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 ‘dance arts’

Nia Bundle

Posted by terrepruitt on February 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

How would you feel about a “bundle dance”?

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

Additional Play With The Nine Movement Forms (of Nia)

Posted by terrepruitt on October 16, 2014

I am learning a Nia Routine and the focus is the Nine Movement Forms (of Nia).  All routines can be an opportunity to connect with the Nine Movement Forms, but when it is the designed focus of the routine it really helps to emphasize each one.  There are nine songs to the routine and each song was created with the specific movement form in mind.  It is an easy way to practice each form.  It is a wonderful way to learn more.  There are three arts and three movement forms from each art.  The Arts are Healing Arts, Martial Arts and Dance Arts.  The movement forms are the Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais, Alexander Techinique, Yoga, T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, and Duncan Dance.

Each movement form can be used to guide the movements.  Each movement form can energize the moves.

The below is from the Nia Technique (page 101)

(Healing Arts)

“Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais:  Reflective, healing, conscious.  Move with sensory awareness and feel life as it happens.

Alexander Technique:  Transformative, exploratory, natural.  Move as a whole person, connected up and balanced.

Yoga:  Timeless, linked, expansive.  Move in ways that link your body, mind, and spirit to the outer world.

(Martial Arts)

T’ai chi:  Flowing, tender, fluid.  Float like a balloon, and move like a willow tree in the wind.

Tae kwon do:  Sharp, powerful, active.  Move with confidence, and feel* your own speed and strength.

Aikido:  Harmonizing, peaceful, cooperative.  Connect and blend with everything around you.

(Dance Arts)

Jazz dance:  Playful, peppy, sexy.  Move with pizzazz and express your most passionate emotions.

Modern dance:  Languid, moody, balanced.  Create different shapes with your body.  Play with balance and contrasts.

Duncan dance:  Soulful, spontaneous, unbounded.  Move like a child enchanted by life.”

*I believe that should say “feel”

In the song matched up with the Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais we move in the space.  Sensing our bodies and the space around us.  Sensing the space with our bodies.  The T’ai Chi song has us moving fluidly both slow and fast.  The movement is a flow.  The third song takes us to a dance art and it is jazzy.  We do jazz squares and move with pep and we snap our moves.  In the song where we are focusing on Modern dance we make shapes with our bodies.  We also sense the moods created by the different shapes.  In the Duncan dance focus song we play rushing in and rushing out.  The sixth song has moves that are to be done sharp and powerful.  It is presented first slow than fast.  And that gives the participant options to do either speed.  In the song that focuses on Aikido we do a lot of turns . . . Aikido turns or four point turns.  With the eighth song we are doing a cool down and use the idea of “long bones” and “short bones” which allows us to expand and stretch connecting to the sensation of yoga.  The last song inf our floorplay, we explore the Alexander Technique by moving from the top.

Just a different way to experience the Nine Movement Forms (of Nia).  A great way to delve deeper into Nia and its movement forms.

What do YOU think of when you think of these movement forms?  What do you think of when you think of Moshe Feldenkrais?  Are you familiar with the Alexander Technique?  What comes to mind when you think of Yoga?  What do you know of T’ai chi?  Have you ever done Tae kwon do?  Does thinking about Aikido make you dizzy?  What could you show me about Jazz dance?  Are you into Modern dance?  Do you know who created Duncan dance?

 

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Nia and Modern Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on December 1, 2009

As you might now be aware Nia includes elements from three different movement forms from three different arts. One of the arts is the dance arts and one movement form is Modern Dance.  With Modern Dance concepts added to Nia it allows us to play with balance, play with shapes, and play with space.  We can form any shape we want.  We can use arms and legs, fingers and toes, torso and head to make the shapes we envision.  We can allow gravity to pull us to the ground, or gravity to pull us heavenward.  With all that Modern Dance inspires us to do we can gain strength and flexibility.  Agility plays a part also as we shift our weight and change our speed.

Jazz Dance allows us to play and be showmen, and Duncan Dance allows us to play and use our imagination, and Modern Dance allows us to play and in addition really use our bodies.  Muscles get a great workout as we expand and contract, shifting our weight, and making shapes.  An invitation to experiment with all planes, directions, and levels only helps to confirm that our muscles will be used as we dance and play.  Bringing Modern Dance into your workout can also be an exercise in timing and speed.  Modern Dance can be the encouragement to make different combinations.  For example, walk across the floor, walk high, walk low, walk fast, walk slow, stumble and recover.

This movement form is a great way to explore the floor, you could fall gently to the earth, then rise up slowly, fall gently and spring up.  Again, multiple combinations can be a result of letting Modern Dance into the workout.  This form also suggest moving one body part and allowing others to follow, so maybe as you are on the ground your hand rises into the air and your body follows and your hand takes you around the space you are in.

Modern Dance really allows for freedom in Nia.  It gives you permission to mix things up and make the steps of a routine your own.  It is another form that gives us permission to play and make the workout fun.
 

The Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual have additional information regarding the movement forms that were blended to create Nia. The books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia and Jazz Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on September 29, 2009

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 Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts.

From the dance arts, one dance we call upon is Jazz Dance.  Jazz Dance allows us to bring in the fun!  With Jazz it is about fun, showmanship, and expression.  It is about big and little.  Many elements from Jazz are incorporated into Nia.  Isolations, syncopations, combinations, rhythm steps.*  We could do a little flick of the wrist or full body shimmy, enabling us to exercise our intrinsic muscles and show the playful side, the sexy side.  We could do a jazz square, a hip bump, or big arm circles allowing us to express ourselves.  Bringing Jazz Dance into Nia helps bring in the rhythm and it can be a lesson in agility–where we start or move a body part and quickly bring it to a stop.

There is also facial expressions that can be associated with Jazz Dance; the big smiles, the teeth, the pout, the laugh, the wink—all can be jazzy!  And of course, the hands, can’t forget “jazz hands” for one.  With that it can be an expression of self, or beats of the music, or whatever you want.  We can also do a lot of finger motions, pointing, flicking, “come here, Sexy!” gestures—all assisting in the health of the hand.

Jazz Dance brings a lot to Nia, it helps us be playful and have fun.

What moves, gestures, steps, etc. make you think “jazzy”?  What movements do you do that you could add a “jazzy sparkle” to?  And how?

Some of this information is from the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual, V3.  Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.

*V3 – White Belt Manual.

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Nine Basic Movements Forms Of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on March 31, 2009

Niais about joyful movement.  Move with joy.  Move for joy.  Move to joy.

A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts:

From the martial arts, we use moves from T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Aikido.
From the dance arts we embrace styles from Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, and Duncan Dance
And from the healing arts we are mindful of teachings from Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga.

At times we might move slow focusing on movements centered around the body’s inner core, as in T’ai chi.  We might kick or punch as one might do in Tae kwon do, and these movements might flow into a spiral motion that is associated with Aikido.  We could decide to play the showman and do the entire routine with a jazzy flair or just add movements of creating shapes, dropping and then recovering the body’s own weight as a modern dancer might do.  There is always a chance we could give in to our inner child and run free and honest with the playfulness of a Duncan dancer.  While we’re doing one these things we are keeping in mind the teaching of Moshe Feldenkrais and being conscious of sensations.  We could stretch to the top with utmost concentration one might contribute to the Alexander Technique, then move onto a dance of bone alignment increasing awareness, relaxation, and balance the could be thought of as Yoga.*

So in one workout you can experience all those things.  Strength is balanced with grace.  Fun is balanced with seriousness.  Body is balanced with mind.

The music is varied and is intended to promote the movement of the routine.  There is no doubt something for everyone.

*based on information from The Nia Technique by Debbie Rosas & Carlos Rosas

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »