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

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

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Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Rosas’

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.

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, CYCDFitness Must Address the 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?

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Claw Hand – Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on January 20, 2015

As you may know if you have perused my blog or website, Nia has moves called the 52 Moves of Nia or Nia’s 52 Moves.  Moves concentrated and focused on.  Generally moves included in all of the routines.  Not all the moves are included in all of the routines, but the routines are jam-packed with most of the moves.  The moves on the list have physical benefits.  Some are fun or silly so they can have mental or spiritual benefits.  And in this case I am talking about your spirit or inner child, the part of you that likes to have fun, the part of you that you might not get to display in your regular everyday work life.  So not the religious type of spirit but the kind of spirit that you think of when you say or hear “school spirit” or inner child.  The fun playful side of you.  To me, one of those moves is Claw Hand.

Claw Hand is a great move.  It is super easy.  It can be done all on its own.  You can just stand or sit and do claw hand.  You can add it to some foot work.  You can add it to some complicated choreography.  You can make it soft or hard.  You can do it fast or slow.  It is very versatile.

You can even make noises when you do it.  You can growl like a big cat or a bear.  You can meow like a kitty-cat.  You can make any noise you want.  It is fun stuff.

As I said you can do it standing or sitting and this moves gets done in to all the stances and steps in the Nia Routines.  The Nia Technique Book (by Debbie and Carlos Rosas) recommends it be practiced in all the stances and steps.  And that is a great idea since we use it with all of them.  The routine I am doing now even add it to blocks.  We block in with claw hand and we block out with claw hand.  Why not?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoYou can probably figure out what this move is from the description but I tell you what the book says:

“Mimic a claw with your finger and claw the air, as if you were in a cat fight.  Keep your wrists relaxed, and sound a cat’s hisses as you do the move.  Use both hands.”

The benefits can include strengthening your fingers and hands.

In addition to keeping a relaxed wrist I like to use the claw shape to bring tension into my entire arm.  I imagine I am really clawing something.  I figure I would need strength to do that so I put my entire arm into it.  You can use one had to “claw” and the other hand to feel the muscles in your arm (forearm and upper arm) contract.

The book states that this move can increase your sense of power.  When I am doing it with muscles contracted as if I am REALLY clawing something I do have a sense of power.  I imagine that is how an animal feels when they wield their claw.

This move allows you to practice bending your fingers too.  That helps with the mobility of the joints.  I like this move.  I like to add sounding to it.

Ok, so stop and try it?  What sound do you like to do best with your Claw Hand?

 

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Dancing Close

Posted by terrepruitt on September 16, 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, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classesThere is a Nia Routine called Miracle.  It is fun routine.  Like many Nia Routines it has form and freedom.  There are two songs in which the foot work is pretty much the same throughout each song (form), but within the sameness you have the freedom to switch it up and add your own style.  The choreography gives you the steps, the area where your feet are to be in dancing to the music, but you can decide how to get there and how your foot will be placed into that area.  Form and Freedom.  There is also something in this routine that Carlos Rosas (NKA, Carlos Aya-Rosas) calls the “Nia Bundle”.  It is basically where the entire class gets very close together and dances.  This is not easy for people to do.  Why?  There are at least as many reasons why this challenges people as there are people.  But there are many benefits to dancing in a “bundle” and as a group.

One benefit of dancing in a close bundle is to practice our proprioception.  In close proximity to other Nia Dancers we want to be aware of where our arms are, where are feet are, where are hands are.  Are our limbs close to our body or are they out as far as they can go?  Are we going to step on someone’s toes?  Are we going to bump into someone?  While the goal is not to step on nor bump into anyone, it is understood there might be some contact . . . but not often.  For those in my classes that participate in the Nia bundles we do a good job being aware and moving in a close group.

Also dancing so close to each other helps us be aware of each other. Not just the physical presence of the other students, but there is eye contact, there is giggling, there is connection and a sense of community when you are brought really close together.  No one is in their own space, we are sharing space.  We move as one in space.  We move as individuals in a shared space.  We learn to dance together.

Another benefit could be that we – as individuals are pressed into moving in different ways.  Finding a new way to move our body in dance because we are so close to someone.  How can we move our elbows without elbowing someone?  How can we dance to the music and express our spirit in such close proximity to others?  Ahh . . . yes . . . new-to-your-body-moves just might be discovered.

I always laugh at the thought of someone looking in the dance studio at the community center and seeing all of the space with 12+ of us all clumped together in the middle or in a corner.  I imagine them thinking that odd.  I imagine them thinking, “WHAT are they doing?”  Then we throw our hands up in the air and sing.  It is quite fun!

So despite some people’s misgivings about dancing really close in a Nia bundle there are those who join in with gusto and reap the benefits.  Does your dance exercise class have a bundle?  What would you think if you were to peek in a class and see it?  Would you be a bundle dancer?

 

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Nia’s Five Sensations, Well, Two and One Fourth

Posted by terrepruitt on May 29, 2014

Aaaahhhh!  I did it again.  I do it all the time.  I see things on Facebook that I want to look at but I don’t have time or when I see it is it not the right time to look at it so I open it in another window.  Then I can watch it, read it, do it (whatever) days later.  But then I forget who posted it.  This is a Nia video so I know that one of my Nia friends posted it.  It took me days to get around to watching it.  Then once I did watch it I was soooo disappointed.  It is a video of Carlos Rosas (NKA Carlos Aya-Rosas) at a conference talking about the 5 Sensations of Nia.  As he is talking I start looking at the time left and I keep thinking, he’s not going to make it.  I kept HOPING he would, but I kept thinking, he is not going to make it.  He didn’t.  He was halfway through (or so it seemed) his talk about Mobility when the video stopped.  Sad face.  That is why I was disappointed.  I was sad because we don’t get to hear all five sensations.  But . . . watching the ones he did get through are well worth it.  It is just a bummer that we didn’t get information on all five.

I am not sure what year it is, but you will see that they are being referred to as Debbie and Carlos Rosas.  Which I always thought that eventually they were referred to as Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.  But that is not the point of this post or the video I was just trying to see if I could have an idea of what year it was, but again . . . not that important because the information is tremendous.

The information is very helpful no matter when it was recorded.  Carlos first walks you through some things you can sense.  He connects them to the 5 Sensations.  If you’ve read a few of my posts about Nia you might be familiar with my belief that Nia takes everyday things you are familiar with and probably aware of and connects it to Nia ideas.   If you watch this you can get an example of them doing that in the time from 2:45 to 7:00.

After the initial connection to the five sensations, the first sensation Carlos defines is Flexibility.  He describes it as energy moving out.  So not just stretching, but energy moving out.  Then he talks about Agility.  He describes that as a quick start stop.  He uses the adjective “explode”.  This is a very entertaining part of the video.  Carlos is a very funny speaker.  Then he gets a few minutes into a mobility.  He describes that as continuous movement.  He talks you through a bit of it, then the video stops.

Even though we only get to see two sensations and a portion of mobility it is still great information.  I am not giving you too many details because I want you to watch it.  It is so much better from the creator than from me just typing what he is saying.

This was posted by Nia, in addition to watching this video you can go to the Nia Channel on Youtube (click here) and see other videos they have posted.  Also, you can go to NiaNow.com and watch recordings of classes.  From the home page scroll through the pages and you will find videos of Nia classes.  You can dance right along with Debbie and other trainers!

I invite you to watch the video and participate with his exercises to connect you with the sensation of Flexibility, Agility, Mobility, Stability, and Strength (this is the first portion I mentioned).  Then stick with it for even more connection to Flexibility and Agility.

 

Well, what do you think?

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The Creation Of Space

Posted by terrepruitt on November 30, 2013

I am certain that I have mentioned the fact that Nia changes.  Like many things it grows, it morphs, it improves, it changes, yet it remains the same.  The basics stay the same.  The core of it stays the same, but as time goes on it morphs.  Sometimes it is the verbiage and the names of things, but it basically stays the same.  It has been a year since I have taken the Nia Blue Belt Intensive.  In that intensive we were given a Manual from August 2006 and while we were being trained we were told that a new manual was soon to be released along with some new ways of explaining, talking, and learning things.  So part of what I quote here might be a little different from what is being taught now, but the idea and the process is the same.  The process is Creating Space.

In an intensive, before every session we gather and create the space.  This practice was discovered as something done in martial arts.  Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, the creators of Nia, recognized its value and brought it into Nia.  It is the responsibility of the participants to create the space.  It is the responsibility of trainers to hold the space.

The Blue Belt Manual states:  “Creating space is the conscious act of preparing the environment, which includes your body.”

It is an incredibly powerful act that enables an individual and a group to become prepared for receiving.  It is — at its core — coming into stillness.  In preparation for creating the space we use a prescribed process.  There is a schedule that is kept.  A bell is rung seven to ten minutes before we are to start creating the space.  This allows for people to wrap up any conversations they might be involved in and to do any last minute things that need to be done.  Then there is a five minute bell and another one at one minute.  Then, the students create a circle in which we sit quietly while we create the space.  The things we do is quiet the mind, stop the inner dialog and just let the mind rest and become open to hearing and receiving the teaching that is about to happen.  The body is also stilled.  The emotions are balanced and not taking over.  We are connected to our higher self . . . the manual says, “open, but you are not seeking at the moment”.

A main point is to not allow for distractions of any kind.  No physical distractions . . . that is one reason why we sit still.  No mental distractions . . .that is one reason why we stop the inner dialog and the thinking.  All four bodies, Body-Mind-Emotion-Spirit (BMES), are stilled.

The space we create is “a way to set up an energy environment that supports your practice and learning.”  It really is a very helpful and powerful tool to help with the learning process.  We continue to sit in the space until the trainer interrupts us by thanking us.

I believe that many things could benefit from the creation of space; a meeting, family dinner time, Nia classes, a yoga practice, any exercise, and many more.  I think it is a good idea sometimes to clear your head and body of distractions in order to concentrate fully on the “task” at hand.  I know that for me this practice really works well in the intensives.

Is this something that you think you could benefit from?  What types of tasks or activities do you think you could create space for?

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Touching – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on September 17, 2013

I am not certain “touching” is included in any other workout.  I am not certain if it is included in any other cardio dance exercise.  Now I am not talking about “putting your hands on your hips as you shake them” or “putting your hands behind your head as you advance forward” or “touch your elbow to your knee” or “putting your hands on your shoulders”.  I am not talking about that type of touching.  I am talking about touching.  Touching for the sake of touching.  Touching to gather sensation from your hands.  Gathering information from the nerves in your fingers, palms, and the backs of your hands.  In Nia we touch.

Touching gives us a lot of information.  A Nia Routine might have us touching the air around us.  We touch to sense the air.  We touch the space around us.  All around us.  Above our heads, behind us, below us.  We use our open palms and webbed spaces.  We use the backs of our hands.  We push and pull the energy.  The Nia Technique book, by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, states “Practicing Touching is excellent training for increasing your Sensory IQ and for improving body awareness.”  Touching the space that surrounds the body also moves the energy around — as mentioned the push and the pull.  In addition to moving the energy you can draw energy in through the touch or send it out.

There is also the touching we do to things.  We can touch things while we dance in a Nia class or throughout our day.  In a dance class we can touch the floor, the walls, the mirror, the other things in the room.  They give us information through touch.

We can also touch our skin and our own bodies to gather information.  We can touch to create heat.  We can touch to supply energy to a specific body part.  We can touch to heal.  We can touch to allow for sensation or attention.  Touching brings awareness.  If you are touching your elbow, as an example, with the touch you receive information from two sources.  One is your hand that is doing the touching.  It senses your elbow.  It might feel dry skin, causing you to think you need lotion.  The second source is your elbow.  Your elbow senses the hand.  You might think, your hand is soft/warm/moist.  Exchange of information.  Awareness.  Attention.  Touch is amazing.

No matter whether we are touching the space around us, the things around us, or our own bodies we can use fingers, palms, and back of hands.  With different “touches” we are exchanging different information.  Moving and/or releasing and/or gathering energy.  Touch is a powerful tool in the Nia toy box.

Another way touch can be applied is in the common way of touching as measurement.  In the beginning of class, say, before your body is warmed up, you can only touch as far as your shins.  Then after was have moved warming the muscles all of the attachments you can easily bend all the way over to touch your toes.  Touch.  It is a great thing to use for many reasons.  In Nia we use touch.  Touching is one of Nia’s 52 Moves.

What sensations have you received today from things you have touched?

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Shimmy From The Back

Posted by terrepruitt on September 3, 2013

I was looking for something to post about today and I thought, “Hmmm . . . . let’s check out the Nia 52 Moves list on my site and see what I have yet to write about.”  Much to my HUGE surprise, I have not posted about the shimmy.  I am shocked.  The shimmy is a very often used move in Nia Routines. . . heck, the shimmy is an often used dance move in many, many, many dances.  So I am shocked I have not addressed this before.  I think that the shimmy is somewhat misunderstood.  I believe, from what I have experienced, that many people think of the shimmy as a chest move.  I have sensed great hesitation in many people when it comes to executing the shimmy.  It seems as if people might consider it a boob shake.  Some women don’t want to do it and neither do some men.  I mean, why would either want to shake their breasts in a cardio dance exercise class?  To me, thinking it is a frontal shake is a misconception.  While, yes, for many people the front DOES shake and move in a shimmy, that is NOT where the concentration of the movement is.  The shimmy comes from the shoulder blades/back.

The Nia Technique Book* says:  “Vibrate and shake your shoulders, standing upright or moving front and back, as if you are shaking water off.”**

I think that once the focus of the move is taken off of the chest, some people feel more comfortable with the move.  It is not primarily moving your chest/breasts/boobs around.  It is moving your shoulders and your back.  Since our front is connected to the back, then, yes, our chest will move but the movement will be different than if you are purposefully just moving what is on the front side of your body.  There are several ways to learn and/or practice the shimmy, here is one.  First of all think: “BACK/SHOULDERS” not front of body.

With your thoughts and your intent shifted from the front to the back you can apply the correct motion.  One way to start from scratch with this move is to lie down.  Lie on your back, then lift one shoulder off the ground.  Push your shoulder blade forward, jutting your collarbone out.  Then bring that side back to the ground.  Then do the other side.  Push, jut, back down.  Now push the first side again and as you allow the shoulder to come to the earth push the other shoulder forward.  Continue to alternate.  Only allow one shoulder up at a time.  While you are pushing forward keep your shoulders down toward your hips (not down toward the ground).  Keep the space between your ears and your shoulders open.  So you are not shrugging your shoulders up to your ears, you are pushing them from the BACK to the sky.  Do this until you feel you have the sensation in your body that when you sit up you will still have the correct motion.  Vary the speed.  Play with the size of the movement.  Go for smooth and not jerky.

If you are not starting that far back, from scratch, then stand and concentrate on the shoulders going forward and back.  Again, keep the shoulders down.  This helps me with the forward back motion, otherwise they might start creeping up into that scrunching posture.  Eventually you will be able to just move your shoulders forward and back with nice relaxed (down) shoulders.  But in the beginning it might be something you have to think about in order to ensure the front back motion and not up and down.

This move is great for isolating the muscles that assist with good posture and balance.  It is also a great stress reliever.  It is fun to let out sound while you are shimmying.  You don’t even have to waver your voice if you are shimmying vigorously enough, the movement causes the waver.  FUN stuff!

As mentioned we do the shimmy a lot in our Nia Classes.  Since we do it a lot we do it in many different ways . . . fast, slow, by itself, with other moves . . . it is just one of those great moves to throw into the mix.

I see many, many, many people who are challenged by this move.  There are many reasons for that.  I also see a lot of people’s movement change once they adjust the focus from the front to the back.  I see those proverbial light bulbs come on!  Shift the focus and let your body move!

When you shimmy, where is your movement focus?  Did this post alter your movement focus?  Can you shimmy so vigorously that your voice wavers with your movement?

*written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas / **page 138, The Core

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Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on June 27, 2013

Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot is certainly not unique to Nia.  Many dance modalities incorporate this move.  In fact this move is incorporated into every day life.  How often are you moving forward only have to stop and move back?  You could be in line at the store or anywhere when the person in front of you moves back towards you so you take a step back.  While you might not “hang” out on the ball of your foot as we do in Nia you more than likely don’t take a step backwards heel first.  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, ZumbaSo, yes, Nia has taken moves that might be done in other dance practices, martial arts, and even everyday life and put them in their list of Nia’s 52 Moves.  Nia then weaves the moves into the Nia Routine choreography.  This move Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot is part of our Base Moves.  It is done with the feet and legs and they are a part of the base.

This move is described on page 123 of the Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas and you can purchase it from Amazon.

As I have said many times there is a proper way to do all moves and while you are practicing them and learning them you do it the proper way.  Then as you come across it in a Nia class while doing a Nia routines your body will know the proper way yet be able to adapt to the choreography that you are dancing at the moment.

So to practice this move you can start in Open Stance.  Then with one leg step back onto the ball of foot.  When stepping back pull the leg straight behind not to either side.  Keep the foot parallel to the stationary foot, don’t turn the heel.  As is indicated step back onto the ball of the foot.  Keep the spine up and the heel high off of the earth.  Then shift your weight onto the foot of which you just stepped back on and take the other foot off the ground.  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, ZumbaYour torso is upright, pelvis, chest, shoulders, chin, eyes facing forward.  Do the same movement with the other foot.  You don’t necessarily always have to start in open stance.

After you are comfortable with the stationary start, walk around and stop and step into the move.

This move helps with the mobility and flexibility in the foot.  It also helps create or improve stability in the ankle.  It helps with balance, especially if you hang out for a measured amount of time on the ball of your foot!

At the moment I can think of one routine in which we step back onto the ball of foot as a large portion of one of the dances.  I know we step back all the time, but in this routine I think of one of the songs as “showcasing” this move.  The choreography calls for lifting the leg of the foot that is off the ground.  Or doing a knee lift.  So that is a good example of the variations that Nia choreography uses with its 52 Moves.

Well, what do you think about this move?  Can you see how it helps with mobility and flexibility in the foot?

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Nia – Sink and Pivot Table Wipe

Posted by terrepruitt on June 22, 2013

One of Nia’s 52 Moves is the Sink and Pivot Table Wipe.  Ha!  Sounds funny.  I always think of cleaning when I say this move in class, but not many people LIKE to clean so I don’t like to remind them of cleaning while we are in our Joy!  There are many other ways to describe the movement, but “table wipe” really gets the point across.  It could be a dramatic sweep of the table.  Regardless of what spirit might have me say in the midst of the move there is a particular way to do it.  As with all of Nia’s 52 Moves there is a specific way to do it.  And . . . as I have said . . . often times the specifics are adjusted to work into the song and the moment’s choreography.  To me the Sink and Pivot Table Wipe is a combination of an arm movement and a bow stance.

To practice the Sink and Pivot Table Wipe you start in an A Stance.  Doing one side at a time, say the left, you would place your left arm out.  As you lift up your left foot you turn your body towards the right, your left arm sweeps across the horizon to the right.  Your left foot lands gently on the earth on the ball of your foot and your left leg is bent.  Your right leg is also bent.  The bent legs become the “sink” part of the move.  Your arm sweeping is the wiping part of the move.  That “table” part is the imaginative part of the move to assist in knowing how the arms sweeps.  The arm is straight out and just moves parallel to the ground.  Doing the other side, you would you would place your right arm out.  As you lift up your right foot you turn your body towards the left, your right arm sweeps out and around to the left.  You place your right ball of foot gently on the floor with your right leg bent.  Your left leg is also bent.  The legs are similar to a bow stance.

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, ZumbaIn most instances — the ones I can think of — in the choreography, I usually do a tiny hop so that my front foot ends up with the toes facing the same direction as the foot in the back, the foot that is “ball of foot”.  So as I continue to say, the instructions in The Nia Technique book* show the exact perfect way to do a move.  Which is the way to learn it, but then once you know the move the choreography dictates the exact way it is done.

The book recommends the word “Whoosh” be said while doing this move.  Of course that is just one of many words and sounds that can be made.  Sounds are dictated by so many things.  The “Whoosh” can be used in the practice of the move, if you would like.  When in a Nia class anything goes!

I believe this move is a great stability move because as I said I am normally moving both feet in order to sink, pivot, and wipe the table so I need to “land” stable.  Also, I think it is great for the legs because any sink type of move helps condition them.  It is also good for coordination because you are moving both the upper body and lower body at the same time, but in a little different manner.

Tee hee . . . . it is really great for a lot of things, depends on what you put into it.  The last couple of times I did it in the current Nia routine I am doing I had the class stretching the arm as far as they could reach as they wiped that table.  It was a HUGE table and we wanted to wipe it all in one pass!

So what do you imagine you are doing when you do this move?

*The Nia Technique written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas

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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?

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