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

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 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!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘grapevine’

Something New To Something Old

Posted by terrepruitt on November 18, 2014

I have posted about Nia’s 52 Moves.  They are moves that Nia has decided to include in the Nia Routines.  They are moves that work the entire body.  They exercise the brain and the nervous system.  As I have explained before they are not moves unique to Nia.  Many dance modalities and exercise modalities incorporate them into their practices. It is somewhat like Bikram Yoga in that they have a set number – 26 Postures – that they move through.  The moves are yoga moves, but if you were to practice Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga) you would know which poses you are going to be doing.  That is what Nia has done.  They have just gathered 52 Moves and we use them in our Routines.  Of course, not ALL moves we do in a Nia Routine are part of Nia’s 52 Moves.  We do more than just those 52 movements.  Sometimes we do other dance moves.  Sometimes the movements we do can be likened to actual dance moves.  There is one move that we do that I compare to a Pas de Bourrée.  Or more accurately what I learned as the Pas de Bourrée.

Today one of my students asked me what I was saying and I said it so fast and learned it so long ago I never really thought about it.  So I decided to look it up and give it a little attention.  After class I was thinking about when I first learned it and it was so long ago I don’t even know where I learned it from.  It could have been my brief foray into tap and ballet.  I am going to assume so.  It seems like I don’t know where I learned things like Kick Ball Change, grapevine, Cha-Cha, and the Pas de Bourrée.  I am also thinking that I learned it when I was young because I don’t remember ever researching it.  Where I think I would be more intimately familiar with the name had I learned it as an adult.  But then . . . I really remember also learning it as a “drunken sailor” so . . . I don’t know.

Carlos Aya-Rosas (Nia’s co-founder and the choreographer of the Aya Routine) does not call it a Pas de Bourrée in the routine Aya he actually just puts his feet together then out and that is how he describes it.  I instruct it as a Pas de Bourrée.  But it is not a Ballet Pas de Bourrée which has one lifting up on ones toes.  So that could be why I think of it more as a “drunken sailor”.  That visual really helps people do it.  Although in some venues that might not be the best of descriptions.  It is also like trying to walk on a swaying ship.

So as I said, Carlos, brings his feet together then steps out.  When I do it I cross my foot behind, shift my weight and come up a little bit on one foot then step out.  It is more of a Jazz Pas de Bourrée than a ballet one.  So three steps (Jazz) as compare to four to five steps (Ballet), with no pliés or pointes.

The Free Dictionary says:

pas de bour·rée  (pä d b-r, b-)
n. pl. pas de bourrée
“A small stepping movement, often executed on pointe, in which the dancer either skims smoothly across the floor or transfers the weight from foot to foot three times as a transition into another movement.”

I am grateful for my students who remind me to revisit things I know, in order to refresh or learn something new.  It is somewhat like the beginners mind when I go back and revisit something.  I know how I learned to do the step, but it is nice to take it further and learn more about it.

Are you familiar with the Pas de Bourrée?  Have you taken Ballet?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lateral Travel

Posted by terrepruitt on February 11, 2014

In Nia we have a base of 52 Moves. Not surprising they are called The 52 Moves of Nia. As I have stated before they are not unique to Nia. You have probably done some of them at one point in your life. If you have taken dance or you participate in a group exercise class that is dance oriented then you more than likely have done some of them. They are just gathered into a group for Nia because of their benefits and fun. So they are included in the Nia Routines. Not all of them are in every routine, but a good portion appear in each routine. Plus whenever there is Free Dance they might make an appearance. One of the base moves . . . . moves we do primarily with the base of our body . . . is Lateral Traveling.

Lateral Traveling is specific and different from Traveling In Directions. Traveling in Directions is a move done in all directions . . . . Lateral Traveling is done to the side. The Nia Technique (have you gotten your copy yet? Click here to go to Amazon to order your copy.) describes Lateral Travel as a step together step or a grapevine. The specifics are to start in a closed stance, then take one step to the side, then place your feet together (moving the other leg to the first leg that stepped), then take one step to the side, then move the leg toward the other one, but instead of placing it next to your leg cross it back.

A grapevine is where you step one leg to the side then the next step is BEHIND, then step to the side, where the next step goes depends. Sometimes you can land on the heel or behind or with the knee up. Grapevines are a nice replacement for four point turns. There are many reasons why people don’t turn so using this lateral move, the grapevine, is perfect.

With both methods the instructions say to use your hands to lead you. Have them out in the direction you are going. The instructions also say, “When you step behind, step onto the back ball of the foot and keep your knees spring loaded and your spine vertical.” For clarification, the “back ball of the foot” is the foot that is in the back or behind.

This is a “two side” move. To practice you do to one side then the other. To the left, then to the right. (Or to the right, then the left.)

So this is the specific Lateral Travel: Step together step or grapevine. I have found my self using the phrase “travel laterally” at times when I am leading my San Jose Nia class (or any Nia class for that matter) and I am not instructing them to do the specific Lateral Travel. But I guess that is the difference. There is “travel laterally” and do the “Lateral Travel” move.

Many moves in Nia are good for the coordination. This is one. Step together step is not necessarily a difficult move but depending on the speed and what comes before it and after it, it can call upon your coordination. Although, I would say this is one of the easier 52 Moves of Nia.

Varying the speed and adding some movement to the body can change it up a bit and perhaps add a some challenge to it.

So there you have it another move in Nia’s 52 Moves.

You probably find yourself doing this one often, huh? Even when you are not on the dance floor?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »