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 ‘Nia education’

Nia Routine Training Packages

Posted by terrepruitt on June 4, 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, ZumbaI have written a series of three posts describing what is contained in a Nia Routine Training Package.  I was reminded by a comment on one of recent posts about Nia Routines (Nia Routines I’ve Learned) that in 2010 I stated I would explain more about what we receive on a teacher routine DVD.  Because the package put together by Nia Technique is so packed with information and learning material, my explanation took up three posts to summarize all that you receive in a Nia Routine Training Packages for Teachers.  This post is just a quick summary and “map” so to speak of the three posts.  I hope all of this information helps you understand that “with love, we [Nia Technique] have carefully crafted this ‘body of work'[meaning each routine] to offer you an in-depth body, mind, emotions, spirit experience.”**  They do that so that we may pass on music, movement, and magic to our students.

When I RECENTLY mentioned I would write up a description I didn’t realize it would take so long and so many posts.  But back in 2010, I must have known on some level that it would be more than one post because it has taken me three years to do it!

Nia’s Routine Training Packages for Teachers consists of a Music CD, a DVD, and a pamphlet.

The first post – Nia Technique’s Outstanding Routine DVDs – explains the CD, the components of the DVD, and two of the components on the DVD, the Focus and Move the Move

The second post – DVDs Nia Teachers Learn From, Nia Technique’s Outstanding Routine DVDs (Part 2) – explains the last three components on the DVD.  DVD Components: Learn the Move, Energize the Move, and the music.

The third post – Nia’s Routine Pamphlets, Nia Technique’s Outstanding Routine DVDs (Part 3) –  explains the pamphlet.

Each post while a full post in itself still only briefly describes things.  I could write so much more and do many more posts, but I think I summarized it well enough to give you an idea of the training.  I hope that those of you that are interested in teaching have a good idea of what type of training you get when learning a routine.  If you are fortunate enough to live near Nia Headquarters in Portland, OR then you know that they often have workshops and things to even further your education regarding routines.  Sometime in my basic area they have immersions where two days are spent learning a routine.  We all learn differently and I am convinced that no matter how you learn, with all the different ways available to learn a routine there has to be something that will do it for you.

There is an annual license renewal required to teach Nia.  The fee includes four Nia Routines.  You get to choose the routines you want.  For more information see:  Nia Livelihood Membership for Body + Life Education

If you have any questions please ask.  If you are a Nia teacher or one that receives these wonderful training gems and you want to add anything please do.

**this is copied from the back of the CD/DVD holder.  It is just a portion of the paragraph.

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Fifty-Two Movements – It’s A Class

Posted by terrepruitt on April 6, 2013

You might have read my post about a couple of Nia Celebrities coming to the San Francisco Bay Area (for that post, click here) and around this month (April 2013).  Well, they arrived this week and have been doing classes since Thursday.  Today was the class in Palo Alto at the Equinox (Gym).  The classes are scheduled around the North Bay, East Bay, and Peninsula.  The class was great.  The 52 in the title refers to what the classes was about.  All of the classes in this series are based on the 52 moves of Nia.  I have posted about the Nia Moves before.  They are not uniquely Nia moves, but Nia has compiled them and bases our routines on them.  Nia has also set guidelines as to how they are to be done.  As I have also mentioned in my posts about the 52 Nia Moves, when they are included in a dance sometimes they are not done exactly to specifications.  Anyway . . . this class was definitely interesting.  I love the gathering of Nia people.  And when a celeb is in town the energy is astronomical.  There are – as of today, April 06, 2013, a few chances left to take a class with Debbie Rosas (one of Nia’s founders) and Nia Trainer Kevin VerEecke.  If you can make it I recommend it.

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, ZumbaAs I just mentioned it is always fun to gather and dance with Nia people.  This time was really great for me because several of my students were in attendance.  I love that they were able to take a class with Debbie.  She is like many successful company leaders . . . dynamic and a force of her own.  I think that when you can be in the presence of the person who started something (whether it be a fitness craze, a company, a restaurant, whatever) you get a different understanding of the workout (company, restaurant, etc.).  Even if you are just in the same space as the person and you observe them without even talking to them . . . you get a better sense of things.  Being able to be in a Nia class led by the founder of Nia is really an education.

This type of class is a different direction for Nia.  It is not a dance exercise class it is an exercise class where we do a move from the 52 moves for a minute.  The moves and the timing is not based on the music they use a timer.  Most moves were done slow, then fast, and then as fast as you can.  They are calling it Interval Training, but it seems to copy the “Intermittent Training” formula that Zumba uses.  So it reminds me of a Zumba class without the dancing.  It is truly an exercise class with loud music and a lot of sweat!

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, ZumbaIt is easy to do all 52 Nia Moves in an hour especially if you are doing one a minute.  With nineteen of the 52 Nia Moves being movements done with the arms, hands, and/or fingers they are easily combined with foot and body movements.  So we were even able to do a few of the moves for more than one one minute cycle.  But not all Nia routines have all 52 moves so this is another way to get a great workout in!

I am usually torn at a Nia event because I want to dance . . . . I don’t want to miss a moment, but I also want to take pictures to document the event.  This exercise class was a little easier to break away from because they were either doing the move slow or fast, so I could jump right back in and be right on the mark.

Here are a few shots that I took.  As you can see everyone is happy, sweaty, and having a fabulous time!

Have you ever met the creator of something you love?  Did you find it exciting?  Are you going to make it to one of these Nia 52 Moves classes?

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Four-wall or Cooking – An Experience In All Sides

Posted by terrepruitt on April 7, 2012

In Nia we do something that is called cooking all four sides.  When I first learned this I thought it to be just when we were on the ground.  “Cooking” to me was the “side” of the body that was on the ground.  When you “cook” all four sides you allow your belly, your back, your left side, and your side to “cook” on the ground.  So basically you are lying on a different “side” at one point in the dance.  In one routine, I can’t remember which one, while we are standing we turn and face one wall, then turn again, then turn again, then turn again and Debbie called it cooking all four sides.  I thought, “Wow!  I hadn’t thought to call THAT cooking all four sides, because (as I mentioned) I think of ‘cooking’ as being on the floor.”  But it works.  We are “cooking” or facing all sides, all walls.  In country line dancing we call it a four-wall dance.  Often times there are a few steps then a turn, a few steps, then a turn, and so on, eventually you face all four walls.  There are two wall dances and maybe even three, but the point is you face a different direction.  Generally the back becomes the front and the front becomes the back.

ance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,I’ve posted about Nia Routines before.  I explained a bit about how the routines are created and teachers can purchase them.  Nia routines used to be choreographed and performed on the training DVD by Debbie Rosas or Carlos Rosas or both.  I’ve also posted about the fact that Nia morphs and changes.  At the end of 2010 Carlos AyaRosas, the male co-creator of Nia retired.  As with any company that wants to continue on after a founder retires Nia had to make some changes.  To me it seems as if Nia had been thinking about this for a while.  I know when I attended my Nia White Belt Intensive both Debbie and Carlos talked about Nia continuing on after they leave.  So it seems to me that they had plans and ideas for how Nia will change.  I think it is evident in the way that Nia does not seem to be a flag flapping in the wind, it has true direction.  With the exit of Carlos a new era has been born.  Debbie is now co-creating routines with Nia Black Belt Trainers.  I love Nia and enjoy both the routines Debbie created and the ones Carlos created.  There are some I like more than others.  I am not saying that I like the new one I have seen more than I liked the “old” ones, I am just saying, “Yay!  Nia is not disappointing me.”  The new routine I have looked at is just as fabulous as the old routines I love. 

As a little background:  In order to teach Nia we must pay a licensing fee.  When we pay the fee we are purchasing the right to teach, continued education, and four Nia routines.  We are free to purchase additional routines when they are available, but four are included in the licensing fee and we are obligated to learn at least four a year.  I just recently renewed my license and ordered my routines.  I ordered two that are older (from 2007 and 2008) and two that are considered our new ones, dated 2011.  Usually I skim through all four before deciding which one to learn next.  One of them I ordered I have done once before in a class so I know that I like it and I was planning on learning that next, but my curiosity about one of the new ones got to me.  I decided to learn it next after having watched it.

I am very excited about this routine because it has the “four-wall” or cooking all four sides technique in it.  The routine I am currently teaching has it too but only briefly, this new routine has this technique in more than one song.  Since a Nia class is not a dance lesson we just lead follow like other cardio workout classes the cooking all four sides is to not a series of complicated steps, but it does allow us to face other directions.  In FreeDance there is always opportunities to face many directions and sometimes in the Nia movements alone one can be turning far enough to achieve facing another wall, but this is choreographed to have the entire class turn.  It allows the class to see a different perspective.  I think it is fabulous.
 
It could be making me nostalgic and thinking of country dancing days . . . but more so, I am excited to have this technique used in a Nia routine so my students can see things from the front if they are always in the back or the back, if they are always in the front.  It will help move the class in new directions and Beyond!

Have you ever thought about the fact that a cardio dance class is pretty much like a line dance? 

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Continuing Education – Nia White Belt Principle #12

Posted by terrepruitt on September 6, 2011

Nia’s training, the Nia Intensives are something that anyone can take. If you are not planning on teaching you can still attend the intensives. Nia is a practice that can be applied to life without ever having to teach it. Nia has several different ways of helping with continued education both for the livelihood member and for teachers. First for a person that is planning on teaching, #12 of the White Belt principles is continued education. There are instructions and ideas on how to learn Nia routines.

There are three stages to learning a routine. When I took my White Belt Carlos was very adamant about not skipping any of these steps. I am glad I have decided to post this because I am being reminded that there are a few steps in each stage that I could be better about doing. In the first stage we are reminded to just simply do the DVD. With each routine we have a DVD and we are instructed to just do it. Do it as if we are taking a Nia class. Do it as you would do any exercise DVD. Move, listen, and enjoy the workout. This is obviously one step that can be done several times.

Another step is to listen to the music all the time.  Listen and allow it to seep into the body. Then we are encouraged to FreeDance to the music. We are instructed to dance six of the eight stages. Keep in mind this can be over the course of days or weeks, whatever it takes. Then they advise us to just WATCH the DVD without working out to it. The last step in Stage 1 is to do the bars.

Stage 2 is where we watch the DVD and note the separate portions of the body’s choreography. Three separate steps, first we watch and note the legs, then the core, then the arms.

Stage 3 of learning a Nia Routine is where we start to go deeper into the routine by starting to have an awareness of the musical cues that signal a change in movement. By now, with having danced the routine to the Nia DVD as a student, listened to the music, mapped out the music, noted the choreography, and become aware of the sounds that tell us when there is a movement change coming we are ready to pretend. We call that teaching or dancing with your bears. It is the example used when you are at a point in the learning process where you are ready to do the workout and pretend there are students. During my Nia White Belt Intensive Carlos said something like set up stuff bears or spoons or pillows, just set up something so you can have a focus. I think the bear scenario is used in all intensives because we all call it “teaching/dancing with your bears”. Step 3 of stage 3 is to even go deeper into the music. It is amazing how the music will sound different after you have taught your bears. I might realize I need to pick a different music cue because while I am moving the one I originally chose gets lost, or I hear a better one. Sometimes I stop and don’t move at all to make sure I am hearing the music correctly. More advice includes being the student, doing the routine again, but as the student and not the teacher and getting more technical with the moves. Once you have the basic choreography down it is time to get technical and make certain you have all the levels of intensity familiarized in your body. The Nia Routine training DVD also has many other tools on it to help us learn the routine. They have a portion where they talk about the energy that goes with each move and more about the technical aspect of each move. One of the last steps is the recommendation to dance the routine with a different focus. That is a great way to learn a routine because it becomes practically brand new and you discover so much. The last stage encourages us to change the music. Because we have mapped out music and know the count of it we can pick songs that match and put the choreography to different music.

In addition to these great stages and steps they have mapped out for us to assist us in learning a routine, Nia’s continue education includes articles and telecourses. They also film classes that they hold at Nia HQ so that people can watch and learn about more ideas that delve into Nia. In 2010 the course of study was the 13 Nia White Belt Principles. The course of study for 2011 is “Becoming A Sensation Scientist”, learning about senses of the body. I am not sure of what the course of study’s name is for 2012, but it looks as if it has to do with the body itself with title such as, “Awareness of Muscles” and “Awareness of Ligaments and Tendons.” So this is part of what I mean when I say Nia is so much more than a workout.

YES, Nia is a cardio dance workout where you can go to a class and move your body to music get sweaty and get exercise for your body. But if you want, it can be a practice, where you learn more about your body. Even if you are not a teacher or a livelihood member Nia does a monthly telecourse call where everyBODY can listen, I would like to encourage you to check it out. Go to the main website for Nia and see all the education they have to offer. You might be just amazed as I always am.

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