Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘52 Nia Moves’

First Degree Nia Black Belt Guest Teacher

Posted by terrepruitt on May 1, 2014

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

This class was held in San Ramon on April 30, 2014!

As you probably know I teach a dance exercise called Nia.  It is a cardio workout.  If you have read any of my information on Nia you will also be aware that many of the people who practice Nia consider it to be more than JUST a cardio dance exercise.  But . . . on the surface that is what I call it, in brief, to let people know what it is.  If they are interested then we can discuss some of the other facets of it.  Like many exercise disciplines there are star teachers or celebrities.  I’ve talked about that before.  There is always some people who were there from the beginning and so they have the most experience and often times get categorized into star or celebrity “status”.  Yesterday we had a long-time Nia Practitioner and Teacher do a 007 Nia class.

Jason Alan Griffin is one of the first First Degree Black Belts.  Nia has created an additional training intensive, they have added a “degree” to the black belt.  It is so new that not a lot of information is out regarding that, and I didn’t even think to ask Jason about it.  I am Facebook friends with Jason and yesterday was the first time we met in person.  Jason likes to travel, so he drives around with his dog River bringing Nia to cities around the United States.  He created a routine he called Bond Girls, but recently re-named it to Goldfinger and that is what he is delivering on his current trip.  He was in the East Bay last year (I believe) but he packs his travel schedule so tight he doesn’t stay long and so I missed the classes he had.  Maybe he was in the North Bay too.  I don’t remember.  I couldn’t make it.  So this trip I was very excited to get to take his class, meet him, and his dog.

Jason is one of those dog daddies that takes his pet parenting seriously and he posts a lot about his dog.  So through his Facebook and blog I feel I know both of them a bit so I was happy to finally get to meet him.

Not to use the current happenings in my life as an excuse, but I found myself leaving for the class much later than I intended and also the directions I looked up gave me a different travel time than the day before.  I ended up being late for class.  And while I felt very bad about that . . . I decided to forgive myself which enabled me to jump right in to his already-started-class.  It was so fun.

While the invitation to dress up in something shimmery was there, I completely forgot, but Jason did not disappoint.  He had on some shiny silver pants.  He led us through many of the 52 Nia moves while we focused on pelvis, chest, head.  We used our spear fingers in true James Bond fashion.  We danced in our own body’s way and laughed and sang while doing so.

Every time I take a Nia class I realize I am not a Nia student often enough.  I love being able to laugh at myself because I don’t get the moves on the first (or how many ever it takes) go around.  I love being able to just follow as someone else’s lead.  I love being able to learn new pearls and moves.  It is so fun.  I am so glad that I was able to join the East Bay Nia community while they hosted Jason’s class.  It was super fun.  I want Jason to come to San Jose to deliver his FreeDance Playshop.  🙂

I hope you jump at the chance to dance with Jason when he is in a city near you.  He is really fun to dance with.  And if you are lucky, River will sneeze on you!

Thanks, Jason and River.  I look forward to your next visit!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

Jason leading the class in his silver pants!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

Janet and I doing our Bond Girl impressions – with spear finger

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

Jason and River. River was more interested in the grass than posing!

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

Fifty-Two Movements – It’s A Class

Posted by terrepruitt on April 6, 2013

You might have read my post about a couple of Nia Celebrities coming to the San Francisco Bay Area (for that post, click here) and around this month (April 2013).  Well, they arrived this week and have been doing classes since Thursday.  Today was the class in Palo Alto at the Equinox (Gym).  The classes are scheduled around the North Bay, East Bay, and Peninsula.  The class was great.  The 52 in the title refers to what the classes was about.  All of the classes in this series are based on the 52 moves of Nia.  I have posted about the Nia Moves before.  They are not uniquely Nia moves, but Nia has compiled them and bases our routines on them.  Nia has also set guidelines as to how they are to be done.  As I have also mentioned in my posts about the 52 Nia Moves, when they are included in a dance sometimes they are not done exactly to specifications.  Anyway . . . this class was definitely interesting.  I love the gathering of Nia people.  And when a celeb is in town the energy is astronomical.  There are – as of today, April 06, 2013, a few chances left to take a class with Debbie Rosas (one of Nia’s founders) and Nia Trainer Kevin VerEecke.  If you can make it I recommend it.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaAs I just mentioned it is always fun to gather and dance with Nia people.  This time was really great for me because several of my students were in attendance.  I love that they were able to take a class with Debbie.  She is like many successful company leaders . . . dynamic and a force of her own.  I think that when you can be in the presence of the person who started something (whether it be a fitness craze, a company, a restaurant, whatever) you get a different understanding of the workout (company, restaurant, etc.).  Even if you are just in the same space as the person and you observe them without even talking to them . . . you get a better sense of things.  Being able to be in a Nia class led by the founder of Nia is really an education.

This type of class is a different direction for Nia.  It is not a dance exercise class it is an exercise class where we do a move from the 52 moves for a minute.  The moves and the timing is not based on the music they use a timer.  Most moves were done slow, then fast, and then as fast as you can.  They are calling it Interval Training, but it seems to copy the “Intermittent Training” formula that Zumba uses.  So it reminds me of a Zumba class without the dancing.  It is truly an exercise class with loud music and a lot of sweat!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaIt is easy to do all 52 Nia Moves in an hour especially if you are doing one a minute.  With nineteen of the 52 Nia Moves being movements done with the arms, hands, and/or fingers they are easily combined with foot and body movements.  So we were even able to do a few of the moves for more than one one minute cycle.  But not all Nia routines have all 52 moves so this is another way to get a great workout in!

I am usually torn at a Nia event because I want to dance . . . . I don’t want to miss a moment, but I also want to take pictures to document the event.  This exercise class was a little easier to break away from because they were either doing the move slow or fast, so I could jump right back in and be right on the mark.

Here are a few shots that I took.  As you can see everyone is happy, sweaty, and having a fabulous time!

Have you ever met the creator of something you love?  Did you find it exciting?  Are you going to make it to one of these Nia 52 Moves classes?

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

Celebrity Visits

Posted by terrepruitt on March 23, 2013

Whether you do Nia, Zumba, yoga, Pilates, country western dance, motor-cycle race, play tennis, or just about anything there are the “Gods” or celebrities of the practice/dance/sport.  Often the “Gods” or gurus are the masters or the top teachers, but sometimes it is the CREATOR himself/herself.  That is when the event is really rockin’.  That is when the events sell out or get so crowded it is crazy.  Well, Nia is going through a lot of changes and they have been working for a couple of years training the top instructors to move up even further to become top trainers.  The male of the male-female combo that created Nia, Carlos AyaRosas (FKA Carlos Rosas) retired a bit ago, so that left the female creator to continue on.  She is coming to the San Francisco Bay Area . . . . . which is a rather large area.  She is going to be in the North Bay, the East Bay, and the Peninsula.  And it is going to be rockin’.  She and a top trainer are going to be here.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba

April 2013

Debbie Rosas is the (co-)creator of Nia.  Kevin VerEecke is a Nia Trainer.  They are going to be in the San Francisco Bay Area in the beginning of April (2013).  They are going to have seven classes.  It is going to be incredible.  Every thing has its superstars, its celebrities and these are ours.  It is really exciting.

I took my Nia White Belt Intensive at the Nia Headquarters in Portland.  The trainers doing the intensive were Debbie and Carlos.  Plus they were here for a “Spirit of Nia” tour within the last four years.  So I have met them both.  I have never met Kevin.

I am excited that Debbie and Kevin will be here sharing the Nia experience.  The classes that they are going to be doing are 52 Moves classes.  While we have a basic set of 52 Moves we don’t typically do all 52 in every Nia Routine.  We do many, but not usually all.  In these classes they are going to lead us through all 52 Moves.  There are going to be seven chances to check it out.

The first class that will be held will be with Keven VerEecke only in San Rafael.  Then Friday’s classes, Saturday’s Classes, and Sunday’s Classes will be both Debbie and Kevin.

The flyer indicates that all classes will have a different playlist.  I guess for some people that is important.  I know Nia enough to know that all seven classes could be the same EXACT playlist yet all seven classes could be totally different.  That is the beauty of Nia.  And with two masters leading the dance it wouldn’t matter.  BUT . . . the flyer does indicate all classes will have different play lists.

I hope you will take this opportunity.  Nia is always fun, but when you have the creator up in front of a room full of people who are there to dance, move, and have fun there is no way you can experience anything but MAGIC.

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

Form & Freedom, Yin & Yang

Posted by terrepruitt on January 17, 2013

I participated in a Nia Blue Belt Intensive in the beginning of November 2012.  Nia trainings are accurately named as intensive because they are intense.  They are intense because it is 50 plus hours of moving and thinking and learning and listening and exploring, etc.  It is a lot.  Nia is a great cardio dance workout, but if you want, it is a lot more.  The way things are connected is pretty amazing.  I am writing posts somewhat off the top of my head as to what my initial thoughts are in regards to the 13 Nia Blue Belt Principles.  After I get through all 13, I want to go back and write more as I read about each one and live with each one.  I also want to review the 13 Nia White Belt Principles.  At this time, I am on Nia Blue Belt Principle #9.  The principle is Form & Freedom.  The tagline is The Yin and Yang of Nia.  As I have stated in my other posts about the principles there is a lot more to them than I am writing about.  Nia is deep.  This is just off the top.

There are forms in Nia.  Some of the forms are:

-The 52 Nia Moves
-The Nia Routines
-The Seven Cycles of a Nia Workout
-All the PrinciplesDance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba
-All the Triads
-The music
-The movement forms
-The Nia 5 Sensations

Some of the freedoms are:

-The energy variety
-Personal creativity
-Silence
FreeDance
Natural Time
-Adapting the Choreography
-Movement variety
-Mixing routines
-Transubstantiation

We have a lot of things that give us form.  We have a lot of things in which we have freedom.  There is yin and yang.  The form and the freedom can be separate . . . we could just dance a song entirely FreeDance with no form at all.  Just everyone dance their own way, no choreographed steps, no guidance, no form.  Or we can marry the two.  I love that.  I love sharing with my Nia class that we are free in our form to do what we want.  We can think about what we are doing and the moves we are doing or just let the music dictate to us.

Right now the routine I am doing is full of places to have the form and the freedom.  There are many places in the routine where our feet have a specific form.  The moves, according to Carlos AyaRosas (FKA Carlos Rosas), are precise.  Our feet have a specific place, but our arms are free to move.  While our arms are moving when the concentration is on the feet you can sense the form, the structure, the precision.  But when the concentration is on the arms . . . .even if you are just letting them dance on their own to the music . . . you sense the freedom.  You can sense your spirit.  When you’ve had enough practice you can do both, have the form and the freedom.

The form is what many of us are accustomed to having, it is what we were trained to have in an exercise class. The freedom is what helps Nia be unique.  With the Nia Blue Belt Principle #9 – Form & Freedom -The Yin and Yang of Nia we get to play and it makes the possibilities endless.

Have you ever played with form and freedom?  Why don’t you try it?  Put on some music you like to dance to and get your feet moving in a specific pattern.  After a few rounds of the pattern just allow your arms to go.  Let them move freely.  Can you see how that can add up to an amazing workout?

Posted in Blue Belt, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Confessions Of This Nia Teacher

Posted by terrepruitt on August 4, 2012

I have a confession to make.  It is one I might have even confessed before.  I know I have done it before.  It is easy for me to get caught up.  I want to please people.  I want the supervisor to know that I am working to keep the students IN the class.  I want the students attending the class to like it and want to be there.  When you are a substitute instructor leading a different format than is usually taught it is very different from when you are teaching a class of the expected format.  Many people are taught that cardio – aerobic exercise – is extremely fast, high impact, and difficult so it is very hard to change that mindset.  I was asked by someone who understands both the fact that cardio does not have to be extremely fast or high impact and that people are trained to think it is, if I could do Nia a little higher because people expect cardio to be a specific way.  So caught up in wanting to give the students what they are accustomed to getting I put together a routine . . . kind of rushed . . . that didn’t have ALL the elements that a Nia class normally has.  It was not good.  It felt “off”.  I was trying to make Nia something it is not.  Nia is not Zumba.  Nia is not Cardio-Sculpt.  Nia is not extremely fast, rushed, and high impact.  Nia is not Jazzercise.  Nia is not UJAM.  Nia is not all of or any of these other names that there are for classes that are fast, rushed, and high impact.  Nia is an amazing practice.  Nia is a great workout.  Nia is a wonderful cardio dance exercise.  And I need to stop trying to make it be something it is not just because people are used to cardio a specific way.

So I did a routine that didn’t feel right to me.  I thought I would get up the next morning and do the same routine for the class I was asked at the last minute to sub, I was going to try to “bring it” to the students.  As I was getting into bed a little agitated from the “not feeling right class”, it washed over me like a refreshing revelation . . . . DO NIA!  Duh!  Bring “IT”, and make that “IT” Nia.  I got caught up and in my trying to bring the students what they are used to, I didn’t allow them the richness of something new.  The richness of Nia.

Now, I want you to understand that the Nia Technique creates wonderful routines and all we teachers have to do is learn them and teach them.  But we are also allowed to use other music, make up our own routines, mix and match the routines they have created, and make up our own katas.  Of course, we need to follow the Nia class formula and the seven cycles which contain the traditional warm-up, move it, and cool-down.  I also think when creating a routine/class – in general – it should be balanced; as an example not all songs/movements should be lateral ones or forward and back ones, there should be a mix of movement and the 52 Nia moves.  I create routines from Nia routines all the time.  So it was not the fact that I put songs together that created the not feeling right routine, it was ME.  It was ME trying to make Nia something it is not.

I need to center myself.  I need to stick to what I know and not try to give people the class they are used to.  I KNOW Nia is amazing and awesome and does need to try to be anything it is not.  I KNOW THAT.  I just get caught up.

Another point I want to make is, I am not saying those other formats are bad.  In fact, I like some of the other formats I have tried.  One of these days I might even teach another cardio format.  I am saying Nia is Nia, it is not any of the other formats and I need to remember that and let it stand on its own.  I need to remember to trust Nia and allow it to touch the people it needs to touch and let the others attend the other dance classes.  I need to remember that when I am asked to sub a class I am going to sub it with Nia and not try to make Nia be what that class usually is.  I keep thinking to myself, “DUH!”

Thank you for letting me confess and do a public face-in-the-hand-plant!

Do you EVER do that in any section of your life – try to make something be something else even though what you have is just perfect the way it is?

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

If It Looks and Quacks Like a Duck It Could Be Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on June 7, 2012

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaAre there any dance exercise classes that you know of where you are encouraged to quack like a duck?  Well in all Nia classes we like to have fun, plus Nia understands the benefits of sounding, so there is a move where we quack while we are doing it.  Of course, quacking is not limited to being done only when we do this move, but this move is actually called Duck Walk.  It is very fitting to quack while doing this move.  I know to many quacking seems silly.  Sitting and reading about it has to make it sound really silly, but in class with your feet gently slapping the floor, it seems perfectly natural.  Making noise is natural and it tends to make working out much more fun.  It is also very amazing when moves have their own sound.  The Duck Walk, of the Nia 52 Moves is one that has its own sound, “Quack!  Quack!  Quack!”

All of the 52 Moves are listed with pictures in The Nia Technique Book.  I cannot emphasize enough how helpful this book is.  If you are interested in movement in the slightest or if you are interested in the body mind connection you would enjoy this book. The Duck Walk is described on page 114 as:

“Standing with your feet slightly apart and no wider than hip width, alternately lift and then lower the toes and balls of each foot, as if you are slapping the ground to splash water in a puddle.”

So your feet can be slightly apart or as far as hip width.  Remember “hip width” means hip JOINT width.  Thigh bones straight down from your hip joints.  Then the toes and ball of foot lift.  Then you splash.  Splish splash in puddles.  As with the Squish Walk I have a different way to do this with different imagery.  When I am doing it as stated in the book, I DO think of my toes splashing in the puddles.  But when I think of a duck and its walk, I tend to put my toes out.  I think of toes out as duck walk.  That’s when the move lends to quacking for me.

Just as the same as with the Squish Walk The Nia Technique Book does not give instructions to walk while “duck walking”, but we do it all the time in my Nia classes.  This duck walk move really allows for ankle movement and helps condition the muscles on the front of the lower legs so I like to use it.  High heeled shoes — especially the ones now-a-days — have feet stuck in the opposite direction with hardly any ankle flexion so the Duck Walk is great to get those muscles moving and stretched.

While progressing forward with the duck walk it is not the same as heel lead walk even though you lead with the heel.  With the duck walk we don’t roll through the entire foot, we gently splat the foot down. It is a heel lead then splat with the rest of the foot.  That is why the imagery of splashing your toes in the puddle works so well, I bet as a child most of us have done that.

Between the quacking and the splashing it is no wonder Nia is so fun.  Adults as play!  Splish splash quack!

Did you get up out of your chair to try it?  C’mon, try it!

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Nia Technique Book and Tonight’s Dinner Recipe

Posted by terrepruitt on May 17, 2012

I often have mentioned the 52 Nia Moves.  I am taking my time posting about them, but they are in the Nia Technique Book.  You could always order a copy from Amazon if you are interested.  That is how I started my Nia practice.  In the book after the section on the 52 Nia Moves there are pages and pages of other moves too.  There is the 13 Joint Exercise, explanations of combinations of some of the 52 Nia Moves, Spinal Melts, and T’ai Chi Sways, and many more.  They are organized in the Nia Cycles.  The moves that are part of the warm up are in the Warm up section the more active moves are in the Get Moving section.  Each move has a “Classic” explanation and an “Athletic” explanation.  Nia is done in bare feet so there is no to very little impact, but that does not mean there is no intensity.  Intensity comes from BIGGER moves.  Bigger moves can be more arm movement either faster or further away from the body or both.  Bigger moves can be moving deeper into a move.  So the explanation of “Athletic” contains bigger or faster (or both) movements.  There are over 75 pages of moves.  Each with a set of pictures.  Both the classic and the athletic has pictures.  If you have the slightest interest in Nia or movement in general I would strongly recommend this book.

I felt I had to share that because there really is so much in the book.

That popped into my head as I was sitting here thinking about going to go make dinner.  Here is what we are having:

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaTerre’s version of the Rantings of an Amateur Chef’s recipe:

Cauliflower Stuffed Portobello Caps

4 large Portobello mushroom caps
most of an entire head of cauliflower
3 green onions
1/2 C cooked and chopped bacon
1/3 C milk
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 C shredded Gouda cheese
salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Cook the bacon.

Scrape out the inside of the cap to remove the stem and gills.

Chop the green onions.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the cauliflower into large pieces. Steam for 6-8 minutes. Place hot cauliflower into the blender and some of the milk.  Blend. Add milk as needed to achieve a mashed potato-like consistency. Mix with bacon and onions.

Fill caps with cauliflower mixture. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. Sprinkle with shredded chesses.  Put a few onions on top. Place on a cookie sheet.  Bake for about 15 minutes on the lowest rack in the oven.

The first time I made this I didn’t use the bacon and I will be doing that version a lot more often.  It is really good!  But I also wanted to try it with the bacon.

So I am going to go cook, then take pictures and post it all at one time!**

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaDo look at the Ranting Chef’s blog as he cooks some amazing things.  The difference between his recipe and mine is he did not determine from the get go how many mushrooms.  His recipe calls for only one half of the cauliflower head, he used bacon bits out of a package (which is uber smart because it helps keep the recipe easy!), his seasoning is pepper and pepper only, and his instructions are to cook it only for 5 minutes.

I don’t like pepper so what I do is just sprinkle each mushroom individually so that my husband, who likes pepper, can have more of that flavor, while I just barely do a turn of the pepper grinder.  I also like my mushrooms more cooked when they are stuffed.  I have made stuffed small mushrooms and find that I like to cook them a bit before hand.

It’s your turn.  Make this recipe and let me know how you like it.  Let me know how you adjusted it.

**Ok, so I didn’t like it with the bacon, but my husband did.  I like crisp bacon and putting it in with the cauliflower made it just like bits of meat in the mix.  I also forgot to mix the onions IN so ended up with them just on top.  The bacon bits from a package might make it worth it, but dealing with bacon was not worth it to me.

Don’t The Cauliflower Stuffed Portobello Caps sound yummy? 

Posted in "Recipes", 52 Moves (of Nia), Food, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Open Stance In Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on September 15, 2011

Nia is a cardio dance workout (it is really much more, but on the surface, that is what I call it).  As with many cardio workouts done to music there are a lot of moves.  Since Nia is basically a dance workout there are a lot of common dance steps and movements that many of us were taught in different forms of dance.  Some are even from different forms of martial arts or other exercise classes and modalities.  Nia has a base of 52 moves.  We call them the 52 Nia Moves.  What Nia has done is put them into categories to allow you to see what areas of the body are most associated with the move.  One of the most common moves we use in Nia classes is the Open Stance.  I have been familiar with the open stance for as long as I can remember.  I took ballet and tap when I was young.  I have done Jazzercise and other types of dance exercise classes.  Many of these types of things have an open stance.  From the first time I can remember being taught the open stance it was taught as “feet hip width apart”.  Some of you might be familiar with that.  Well, I don’t know if other modalities meant it actually that way or if I had been misled, but in Nia the open stance is actually hip JOINT width apart.

dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, Nia San Jose, Nia Los Gatos, Nia cardio dance workout, So you might be saying, “What?”  Well, go ahead, if you can . . . . stand up and into open stance.  I’m going to guess most of you don’t have a mirror in front of you . . . so look at your feet.  What do you see?  A somewhat wide stance?  Are your feet hip WIDTH apart?  Probably, because I believe that is the common instruction for “open stance”.  Stay there.  Touch your hips and thighs.  Sense how that stance feels.  Make note of the sensation of your leg muscles.  Picture your leg bones.  Are they at a slight angle?

dance exercise, Nia, Nia practice, Nia 52 moves, Terre Pruitt Nia teacherNow bring your feet closer together.  Picture your stance being hip JOINT width apart.  Most of us have hips that are larger than where our legs meet our hip socket.  Try this:  Imagine someone gently lifting you off of your feet by you head, imagine your legs are just hanging down from your hip JOINTS.  Then the huge hand that lifted you sets you gently down.  Your legs exactly in the same position as when you were hanging.  Your leg bones come straight out from your hip joints.  That is what Nia open stance is.

For me, it is much more narrow than I was taught open stance was.

My pictures are showing the difference between what I thought was open (the first one) and what I now think of as open (the second one).  I stood on the rug so the pattern would help show the difference.  Please keep in mind that everyone, everyBODY is different so the width of your feet will differ from mine, but if you keep in mind that open is not really hip WIDTH apart, but hip JOINT width apart then you too, might have an adjustment in your “open stance”.

Well, did you?  Were you taught open is hip width apart?  If you stand hip width apart is there a noticeable difference when you stand hip JOINT width apart?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The 52 Nia Moves Highlighted at the Recent Nia Jam

Posted by terrepruitt on August 11, 2009

The focus for the most recent Nia Jam was the 52 Nia Moves.  We were to pick songs in which we could highlight one or more of the 52 Nia moves.  So we moved a lot because we all wanted to really highlight the moves.  The idea was to pick one song that highlighted the move then pick another song that contained the same move that you could play with.  There was a couple of us that picked two songs with different moves so we highlighted more moves instead.  I think it worked out fine.   

Movements Highlighted included:
   
~Pelvic Circle             
~Spinal Roll  
~Heel Lead & Ball of Foot  
~Closed Stance, Open Stance, “A” Stance, and Sumo Stance,   
~Front Kick, Side Kick, and Back kicks 
~Releve   
~Lateral Traveling   
~Shimmy   
~Blocks   
~Undulation 
~Wrist & Hand movements 

We do not do all 52 Nia moves in every workout (unless we are doing the 52 Nia Move routine), but we do cover a lot of them.  The moves are not necessarily new moves, some are quite common and you will be familiar with them.  Some you could be familiar with, but not familiar with DOING, but that is part of the fun.  Come to a class and see.  I have classes in San Jose and Los Gatos.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »