Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘Nia trainer’

My Organization of the Choreography for Close to My Skin

Posted by terrepruitt on April 16, 2015

The current Nia routine I am trying to learn is taking me a long time.  I have mentioned before that I feel it takes me a long time to learn a routine, but this one seems even longer.  The first thing I do is listen to the music.  I had been doing so for a couple of weeks, then I got busy for a couple of days and hadn’t turned it on.  When I went to the album in my iTunes I was shocked to see I had never listened past the sixth song.  In fact, at that point I had never made it through the entire sixth song (that is how annoying it is).  So I realized I needed to watch the Nia Training DVD.  Watching the choreography usually helps me get through a song that I don’t like because it gives me points of reference.  But this workout is filmed where the teacher and class are FACING the camera.  I don’t like this since I primarily teach with my back towards the class.  Back to the class really helps people copy the moves because they don’t have the whole “mirroring” issue to resolve.  When I am trying to learn a routine and the people on the DVD are facing me, I don’t care for it.  I do it as mirror, they are using their left foot and I am using my right, so I go right when they say “Go left”.   All trainers sometimes state the opposite side or direction, but when they are actually USING the left, but I am mirroring them, it confuses my brain.  In addition to the camera angle challenge (for me) this particular song is said to be a different version than they thought they were getting.  So the choreography appears to be being created as the routine is being filmed.  So it is very loose.  I often feel that Debbie Rosas, in her brilliance, has so many ideas about choreography for one song that she sometimes shares them all during the filming and there ends up being a lot of moves in one song.  I am grateful that the belts I have taken thus far have emphasized “less is more” and we have permission to pick a couple of moves from the song on the DVD and do them to the song.  So that is what I did with one of the songs.  I picked a few of the moves she did and organized them into something I can learn.

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I will work on learning it this way.  Although I will need a lot of practice because the song tends to mesmerize me and I lose my place.  Hopefully as I grow more familiar with the moves and music I can play with it as the Debbie did. Since I don’t watch the DVDs that are filmed with the class facing front as many times as I watch the other ones I need to have a map I can follow from the get go.  That is also the case for me when the song is very long and repetitive.  I need to have a pattern, even then I can get lost in a song like this.  And as I mentioned — just listening to it, trying to learn the song itself is not something I have been able to do.  Every time I turn it on to learn it, half way through I am so annoyed by it, I turn it off.  But moving to it is another thing.  That is why when I don’t like a song, I look to the choreography because often times when the choreography makes sense it allows me to get through the song.  More often than not I end up liking the song.  We will see what happens with this song.  It is like a dripping faucet.

Except for the class and the trainer facing the camera and the song titles not being shown as each song begins, the Nia training material continues to be stellar.  At the end of 2014, Nia HQ put out the new Routines.  I had ordered three earlier in the year, I just received the fourth one.  I am going to add the titles in with the AWESOME software I have on trial.  I have to do it before my 30 days is up.  Then I will continue learning the routine I am working on.  I will debut it to my class soon.

When you take group exercise classes do you like the instructor to face you?  Have you ever noticed how a lot of songs are very repetitive?

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Cool Facts About The History Of The YMCA

Posted by terrepruitt on December 7, 2013

So, as a group exercise instructor one usually has a few jobs or venues to teach at. I have Nia classes at a studio where I rent the space, at a community center for the City of San Jose, and soon at some local YMCAs. In order to teach for the City of San Jose I had to go through the hiring process. Same with the YMCA. Today I spent a good portion of the day at a YMCA orientation. While a lot of the information they cover is common sense and a lot of it is information I have received at almost every job I have worked at some of it was unique to the YMCA. Such as the history of the YMCA. I admit I learned a lot. I knew what Y.M.C.A stood for (Young Men’s Christian Association), but that is about it. It helped that the trainer was clearly very enthusiastic about the history of the Y. As always when I learn something I think is interesting I like to share with you. Plus, when I document it via my blog, I have the information where I can always find it! So here are some facts I thought were cool about the history of the YMCA.

—-The YMCA was founded in 1844 in London, England
—-In 1859 a sea captain led the formation of the YMCA in Boston
—-In 1856 German immigrants participated in the first-known English as a Second Language class
—-Andy Rooney, Dan Rather, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jack Kerouac, and Andrew Young (U.S. Ambassador), have all stayed at the YMCA
—-In 1869 the first YMCA buildings constructed with gyms were opened
—-In 1875 in San Francisco, to serve the Chinese population, YMCAs serving Asians were established
—-In 1879 Thomas Wakeman founded a YMCA for U.S. Native Americans
—-In 1917 a Japanese YMCA was founded
—-In 1891 James Naismith, a physical education teacher at the International YMCA Training School, invented basketball
—-In the 1890s William Morgan, a YMCA instructor thought basketball was too strenuous for businessmen so he invented volleyball
—-By 1950 YMCAs operated 20 colleges in cities across the country
—-During World War II, the YMCA staff organized clubs and activities for children in the Japanese Interment camps — all in secret
—-In 1950 Joe Sobek, a YMCA volunteer, invented raquetball
—-In 1967 racial discrimination was banned in all YMCAs
—-In the mid 1970’s the Youth Basketball Association (YBA) was created by the YMCA and the NBA Players Association. The YBA promotes skills and teamwork over winning at any cost
—-In 2008 the YMCA and the Department of Defense and the YMCA partnered to fund memberships and child care services for families facing the hardship of military deployment
—-In 1891 a triangle was used a the logo, the equal sides representing “man’s essential unity, body, mind and
spirit, each being a necessary and eternal part of man, he being neither one alone . . . ”

I especially loved the last one as Nia has many triads and is greatly focus on Body, Mind, and Spirit.  We add Emotion so we have BMES, but it is very much the same thing.  Anyway . . . these are some of the main things I thought were interesting.  Since the YMCA has been around so long it really has a long history.

Which YMCA history fact(s) is new to you?  Which ones did you know?  What do you know about the Y that I have shared? 

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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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Slow Down, Catch Some Chickens

Posted by terrepruitt on March 28, 2013

Nia is a great dance exercise.  Go to a Nia Class and get a great workout.  It is also a practice.  As with any practice there are workshops.  In one particular workshop produced by Danielle Woermann and led by Helen Terry we were reminded to go slow.  Helen was here teaching us her adaptation of a Nia Routine to a specific album.  Helen is hilarious.  She is down to earth, professional, wonderful to listen to (she has an English accent), and currently living in Texas.  The “currently living in” needs to be mentioned because of one of the stories she shared with us . . . but before I get to that let me tell you something she reminded us of.  She reminded us to go slow.  I know often times I want to rush moves . . . that could mean doing it faster than it needs to be done or not “staying through my enoughs”.  But either way the idea is to slow down.  When I slow down I can be aware of more.  I can pay more attention to a move or even to my class.  There seems to a tendency to rush, could be our lifestyles and/or society, whatever, so the lesson was to slow down and the result could be catching a chicken.

There is one song in particular in her adapted routine that I am severely challenged in slowing down.  It just seems so incredible slow.  I have not yet been able to FEEL/SENSE the music and I have been doing the routine for a month.  Which, with the current way I am structuring my San Jose Nia classes, equates to eleven times, thus far.  I have done it correctly, but only when I am COUNTING.  Yes, I am having to COUNT in order to get it.  For this song I really have to learn to listen, sense, feel, taste, hear, smell, become the music in order to slow down.  I have even announced to the class so I have a better chance of doing it, “We have to go really incredibly slow here.”  Sometimes I have to close my eyes so I don’t see them rushing through and join them.  S L O W.  (Where’s that chicken?)

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, ZumbaSlow down.  Work the muscles.  Enjoy the song.  Enjoy the movement.  EnJOY.  SLOW.  Geez . . . it seems so difficult to slow down sometimes.  Sigh.  But really often times slowing down in combination with “staying with the enoughs” (as I already mentioned) helps in catching those chickens!  Ah-ha, here we are . . . . at the chicken story . . . (remember this is coming from a person who is currently living in Texas!).

I might not have the details exactly right, but you will get the point.  Helen said that one day her husband and her neighbor were going to work on building a table.  The neighbor says, “Let’s go catch some chickens.”  This sounded very odd to Helen because they were building a table not catching chickens.  So she asked her neighbor what he meant.  He said that when he was young his mother used to send him out to get dinner.  He said that he would go outside to do the task, sometimes he would end up with a handful of feathers and sometimes he would end up with a chicken.  A handful of feathers means not quite getting it.  So catching the chicken is when task is accomplished!    Makes sense!

In dancing this routine all month, I have enough feathers to fill a king sized down comforter!  So . . . see there?  Feathers really aren’t all THAT bad.  Feathers can be useful.  Feathers can be fun.  A handful of feathers does not ruin a Nia class or even the moment, but it is NOT a chicken.  When you hit the mark, the music, the cue just right that is catching a chicken.

Whatever it is, whether it is slowing down or staying with the enoughs, or learning the music really well, it is a great feeling to catch that chicken.  When you attend one of my Nia classes you might hear me sputter and/or you might hear me “bacbac”.  When you do, you will know either I grabbed a handful of feathers and the escaped ones are floating at me causing me to sputter or I caught that chicken!

You know what we’re talking about when we say, “Catch a Chicken”, right?  Isn’t that a great feeling?  Do you ever feel the need to slow down?

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Stay With Your Enoughs

Posted by terrepruitt on March 26, 2013

One of the things I learned in a Nia workshop at the end of February, 2013 was the phrase “stay with your enoughs”.  Trainer Helen Terry, currently located in Texas, was here in the San Francisco Bay Area to teach us how to dance a Nia Routine that she adapted to an entire album of different music.  When Helen said that, I laughed.  Because there has been so many times when I thought, “this is enough of that move, it MUST be time to move on” and I wasn’t REALLY clued into the music and I went onto the next move and sure “enough” I hadn’t stayed long “enough”.  It was really funny at the time that I took the training because I was doing a Nia routine in which I almost always moved on before I should in accordance with the choreography.  Shortly before the workshop I had just started telling myself (and listening to myself—what a novel idea!) that when I THOUGHT we were done is not when we should be if I were going to match the original choreography.  There was at least one more bar to go through.  And so when teaching that routine, my mind would say, “This is it.  This is enough.”  And my body would say, “Terre, we’ve been through this before.  If you THINK this is it, then you KNOW it is not.  Stay.”  So Helen’s words “Stay with your enoughs” are perfect.

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, ZumbaNia is so lovely that pretty much most of the time if I lead us into the next sequences of moves before we are actually supposed to go or if we stay longer than the original choreography intended it doesn’t really matter.  We might miss that wonderful “perfect match up” to the music, but it never really feels badly off.  The choreography flows very well with the music so most of the time it doesn’t feel WRONG.  We have the flexibility to stay and go as we please, but when coached to “stay with the enoughs” sometimes it is the perfect idea to help with those troubled spots.

In the workshop that Helen was leading since she was teaching us how to dance a specific Nia Routine to a specific album, there were specific songs and specific examples of where she thought it might feel like as if it is enough.  The idea is to keep the faith and “stay with your enoughs”.  Just stay past the point you think you should be done with that move.  She said one track in particular would “give you a lot of ‘enoughs'”.  Which for me that is not the “enough” song, but that is ok.  She reminded me of the tool so I can apply it to any and all songs where I have enoughs.  I get to relax and stay with them!

There were so many wonderful things presented in the workshop I could probably do a month’s worth of posts.  But for now I’ll say “enough” . . . . until my next post . . . .

Do you stay with your enoughs?

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Energy Allies

Posted by terrepruitt on March 30, 2010

When I attended the Nia White Belt Intensive I had not heard of the Four Agreements so I was very captivated by what we refer to as our Energy Allies.  When I decided to attend the Intensive I had only been to four Nia classes and I had decided I wanted to teach it.  I had no idea what to expect.  So these Energy Allies came in handy for me.

We call them friends and rely on them as you would friends.  I am posting these because I often need to be reminded of my friends and I thought I would share them with you.

I was taught:

1–Speak with impeccability
We were reminded to stay “on task”.  Often times in a group setting questions are asked that do not actually relate to the subject being discussed.  Or people like to tell stories about something “sort of” related to the subject.
We were also instructed to use “I”.  When we talk we often tend to project what we are saying instead of saying “I”.

2–Don’t assume anything
Don’t “make up” stories in our head.  We don’t really always know what the story is so we shouldn’t make it up.
-Quiet our inner mind’s conversation.

3–Don’t take anything personally
Don’t get caught up in self-pity or self importance.
Try not to get emotional about a comment.

4–Always do your best
No holding back
Follow instruction
Recognize what is required

I thought this was a GREAT way to start a seminar or in this case an “intensive”.  I wished we could have employed these agreements when I was a corporate trainer.  I think they really assist in keeping the group on task.  When people are allowed to share information that pertains to the subject yet understand that off topic issues will be put on a back burner, that helps keep the subject flow steady.  Keeping the inner mind silent assists in hearing what is being said.  Not taking comments that were made personally allowed the information to be given and received so that it could be useful and not destructive.  Following instructions assisted with the energy in the room.  When we all understood what was required we were all able to focus on the moment’s assignment.

Keeping these four allies around really enabled our group to keep our energy going.  When listening is not at a premium and/or people are emotional about something it really can zap the energy of the collective.

These are friends that can be invited to anything in one’s life.  Do you have these Energy Allies as your friends?  Or are you familiar with the Four Agreements?

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