Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Posts Tagged ‘Dancing with the stars’

THAT’S Not Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on October 10, 2016

I know that I have written posts about how different people think of different things as exercise.  I have written about how some people don’t think that a shimmy is exercise.  Whether they don’t THINK of it as something that should be IN an exercise CLASS or they just don’t think they get any benefit from it.  Some people just don’t think of dance as exercise.  I know I even mentioned that TV shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance have changed the way some people think.  Some people understand that dancing can be considered exercise.  But I don’t think I have ever talked about how some people don’t consider all dance dancing.  I might have but I don’t know that I have and it was something I was thinking about recently.  I was thinking that not all “dancing” is considered dancing by everyone.

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, SJCityFitI was asked to substitute teach a class called Dance Fit.  I had asked several times what “Dance Fit” was, but the response was that the students would be happy to just move to music.  I had a feeling that the person answering just wanted to make sure that they had a teacher so that they would have a class.  So I had been thinking about what I could do.  Then I was also thinking about how I was recently at a festival where I overheard some people talking about a particular person there dancing.  They were saying that he wasn’t really dancing.  They were saying that they thought he wasn’t hearing the music.  They just weren’t “getting” his movements.  And I was looking at him and I thought it was fine.  I could see how his movements fit with the music . . . to me.  I thought that he looked as if he was completely dancing in a way that his body was responding to the music.  He looked like he was in the moment.  He looked as if he was having fun.  It was fine to me.

But later I realized that not everyone thinks of all movement as dance.  A ballerina might not consider clogging dancing.  A ballroom dancer might not consider the pony (remember that move?) a dance.  Someone used to doing Latin motion with their hips might not consider a chorus line kick part of a dance.  So perhaps those women had specific ideas of what dance is and so they didn’t consider his body movements dance at all.

I think that might happen when it comes to Nia.  Some people might not consider a front kick or an upward block a dance movement.  People that are accustomed to all the Latin dance steps that are in Zumba they might not consider a jazz square a dance move.  Just like some people might not consider a shimmy something that should be in an “exercise class”, some people might think a move such as rock around the clock or a duck walk isn’t really dance and shouldn’t be in a dance exercise class.  I think I have overlooked that fact.  Hmmmm.

Well, I had decided to not try to create something or TRY to do something that the class MIGHT like – because I really had no idea.  I decided to do something tried and true.  I decided to do something I do best.  I decided to teach Nia.  And they loved it.  The supervisor was totally correct in saying that the class just loved to dance and they want to move.  They were fabulous.  We had a lot of fun.  Nia is a great “product”, it is a great technique.  And when people who like to move get to experience we get to have fun.  I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks where I get to fill in as a sub.  The students are all about movement of the body being dance and they do great.  I was concerned about it for no reason.

What about you?  Do you think of only certain moves as DANCE?  Do you have a broad definition of dance?

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Dance Exercise

Posted by terrepruitt on December 8, 2011

I was talking about Nia with my Nia students recently after our Nia Class.  They were telling me what they think Nia is.  They said that Nia should come up if they were doing a search on the internet using the term dance exercise.  I was really happy to hear that.  I always get stuck when people ask me what Nia is because to me it is a lot of things.  If you have read any of my posts on this blog about Nia you know how its principles can be applied to life and how at its very basic level it is a workout.  But way beyond that it is a practice.  When people ask me about it my enthusiasm takes over and I want to tell them ALL about Nia, when I could just stick to the basic level –  it is dance and dance is exercise.

Even though it is exercise and it is a workout it is fun.  I love that “Dancing With The Stars” really helped show people what a great workout dancing is.  Dancers have always known that dancing is a great workout–both aerobic and strength.  I think people have always known to some extent that PROFESSIONAL dancers get a workout, but I think that show opened the door to more people understanding that dancing even if you aren’t a professional is a workout.  Yes, the “stars” do end up dancing as much as professionals to learn the dances, but still for some reason it seems like it enabled people to see that dancing is exercise—but it is fun!

As with any workout the participants can put what they want into it.  If you really want to get a workout you can move bigger, farther, higher, lower, faster . . . whatever works for you to get the workout you need and want.  The possibility to move small, slow, and just be mellow is always there.  It is very versatile.  It is cardio but if you really move — especially during floorplay — it can be a great strength training workout.

I actually started teaching Nia because it was a dance exercise.  I don’t know if I have mentioned that before in this blog, but I was looking for something to teach that was very dance-y yet was exercise.  I knew a lot of women who said they loved to dance and they would like to dance but their partners didn’t like it, so they thought that a workout that was dance would be great.  It is.  It is very fun.  We dance to all types of music.  There is a lot of opportunity for self-expression.  Even when we are doing specific steps there is a lot of room for one’s own movements.

Nia was created to be fun, to address the entire being.  Debbie Rosas-Stewart and Carlos Aya-Rosas brought us this wonderful movement practice through years of hard work and research, that started in 1983.  Carlos retired at the end of 2010, and Debbie is moving Nia forward in a great direction.  Body-centered, spirit-filling, and mind-blowing.  We are dancing up a storm and loving it.  It is dance, it is exercise, it is dance exercise and if you try it you will love it.

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