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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Posts Tagged ‘katas’

Always Looking At The Clock In A Nia Class

Posted by terrepruitt on July 24, 2012

In Nia we use the clock a lot.  We don’t actually USE the clock, but we use the idea of a clock face on the ground.  When we are moving and dancing we often times refer to the hours on the face of the clock to indicate where to put our feet or move our body.  I had mentioned this in my post about Katas.  I find that it works well when I am learning the routines.  I note the “o’clocks” on my bars.  I find it works well when sharing the moves in my Nia classes.  And I find that Nia students appreciate having a reference point.  It REALLY helps me when there is an actually clock in the room in my line of site.  I know that probably sounds silly because the reason we use a clock to assist in the dance is because it is something familiar and constant, but sometimes it just helps to be able to glance up and be able to say, “Step to one o’clock.”  I use the clock a lot.

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, NiaOften times our stepping isn’t exactly on an hour.  Often times I feel as if it is BETWEEN the hours, say between one and two, but it is still a great reference point.  As with many of our moves in Nia it could be that we are stepping on the foot we have placed at a specific hour or it could be that we are pointing or tapping on the hour.  Using the hours of the clock as a reference can help prevent confusion when required to state which foot is being used.  Since we are moving to music one does not always have time to state, “Cross your left foot to the right diagonal and stop.”  And saying, “Left right diagonal” could be confusing, so it is nice to have a set “direction” by using the hours on a clock.  So I can say, “Left at 1:00” and that is even more clear than saying either one of the instructions previously stated.  It is clear that the left foot is to cross over and land at 1:00.

Also it seems to even work better than just saying the directional left and right.  If I were to say, “Put your left foot out” I have not actually indicated WHERE to put your left foot, but when I say, “Left to 9:00” it is clear where the left foot should go when it goes “out”.  Another example is a bow, it could be executed with the leg directly behind or crossed back so again the clock adds a greater level of instruction.

Of course, the participants in a dance exercise class are watching the instructor but giving them verbal instructions allows them to do it in their own body’s way instead of just trying to do it the exact way the teacher’s body is doing it.  Some people might have a LARGE clock face on the ground on which they are dancing and other’s might have a smaller one.  It all depends on where they leg reaches, but at least they know what direction.

In Nia there are even moves that refer to the clock.  Within Nia’s 52 moves we have a “slow clock” and a “fast clock“. So as I said we use the clock or at least the idea of a clock a lot in a Nia class.

Makes Nia sounds easy, huh?  It is.  And it is fun.  Find a class near you nianow.com or check out my Nia class schedule on my website (www.HelpYouWell.com).

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

Putting Students to Work

Posted by terrepruitt on October 5, 2010

I teach Nia in the San Francisco Bay Area. One thing I am trying to do is increase awareness of Nia and also, at the same time, increase my class sizes. So recently I hosted a Playshop in San Jose at the studio in Willow Glen where I hold my Nia classes. My topic for the Playshop was some of the 52 Moves of Nia. It was a success. I felt good about it, even though I put my students to work.

I had spent a day and a half or so preparing what moves I wanted to go over in the Playshop and what Nia katas from the various Nia routines I wanted to use in the Nia Class. I wanted the class routine to include all the various moves we explored in the Playshop. I spend a couple of days between doing other things reviewing to make certain I was comfortable with my presentation and to make certain I could get through it within the allotted time. So I was confident the Playshop and the Nia Class would go smooth. What I was nervous about was being able to get in and set up.

If you are a teacher of almost anything, you know that here is time needed to set up. Showing up early to set up and be ready to greet your students is not always possible with the time allowed in between workout classes. In exercise class situations sometimes there is NO time in between classes. They are scheduled to end on the hour and start at the same time. So I had scheduled 15 minutes in between, but there was still things that needed to be done and I wasn’t wanting to rush the class before us out.

So I came up with an idea . . . . now, I would bet I am not the only one to come up with this and I bet if I were to do minimum research I would find all the “Planning a workshop” information to tell me exactly this, but I am still going share it.

I realized that I could put my students to work! So I did. Most of the time people are more than willing to help. One of my students showed up really early—before me even. So I knew she was ready to do something. So I set her on one task. Then two of my students who I had been plotting to do this work all along were assigned tasks.

This assigning of tasks can also be connected to my post about “If You want something done right“. Because I had to be willing to “let go” and let my students do the tasks. And I have to say they did them beautifully. I was so proud. I was proud of myself for having thought of having them do it and I was proud of myself that I just let them do it. And I was especially proud that they did it so well. I believe they did better than I could have–it was awesome.

It was a great learning experience for me.

My hubby (thanks, Hubby!) also came to help. With him mopping the floor and some of my students setting up the room, I was able to concentrate on the participants coming in that needed to sign waivers and get settled. All of this allowed us to start on time . . . which allowed us to end on time — for the Playshop at least. The Nia routine I put together was a little longer than an hour so we went over on that. But all-in-all it was my students that allowed me to have a successful Playshop.

(Thanks Students!)

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

Nia Jam for Carlos AyaRosas

Posted by terrepruitt on July 31, 2010

So today (July 31, 2010) was the Nia Jam and it was the third one that I have taught in.  Cool.  It was awesome.  I just have to say, “Ahhhhhhhhhhh!”  I know many of you feel this way because I see you post it in blogs, on Facebook, and in tweets.  Just “Ahhhhhhhhhhh!”  When you are with people doing what you love and they are doing it too!  The Nia Jam was so beautiful and awesome.  There were teachers from all over and we just danced—-and our students let us and they followed along.  It was magical.

One of the creators of Nia is retiring at the end of this year.  I must admit that I don’t really believe it (yes, probably denial).  I mean, I believe he is leaving and I understand that, but I don’t believe that he will not be pulled back—by his own heart—into being involved somehow.  I can understand that he is ready to move away from the day-to-day and all that it must involve, but I have hope that he will be doing it somehow.  I picture him teaching in the city to which he is moving.  I guess I will see.

The focus of the Nia Jam today was a celebration of Carlos AyaRosas.  We did a jam using katas from his routines.  Our intent was a thank you and a gathering of “Carlos” energy.  I felt that we did a great job.  I felt that our hearts were alive with gratitude for the dances he has created for us and for Nia.  I felt there was a lot of “Carlos” energy!  I have a feeling that he would have been honored and he would have been proud of us for sharing our love of Nia using his katas.

A Nia Jam is a great way to experience Nia.  Teachers gather to co-teach.  Once the music starts we just go.  There is a trick sometimes to doing the microphone handoff, but it all works out in the end.  Today is was joy, it was magic, it was fun, it was Nia.  It was exactly what a jam should be.  I like to think it is what Carlos had in mind when he created the katas we danced today.

Thank you, my Fabulous Nia Teachers.  And thank you, Carlos for all that you have given to Nia.

Here is one song, this is not an example of Carlos’ choeography, because it is a Free Dance.  I didn’t want to miss one minute of his dances.  I could only bring myself to record a Free Dance.  🙂

Want more information regarding what Nia is, go to my site:  HelpYouWell.com.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »