Back in 2011, one of the things that compelled me to start teaching Nia was the need to start having more fun with my workouts, to drop some of the seriousness and even start laughing more. At the time, I saw how my teacher was play-acting and fooling around while leading her class and it got me thinking “why doesn’t she take herself seriously? I tried to imagine myself doing the same, but realized that I couldn’t, because I have suppressed my inner child to the point where I have lost the connection. Since then, I decided to train myself to be more playful and child-like, and now I use these notions when teaching my classes. It took time and dedication, but it was well worth it. We all know that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter has been clinically proven to promote whole body – mind relaxation, boost the immune system, release endorphins, aka “feel – good” chemicals and more. Both dance and laughter work wonders to bring our mind and body back into balance. They connect us to others and keep us grounded, focused and alert.
This is why I have partnered with Lais, a certified Laughter Instructor, for an upcoming event, ‘Laughing and Dancing’ Night. We are excited to be able to share with all of you the wonderful sensations of wellness that the unique combination of dancing and laughing has to offer. Please read our full invitation text here. Please read about Lais here below.
Lais is an ASCA accredited Energy Therapist, Reiki & Meditation teacher. More recently she became certified in Laughter Yoga because she loves the therapeutic benefits of laughing in a group setting. Since then she and her partners created the Geneva Laughter Club that holds monthly laughter events. Read more about Laughter Yoga here .
I am excited to invite you for my 90 minute Nia class focusing on the ‘Joy of Movement’. The aim of this class is to bring joy into the body as you move in your own unique way.
How does it work?
I will demonstrate the fundamental Nia movements while allowing you to ‘tweak’ or adjust the moves in your own way so that you fully enjoy the dance in your body rather than unconsciously imitating the teacher. You will be able to create your own dance by applying the existing choreography along with your own unique personality.
This class is for beginners and seasoned Nia dancers alike.
In this class you will be exposed to:
Nia stances, including explanation (benefits) and mindful exploration (movement)
Nia Dance choreography
Semi-guided Free Dance
Eclectic selection of music including world music, new wave, electro, rock, disco
Good vibes and laughs
What will you experience after the class?
Along with the sensation of a great work out, you will feel both energized and balanced, all at the same time. You may also experience sensations of freedom, expansion, elation and child like curiosity. These sensations are there for you to take with you outside the class in order to continue your unique dance throughout your day.
I can count my blessings to have been able to work with a group of knowledgeable, professional, kind and, utterly awesome people within the last 6 months. As the year rolls on, I decided to look back at some of the resolutions I set for myself at the beginning of 2015. The goals included finding my unique voice, particularly for communicating my ideas and developing Nia Dance as a business, and also to experiment with a variety of Nia teaching styles and training methods. I feel like much has been accomplished and I would like to mention the special people and their businesses, who directly or indirectly helped me in achieving my goals.
1. Hiba Samawi Giacoletto – Health coach and psychologist at Healthwise.ch
Hiba and I partnered for a few events that combined movement and food exercises in order to attain the new level of ‘being in the body’ sensation. Highly professional, resourceful and sophisticated, but also humble and friendly, Hiba taught me a great deal about food and food ingredients, including spices. While I follow a large number of blogs and own countless cook books, I have to admit that it is really convenient to have someone show you new techniques, trends, give you personalized advice and shares easy-to-follow recipes.
I met Debra on numerous occasions, including Nia dance classes and as a co-lead in a workshop for the ETC group. I also read one of Debra’s books ‘The Garden of Bliss’. The book reveals her personal story and gently guides the reader to experiment with dreams, visualizations and meditations. Debra’s unique ability to guide, combined with her candid humor moved me to follow her workshops on writing. Theses workshops ultimately helped me to sort out my thoughts and ditch the fear of opening-up while pursuing my dream of sharing Nia. With the help of these workshops, I dared to experiment with different teaching styles that lead me to who I now am as a Nia teacher.
Anine is the organizer behind the wonderful ETC group where I had a chance to present Nia Dance twice in January 2015. Anine possesses unparalleled ability to connect people while bringing forward the best of their talents. She is also an extremely insightful, knowledgeable, honest and straightforward person. If you are a business woman and want your business to be exposed to a larger circle, come to meet her and other like-minded people.
This year I did what I never thought I would do: I got myself a life coach. I was looking forward to our Skype sessions with enthusiasm and anticipation. Brigitte’s style is fun and encouraging and she knows exactly what questions to ask. She leads you to a space where aha moments are laying there waiting to be ‘discovered’. These sessions taught me patience and encouraged me once again to experiment with different Nia teaching styles.
I met Nesrin at one of Hiba Giacoletto events and immediately recognized her as a person who thrives on living holistically. I had one coaching session with her on the topic of communication and was blown away by her insights and professionalism. She is coaching oil professionals and business executives and comes highly recommended. She is extremely clear in her communication and at the same time very thoughtful in her presentation style, a rare quality.
I always knew that one day I would write about the Nia routine ‘Beyond’. The routine has had such a profound impact on me that it’s quite difficult to ignore. Besides, my friends are always asking me why I dance it so often, so here’s why.
I recall dancing some parts of ‘Beyond’ in July 2011 during my White Belt Training in St. Gallen, Switzerland. I remember being confused about the short bars in the seventh song ‘Dougoulanta’ while we execute elbow strikes alternating sides. Shortly after completing my White Belt training I opened a class with a presentation of ‘Opal’ and ‘Earthsong’ – both amazing Nia routines that are on my favorites list as well. Then December came and I ordered the new routine ‘Beyond’ without even listening to the music. I remember coming home from my day job and being so impatient to watch the new routine crafted by my trainer on my DVD player. What happened afterwards was something I did not expect: I was totally overcome with emotion while dancing ‘Pirates’ – the first song. I danced the whole routine without even changing into my gym clothes, realizing that I had already danced this beautiful routine or at least parts of it. Dancing ‘Beyond’ that evening brought back memories from my White Belt training; of ‘getting in my body’, ‘knowing’ what I needed to do to bring dance back into my life, overcoming fears of ‘getting out of my box’ and becoming a trail blazer.
Needless to say, I wanted to teach this routine immediately. But it took a while to learn; as it contains certain hidden treasures left to the Nia teacher to uncover and an athletic component that needed to be worked on as well. Admittedly I was challenged a few times by both the movement and music elements. When I took a maternity leave from teaching Nia, ‘Beyond’ was once again my favorite. I danced it once a week throughout my whole pregnancy because it helped me to ease the swelling in my feet, gave me the opportunity to feel beautiful and sexy again, and encouraged movement exploration at a time when my mobility was diminishing. I especially appreciated the songs where I was able to tailor the moves according to my own Body’s Way. For example, in song number 5, ‘Ciew Mawele’, instead of walking in the square, I was doing squats while making a square.
So, what makes this routine so valuable to me? It’s the never- ending sense of discovery that this routine represents. I continue to explore ‘Beyond’ well beyond the surface. I chose this routine to be my MVR (Most Valuable Routine), which means I dance it whenever I need comfort for my body and soul, much like a warm and flavorsome chicken soup.
I’m curious to know your MVR. Would you like to share?
EVER WISH YOU COULD TRUST YOUR BODY TO MOVE IN A WAY THAT FEELS FREE AND CREATIVE? AND WHAT IF YOU COULD BRING THIS FREEDOM AND CREATIVITY TO THE KITCHEN? IN THIS UNIQUE WORKSHOP, KATIA (NIA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR) + HIBA (FOOD COACH) JOIN FORCES TO ENABLE YOU TO EXPERIENCE HOW LEARNING THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF DANCE OR COOKING – IN THIS CASE MAKING HUMMUS – EMPOWERS YOU TO BECOME MORE FREE TO EXPERIMENT. BY ACQUIRING THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF FREE DANCE AND HUMMUS MAKING, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO BRING MORE…
…A SENSE OF VITALITY AND WELL-BEING
…TO BOTH YOUR DANCING AND COOKING. HERE’S HOW THE EVENING WILL RUN: 1H10 MINUTES – ELEMENTS OF FREE DANCE INTRO + NIA FREE DANCE CLASS. ANYONE CAN LEARN TO FREE DANCE – ALL YOU NEED IS MUSIC AND YOUR BODY! 50 MINUTES: HUMMUS DEMONSTRATION + TASTING 3 DIFFERENT TYPES OF HUMMUS – DISCOVER THE ELEMENTS INVOLVED IN MAKING HUMMUS AND HOW EASY IT THEN BECOMES TO CREATE VARIATIONS. BY THE END OF THE WORKSHOP, YOU WILL DISCOVER HOW THE PRINCIPLES OF FREE DANCE ARE AMONG THE UNDERLYING FOUNDATIONS FOR EXPLORING THE BODY AND SELF, FOR EXPANDING BEYOND YOUR COMFORT ZONE WHILE DANCING THROUGH LIFE. WHEN: APRIL 20, 19:00 – 21:00 WHERE: KAK.ALOM STUDIO – 21BIS RUE DE LA NAVIGATION COST: 50 CHF, INCLUDING DANCE CLASS, HUMMUS DEMO + TASTING SPACE IS LIMITED – PLEASE SIGN-UP HERE:
I am excited to invite you to a new Nia Playshop – a collaboration between three certified Nia teachers Nathalie, Tess and myself on March 1.
You will be able to see how different Nia moves are done by different teachers while dancing yet YOUR OWN way. The program will start at 11 am and will go on until 12.30. Let’s break a sweat, laugh, enjoy the movement as medicine.
WHEN: March 1, 2015
WHERE: Rue de Montbrillant, 14