Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 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!

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Posts Tagged ‘Carlos AyaRosas’

Nia Technique’s Outstanding Routine DVDs

Posted by terrepruitt on May 28, 2013

In my post about Nia Routines in February of 2010, I stated I would explain more about what we receive on a Nia Routine Teacher DVD.  A comment with questions on a recent post (Nia Routines I’ve Learned), reminded me that I needed to do that.  Over three years later, I am explaining what we get. I also wanted to share what is in the Nia Training/Continued Education package as a whole.  We get a LOT.  It is more than just music and routine.  The amount of time and effort and all that goes into our training DVD/package is awesome.  I know that even though I see the results and I think it is a lot, there is probably so much more that goes on in the background I would be even more impressed.  Since we get so much I am finding as I type this that it is a longer explanation than I like to have in one post.  So this will be part one of what is in a Nia Routine Teacher Training package.  When a Nia Teacher receives a “Nia Routine” there is a CD and a DVD.  We used to receive a pamphlet within the package, but now we have to print those out ourselves if we want a hard copy.  But basically a training routine package is CD, DVD, and pamphlet.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

The CD and DVD are in a cardboard holder, one side has the list of songs with the 8BC and the time shown.  The other side has the Focus and Intent that the routine was created with.  The back of the holder states the name of the routine and the creator, along with a paragraph about Nia Technique’s thoughts on routines.

The CD is a typical music CD.  It has music on it.  But as a Nia Teacher or student you know there is nothing really typical about Nia routine music.  🙂  The songs play one after the other with no pause unless the song itself has a pause before the music begins or after the song ends.  Or I guess the engineer putting the CD together could put a pause in.

The DVD consists of five sections: the Focus, Move the Move, Learn the Move, Energize the Move, and the Music.  The “Focus” portion of the DVD is the creator (or one of them) talking about the focus and the intent of the routine.  Often times they explain a bit about how the focus relates to the choreography.  For example if the focus is “Steps and Stances” it might be mentioned that there are a lot of opportunities in the routine to experience all six stances.

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“Move the Move” is the routine filmed almost as if you were taking a class.  Sometimes they change the camera angle, but it is still basically as if you are taking a class.*  The music is playing and the teacher is teaching.  *There is one routine I have in which it was filmed with the class FACING the camera the entire time.  I do not care for that at all.  I like it when the camera is BEHIND the teacher with the mirror in the shot and it is as if I am standing behind the teacher taking a Nia class.  I don’t know if there are other routines in addition to Birth that is filmed with the teachers and the class facing the camera, but I will inquire before I purchase additional routines.

Often times in addition to the teacher demonstrating different LEVELS of a move, they will demonstrate a lot of different moves that CAN be done while doing the routine.  I always have to remind myself that just because they are showing us multiple ways to do the move or multiple ways in general to move to the music it does not mean I need to put them all into the routine when I am leading it.  They are just showing examples as to what can be done.  I find it very funny that a lot of the times Carlos was not even doing what he explained the choreography to be.  To me, he often just let his spirit go and he danced to the music that he clearly loved.  In his spirit dance he was able to show a lot of different things that could be done to the music.

As you can see this post is a bit long in itself.  I have only touched upon two of the sections included on the training DVD.  So stayed tuned for part two where I give a brief summary of the sections: Learn the Move, Energize the Move, and the Music.

Do you like to take lead follow exercise workout classes where the teacher is facing you?  Or would you rather have the teacher’s back to you?

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Nia Routines I’ve Learned

Posted by terrepruitt on May 9, 2013

I teach Nia.  I actually like to say I lead Nia because to me teaching a dance is more instructive.  What I think of as teaching is the type of class where the instructor demonstrates a step or two then the students do the steps a few times, then the instructor demonstrates more steps and the students practice them.  Eventually the steps are strung together in a dance.  But in my Nia cardio classes it is just lead follow.  I do – you follow.  I give verbal instructions and/or verbal guides but it is not the type of instructional class where I show you, then you do, then we practice and then we string all the steps together.  So I guess it is not an “instructional” or “instructed” dance class.  But I do teach by example.  You follow my lead.  In order to be a Nia teacher I had to take the Nia White Belt Intensive.  I have talked about this before, but to review the White Belt is the first level of Nia.  The White Belt Intensive is over 50 hours of instruction and is open to anyone.  Individuals do not have to have the intent to teach.  The Nia White Belt Intensive is about the body so anyone is welcome to join and learn.  In order to be a Nia teacher there is an additional licensing fee.  The fee is due annually and it includes four routines that we, as teachers, agree to learn per year.  I was just looking at my DVDs.  I have two routines that I have not learned.  I have 19 that I have learned.  I have been teaching almost four and half years so I am keeping up with the four per year schedule.

Now, I want to clarify that I have learned 19 routines.  That means that I basically did the bars and have shared 19 routines with my students.  That means I roughly know those 19 routines.  I could stand up right now and lead you through some of them, but some of them I would have to look at my bars, and some of them I would have to study my bars.  But I also feel I am better at just doing.  While I want to do the routine as per the choreography, I am not as afraid as I once was to just DO the routine.

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, ZumbaWhen I am preparing to do a different routine for my class sometimes I have a chance to practice and sometimes I don’t.  I will look at my bars for each song.  Sometimes I look at the first few lines and think, “Oh yeah, I know this one.”  Then when I am leading it my body and my mind don’t remember it as well as I thought and I just dance through it, but then when I get home I look more closely at my bars or re-watch the DVD.  It really is about moving and having fun.  As long as we are moving and we are doing it close enough then it is good.  Then, like I said, I come home to get the choreography better established in my head and body!

The routines I have learned are:

Alive – Carlos AyaRosas
Amethyst – Debbie Rosas
Aya – Carlos Rosas
Beyond – Debbie Rosas and Ann Christiansen
Birth – Debbie Rosas and Collaborators
Canta – Carlos Rosas
Clarity – Carlos Rosas
White Belt Dream Walker – Carlos Rosas
Earthsong – Carlos Rosas
Global Unity
Humanity – Carlos AyaRosas
Miracle – Carlos Rosas
Opal – Debbie Rosas
Passion – Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas
Sanjana – Debbie Rosas
San Medusa – Helen Terry
Sexi – Carlos Rosas
Velvet – Debbie Rosas
Vibe – Debbie Rosas

The names of the routines that I have on my shelf that I need to learn are Butterfly and Oshun.  I just renewed so I have four routines that I need to pick out as my new routines.  Picking routines is always a challenge because everyone has such different tastes.  Some people LOVE, LOVE, LOVE some of the routines I have and I don’t love them.  So for me it is a difficult decision.  I try to pick routines that I think my students will like, but then that is just a guess.  I know which ones they like out of the ones I teach because they request them often.

If you were just picking a routine from the name which one would you pick?  As a Nia student which one out of this list is your favorite?  What about Nia teachers, which is your favorite out of this list?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 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?

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Nia Stance Sounds

Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2013

There are a few posts on my blog about sounding in Nia.  I even have a separate category for it.  See over there to the left under categories, under Nia?  Sounding is what we call making noise in a Nia class.  Sounding is great for many reasons.  Sounding is a release.  It can help release tension, emotions, spirit . . . whatever needs “releasing”.  Sounding is fun.  Sounding can assist in the stabilization of the torso.  Sounding can help ground you . . . physically, emotionally, and your spirit.  Often times when I am doing Nia both when I am teaching and when I am a student, my spirit just makes a sound.  I don’t plan it, I don’t think about it, a noise just comes out.  I “woo” a lot.  But sometimes other sounds comes out.  Sometimes the sound I make makes me laugh because I really don’t think about the sound, something just comes out.  I could be thinking of something, for example, maybe the move we are doing reminds me of a swirling skirt, so then the sound could be a “whosh” as in the sound of a skirt, or it could be a giggle of a girl twirling in a skirt.  I don’t always think about the sound I just let it out.  Sometimes I do think of the sound.  Sounding can be purposeful.  The noise can have a purpose.  I have posted about healing sounds and sounds associated with the chakras.  This post is about the sounds that are associated with Nia stances, which are part of Nia’s 52 moves.

TheDance 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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit picture in this post is an approximation of how MY feet would be placed in the various stances.  Remember that your stances would probably be slightly different.  The width would be according to YOUR body and your body’s way.  The picture is just to give you an idea and maybe help remind you of the various stances.  At this time I have a post associated with four of the six stances.

In Nia’s closed stance the sound is the vowel sound “o”.  The sound is made to “create volume in your chest cavity”.

In Nia’s open stance the sound is (to say) “balance” or “ground”.  Saying the word “balance” can assist you in your balance.  The word “ground” can assist with allowing you to feel grounded and sense balance.

The sound for Nia’s “A” stance is “aaaaahh!”.  You say it on an exhale.  Letting out all your breath until you are ready to inhale.

Sumo stance or riding stance (feet as wide apart as if you were riding a horse) has an explosive sound.  Say “ha!”  To me this helps with stabilization.

The bow stance has a sound of “u”.  The bow stance is done with either foot in front, not just with the left foot in front as shown in the example.

The cat stance (standing on one foot, with the other foot pressed against the standing leg) has the sound “wooooooo” associated with it.  This is done on the exhale.  This stance is also done on the other foot and not just the left one as in the example.

So as you are practicing the Nia stances you can use the sounds associated with them for added benefit and fun.  It is just fun to make noise.  To me it adds to the experience.  In my classes I encourage people to make any noise they want.  I also like to play with the noises, sounds, and words associated with the move.

Do you attend a dance exercise class  or exercise that encourages you to make noise?

Information regarding the sounds made with the Nia stances can be found in The Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas (NKA, Carlos AyaRosas).  The book can be purchased from Amazon.

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The Zumba Fitness Program Really Is a Program

Posted by terrepruitt on September 13, 2012

Zumba is astronomically popular.  The marketing and “it’s a party” advertising has attracted MILLIONS of people.  My first few Zumba classes were fun but I left feeling as if Zumba was not a very safe product.  Not all the classes contained a warm up and a cool down.  Most had no instruction, just the teacher pointing and making other hand signals I was not familiar with.  After having taken the required Zumba Instructor Training, I see that the Zumba Fitness Program is constructed to be safe and meets with the general fitness guidelines.  It could have been that the classes I had taken were not following the program with the prescribed class format.
 
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, ZumbaA standard guideline for fitness classes that is considered safe for the general pubic is 10 to 15 minutes warm-up and at least a 5 minute cool down. Since Zumba is marketed as being something everyone can do, the program incorporates these guidelines. Zumba instructors are trained to follow this set formula for the safety of all participants.  It is understood that many people who attend a workout class come in “cool”, it could even be that their muscles and bodies have been in one position for most of the day.  Muscles need to warm up and get blood flowing in order for there to be less risk of injury.  A warm up is necessary for the body, it is also nice for the brain so that one can “shake off” the happenings of the day and embrace the workout that is ahead.

In addition to the Zumba Fitness Program following the standard fitness guidelines in regards to a warm up, a “formula” for the warm-up section of the class was created.  The formula has three components, and if they are used correctly they should allow for a nice smooth transition into the remainder of the class.  The warm up is built into the Zumba Fitness class model to prepare you for the bulk of the class.  The bulk of the class, as you may know, has a very unique formula.

Zumba was not created to be an elite fitness class, it was meant for everyone to enjoy themselves.  There are moves and steps to follow, but each participant is allowed to add their own style and their own “flavor” — as it is called in the Zumba world.  That means not everyone will be doing it the exact same way.  Not everyone can shake their hips as the instructors do on the training DVDS and I don’t think anyone is as loose a Beto. 

While I was taking the Zumba Instructor training I kept wondering if the creator of Zumba, Alberto “Beto” Perez and the co-creator of Nia, Carlos AyaRosas know each other, even though one is from Columbia and the other one is from Mexico.  Some of the same ideas and philosophies are in both exercise/fitness programs.  To me they have a lot of ideas in common.  I had no idea how similar the programs were until I attended the Zumba Instructor training.

I have posted a bit in the past about Zumba because people are familiar with what Zumba is but not with what Nia is so they often ask me for comparisons so they can understand.  Well, in the past my answers were coming from the perspective of a Nia Teacher who had taken a few Zumba classes.  Now my answers and my comparisons will be from an instructor of both Nia and Zumba.  So I will be posting more about Zumba in the future.  I will be sharing and clarifying a bit about the actual Zumba Fitness Program.  I will also be doing my best at delivering the Zumba Fitness Program making my Zumba Fitness classes fun and accessible for everyone.

I’ll see you in class!

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Knee Sweep – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on August 30, 2012

Now, I know that I’ve been doing the knee sweep a lot longer than I have been doing Nia.  So it is true that Nia’s 52 moves are not necessarily unique to Nia, but they are part of the core of Nia.  You will find a large portion of Nia’s 52 moves in every routine.  There are correct ways to do them, but Nia allows for the body’s way and also, I believe Nia allows for the move to be incorporated into the dance.  For instance, The Nia Technique book states that the starting position for a knee sweep is the sumo stance.  I am sure that I have done a knee sweep from a sumo stance at one time, but the first dance that pops into my head where we do the knee sweep it is not from a sumo position.  But the by the book (oh, yeah, that reminds me, “BUY THE BOOK!” 🙂 ), anyway, the by-the-book version of the knee sweep starts from a sumo position, complete with arms in ready position and everything.  Then the body rises as you come up on one leg bringing the other leg up with a bent knee.  The knee crosses the midline of the body, the opposite hand “pushes” the knee out.  The knee swings out so the pelvis is open.  Then the leg comes down and the foot lands on the earth.  That is the knee sweep of Nia’s 52 moves.

The book does not indicate that when your foot comes down it is in the toes-to-the-front position, but that is how I teach it.  I don’t want my students landing on their foot with their knee out to the side.  If we are just doing knee sweeps as an exercise, maybe I would have them do that, because they would be aware of the torque in their hip, but probably not.

When I was first doing this move in Nia I was trying to do it as the book shows and as many of the people on the Nia instructional DVDs do and as the instructor does (whether it be Debbie Rosas or Carlos AyaRosas).  And that was with the knee out to the side very wide.  REALLY opening the pelvis.  But when I did that I noticed a “something” – I don’t know what it was, but it was something – in my lower back.  So I decided that opening my hip that wide and having my leg out that far was not MY body’s way, so I do not do that.  I share with my students that I found the comfortable spot to be about as far as my forearms can reach.  I “glue” my elbows to my sides and hold my forearms out to the side.  As far as they can go is as far as I allow my knee to go.  That is what works for me.

Some of the time that we are doing the knee sweep it is at the end of a “up-two-three-four (knee sweep), back-two-three-four (knee sweep)”.  So that would not allow for the sumo position to be the start.  Other times we are standing upright.  As I said, I am sure I have done it from the sumo position because I bet it is in a routine I am not thinking of.  But the ones I am thinking of it is done from a walking or standing position.

The amazing thing about the knee sweep is that it calls for the knee to cross the midline of the body.  So that means that if you were doing a left knee sweep (with your left leg) your left knee would enter into the right hemisphere of your body.  If you were doing a right knee sweep (with your right leg) your right knee would enter into the right hemisphere of your body.  It is a great thing when your limbs cross the midline.  It helps stimulate the brain.  So there is a reason in many exercise routines and cardio classes that we have you do “cross overs”.

The knee sweep is one of those moves that requires balance.  Since at one point you are standing on one leg, you will be able to improve your balance or practice what you have.  Also the moving of the leg helps with that stability.  Standing on one leg helps with strength and opening the hip helps with mobility and flexibility.   The knee sweep of Nia’s 52 moves does a body and brain good!

Are you familiar with this move?  Have you done it before in your exercise class?  Did you give it a try?

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Squish Walk – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on June 2, 2012

Nia is the same as many things, the more you do it the more accustomed your body becomes to the movement.  When you first try swinging a bat or a golf club it seems as if there are so many things to think about.  The placement of your feet, the bend in your knees, the sinking of the hips, what your hands are doing, what your elbows are doing, where your chest is facing, to move or not to move your shoulders.  Then there is your head, your eyes, and – oh yeah – the ball.  So much to remember.  Then as you practice you forget that you even were onceDance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia having to remember all that.  You are able to just “let go” a bit and play the game.  Dance exercise is the same way for some.  There are moves in Nia that we do, the 52 moves.  At first the body might be so busy trying to do it correctly it is not allowed to play, but once the moves are learned there is time to play.  In a Nia routine a move is often repeated enough so it can be learned and then the play can begin.  But there is still a technique, there is still a right way to do it in order to get the benefits from it as was the intention of having the move be a part of Nia.

One of the moves that I sometimes find challenging is the Squish Walk, the way Carlos AyaRosas (FKA Carlos Rosas), told us how to do it.  I had thought it was rising on the ball of one foot, then squishing that foot down, then rising on the other ball of the foot, and alternating.  The imagery is that of squishing oranges under the heels.  I had thought it was one whole foot on the ground before bringing up the other, but that is not how he instructed us.

His instructions were to be on the both balls (of the feet) at the same time.  Not all the way up on both feet but one heel HIGH and one lowering and switching like that.  The foot that is flat on the ground (whole foot) is not there long because it comes right back up.  I found this method much more challenging than the one foot down and the other foot up.  The method Carlos had us do tends to work the calves and shins more than the other method.

The Nia Technique Book states one foot is down (whole foot on the ground) before bringing the other foot up.  Both methods work the lower legs, improving strength and flexibility.  Neither method is actually a walk.  We are not progressing forward.  Although the squishy movement could be incorporated into a walk.

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, NiaWith the method in the book, I usually use the image of high heeled shoes.   Lift one heel as if you are showing off a new high heeled shoe.  The concentration is on the lifted heel.   Then switch heels.  With the method Carlos taught I think more of oranges.  The concentration, to me, is more on the squish.

In the Nia routine we have been doing this past month in my Nia Classes we do something they’ve dubbed the “double squish walk” which is rising at the same time on both balls of the feet.  Then the squish is on bringing both heels down at the same time.  Double Squish.  I just call it up on the balls of your feet, since it doesn’t seem very squishy and it is not like either method.

I invite you to try both methods of the squish walk.  Lift one foot onto the ball of the foot, then set it down and lift the other foot.  Alternate.  And try, lifting up on both balls of the feet, then start to lower one to ground, then alternate.  It is as if in one method both feet end up on the ground and with the other method both feet end up on the balls of the feet.  So fun, the different ways to do the moves yet, both ways are to help condition the lower legs to help “you move safely with different speeds and intensities”.  In other words be sturdy on your feet as you move and dance through life!

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

Choreography – The Accidental “Click” – FreeDance Stage 7

Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2012

The principles of the different belts in Nia provide a foundation for our Nia practice.  There are 13 Principles in the Nia White Belt.  The fourth principle is FreeDance, this principle has eight stages.  Eight things you can focus on that can become a part of FreeDance.  When I attended my Nia White Belt Intensive we danced through these stages when we danced FreeDance.  Dancing through the stages is something that can be done for fun.  It doesn’t have to be because you do Nia.  It can help you express yourself by turning on some music and applying the stages to the music.  Dancing through the stages is also used as a technique for Nia teachers to become better aquainted with the Nia music.  It is a tool that can help in learning a Nia routine.  The seventh stage of FreeDance is Choreography, the tagline is:  The Accidental “Click”.

I mentioned in my post about the eighth stage of FreeDance, Nia Class – Levels 1, 2, 3, that I often skip over dancing the first six stages of FreeDance when learning a Nia routine.  Part of the reason is because I actually forgot about it being a step.  I don’t skip them entirely, I do FreeDance about four of the stages to the music, but I don’t do all of them.  I do believe that doing all six can be a great tool, so as I mentioned, I am working on implementing this action back into my “learning of a Nia routine”.  Today in fact I started employing it with a the next routine I am learning.

Stage 7 of FreeDance, Choreography – The Accidental “Click”, is something that probably happens to all dancers and group fitness teachers alike.  It kind of seems to happen in more than just dance actually, but with dancers the “click” is to the music.  Often with the eight stages of FreeDance you are using more than one stage at a time.  With experiencing the accidental click there is going to be stage two going on.  There is going to be a lot of listening.  The listening is to ALL of the music; the silences, the beat, the tempo, the instruments, the words the vibrations–all of it.  With Nia we are taught to dance to all music, not just the kind that we turn on and can’t help but move too.  We are taught to move to music we might not actually like.  Many people are the type that when you turn music on something on their body starts moving.  A foot might start moving, a head might bob, fingers might tap, this happens often.  There seems to be some songs that EVERYBODY moves to, they just can’t help it.  But then there is music that often clears the dance floor.  The “everybody move to” music is easy to dance to.  But the floor clearing kind sometimes can be difficult to dance to.  In Nia we are taught to dance to it all.  We are taught to listen to it all.

I will be the first to admit that sometimes there are songs I don’t like in a Nia routine.  Sometimes there is just one noise that is to incessant or a beat that feels off, whatever the reason, I don’t like it all.  Sometimes I like the music but not the moves.   Sometimes I just can’t get the choreography and the music to mesh—in my head or in my body, whatever it just doesn’t work.  So I keep doing that kata until it “clicks”.  Eventually it will because Debbie Rosas Stewart and Carlos AyaRosas are great at creating routines, but sometimes it takes me a bit.  The “click” is what state seven is about.

Stage seven is connecting to the sensation of your body.  I think that often times I “don’t like it” (it being either the music or the move or whatever it is that is hanging me up) is all in my head.  So if and when I stop thinking and get into the sensation of the body, I will find that the moves DO go with the music, I was just thinking they didn’t.  Amazing how the thinking gets in the way of moving so often.

Here you have it the seventh stage of Nia FreeDance.  Yes, I am posting about them backwards, from 8 to 1.  It just happened that way.  The days I went to type up a post my eyes fell on “Nia Class – Leve 1, 2, 3 for inspiration.  So now I am going through the stages backwards.  I bet even if you aren’t trying to learn a dance routine you can think of or recognize things in your life that click.  Could be you are trying to remember a way to do something and you do it over and over and keep referring back to the instructions then one day “click”.  In Nia it’s Choreography where we eventually find The Accidental “Click”, but in life it could be with anything.  “Clicks” happen all the time.  Even if you aren’t learning a dance routine, you’re familiar with that click, right?

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

Looking for . . . .Love, Purple Puppies, Marilyn Monroe

Posted by terrepruitt on October 6, 2011

Funny, I was about to type that I post mostly about Nia since I am primarily focused on teaching Nia, but right now I looked at my Categories and I have 111 post under Nia and 111 post under Misc. Funny. This post will fall under Misc.  This post is about some of the search terms I see. Sometimes I see people using a question as a search term. I always wish I could contact that person via e-mail to answer their question. I have thought about posting replies, but I haven’t done that. I am often surprised and sometimes shocked at some of the things people search for. I am laughing right now at the most popular search term since I have been blogging. It is funny because WHO thinks of these things? Why would anyone actually be searching for it? I am actually very happy — now that I think about it — that I posted about it because apparently people want to know. Do you? Have you ever wondered about a puppy that is purple? Seriously “purple puppy” is the biggest search on my blog. Hilarious, don’t you think?

dance exercise, Nia classes, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia teacherIt is especially funny since I just happened upon the purple puppy and her pink sister and I thought it was so oddly cute that I decided to post about it  Makes me laugh that other people are curious about purple puppies. Makes me wonder why people are curious about purple puppies.

The next biggest search term is relevé. See, that makes sense to me. I under stand people wanting to know what it is or how to do it. Or just wanting more information about it. There are people who dance that might have heard that term but not being a ballerina, might not know what it is. Or someone wanting to be a ballerina might want some hints and tricks. That one makes sense to me.

The next one is Voss Water. I am somewhat surprised that Voss water isn’t higher on the list. Seems as if for a long time I had been seeing that come up again and again and again. But it is number three.

Number four is Carlos AyaRosas. That is nice. Carlos is the co-creator of Nia. His name was Carlos Rosas, but near the end of his career with Nia he changed it to Carlos AyaRosas. I love that people are searching for information on him. I imagine they are people who love Nia and they are wondering where he is and how he is doing. I believe he is in Texas with his new wife. And I have faith they are doing wonderfully.

I am not sure about you, but I was surprised by number five. Are you ready? Purple puppies. Plural. So not only do people search for purple puppY, they search for purple puppIES. I wonder what they want to know? I wonder if my post gives them any information they want to know. As I scroll through the entire list of search terms I see even more searches for the purple puppies just phrased differently.

The next popular search is optical illusion. That one is big. I see that one comes up a lot with the plural version search and all of the elements of the optical illusion; horses, babies, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein. Funny. That post gets a lot of hits. I can understand that, who doesn’t love an optical illusion. They are so cool. Tricks of the eyes and brain.

Well, I was just looking at the search terms and they often make me laugh, although today there were not any funny searches, but I think the next time there are I will write a post. Maybe you can help me figure out what some of them mean. Or maybe we can just have a chuckle. I am still laughing about the purple puppies.

Posted in Just stuff, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »