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

    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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘group exercise’

Different Ways To Instruct

Posted by terrepruitt on November 17, 2015

Every type of group exercise in a class format has its own way of doing things.  Some formats might be the type in which the instructor is actually shouting and yelling at the participants.  Some might just have instructions posted around the area and people are to move along and follow the instructions.  A Zumba class is a lead follow type of format where – at least when I earned my certification – the instructions are supposed to be more hand motions than verbal.  The instructor is not supposed to talk as much as just point and gesture.  Nia is also a lead follow format, but with verbal guiding/instructing.  We have specific points in our music when we are supposed to guide the class into the next moves.  We, also are to use what we call “pearls” to help people move their bodies.  From what I understand and the training I received we are not supposed to talk the entire time.  Nia is body centered, so the instructors are supposed to be silent at times to let the students dance in their own way to the moves and the music.  I personally feel that I can use work on both my use of pearls AND of being silent.  One thing about Nia, though, is it is about play, exploration, experimentation, and doing new things in order to stimulate the BMES (the body, mind, emotions, and spirit).  One thing that I have always heard about is the silent class.

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, PiYo, Nia TechniqueSo, the silent class does not mean no music, it means no cueing.  Or at least that is what I thought it meant . . . turns out – just like many things – there are many ways to do it.  One of my students recently took the brown belt intensive and there she experienced a class with no cues.  She requested we try it.  Well, it so happened that I started on the path while she was gone so I asked a fellow Nia Teacher and Black Belt what she did in HER silent classes.  I was wondering if there was no cueing and NO SOUNDING.  I figured it would be a huge challenge for me not to cue, but I really was doubtful I could make it through a class without making a sound.  Her response surprised me in that she said she claps to indicate a move change.  Well, that just threw another wrench in the mix.  So . . . that meant that there was SOME type of cueing.  I mean cueing is alerting to a change.  LOTS of cueing is telling people what the change is and when and . . . etc.  But a clap is a cue.  So . . . to me that would mean it is a class with no VERBAL cueing.  She also mentioned that sounding would work depending upon the mood being sought for the class.  With her class — I think she does a specific routine — she does not sound.

So there are different ways to have a silent class.  There could be NO cueing at all.  There could be a clap to indicate the next move is a different one.  There could be pointing and indicating in some fashion something – either direction or side of body or body part or that something new is coming.  I really think that any of those ways is good.  Because all of them offer something different for the student.  And all of them allow the participant to focus on different things.

So for the past four weeks we have been dancing a routine with the intent of doing it without cueing.  I was going to dance it for three weeks, but I thought my student who requested this would be back for the fourth week (the planned silent class), but she wasn’t so I did it one more week so she could join the silent class.

We danced it without verbal cues today and it was very interesting . . . . .

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Squished Lemons In a Jar

Posted by terrepruitt on April 14, 2015

I have some friends on Facebook that I have never met.  They are friends I have through Nia.  Nia is like any other group exercise or activity, you tend to “gather” in a group.  In addition to the average things people share on Facebook (recipes, family pictures, proud parent moments, pet pictures, meal pictures) we do share about our classes.  We make announcements about up coming events.  We talk about the routines and the “stuff” going on in Nia.  So I have a group of “Nia people” I am friends with on Facebook.  One of them was having a conversation with one of her friends and I jumped in because it sounded interesting.  You might know from some of my previous posts that I have a lemon tree.  You may also know that I am not really a fan of lemon flavor.  I never think to add it to any meat I am cooking.  I never think to use it to flavor marinades or dressing.  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, City of San Jose Group X, Zumba, PiYoI only use it in lemon cookies . . . which I don’t make often any longer.  Every once in a while I zest some into our rice.  But I don’t think of using the lemons to cook so I am always on the lookout for ways to start using them more.  Well, the conversation they were having was about lemons.  So I butted in and said, “Hey, what is this about lemons?”

Georgia, my Nia friend on Facebook, shared the recipe she uses to preserve lemons.  She said to put them in a jar with salt, let them sit for a month, then use them as you need them.  Her instructions stated a quart jar.  Well, I don’t have one and have yet to remember to buy one.  I really wanted to try this, so I started thinking I didn’t need such a large jar.  I might not like it so I decided to start small.  So this past week, I smushed some lemons in a jar.  I did not do it correctly because I got more involved with cutting and getting them into the jar than actually following the instructions.  I did not have the instructions in front of me and I so was just guessing.  Of course after I was done I looked them up.

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Preserved LemonsDance 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, City of San Jose Group X, Zumba, PiYo

You’ll need a large jar that will not leak when it is flipped over.  (In her picture it looks like she might have used a large pickle jar.)
About 7 or 8 organic lemons (I only used two and a half because my jar was so small)
salt

First make sure the jar is clean.  Then make sure the lemons are clean and dry.  Then cut the lemons – not all the way through – in an X pattern.  Cutting from one end to the other, leaving one end intact.  I did not do that because the lemons were bigger than my jar.  So I actually cut the lemons into wedges.

Put about two tablespoons of salt in the bottom of the jar.  Then put a cut lemon in the jar.  Smush it down so the juices come out.  Then put more salt, then another lemon – smushing it down, getting more juice.  Continue this process until the jar is full.  Georgia said you cannot have enough salt.  She also said you can add other flavors; herbs, cinnamon sticks, cloves, bay leaf, dried red chili peppers . . . . whatever flavor you would like.

If you need to, put more lemon JUICE in the jar to make certain the lemons are covered.  Then you leave the jar on your counter for 30 days.  Flipping it over every day.

After 30 days you put the jar in your refrigerator and use a lemon or a piece every time you want to flavor something with lemon.  Pick what you want out of the jar, rinse it, then use it.  You can chopped it up using both the rind and the pulp.  Use it with chicken, beef, pork, fish, pasta, salad . . . whatever you want.

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Her recipe said that you can always add more juice and salt as you use the slices.

She said that the sour goes away and an intense yummy lemon flavor comes out.

Now . . . . I just did this . . . and by JUST . . . I mean I am in the 30 day flipping stage.  So once my 30 days are up you will be reading about it again to see what I think.

In looking at her post again she indicated this was a Moroccan delicacy.  So I looked it up and there is a lot of information regarding it on the internet.  I will post more when I actually get to taste them.

Perhaps some of you already do this so you can share?  What do you think?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Goodie Jar Share

Posted by terrepruitt on March 7, 2015

I am still doing my Goodie Jar, are you?  I know there are a ton of versions out there.  Some people have “Happiness Jars” or “Smile Jars”.  Some people have a goal of putting something in the jar every day.  Some people’s goals are for once a week.  Of course, none of the “rules” matter really, except the one that motivates you to remember your blessings.  That is really the point.  To have a little reminder of the blessings or things that make you happy, things that make life worth living.  There is so much going on in the world and in our lives it is sometimes easy to get distracted.  The jar — however you utilize it, is just a way of reminding yourself about the good.  Good things in the Goodie Jar.

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, PiYoMy hubby and I are using ours.  I have Christmas wrapping paper cut up.  And some other pretty wrapping paper.  We have little sheets of note paper.  All kinds of papers to use.  Plus we both are putting our tickets in there.  We have been blessed with Sharks tickets so those go in the Goodie Jar – win or lose, because a night out with each other is a WIN for us!  It turns out that the San Jose Sharks lost, but it was a really exciting game.  Or . . . to me it was.  I know that people who go to more games than me might have a different opinion, but I thought it was exciting.  I am much better at actually tracking the puck.  I still “lose” it sometimes, but not as much as my first game.  Hockey is so much more exciting and action packed than baseball.

Then there is our trip a couple of weekends ago.  That is DEFINITELY a Goodie Jar item.  That was a well needed trip.  And it was so wonderful.  The weather was awesome.  I bet if we had gone this weekend it would have been too hot for me.  It seems the weather is warming up here.

Then there is our beef.  That is always a good Goodie Jar item.  I have explained before how lucky I am that my hubby will eat pretty much anything.  And he loves beef.  So he has been pretty good about my experimenting with cooking the grass-fed beef we bought.  It cooks so differently than regular beef.  It is just mind-blowing.  I was in a rush tonight as the game started 30 minutes earlier than I realized.  I put the steak in a really hot oven and hoped for the best.  It cooked well even though it didn’t look cooked–as usual.  The flavor was meat, which I don’t prefer, but . . . it was dinner.  And dinner helps us not need to eat the food at the game.

I still have Nia students in my Nia classes.  The San Jose City Nia classes are really going well.

So many things to be thankful for.  So many things that will bring a smile to my face at the end of the year!  Filling up that jar!  Yipee!  It is really nice to have something to document the smiles.

Well?  Are you doing a jar?  What type?  What are your “rules”?  Got any good things you want to share?

 

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

Compliments Over My Head

Posted by terrepruitt on February 21, 2015

I think I am very correct in saying that Group Exercise Instructors and Nia teachers love to hear students ask, “Where else do you teach?” and “What else do you teach?”  Isn’t that the greatest thing?  It is such a huge compliment.  The student is asking where else can they get more of you.  The student is asking in what other ways can they get more of you.  I had never thought of that as a compliment.  I had never even realized it was a compliment.  When I was asked that, I used to feel bad because I didn’t teach anything else other than Nia.  I also felt bad when I just taught at one place.  I was always so focused on not being able to meet their additional needs I didn’t “hear” the compliment.  I didn’t hear the un-spoken, “You met my need here.”  Last year, I actually was in a required continued education class instructed by the YMCA when the teacher mentioned that if a student asks you those questions it is a compliment.  Ha.  Silly I had never thought of it as a compliment.  I was focused on something else entirely.  It strikes me as funny when I go into a situation to learn one thing and something totally different is taught to me.  I was taught to see it as a compliment.

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, PiYoNowadays, I am not so focused on not being able to meet their need for an additional class or another venue, because I am teaching six classes at four different places.  Although people still would like an evening Nia class.  This schedule can change at anytime, but for now, at least, I feel more varied.

Do you ever go into a situation expecting to learn one thing and come out surprised at what you learned?  I like when I can learn what I was expecting AND something I wasn’t expecting.  That always makes me feel happy.  I feel like I got a bingo or hit the lotto.  A two-for-one kind of thing.  A real deal.  Something completely worth my time.  Ya know?

Do you ever miss a compliment?  Are you ever so focused on something else you don’t even realize the person talking to you / asking a question is really in a sense giving you a compliment?  Sometimes it is kind of nice because later on it might hit you and bring a smile to your face, but then I feel bad I didn’t take the opportunity to show gratitude.  But sometimes that happens.

For a second I thought of listening with love, but I don’t think this is the same as that.  But perhaps.  Maybe if I had been listening with love instead of feeling bad I could help I would have noticed it was a compliment.  But then I would have been so excited about the class I had to take.  I wouldn’t have gotten that “extra” bang for my buck.  Ha, ha!

This same type of compliment would be said to a performer, “Where else do you perform?”  “What else have you performed in?”  Yeah, that is a compliment all right.

So how about it?  Have you ever experienced any unexpected learning?  Have you ever totally “missed” that someone was complimenting you?  What other situations would that type of comment fit?

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

Dancing Free

Posted by terrepruitt on February 19, 2015

Do you ever just dance?  You might be one to turn on the music and start dancing.  Perhaps you have a favorite song you like to dance to?  Or you might be one who breaks into dance spontaneously.  You could be in the house and a song comes on and you don’t even really think about it, next think you know you are moving to the music.  Perhaps you are one that is so gusty or you just don’t care so you dance in the aisle at the grocery store.  Music moves us.  It is easy to dance to a song we like.  Sometimes we “can’t help it”.  We just burst into a dance.  But dancing without choreography in a dance exercise class?  No one telling you exactly how to move?  Just move to the music?  Without having consumed any alcohol?  It is a concept not easily grasped by many.  It is a concept that we practice often in a Nia class.  We call it Nia FreeDance.

As I mentioned dancing without choreography in an exercise class is a new concept to many.  Moving without having a structured plan doesn’t sound like exercise to many people.  Some people are very resistant to Nia FreeDance because of this reason.  Some people cannot understand how you can “get a good workout” without having a structured plan, without moving the same way over and over again.  The way we have been programmed to exercise includes repetition and structure.  It includes traveling in a straight line from point a to point b, it includes being told how to move.  So just moving without any idea of what comes after the present movement is vastly alien to some.

Yet, I have people who actually let go and try it.  Those who push beyond their own skepticism and doubt come up to me and say, “Wow!  I am sweating.”  Those who let the music move their bodies without thinking about it have said, “Who would have thought that I would have gotten such a great workout?”  Some realize, “I might be sore tomorrow.”  They MIGHT be sore the next day because they moved their bodies in ways that their bodies are not accustom to moving.

Nia FreeDance is there to help stimulate movement creativity.  So if you do it with full abandon you might end up with muscles that talk to you the next day.  Your body will have moved in new and different ways.  So Nia FreeDance is not the dancing you would do at a club or a dance lesson.  It is just free movement.  Yes, some of those cool club moves or patterns you learned in dance class sneak in because we dance what we know.  We think about it and move in that way.  But there really is more to FreeDancing.  It might have a pattern for a moment, it might have structure for a moment, but it moves away and comes back.  It is free.

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, PiYoTo assist with FreeDance and to deepen the practice there are eight stages that can be a guide, because as I said, it is not necessarily an easy thing to do.

Stage 1: FreeDance
Catch Phrase: Anything Goes, Movement-Wise

Stage 2: Being Seduced by the Music
Catch Phrase: Art of Listening

Stage 3: Feelings and Emotions
Catch Phrase: Pretend, Fake It, Act As If

Stage 4: The Creative Source
Catch Phrase: The Real You

Stage 5: Authentic Movement
Catch Phrase: Change!!

Stage 6: Witness
Catch Phrase: Interfere…Judge…Not! Observe

Stage 7: Choreography
Catch Phrase: The Accidental Click

Stage 8: Nia Class
Catch Phrase: Levels 1, 2, 3

The catch phrases have changed slightly since I participated in the Nia White Belt Intensive in 2008, but it is all basically the same.  The catch phrases give you a clue as to what the stage is for.  All the stages help you to FreeDance.  You can dance each stage separately or combine them in any fashion. 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, PiYo The idea is just to give you something to help get you moving and then give you something to keep you moving.  Moving in new and different ways.  The new and different active body, mind, emotions, and spirit.  FreeDance is one of the key things that makes Nia unique.  If you click on the stages above you will go to the post that I have posted for each stage.

I am very excited about the Special Nia Class and Nia Free Dance Playshop that I am producing next month.  So I have been thinking a lot about FreeDance and how great it is.  This post is a result of my excitement and my attempt at getting people excited and curious about FreeDance.  Reading about it is one thing, but getting up and actually DOING it is another.  These are the stages used to deepen your practice, but they are not what we will be covering in the Playshop.  As the flyer states, we will be learning Jason’s tools for FreeDance!  I hope you will join us!

Are you a dancer?  Do you break into dance?  What is the current hit that you can’t help but dance to?

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

Finger Flicks – A Nia 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on February 3, 2015

I did not intend to write a blog post on all of the 52 Moves in Nia.  My intent was to post a few and entice you into buying The Nia Technique Book.  It seems as if I just might get to all of Nia’s 52 Moves on my blog.  It so happens that sometimes I am at a loss as to what to post, so I turn to a move on the list of 52 Moves.  Or sometimes I am intrigued by one the moves because it is in a routine that I am currently dancing with my students.  Or I am intrigued by of the moves that it is in a Nia Routine that I danced with another Nia teacher.  OR I am intrigued by of the moves even though it is NOT in a Nia Routine – as in, it is not part of the original choreography, but we do it anyway.  That is the fun thing about Nia Routines and the 52 Moves.  You can kind of put them in anywhere.  And, I will say it again, because I think it is important to state that the moves that Nia includes on their list are not unique to Nia.  Nia is not claiming to have created them.  Also, it is nice to know that you will experience moves in Nia that you have experienced before.  The moves are on the lists and included in Nia Routines because there are benefits to doing them.  Some of them are so simple the benefits could be overlooked.  Some of them might seem odd to have included on a list of moves done in a dance exercise class.  But they have benefits.  One move that is simple and might seem random to have in an exercise class is Finger Flicks.

Yeah, you read that right, Finger Flicks.  Flicking your fingers.  This move can be done so many different ways.  Fast, slow, high, low, fingers up, fingers down, with an emotion, without an emotion, with the music, against the music, so many possibilities.  The benefits of this move include conditioning the muscles of the forearms and hands.  If you really use your thumb to resist the fingers the move contracts the forearm muscles and makes your fingers work!  The Nia Technique Book states that this move helps rid the hands of tension.

The how-to is simple enough.  I bet you know it already.  You form a loose fist with your hand, keeping the thumb on the outside of the fingers.  Then push with all four fingers against the thumb.  Allow your thumb to resist.  Then let your fingers push through.  Practice this move with your hand at different levels-as in high above your shoulders, at the same level as your shoulder, below your shoulders.  Let your arms hang, hold them out . . . in other words flick your fingers all over.  Use one hand, then the other, then both.  Just flick, flick, flick, flick.  Try doing it how I mentioned, fast, slow, high, low, fingers up, fingers down, with an emotion, without an emotion, with the music, against the music,  play with the possibilities.

You can practice this move while dancing around your home.  You probably do this move without even thinking about it after washing your hands.  You could probably check the mirrors above the sink to verify it.

Are you familiar with finger flicks?

 

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Goings-On

Posted by terrepruitt on January 22, 2015

What is going on with you? Here? Me? Well, I mentioned that Nia released four new routines at the end of the year. I mentioned I ordered three. Well, I received them and I listened to the music for the one I had planned to learn first and just as I expected. The music for the entire routine is from ONE artist. When I originally noticed that, I thought that might be an issue for me. I thought that it would all sound the same and I wasn’t too excited about that prospect. But the music from the routine I didn’t order was even less appealing. Now, let me explain that we are able to listen to snippets of the songs. Like on iTunes. It only plays for a moment. As you may have found out from listening to snippets on iTunes some times what you hear is not exactly what you get. I mean sometimes a song can change dramatically. The Nia website used to allow us to listen to the entire song, but now we only get a short preview. So . . . having listened to the previews of all the songs for all the routines, I “didn’t like” the music of one routine. That is why I didn’t order it. But I was leery of the “One artist” routine. But the snippets sounded different enough, I thought it would be ok. Turns out . . . not so much. But . . . often times the first “listen through” of a routine’s music reveals an instant “I don’t like”, but that fades or disappears entirely sometimes. So, I have faith it will be fine, but . . . it caused me to decide to work on learning a different routine. So I am in the process of learning a new routine.

I always look at them for the first time and think, “Oh cool. That’s not too hard. I can learn it quick.” But then . . . for me that is not the case. It is one thing to be able to dance to a routine, but it is another to be able to lead it. I could just take it to class and we could play with it, but I like to have a really good handle on it first.

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, PiYoBut . . . . somewhat exciting news . . . as is always happening at places that have exercise classes, it seems as if there is going to be a change in the schedule at one of the facilities where I teach. So they are looking to fill a spot, but they don’t really think they want another cardio class, but . . . . I know that it takes time to find the right class and a teacher that can do it, so I offered to do Nia in the meantime. Well, much to my surprise the supervisor took me up on that deal. As in starting next week. The odd thing is – I was already set to sub the class one day, so it is basically like I am taking it over tomorrow.

Another exciting thing is the response I have received from the Nia students that currently attend the other classes I teach. They are excited to have an additional Nia class. Many of them said they would take the class. So . . . we will see. I am secretly –ok, so it is not a secret (!!) hoping that the class will do well and the center will let me keep it. With Group Ex classes we know that nothing is permanent because things sometimes need to change, but there is the “permanent” and we like that. So it could be that I end up taking routines into the classroom sooner than normal if I get to teach four classes a week, regularly!

I am going to go be a student on Saturday. One of the Nia students that used to attend my classes moved to a different area. I am going to visit her. We are going to go to a Nia class she now regularly attends. I think being a student will be a great energizer. I don’t take the time out to be a student as much as I would like. Seems like I am always trying to learn a routine so I don’t take time out from that. But this was planned in advance and it will be perfect.

My hubby and I are still adding to our Goodie Jar. It is looking quite festive with all of the Christmas wrapping paper scraps we are using.

Did I mentioned the Nia Events I have on the calendar for March? There is going to be a Friday evening class and a Saturday playshop? The evening class will be a routine done to 80’s music and the playshop is all about Free Dance. The Nia Teacher that is going to do both is Jason Alan Griffin. I wrote a post about him, First Degree Nia Black Belt Guest Teacher because he brought his Goldfinger routine to the East Bay Area last year.

Whew!  So that is what is up with me.  Do tell, what is up with you?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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?

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Sounds – Singing – Its All The Same

Posted by terrepruitt on January 14, 2014

You might have read my post about Sounding in Nia.  That is what we call it when we make noise in a Nia class — sounding.  You might have read my post about Reasons for Sounding in a Nia Class.  Even if you did not read that post, I bet you are aware of some of the reasons to make noise in an exercise class.  One of the biggest ones is to ensure breathing.  If you are making noise you are breathing.  Knowing the students are breathing is a HUGE relief to an instructor.  Some of the other reasons sounding is good are it can help stabilize your core, it can act as an emotional, spiritual, or physical release, and it can be really fun.  Sounding can be noises/words such as HA, HI, HEE, HOO, WAH, WAHOO, etc.  Sounding can also be singing. With “Nia Music” sometimes singing is just sounds.

I always invite the Nia participants to sing.  Often times I tell them it is really easy because there are no words.  I have often wondered how the singer sings.  I have often pondered how it is done.  Then Nia put out this video*.  It is an interview with Carl Tietze whose song Am I The One, is on the Sanjana Album.  Sanjana is the first Nia routine I learned.  In the interview Carl talks about how he invited a vocalist, Jen Folkner, to listen to the song.  He said he put the headphones on her and most of what we hear on the song is from her first time hearing the music.

She is sounding.  Granted, she is doing is beautifully.  I don’t want to put the pressure on and say this is what we do or need to do in a Nia class.  No, not at all.  I am just saying that it is fine to MAKE NOISE.  I did laugh when I heard this interview because I kind of imagined that songs that have no real words but are just a singer making noise was done like this.  I imagined the musicians just saying, “Go!” and the singer just letting her/his voice come out.

I was recently very amazed and in awe of a woman who had never been to a Nia class before – in fact, before class she asked me what it was.  So she didn’t even know what type of exercise/workout it was.  And yet, while she was moving to moves she had never done, she was singing.  The song was one of those songs without words, but she was just making noise in a “singing voice”.  It was great!  I was very impressed.

Making sounds or singing in a group workout class is not something that comes easy to everyone.  Sounding while learning moves doesn’t come easy to people who normally make noise, so it was especially fun to have her in class.  Plus she had that much more fun and received the benefits of sounding.

I hope this interview helps give you a glimpse into making sounds.  I hope you are able to experience the benefits of making noise while do your cardio dance.  You know it is fun.

Do you sing while you dance in your fitness dance class?  Don’t you love the way singing and dancing makes you feel?

*Click here to go to Nia’s website to sign up for the monthly newsletter!

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Happy One Year Anniversary

Posted by terrepruitt on August 31, 2013

I am really happy.  This coming week marks a year that we have had Nia on Tuesday mornings at the Camden Community Center in San Jose.  Workout classes – especially group exercise classes at city community centers – can come and go.  I have been blessed with a small but very consistent group of individuals who are interested in gaining or retaining their health through movement.  I am further blessed that some of my students who attend my Monday and Wednesday Nia classes have made it over to the community center.  Nia on Tuesdays started on Tuesday, September 4, 2012.  Our year class will be Tuesday, September 3, 2013.

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, PiYoI have been teaching Nia on Mondays and Wednesdays in the Willow Glen area of San Jose since February 2009.  Most of the individuals that make up the Monday and Wednesday group have been coming for most of the four years and seven months.  They too are a dedicated group of students that I appreciate.  I rent the time at that location.

I am not sure if many classes at city community centers go on for years.  So I am very happy that we have made it to the year mark.  I think that as long as the students continue to attend we will have a class.  I am hopeful that we will expand our numbers as we enter into our second year.  This is the community center where the students requested a second class.  There was an opening so their thinking was, “Why not fill it with Nia?”  So they wrote a note asking the supervisor if they could have Nia in the time slot that has just opened.  The supervisor is allowing us to give it a go.  If, this story sound familiar it is because I wrote about it in my Goodie Jar – Check In #27 post in the beginning of the month.  I was so excited that was definitely something that went into the Good Things Jar!

The Thursday class has started out with good numbers.  Hopefully that class will grow too.  It is made up of the core group from Tuesdays, but with a few different people.  This past Thursday they were all very kind, patient, and understanding while my music and the player were not cooperating.

As with most dance exercise workouts it is really fun when there is music.  While Nia can be done without music, it is nice to have music so that each individual can dance in their own way while we do the routine.  The group was very nice and let me run to my car after three songs so I could get my boom box.

So, I am just grateful and sharing my gratitude.  I am grateful to have great Nia students at all of my classes.  And I am very grateful that the San Jose Parks and Recreation Department is allowing me to have two Nia classes.  I am jumping for joy at our one year anniversary.  I have actually been working for the city for over a year, but it took a couple of months to get a class.  Yay us!

Here’s to our Nia class being one year old at the community center.  Here’s to more to come!  Thanks for sharing in my joy!

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