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 ‘Duck Walk’

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?

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

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

Posted by terrepruitt on June 7, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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