redacted some of it so that you would be encouraged to read it for yourself and have the opportunity to get new/additional information. 🙂

Remember that this was written in 2004 and it is really great to see that this type of information and way of thinking is becoming much more common.  Yay!

What is your favorite type of movement?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Introducing The New

Posted by terrepruitt on January 2, 2019

So I was out today visiting the studio I am going to teach at on Thursdays. I was out much longer than I had planned. Then I came home and worked on my site the rest of the day. I have been having to go through all the pages to take out all the old class information. I would repeat a lot of the information on many of the pages to help people be clear on the various classes that I was teaching. So now I am having to change all of that because after five years the program under which I taught for the City of San Jose has changed. I will be teaching Nia on Tuesdays and Nia on Thursday. The classes will be at different locations. The fees will be different. As I said in my last Wednesday post Out With The Old, In With The New.

The new place I will be teaching on Thursdays is right down the street from the other place, so that should be very convenient for the Nia and stretch students. I was able to keep the schedule the same . . . with the old program under the city we had Nia at 9:00 am and stretch class at 10:15. We are doing that at the new place. We will start January 10, 2019.

I am excited. As I said, I spent time visiting the studio and one of the owners, today, then spent the rest of the day updating my site. I need to give it a rest and come back and look at it with fresh eyes to edit it. And retry all the links. You are more than welcome to help me edit it . . . if you see something that is incorrect, please let me know!

Anyway . . . I have been re-doing my site instead of writing a blog post. So I thought I would share what is going on. And use another avenue of social media to let people know about the changes and the new location of the Thursday Nia class and stretch Class.

YAY!

Check out the information on my website!

Thursday Nia
Thursday Stretch

I hope to you see you in one some day!

Happy New Year!

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Bringing More Fun Into Class

Posted by terrepruitt on July 25, 2018

Sometimes we end Nia class with the laughter “exercise”. You know that saying “fake it ’til you make it?” Well, since the brain can’t tell the difference between fake laughter and real laughter it releases the “happy hormones” regardless. There are many additional benefits to laughter:

–it can trigger the release of endorphins (the “happy” hormones mentioned)
–it can help lower your blood pressure
–it can reduce stress hormone levels
–it can give your abdominal muscles a workout
–it can help improve cardiac health
–it can improve your immune system by boosting T-cells
–it can give you a sense of well-being and help you look at the world more positively
–it helps relax the body
–it burns calories
–it may even help relieve pain

What better way to end an exercise class than laughter?

There are a lot of ways to do it, but one way is by laughing and “cooking all four sides”. Debbie Rosas uses that saying when referring to being on or using the “sides” of the body; front, back, left, right or tummy, back, left side, right side.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise ClassesSometimes in Nia class since we are already on the floor for the Floorplay cycle of class we will do the “exercise”. It is simple actually. While lying on your back just start to laugh. It doesn’t even have to be “real” laughter. Just start to chuckle or giggle. Or even just begin by saying, “Ha!” One loud HA! Then keep going. Pretty soon your “ha-s” will change into something else – again, it might not yet be real, but someone who has joined in will make a noise that will cause real laughter. Once one person has started, it just goes from there and the next thing you know everyone is really laughing. Even if or when it starts to die down something will happen, someone will think of something funny and start up again, or someone will snort (that is always good for a laugh), or someone will do that long sigh that always happens after a good laugh session and it will start back up again.

After about one minute roll to a side. Stay there and laugh for a minute. Just keep it going even if there are moments when it is not that real-from-the-belly kind of laugh. Then after a minute, roll to the other side. Stay there laughing for about a minute. Keep it going. Then roll to your tummy. Here is where you might start really sensing it in your belly, after three minutes of laughter your abs might already notice and when you roll on the belly and laugh more, they probably will be getting your attention a bit.

This is a really fun way to end the class. It reminds everyone that participates how fun laughing is. It reminds everyone how contagious laughing is. It reminds everyone that no matter what is going on there is a chance for laughter. It also reminds everyone that laughter can be a bit physical.

Of course you don’t have to be in a class to do this exercise. Perhaps there is someone in your home that would like to participate with you. Also you don’t have to do it for a minute on each side.

So what do you think? Is this an exercise you can enjoy?

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How Long Have You Been Teaching Here?

Posted by terrepruitt on June 6, 2018

People often ask how long I have been teaching Nia and/or Yoga. Sometimes a student will ask how long I have been teaching the class. In order for me to remember I have to think about something I remember specifically for one class where the supervisor called me when I was in the hospital visiting my mom. Then I have to think of when that was and try to piece it together from there. I did send out some information over a year ago regarding the class facts. It was kind of in the form of a thank you for keeping the classes going. I decided to post the information so I will always have it on hand and I can point people towards it.

Terre’s Class Facts:

Nia at the Camden Community Center:  Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 am. Friday at 10:15 am.

The Tuesday Nia class started on September 4, 2012. It has always been at 9:00 am.

There was a Wednesday Nia class for a very short period of time in 2015.

The Thursday Nia class started on September 22, 2013. Originally it was at 8:30 am, then in November 2013 it was changed to 8:45 am. Then in February of 2015 it was changed to 9:00 am.

The Friday Nia class started in February of 2015. It has always been at 10:15 am. It follows a class that is at 9:00 am so that is why it starts at 10:15 am. The fifteen minutes in between classes is supposed to be for the out going class time to finish, clean up, and vacate the room AND allow us to come in and get ready.

 

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitGentle Yoga at the Willow Glen Community Center:  Thursday evenings at 6:00 pm.

I started teaching the gentle yoga class at the Willow Glen Community Center on July 18, 2013. Originally I was asked to do it for one session. But then it turned into the next, and the next . . . This class is held at 6:00 pm. This class is part of the Leisure Class program, so students sign up for session. So sometimes there is a mandated break in between sessions. They do not allow for drop-ins at this center.

 

Gentle Yoga at the Cypress Community Center:  Tuesdays at 10:30 am.

I started teaching the gentle yoga class at the Cypress Community Center on February 25, 2014. The original time slot for this class was 10:00 am. But it was moved to 10:30 am so that I could get there from my Nia class at Camden. This class is also is part of the Leisure Class program, so students sign up for session. Sometimes there are breaks in between sessions, but we work hard to not have them because we like to just continue without breaks. This community center allows for drop-ins. So you don’t have to sign up for the entire session you can just come take on yoga class if you would like.

 

Stretch at the Camden Community Center:  Thursday at 10:15 am.

I started teaching the Thursday Stretch Class in May of 2016. The original time slot was noon, but it was moved so it could be after Nia. It has gone on hiatus at times due to various reasons (summer camps usually come in and take over the community center). This class is at 10:15 am, after Nia.

 

Additional information about the classes:

All classes are an hour long. Nia and Stretch are part of the SJCITY Fit program. The gentle yoga classes are a part of the Leisure Class program.

There have been other class that have come and gone. I started teaching in 2009 at a studio I rented in Willow Glen. I did that for four years. I have also taught for the City of San Carlos. I worked for a little fitness studio, I taught at other community centers in San Jose, and I rented other studio space. But since those classes are not longer happening, I didn’t make note of those dates.

I am very fortunate to have such great students and to teach these classes. It is common knowledge among fitness instructors that a class can be cancelled at anytime, especially at city community centers. If there are not enough students then the class gets cancelled . . . makes sense, that is just the way it is. So that we have had these classes for so long is just the biggest blessing. I am grateful.

Posted in Nia, Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia Bundle

Posted by terrepruitt on February 19, 2018

So you may know that I teach a cardio dance exercise called Nia. It includes Martial Arts (such as Tae Kwon Do), Dance Arts (such as jazz dance), and Healing Arts (such as yoga). It is body centered. Basically, it has many facets and can explained many different ways, but it is best for one to see for themselves what it really is. So I call it a cardio dance exercise. That lets people know that they will be dancing and getting a cardio workout. It clues them into the fact that if they move, they will sweat. The rest they just have to experience. One thing we do in Nia is we move around the room. It is great to experience the world from other perspectives and just moving away from your regular dance spot in your dance class can help you do that. Sometimes when we move from our regular spots we are moving around the room in FreeDance . . . perhaps taking up as much space as possible, moving about the entire room or dancing in all the corners. Sometimes when we move from our regular spots we dance in a “bundle”. Nia is also about community so this really helps exhibit that. We dance in a group, in a bundle, as a community.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitThere is a particular kata in which I remember the training DVD to have encouraged us to dance close, as stated, in a bundle. So I always try to get people to get close. I suggest we all move gently in the tight bundle. I ask that everyone move through the middle of the bundle at least once. I also propose that people make eye contact. This is something I usually say to remind myself. I am getting better at doing so. I used to always look down, but now we are eyeing each other.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitDuring one class I stepped outside of the bundle to turn up the music and thought it would be a great time to snap a photo. As you can see our little Nia community is great at doing the Nia Bundle. We always speculate as to what people who might see us would think when we have this large wonderful dance floor and we are all in the middle dancing. We also laugh about elbows and toes, acknowledging that you might run into one and being very careful not to step on the other. I believe the Nia Bundle is one of the things that makes Nia unique.

If you have read some of my other posts before, this one might sound pretty familiar as I wrote about the Nia Bundle in my post Dancing Close. This post pretty much explores the same information, but with this one there are pictures.

Not every Nia routine’s choreography contains a Nia Bundle . . . but a Nia teacher can use a Nia Bundle anytime. Since it is such a fun way to dance in community we might just sneak it in whenever we want. I tend to stick to using it when we dance the particular song that Carlos choreographed the Nia Bundle in . . . .but ya never know, since my students are so good at it, I might start using it more.

How would you feel about a “bundle dance”?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Not Quite Barefoot

Posted by terrepruitt on November 8, 2017

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSome years ago I received yoga socks as a gift for Christmas . . . or maybe it was my birthday . . . either way, they were/are pretty cool. I posted about them way back in 2013. I like to use them when the weather gets cold. I don’t usually dance in them. I prefer to do Nia and yoga barefoot, but when it is cold I still might be wearing flip-flops to my class so it is nice to be able to just put them on with these socks. But Nia can be done in shoes or non-slip socks. I would like to see everyone do Nia barefoot, but some students have been advised by their doctors to wear shoes. I would much rather have people come to class and wear shoes than not come to class. Everyone has their own level of comfort. Some people don’t like to be barefoot. Understandable sometimes when I look at my feet after class. But I just wipe them off before I put on shoes even if it is just my flip-flops. I have one student who has some yoga socks that are pretty cool, too. I like mine because I usually wear them for warmth, but hers look super cute with the cut-out on the top. She let me take a picture of them so I could share.

I can’t remember where she said she got them. I took this picture so long ago with the intent of posting it and I am just getting around to it. But I just did a Google search and there were several places that sold them, so if you are looking you can find them. Amazon alone has several different kinds that you can purchase.

As I said in my post Toe Less Socks For Your Pleasure Nia was created to be done barefoot. Barefoot helps to condition the feet. But not everyone is comfortable exercising barefoot and the comfort of students is really important. If you are comfortable dancing without shoes on but want a little something between your foot and the floor perhaps socks like these would fit the bill. . . . .or should I say feet?  🙂

Do you prefer to exercise in shoes?

Posted in Nia, Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

FreeDance Fridays

Posted by terrepruitt on March 20, 2017

Ahhh, I don’t think I talked about Friday FreeDance.  In November of last year we there were four Fridays.  Two of those Fridays were holidays for SJCity Fit.  So out of the four Fridays in November we were only going to have a Nia class for two of them.  So I had decided that we could do Friday FreeDance.  Now for some people who sounds totally awesome, but for some people it sounds totally scary or icky, as in not fun.  Not everyone is a fan of FreeDance.  I understand that.  Not everyone is comfortable dancing on their own especially in a dance exercise class.  Many people go to exercise classes to be told what to do.  A majority of the students that attend my Nia classes have been dancing Nia for years now, so I knew they would be able to FreeDance for an entire hour.  We did it, and I received some interesting feedback and information.

First of all, I do want to explain that it wasn’t an ENTIRE hour of strictly FreeDance.  I think for both Fridays I started with a choreographed first song.  And I ended with instructions in the last song.  Then the rest of the songs were mainly GUIDED FreeDance.  So there were some suggestions on what to do, but it was left up to the participants to do it in their own body’s way.  And in some case in their own mind’s way.  They might have had to think of what some of the suggestions would be moving like.

I might have suggested that they move as if they are skiing.  With that one usually has to think about it and then do it.  The fun part is, of course, that everyone does it different.  With no clarification as to what type of skiing there is so much room for interpretation.  Someone could be water skiing, some people down hill skiing.  Some people might be cross-country skiing.  And then of course, even with those qualifications it could look wildly different.  That is the fun of FreeDance.

I was very happy that most people liked it.  I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think they would like it and they could do it.  It took me four and half years to feel confident enough in the students love of Nia and FreeDance to do it.  And most people liked it. I am thinking they liked it as a Friday thing . . . I mean, they still like the choreography so they wouldn’t want to do FreeDance for the hour all the time.

There are a few people who wear pedometers in class and the majority of them reported that they got over 1,000 MORE steps in with FreeDance.  One student said she averages about 4500 steps in regular Nia class, but in the FreeDance class she was at 5700.  There definitely is the possibility to get in more steps.  But if you are one who needs instructions more than just a guide you would probably get less steps in during FreeDance.

I thought I had posted about this because I was really happy and excited that I finally did it AND that the class really enjoyed it.  And I was also really excited and happy that many people got more steps in.  I couldn’t find the post I thought I did.  So here.  And if this is a repeat, oh well.

I have been putting in more FreeDance into our routines because people do really enjoy it.  I think I will be doing a Friday FreeDance once a month.  I love how Nia brings joy through dance.

So how would you feel about Friday FreeDance?

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Chop Cut, One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on February 22, 2017

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWell, it looks like I haven’t posted a Nia move from the Nia 52 Moves in a long time.  When I started my blog and website I wasn’t actually planning on posting about each and every move, but with only nine left that I have not posted about, I really might as well finish the list.  It might not be done quickly, but I will get to them all.  Why not, right?  Only nine, well, eight after this one, to go!  So today I am posting about the Chop Cut.

As with most, if not all, of the 52 Moves of Nia there is a specific way to do it, but then a lot of different ways it is done.  I will go out on a limb to say this move, the chop cut, is a common move.  I am sure many, many people have done this move whether they are dancing, practicing martial arts, or not.  It is just a common move.  Or at least I think of it as a common move.

To practice it as a Nia move, one of 52, we chop the air with the edge of our hands.  The edge of the hand we refer to as the blade side.  Using one hand at a time, raise the arm from the shoulder and bring it down.  Slice, with the blade, from up to down.  Allow the elbow to be slightly bent.  All fingers are extended.  Keep the hands active and engaged even the one that is not doing the slicing.

The Nia Technique book states the benefits as:

an excellent exercise for affirming your personal power.  This move is effective for building strength in the arms and shoulders, and it is superb for releasing stress.

The move itself can release stress but when combined with sounding it can be really effective.  The book recommends saying, “because.”  I usually have my class say, “HA!”

The ideal Chop Cut is using the whole arm and the blade of the hand.  Sometimes we might use straight arms.  At times while we are dancing, we might just make the movement from our elbows.  Just letting our forearms move, chopping at the air in front of us fast.  That kind of movement can be done faster than using the entire arm.  At times the chop can just be from the wrists.  So just the hands move.  It requires loose wrists.  This move can be done really fast.  Sometimes when we chop with our hands, we move them in the space around us, so we are moving more than just our wrists.  So the chop is coming from the wrists so it is more of “just a chop” than a “chop cut”.  The Chop Cut when done according to “specs,” is a power move.  The other ones are great and sometimes they fit better into the dance.

So, am I right?  Have you done a Chop Cut before?  Were you dancing?

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