Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Posts Tagged ‘Pilates reformer’

Closed Stance in Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on May 3, 2012

Nia has a different closed stance than some other dances and exercises I know. In Pilates the stance is heels touching and toes apart. I’ve heard it called a Pilates V. The Pilates V is done in more positions than standing. Sometimes there are exercises done while on the reformer where we will place our feet in Pilates V. It is nice to have positions that are specific. It helps a lot. I as a teacher can just say, “Closed stance.” and the Nia students will know what that means. Instead of forming a V as in the Pilates stance we form more of a rectangle. A basic closed stance is simple. It is stable. Nia’s closed stance is the side of the big toes touching and heels apart. It is as if all four corners of a rectangle are in contact with the edge of the foot. This allows for a very stable base. In the basic closed stance the arms hang. The back is straight, we are standing tall, lengthening the spine. Knees are relaxed as well was the feet. Weight is balanced evenly on both feet. Simple closed stance.

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, NiaClosed stance is one of the six stances in the Nia 52 Moves. There is Closed Stance, Open Stance, A Stance, Sumo (or Riding) Stance, Bow Stance, and Cat Stance. I believe that in its basic form closed stance is the easiest. But when other elements are added that might not hold true.

We can practice our agility by walking quickly then stopping in closed stance. We might choose to be in closed stance while we allow just our arms to be agile . . . moving around in a starting and stopping fashion. We could just let our closed stance be stable as our arms are mobile. We could do an entire body dance . . . close stance dance. For some this is a challenge, even though our feet are formed into a rectangle and the idea is of a stable base it is still a practice in balance to have your feet secured to the earth while the rest of your body moves around.  As I said, what we do with a close stance might not be so simple.

Practicing walking and stopping in closed stance is a good check to make certain you are not landing in “toes in“. The heels shouldn’t be that far apart as if you are doing toes in. Yet the toes should be touching. Coming from other stances to closed is good for conditioning the legs. Moving from Sumo to closed, or from at to closed is something to practice. Again we don’t want our heels to land too far apart making us pigeon toed.

I know of several routines that have us going through the stances. We start out in closed, then go to open stance, then go to A stance, then go to sumo. In some routines we work back through the stances, but in some we do move right into closed from sumo.  I can’t think of one where we go from closed to sumo, but I bet there is one and I just can’t put my finger on it.  Nia loves to mix up the moves to get the most out of the workout.

Can you sense the stability in the Nia Closed Stance?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia Temporary Studio – Because We Love It

Posted by terrepruitt on October 4, 2011

If you follow me on Twitter, are a Facebook friend of mine, or look at my website, you will have seen that my Nia students and I have been doing Nia in the park.  I teach Nia at two different facilities.  There is my Monday and Wednesday class that meets at 9:00 am.  We meet in a little dance studio in an area of San Jose called Willow Glen.  The studio is about 900 square feet, it has a laminate floor and a large mirror.  It is long and slightly narrow.  It is a nice little place.  I have been teaching there for over two and a half years.  Some of my students have been dancing Nia with me for that long.  In November of 2010 I started teaching Nia on Fridays at a different studio in Los Gatos.  It was a different type of studio . . . it was more of an exercise studio where exercise classes are held.  They had a separate room for Pilates Reformer classes.  Well at the end of August this studio said they were moving.  When they would be done with the move and how it all was going to work was very up in the air.  At one point I was told by one of the owners that we would only miss one Nia class.  So I just decided that one class would be ok to miss.  It would not be worth the time involved to secure another place to hold a class.  But then the next week we were told it would be at least another week.  So I asked my students if they wanted to hold a class in the park.  Many students are wanting to participant in Nia three times a week so they said yes.  We decided to try it.

Well, I think that not having Nia that one Friday really helped us all realize that we do like to have it three times a week.  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday just seems pretty perfect.  On the Friday we met in the park we didn’t know how it would go.  We didn’t know if the weather would cooperate.  We didn’t know if there would be too many people for us to dance on the volleyball court.  See that is one thing, I have often entertained the idea of do Nia in a park, because grass really sound likes a great place to dance barefoot.  Natures cushioned dance floor.  But I have always been concerned about holes, bumps, and ruts.  The thought of someone turning their ankle on the grass has always kept me from following through with it.  Plus, the idea that was tossed about had always been an evening class.  I imagine parks being really busy in the evening.

This park that we have been at is really close to the studio in Willow Glen.  There is a basketball court and a volleyball court that have been empty in the mornings.  I imagine the basketball court is occupied in the evenings, but while we are there it is empty.  The volleyball court is somewhat in the shade and provides us with a smooth flat surface to move on.  The park seems rather busy the hour before we arrive.  Seems like many loving dog owners take their dogs out for morning exercise.  There are mother’s and children at the playground.  We have had to dance without music when the lawnmower has obliterated the sound.  But that was only once or twice for a song or two.

The studio has been closed for longer than we had anticipated.  So we have been doing Nia in the park for four weeks.  The weather has been very nice.  Once it was warmer than we like, but so far we have had great temperatures.  This week it is raining.  The forecast is saying that it will be sunny on Friday, but we will see.  The studio has also announced that it will not be open for two more Fridays.  So we might get this week in at the park and next week.  I have been leaving it up to my students.  If they tell me they are going to be there, then I say, I will be there too!

I have really enjoyed our time at the park.  I sort of wish that we could do it there all year, but with winter coming, although winters in the San Fransisco Bay Area are not full of snow, we do get rain and I don’t think we want to dance in the rain.  So I am sad that our time in the park is ending.  I hope that we will be inspired to do Nia in the park again at some point after these next two weeks.  I am really doing it because my students wanted to do it because we love Nia.  I know that some classes take place on the beach and other outdoor places.  I am so happy that I have been able to experience Nia outdoors and share it with my students.

Yeah, this is me sharing.  🙂

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