One thing that is unique to Nia Technique as an exercise program is that every class is designed with a focus and intent. Each routine is choreographed with an original focus and intent and then every class is crafted by the teacher to address the needs of the students, the space, and the environmental factors. In most exercise classes, moves are done just for exercise’s sake.Class is class, regular life is unrelated. Hopefully, in our lives mind, body, emotion and spirit are more connected to our life’s over all focus and intent. Taking Nia Classes strengthens this connection and promotes an overall sense of purpose.
An example of a Nia class focus and intent could be this: Focus: Form and Freedom. Intent: Students will leave class more aware of how they move when following directions vs. moving to their body’s desire.
How do we do that? First we dance the steps that make the choreography of a routine.Then, once we are familiar with the steps (the technique, the sequence, etc…), we put our own signature on it (Freedom).
Our bodies are all similar, but we all have our own unique way of moving. With that in mind, Nia is designed so that in any song there can be a few choreographed movements but infinite ways to dance the same move.Each dancer makes the move unique.The teacher guides students to find a beat in the music, mobilize different joints, apply various emotions, follow a personal movement pattern, etc… A class of 20 can be doing the same move in 20 different ways.
As you dance, your body learns the sensations of the different choices you make. There is plenty of opportunity to experiment with all that you are learning with in class. The idea is that you integrate this awareness into your life when you leave.We call it dancing through life. You can find this new awareness in even the smallest tasks of your day.
Try this at home: Notice when you slice a birthday cake the gentle, slow, grace of your wrist movement.Then, notice the power, precision, and speed of your wrist when you chop carrots (the same movement.) Just being aware of these differences gives you the opportunity to choose what you want for your body. Looking at the larger picture know that this same awareness is key to keeping our whole lives balanced and meaningful.