Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The time is Now for NIA

   Carlos Rosas Teaching Nia

NIA is an exercise form that incorporates dance-martial-art-type moves along with the feelings themovement generates.

All the in the-trenches-research IE/ID has done over the years confirms the longest lasting exercise programs allow us to express ourselves. Furthermore, for those of us who love dance, this is an insistent energy that only increases with time.

Therapeutic movement can be a part of any movement discipline if you can shift beyond the “-do-I-look-right-am-I-right-for-this,” type of mentality. But in Nia it is seamlessly woven into the exercise hour. 

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with wanting to execute a movement correctly,

or with wanting to look one’s best. But we need more, we need to feel ourselves moving in a way that encompasses not just the “shoulds, the rights” but the individual quirks and unregulated beauty that each body owns.

Nia Dance
We have spent the time to learn the correct ways and now it is time to listen to the body’s revelations. A Chinese doctor once said to his student, “you have to woo the body.” It’s from this place that wisdom comes. 
Nia Dance

The Nia class started with the Sarah, the instructor and owner, saying we would be working with touch. “Think of touching the space with your bodies, your voice, and your eyes.” We began moving. The class uses so many dance  and martial arts styles: salsa, box step, cha-cha, balance'from ballet.


Whatever the step though, we are constantly opposing it. For example we did small light ninja type steps, followed by larger bounding side steps. We then added arms: chopping the space with a punch followed by a smooth bent elbow flowing block.
Ann Leaping

This change of body dynamics and the corresponding emotions challenges you to focus on both movement and feelings, fluidly shifting into different physical and emotional sensations.

It’s like a massage for the body and psyche, that’s further enhanced by the addition of “free
exploration.” At several points in the class, Sarah, announced “free exploration” and encouraged us to take the movements and just go with them, reminding us to “touch the space with your eyes, with your breath.” The music was orchestral and expansive melodies, contrasted with more rhythmic drumming and ethereal voice soundings.

ID adored this part, because there is a deeper opportunity here. It offers everyone in the class a chance to relate to one another via movement alone.  It is the opportunity open to experience not just dancing by oneself but moving and relating to other people. This is a window into the thrill of performing.

It's very Duncanesqe so the spirit of Isadora--check out a Nia class—See you bare foot and dancing!!

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