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 ‘Nia White Belt’

Some Basic Fitness Guidelines Found In The Nia White Belt Manual

Posted by terrepruitt on October 18, 2014

Sometimes when I need to write a blog post I am inspired. Sometimes I have an idea. Sometimes I have something to say. Sometimes I even have a few ideas lined up and I have to make a schedule of what I am going to post and when. Then sometimes, like today, like now . . . I got nothing. When I have nothing I usually look at all my books, all my pictures, all my notes on “things to blog about”, all my “stuff” and I usually can find some inspiration to come up with something, but today nothing is coming. I have been sitting here for hours and I’ve gone through what I have access to and I am not feeling a particular pull, so I am going to share some information from my Nia White Belt Manual.  I am going to remind you that I participated in the Nia White Belt Intensive in 2008.  My manual says, “The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual, March 2001, V3”  Which is not to say the information I am going to share is out of date . . . because a lot of it is pretty general to many, many, many fitness forms.  I state date and volume information for those of you that might have a Nia White Belt Manual but perhaps this information is no longer a part of it.  Or it is worded differently.  Because Nia is always adapting and, even though these guidelines are — for the most part — general, Nia might have changed the wording or taken this piece out of the manual.

These are the basics of Basic Fitness Guidelines found in the Nia White Belt Manual *directly from the manual*:

1.  *Do not eat for at least two hours before you work out.*

2.  Wear comfortable clothing you don’t mind sweating it.  Something that makes you FEEL good, but that you don’t mind getting down on the floor while wearing.

3.  *Start easy.*  As you become familiar with the moves you can add more intensity.  But, like all things, get the basics first – crawl before you walk, walk before you run, that type of thing.

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, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA4.  *Move the way you walk, using your whole body.*  –  If that is not how you walk, practice it.  Move through the Nia workout using your entire body.  *Step heel to toe when you move to the side or to the front, and shift your weight from one foot onto the other.  Lead with your heel, gently rolling forward to the ball of your foot, and then push off to change directions as you feel your toes lightly touch the floor.*

5.  *Don’t force a motion.  Don’t strain.  Strive for a balance between control and relaxation as you listen to your body’s signals.*

6.  *Make the movements an expression of you.  This is your workout.*

7.  *Use “belly breathing.”  When you inhale, first feel your belly expand, then your ribs, laterally expand, and then your chest and clavicle rise.”

8.  *Step back onto the ball of your foot, keeping your knees soft and your heel high as you lower your body weight.*

9.  *Draw your knee up toward your chest before you kick out.*

10. *Use your arms to express your feelings, emotions, or mood.*

11. *Contract your abdominals to round the spine, don’t lean.*

12. *Get in as much non-stop movement as possible.*

13. *Take at least three classes a week.*

14. *Combine a good diet with internal and external exercise to balance your fitness program.*

 

Pretty basic stuff.  Some – perhaps – a little unique to Nia, but not so much so they can’t be applied to other fitness/dance exercise classes.

What do you think?  Do you follow these guidelines?

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Nia Belt System Previously

Posted by terrepruitt on July 24, 2014

Recently someone asked me about the Nia Belt system.  I pointed him to my original post on Nia’s Belt System.  The one where I mentioned having seen many articles back then (in 2009) talking about the belt levels as if people had to progress through them in order to participate in Nia.  That is not the case.  Nia is a dance exercise.  It is a workout.  You can go to a Nia class just like you can go to a Zumba Fitness Class, a Jazzercize class, a UJAM class, a Hip-Hop class, a yoga class or any other class where you just walk in and do it.  You can just walk in and do Nia.  No strings (or belts — tee hee!) attached.  Just move your body to the music and enjoy the sensation.  Get a workout.  Get some exercise in.  Dance.  The belts are for people who want to learn more.

Nia has a “self discovery” program.  I don’t want to say self-improvement because some people might think, “I don’t need improving.” and you would be right.  The intensives are workshops of about 50 hours that show you how to experience movement in your body, show you how to relate to things.  The intensives show you many different things.  Each intensive is labeled with a belt color to help distinguish it from the others.  I also pointed him to my website which has the belt colors and the focuses of each belt.  But I was reminded that the information on my site, from 2012, is not the current information.  Nia is always updated herself.  She is like the co-creator, Debbie Rosas, she like to be current.  Below is the information from 2012.  I want to make record of it.  Plus I wanted to keep it available in case anyone was interested in remember it and/or comparing it to the newly worded focuses.  You can go to my site at Nia Belt Levels and Focuses  to see the newly worded focuses and intents for each belt.

In 2012 when I put the information on my site there was a White Belt, a Blue Belt, a Brown Belt, and a Black Belt available to anyone.  There is now a 1st Degree Black Belt.   There is a Green Belt for people who are teaching and have a Nia Livelihood Membership.

“Each of the four belts mentioned has a separate set of principles.  There are 13 principles for each belt, each belt also has a focus.

The focus for a White Belt is physical sensation.   (Terre earned her White Belt in December 2008.)

The focus for a Blue Belt is communication, relationship and intimacy.  (Terre earned her Blue Belt in November 2012.)

The focus for Brown Belt is sensing and perceiving energy.

The focus for Black Belt is unlimited creativity.

As I said, there is an intensive, Green Belt, that is just for Nia teachers, the focus for a Green Belt is the craft of teaching Nia.  This is an optional intensive.” **

 

When I originally took my White Belt in 2012, the Green Belt was just being created and the original thought was Nia was going to have White Belts that are teaching take it next, before blue.  But by the time I had enough money saved up to take my next belt (yes, it took FOUR years) they had relaxed that requirement and now allow people to take the Green Belt when and if they want.  I want to take it.  However there was a Blue Belt Intensive that was closer and did not require air travel and hotel expenses.  So I took the Blue Belt Training prior to the Green Belt Training.

Except for the Green Belt there is no testing as in a martial arts type of setting.  And the Green Belt test is written.  There IS 50+ hours of movement, lectures, thinking, sensing, learning, agreeing, disagreeing, discovering, connecting dots, ah-has, oh-nos, and ooo-ahs.  It is incredible and intense.  The training that Nia delivers is excellent.

My posts about the principles of the White Belt and the Blue Belt can help give you a better idea of what we study in the intensives (at least those two), but it is really something one has to experience for oneself.

I hope you click over to my site to see the new verbiage for the focuses and the added intents.

 

**The belt information was taken from the Nia Now website on November 14, 2012.

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

Your Choice To Choose Then Tweak To Sustain Or Increase

Posted by terrepruitt on May 15, 2014

You might have seen my post Are You Happy – It’s Your Choice that used the “poster” created by Alex Kopblin.  It is a flow chart asking if you are happy with simple instructions on how to stay or become happy.  Well, I just connected that to Nia.  More accurately to two Nia Principles.  I was looking through my Blue Belt Book of Alchemy and it dawned on me that the triad for Principle #1 is kind of like Alex’s flow chart.  He asks the question “Are you happy?” whereas in Nia we choose it.  His flow chart goes through simple steps to get to happy, whereas the Nia triad leads us to sensation and guides us to “tweak” in order to “sustain” or “increase” our Universal Joy.  While I have been thinking about choosing “happy” and joy, I hadn’t thought about either of these ideals/posters.  Even though I have Alex’s on my wall, directly in my face.  And I certainly hadn’t thought about how they are slightly connected/the same, until right now.

I often feel that Nia and its principles apply to life.  That is why it is a practice and not just a cardio dance workout.  As I have said many times . . . it IS a cardio dance workout, and if that is all you want to get out of it . . . GREAT.  You will get a GREAT workout.  But if you want to learn more about it and see how it applies to life you will find things like this.

You will find that Nia and its principle align up with a lot of memes out there on Facebook  The information aligns up with so many things because it is body center and it makes sense.  Nia is not necessarily the creator of many of these things, but they do have an amazing way of packaging it up.  One way they package it up so well is to relate it to movement.  There we are back to the cardio dance workout.

Anyway . . . I was a bit surprised to realize both of these ideas pretty much matched up.  But then after my initial, “Oh wow!” I realized, as I stated above, Nia connects to a lot of things.  While happy and Joy – as in the Universal Joy might not be the same thing, both of these things (the poster and Nia’s principle) are telling us that we are in control.  We are in control of our happiness and we are in control of connecting to the Universal Joy.  Neither is always easy at all times . . . but they are both always available to us.

I also believe that sometimes we do not choose emotions, sometimes they just happen.  There are times in life when we might need to just let them be and experience them.  But that might not be where we want to stay and be all the time.

There are many ways to experience the emotion of happiness and there are many ways to connect to the Joy.  What is really amazing is that the ways to do so might not be the same for every one . . . everyBODY is different.

What do you think?  I am just thinking out loud and marveling at the Nia connection to things.  As I wonder – at times – about my choice of Joy.

How are you about finding your own happiness?  What do you do to experience your “happy”?  What do you do to connect to Joy?

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

Jazz Square Using The Clock

Posted by terrepruitt on October 12, 2013

I took dance lessons when I was young.  I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know the Jazz Square.  Of course there had to be a time because one is not born knowing what a Jazz Square is much less how to do one.  But I don’t remember not knowing how to do it.  So I actually must have learned it prior to my dance lessons, because I was young when I took my lessons but not THAT young.  Whatever the case . . . . unfortunately it was all too long ago for me to truly know . . . I knew what a Jazz Square was when I entered my first Nia Class and when I took the Nia White Belt Intensive.  While the Jazz Square is not included as one of Nia’s 52 Moves it is something we do a lot in our routines.  It could be considered part of the Jazz Dance that is one of the Nine Movement forms that make up Nia.  Well, not everyone has had dance lessons or knows how to do a Jazz Square.  So we can use the clock to help them.

Nia has a core set of moves called Nia’s 52 Moves.  Three of them actually have “clock” in their names.  One is Rock Around the Clock, another is Slow Clock, and another is Fast Clock.  So it makes sense that with those moves we would use a clock image to do the move and/or help explain and instruct the move.  I have posted before about how we use the clock to help direct other moves.  Well, the Jazz Square is one of them.  While it is called a square it sometimes might be more of a rectangle, but the idea is to use the four corners.

First thing to know is that the Jazz Square is just four steps.  So often I will just have my students march or step four counts.  Sometimes we will get the dance going with that and then move to the square.  Some people stay with the marching and that is fine.  Another VERY important thing to know AND DO is to weight each step.  As in, put all your weight onto each step you take.  When you are learning the jazz square this is of the utmost importance.  This will ensure that you are taking a left, right, left, right (or right, left, right, left) approach and not trying to use the same foot – as in left, left, right, left – and just getting tangled up.

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, PiYo, Gentle YogaLet’s do a Jazz Square left-over-right.  So we will be starting with our left foot and having it cross over the right foot to the right side.  The left foot comes over to the right and lands on 2 o’clock, the right foot comes back to the back right corner and lands on 4 o’clock.   Then the left foot steps back to the back left corner – 8 o’clock, then the right foot steps over to the upper left corner – 10 o’clock.  That is one jazz square.  To keep going the left foot swings around the right foot to the upper right corner – 2 o’clock and you continue on.

So right-over-left is: right foot to upper left corner (10 o’clock), left foot to back left corner (8 o’clock), right foot to back right corner (4 o’clock), left foot to upper right corner (2 o’clock).  To keep going the right foot must swing around the left foot back up to the upper left corner (10 o’clock).

Sometimes when we are doing a fast jazz square my square turns into a diamond with step one being more at 1 and the corners a little askew.  But I have corners!

As with many things sometimes it is easier for a person to do it one way than the other.  So it might be easy to do left foot over right foot, but when you switch it is not as easy.  Sometimes that is when a student will march.  Or they will do the jazz square but not the hand or body movement that we pair with it.  Continuing to move is the key so whatever they do is great.  Eventually with practice, the can do it!

Perhaps this will help.

Key things to remember:

  • FOUR steps
  • Put your weight on every step
  • Step to 2, 4, 8, 10 – left, right, left, right or
  • Step to 10, 8, 4, 2 – right, left, right, left
  • Marching is an option
  • Have fun

Do you do the Jazz Square?  Does this help?  Can you do the Jazz Square and a shimmy?  Both ways?

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

The Right Shoe

Posted by terrepruitt on September 26, 2013

Today after Nia Class a Nia White Belt and I were talking.  We were talking Nia over coffee and a friend from her past happened by.  So she joined us.  She was coming from Jazzercise and so, of course the conversation turned to us sharing some information about Nia with her.  She sounded as if she was willing to try it but also as if she was never going to move away from Jazzercise.  I love that she is moving.  I think it is important that people exercise and one of the ,best ways to ensure that is to find something you like or better yet — love.  I appreciate that there is so much out there for people to participate in.  Of course, I would love for you to come to my Nia class.  I would love for you to love Nia.  I think it is great because it addresses the BMES, but not everyone likes that in their exercise.  In the course of our conversation she said she tried Zumba, but it didn’t work for her that well.  She had already mentioned that she takes it easy on her knee so I felt justified in recommending the correct type of shoe.  I often hear people don’t like Zumba because it hurts their knees and it often has to do with the shoes they are wearing.  In Nia we dance bare foot.  We do not twist on our foot or scoot, we pick our feet up off the ground.  When doing a dance exercise or a fitness class, like Zumba the need for shoes is apparent.  In Zumba there is a lot of twisting, shuffling, and sliding.  You need the right shoe for that.

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, PiYo, Gentle YogaExercise sneakers, tennis shoes, cross trainers, and running shoes are not the correct shoe for doing Zumba or any type of dance that requires shoes for that matter.  An exercise sneaker or tennis shoe has what you want in regards to cushion, construction and support.  A cross trainer has even more support in the shoe because with cross training you are moving forward, backward, side to side, and even up and down. So the shoe itself is made to support your foot and keep it secured in the shoe.  And running shoes are great for the cushion.  They cushion your step and help absorb the shock of your foot landing on the earth.  So these types of shoes are great, the “upper”, because they are built for impact and moving in different directions, but it is the sole you do not want to dance on.  These shoes are made for traction.  They are made to stop you from twisting and sliding.  When you are playing tennis, doing cross training, or running you don’t want to be slipping, sliding, and twisting around.  So the soles are made to keep that from happen.  I mean, have you seen some of those soles?  They look like tire treads.  Great for outdoors.

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, PiYo, Gentle YogaNow a dance shoe, say a jazz shoe or a ballet slipper is perfect for dance.   Without all of the cushion and support that is an athletic shoe they are usually light and easy to lift and move in.  The bottom of the shoe has material that allows you to slide and glide, spin, turn, and twirl on the dance floor.  Perfect for moving to the music and getting your groove on.  And THAT is the kind of sole you want.  Something you can twist in.  Something you can slide in.  Something that won’t stop you foot dead as you dance across the floor.  But then again, those shoes have the SOLES you want, but not the support.  Since you are doing cross training type of motion (forward, backward, side to side, and even up and down) you want that type of support.  And it would be nice to have some cushion too, huh?

Well, do your knees a favor and do not do Zumba in tennis shoes, cross trainers, and running shoes.  And do your feet a favor and do not do Zumba in a jazz shoe or a ballet slipper.  What you need is a dance sneaker.  Someone, somewhere – I don’t know the origin of them – decided to combine the two.  Brilliant.  Someone added the support, cushion, and comfort of an athletic shoe to a sole that can slide and glide.  Whew!  This is genius.  This will help save your knees and other joints!

I know Zumba has a brand of shoe that has a great dance sole, I don’t know about the cushion and support of the shoe.  I bought Capezios because they don’t have a sole over the arch so they allow for the foot to really move.

Since you are investing in your health and wellness by going to a dance exercise class, please take it a one step further and splurge for those dance sneakers.  They don’t have to cost more than $50.00, and you will be saving yourself so much more in the long run.  You will be allowing your body to move with greater comfort on the dance floor.

What do you think?  Do you think a shoe that allows you to slide a bit is better for dancing?  Doesn’t it make sense to have a dance sneaker?

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

Happy Nia Share

Posted by terrepruitt on July 30, 2013

I have been teaching Nia for over four and half years.  I have students that are Nia teachers.  I have students who have taken the training but are not teachers.  The Nia Intensives are open to people who do not intend to teach.  So I have people in my classes who have experienced the training, but this is the first time that I have people who are taking the Nia White Belt Training because I introduced them to Nia.  Well, one for certain, she did not know about it until she had taken my class and the other one I think didn’t know about it until she came to one of my Nia classes.  Now this is not me saying I am so great that I have inspired two individuals to take the intensive, this is me saying, “Yay!” to the power of Nia.  It is fun cardio dance exercise class . . . but if you want to take the intensive it is a lot more.

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 am so excited.  I have not had a chance to talk to my student much.  She just returned and we have yet to meet so I can get the scoop, but she did express awe.  She is in my Tuesday morning class.  The Tuesday before she left for her training she was so kind she said that she was bringing a laptop and she would be able to send me some e-mails and we could communicate the week she was in the training.  I told her no we would not.  I told her that she is going to be so full she will not be able to e-mail.  For me, while I was in the intensive, any time that I was not actually IN the training, I was either trying to absorb it and remember and think about all that I had just heard or I was do a little bit of socializing.  The training is intense.  I have mentioned before.  It is not so physically intense that you feel as if you are at military boot camp, but it is physical.  There is a lot of moving.  I did send her an e-mail during the week and she said she was too tired to respond.  I laughed.  It is a lot.

Usually there is a Nia class at 7:00 in the morning or so.  And when I was in the training we were not required to go to them all, but why not?  So the day starts with movement at 7:00 am.  Then there is lectures and movement and all of it together.  And – something else I’ve said before – not everything you hear is a new concept or a new idea, but the way it is presented or tied into Nia and/or movement makes it seem new in the sense that your brain and your body want to examine it.  Learning can be exhausting.  Intensives are about 50 hours.  The day usually ends about 7:00 pm after an evening Nia class.  I know I said most of this just this past November when I took my blue belt.  But I am just so excited to have two students becoming Nia White Belts I wanted to share.  I want to shout it out!

The brief moments I did get to speak to my student she expressed exactly what one expects after a training.  She was happy and grateful and just full of new things.  She was amazed to see how much anatomy is part of the Nia training.  One of the co-founders wanted to be a doctor so she is very interesting in anatomy.  Plus knowing how the body is designed helps know how to create choreography that will allow the body to have a wonderful sensation while moving.  Nia is amazing.

I really just wanted to share my joy that one of my students took the next step in the amazing journey that is Nia.  She was very kind and as a thank you for introducing her to Nia, she brought me these lovely gladioli.

If you are interested in taking a class from me see my website www.HelpYouWell.com.  If you are anywhere else in the world and you want to see if there is a class near you see http://www.nianow.com/find/classes and if you want to learn about Nia trainings see  http://www.nianow.com/training

Well, what are you waiting for?

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Sense Your . . . . .

Posted by terrepruitt on June 8, 2013

In Nia we often say while dancing, “Everybody sense your . . . ”  (For more see: Nia White Belt Principle #13  Teaching What You Sense.)  This is to help bring attention to specific body parts.  It could be because we are doing a specific move and we want to have the student’s attention on that body part.  It could be that we feel a body part just needs attention.  It could be that we want the students to move in a different way.  Sensing a body part though does not require movement of that part.  If I were to say right now, “Everybody sense your hand.”  I wouldn’t necessarily mean for you to move your hand.  I mean for you to sense it.  Recently on Facebook I posted, “EveryBODY sense your trachea!!!!!! Breathe . . . . . . . .” and one of my friends asked HOW?  Fabulous question.  How do you sense your trachea?  No, really how do YOU sense your trachea?  How do you sense any of your body parts?

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 said, sensing a body part does not necessarily mean moving it.  It could, if that is how YOU bring attention to a part and if that is how YOU sense it.  It could mean you LOOK at it.  Maybe looking at it helps you sense it.  It could mean you touch it because you want to cause it sensation so that you can sense it.  There are many ways to sense a body part and we all have different ways of doing it.  Some might start with closing their eyes and picturing it in their head.  Some might just think of it and be able to sense it right away.  Part of the practice is the discovery of how we sense different body parts.

For sensing your trachea I thought that one way an individual could do it was by breathing.  That might help you sense your trachea.  Sensing your breath coming in and out might help.  Maybe coughing would help?  Maybe meditating on it?  Maybe touching it?  There really are so many ways to do it and it is up to the individual.  Sensing body parts could even take practice.  Maybe each body part is different.  Perhaps you can easily sense your hand without looking at it, moving it, or touching it, but since you might not often “sense your trachea” it could take a little bit of thought and practice.  Again . . . . the wonderful journey that is Nia and sensing your body.

Often times we don’t even give a second thought to a body part, unless it is in pain.  Unless it SCREAMS at us for attention we might never stop to listen to it.  We might never stop to sense it.  There are so many reasons to sense your body . . . I have already stated just a few that might come up while in a Nia Class.  I am sure you can think of many others.

This is one of the things we do in Nia that can be carried out into life and as we like to call it as we “dance through life”.  This is one of the things you can do that makes Nia “practice”.  You can practice sensing your body parts throughout the day.  Back to the “pain” part of attention . . . say you have pain in your knee, you are going to want to sense it as you move throughout your day so that you can move in a way as to not cause more pain.  Another example if you’re wanting to straighten up your posture a little bit you might want to practice sensing your spine or your shoulders during your day.  As I said, many reason to play with and practice sensing your body parts.  And it really is an individual thing.  You do it in your own way.

Starting with body parts you can see and touch might be a good place to start if you are needing a suggested starting point. That way looking or touching can be the beginning of the sensing journey.  Either way, if you let yourself be open to it, I am sure you will find a way.

So how do YOU sense your trachea?

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

Nia’s Routine Pamphlets

Posted by terrepruitt on June 1, 2013

Nia Technique’s Outstanding Routine DVDs (Part 3)

Nia Classes are led by Nia teachers who learn routines.  It is kind that we are only obligated by license to learn four Nia routines a year, because if we dive into the depths of a Nia routine it could easily take three months.  The training information they provide is incredible.  It is multi-faceted and multidimensional.  Three years ago I mentioned in a post that I would specify what came in Nia’s Routine for Teachers DVDs.   Well, in the three years there has actually been changes in how the information is presented.  I am using three posts to explain what I have in the routine packages that I have purchased and I am also sharing to the best of my knowledge what is in the newer ones.  At the basic level you receive a CD and a DVD and a pamphlet is available online.

This is the third post in this series.  In the first post I talked about everything that you get in the package and the sections on the DVD.  I made it through two of the sections:  the Focus and Move the Move.  The second post took us through: Learn the Move, Energize the Move, and the Music.  Here in this post I am taking a quick look at the pamphlet.

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, ZumbaIn addition to the wonderful Nia Class and explanations on the DVD there is a pamphlet.  As I said in post one of this series, the pamphlet used to be included in the routine package.  But now I believe you have to download it yourself.  I am not certain if the older ones still come with the pamphlet or not.  But if you look at the pamphlets online (must be a member) you can see how the material has changed.  I am certain that along with the morphing of the DVDs there has been a greater change over the years than I have even seen.  The routines that I own with pamphlets that came in the package have the focus and intent stated along with the “Routine Description”.  It also contains “Suggested Alternative Foci”.  It lists the 7 Cycles.  Under each cycle is gives a little information.  The cycles in which there is music it lists the song that is in that cycle and information on what it teaches you.  As an example the routine I am looking at states:

“Track 1: Sexy Teaches You To —

Move through the stances of Closed, Open, A, and Riding to ground, warm up the back and core and move from the inside out”

That is one bullet, as you can see each track has more than three bullets with information regarding what the choreography teaches you.  A lot of information!

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, ZumbaThe next section in the pamphlet gives you the 8BC’s.  Just the bars of the 8BC’s.  There is indicators as to what the sections are in the song, but no flowering, no dressing, no choreography.  Just the bars.  There is a lot left to still do with the bars.

With the new routines, the pamphlet is a bit different.  In addition to what I’ve previously mentioned and a lot of information reminding us of what we learn in the Nia White Belt Intensive there is new information.  Such as “Working With the Focus” and that the 7 cycles remain the same, but there is differences within each cycle depending upon different things, say the focus for example.  There is also a section with the shorthand for Nia’s 52 moves because now the bars come with choreography notes.

Now the bars are in color which is used to show the different sections.  The same colors taught in the Nia White Belt Intensive.  And as I mentioned, they have choreography notes.

The pamphlet also states that as of 2012, “videos include on-screen 52 moves choreography text. You will see this appear at the beginning of each new choreography sequence, and repeat throughout the routine.”  Which is great and news to me.  At the time of this writing I have obviously not learned a routine that was created and filmed in 2012 because I have not seen the text on the videos.  Cool.

The last thing that one of the “old” versions of the pamphlet had that I am not seeing on the new ones is the Music Credits.  The ones I have list the name of the number of the track, the name, the artist, and information about each song.  I find some of that information kind of interesting.  For instance the track 1 on Oshun is Sexy, by Illumine which was actually recorded Live at Studio Nia.

So maybe now you can see why the description of a Nia Routine Teacher Training DVD needed to be three posts.  There is a lot of training in each package.  There is a lot of information to absorb in learning a routine.  I will confess that I have not done all of this on all of the routines I lead.  My intent is as I go back and complete more of these steps as I revisit the routines.  Now that I basically know the music and the moves, I can watch the other portions of the DVD and I can read the pamphlet information.  With each section of time I lead the routine I can add something new to my learning.  Nia routines are very multidimensional.  The training has many aspects.  There is so much to learn and so many different ways to do it.  Just like Nia.

I hope this gave you some information you might need or like to know in regards to Nia Routine DVDs for Teachers.

Do you have any questions?  Is there any additional information you would like?

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DVDs Nia Teachers Learn From

Posted by terrepruitt on May 30, 2013

Nia Technique’s Outstanding Routine DVDs (Part 2)

Three years ago I posted about Nia Routines and I stated in that post that I would describe what the training DVD is like.  Here I am with that information.  Also, I want to share about the whole routine teacher training package that a Nia teacher receives.  It is turning out to be three (sort of four) posts long.  This is the second post.  That is how much we get in our Nia continued education Routine Teacher Training package.  I am just sharing briefly about it.  These posts are to give you an idea of what you would receive.  As a reminder you receive a CD, DVD, and pamphlet.  The CD and DVD are shipped to you and the pamphlet you can view online, save to your computer, and/or print.

The DVD consists of the Focus, Move the Move, Learn the Move, Energize the Move, and the Music.  In post one I talked about the Focus and the Move the Move section.  Here you’ll learn a bit about Learn the Move, Energize the Move, and the music.

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, ZumbaIn the Learn the Move section they explain the move.  The way they did this morphed over the years.  I have some DVDs where they stood facing the camera and talked about the moves.  Showing you the move and going into detail about each move.  I also have some DVDs where the teacher is just dubbed over the actual class as shown in the Move the Move portion.  So you are seeing the same thing over again and the creator is talking about the moves as the routine plays.  The explanation includes both the physical description and little tips.  Sometimes they might explain alternatives even if they have not done them in the Move the Move portion of the DVD.  They also sometimes explain why we are doing a move.  “‘Holding a ball’ allows a body to move systemically, connecting the upper body with the lower body.” This portion at times can help with figuring out how to do a move if it is a little challenging to you or your students.

With Energize the Move the creator explains the energy involved.  For example “the energy at this part of the routine is meant to be focused and very intentional.”  And, “the energy of connecting to your body and space around.”  This section can help provide pearls and additional verbiage that you can use to get your class moving.

The last section of the DVD is the Move the Move with just the music.  There is no teacher instruction.  This is where you do the Nia Class without being told what to do.  You get to watch and just listen to the music.

The music portion of the DVD always makes me remember I have always wanted an option in the Move the Move portion to be able to turn up the music.  I have an exercise DVD (Turbo Jam) where you can “pump up” the music.  You can still here Chalene Johnson giving you instructions but you can make the music much louder.  I think it would be of great help to me if I could turn the music up on my Nia Routine DVDs but still listen to the teacher talking.  I have yet to suggest that to Nia HQ.  It would really be nice for me to hear the music louder so I could practice my listening to the cues, yet still get the benefit of the instruction.  I’ve tried to time the music say from my iPod to the DVD so I COULD turn up the music myself, but I can never get it synchronized.  🙂

In my post Continuing Education – Nia White Belt Principle #12, I talk about the three stages of learning a routine.  I mention there are steps in each stage.  The Learn the Move and Energize the Move are couple of the additional steps.  Watching and learning the information contained in each of these sections of the DVD can be very beneficial to leading a routine.

In my next post I share some information about the pamphlets and you’ll see how there is even MORE information to learn!

Are you getting a clearer picture of what is contained in a Nia Teacher’s Routine DVD?  Can you somewhat understand that there is a lot of good information?

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Nia Routines I’ve Learned

Posted by terrepruitt on May 9, 2013

I teach Nia.  I actually like to say I lead Nia because to me teaching a dance is more instructive.  What I think of as teaching is the type of class where the instructor demonstrates a step or two then the students do the steps a few times, then the instructor demonstrates more steps and the students practice them.  Eventually the steps are strung together in a dance.  But in my Nia cardio classes it is just lead follow.  I do – you follow.  I give verbal instructions and/or verbal guides but it is not the type of instructional class where I show you, then you do, then we practice and then we string all the steps together.  So I guess it is not an “instructional” or “instructed” dance class.  But I do teach by example.  You follow my lead.  In order to be a Nia teacher I had to take the Nia White Belt Intensive.  I have talked about this before, but to review the White Belt is the first level of Nia.  The White Belt Intensive is over 50 hours of instruction and is open to anyone.  Individuals do not have to have the intent to teach.  The Nia White Belt Intensive is about the body so anyone is welcome to join and learn.  In order to be a Nia teacher there is an additional licensing fee.  The fee is due annually and it includes four routines that we, as teachers, agree to learn per year.  I was just looking at my DVDs.  I have two routines that I have not learned.  I have 19 that I have learned.  I have been teaching almost four and half years so I am keeping up with the four per year schedule.

Now, I want to clarify that I have learned 19 routines.  That means that I basically did the bars and have shared 19 routines with my students.  That means I roughly know those 19 routines.  I could stand up right now and lead you through some of them, but some of them I would have to look at my bars, and some of them I would have to study my bars.  But I also feel I am better at just doing.  While I want to do the routine as per the choreography, I am not as afraid as I once was to just DO the routine.

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, ZumbaWhen I am preparing to do a different routine for my class sometimes I have a chance to practice and sometimes I don’t.  I will look at my bars for each song.  Sometimes I look at the first few lines and think, “Oh yeah, I know this one.”  Then when I am leading it my body and my mind don’t remember it as well as I thought and I just dance through it, but then when I get home I look more closely at my bars or re-watch the DVD.  It really is about moving and having fun.  As long as we are moving and we are doing it close enough then it is good.  Then, like I said, I come home to get the choreography better established in my head and body!

The routines I have learned are:

Alive – Carlos AyaRosas
Amethyst – Debbie Rosas
Aya – Carlos Rosas
Beyond – Debbie Rosas and Ann Christiansen
Birth – Debbie Rosas and Collaborators
Canta – Carlos Rosas
Clarity – Carlos Rosas
White Belt Dream Walker – Carlos Rosas
Earthsong – Carlos Rosas
Global Unity
Humanity – Carlos AyaRosas
Miracle – Carlos Rosas
Opal – Debbie Rosas
Passion – Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas
Sanjana – Debbie Rosas
San Medusa – Helen Terry
Sexi – Carlos Rosas
Velvet – Debbie Rosas
Vibe – Debbie Rosas

The names of the routines that I have on my shelf that I need to learn are Butterfly and Oshun.  I just renewed so I have four routines that I need to pick out as my new routines.  Picking routines is always a challenge because everyone has such different tastes.  Some people LOVE, LOVE, LOVE some of the routines I have and I don’t love them.  So for me it is a difficult decision.  I try to pick routines that I think my students will like, but then that is just a guess.  I know which ones they like out of the ones I teach because they request them often.

If you were just picking a routine from the name which one would you pick?  As a Nia student which one out of this list is your favorite?  What about Nia teachers, which is your favorite out of this list?

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