Nia and Jazz Dance

nIa and jazz dance
nIa and jazz dance

Why “JAZZ Dance”? A series of articles on the nine Nia movement forms.

I love the fact that the Nia Technique is based on 52 moves, and that our bodies can move in an unrestricted and limitless manner that allow for personal and imaginative interpretation. Visualize a session where we are dancing a well-known program focusing on yoga arts, then we delve into the same program in a follow-up session but this time the focus is on Jazz Dance. Although both classes may be based on the same moves, they deliver a completely different feel. And that’s ultimately what we are striving for.

When we talk about JAZZ Dance in this case, we need to imagine much more than just the moves, like ‘jazz squares (triad)’ or ‘shimmies’. We should imagine the energy and excitement that JAZZ dance can generate; the fun, sassy and sexy look-at-me kind of energy, at times bouncy like popcorn, other times sudden and unexpected like a bolt of lightning. It’s a flash dance with an attitude that moves you to the puts you up front where you tell your own story through movement.

Here are a few Jazz Dance workout tips from Debbie and Carlos Rosas, founders of the Nia Technique:

– Move and express yourself with pizzazz
– Move and be aware of isolated body parts
– Move and use your face and hands to speak to the world
– Move and play with small gestures that speak with passionate emotion

(Debbie Rosas & Carlos Rosas, The Nia Technique, New York, Broadway books, 2004, p.270)

So why JAZZ Dance? Jazz energy teaches us how to get on the stage of life if we need to. It drives us to show our individuality and helps us to be more outspoken and less restrained. This particular energy will especially benefit people who wish to practice free self-expression in a relaxed environment, like the one that a Nia class can provide. Through JAZZ dance, I was able to teach myself how not to shy away from being in the spotlight, which in turn led me to guide others and become a Nia teacher.

For those who feel at ease with the unique energy that JAZZ Dance creates, your Nia workout will prove to be an even more playful and childlike experience.

Are you a JAZZ-y person? I would love to hear how you play with Jazz energy in or outside your Nia class.

I can count my blessings…

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Get in your body, be you – Nia

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.

2. Debra Moffitt – award-winning author, teacher at debramoffit.com

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.

3. Anine Eklund – ETC co-founder, blogger at aninergy.com

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.

4. Brigitte Lawler – Life Coach at lifecoaching.eu.com

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.

5. Nesrin Everett – Coach, Consultant and Thought Partner at nesrineverett.com

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.

The “Chicken Soup” for my body and soul – an article about the “Beyond” Nia routine

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Blue Belt graduation in Hamburg. March 2014. With Ann Christiansen http://www.anniann.com

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?

Free Dance + Hummus Making 19:00 – 21:00 KAK.ALOM STUDIO, 21BIS RUE DE LA NAVIGATION

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…

…CREATIVITY
…CURIOSITY
…A SENSE OF VITALITY AND WELL-BEING
…NEWNESS
…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:

Nia + Hummus poster

Nia Playshop “Form and Freedom”

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Hello and welcome!

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

Signing up is required.

We hope to dance with you soon!

Connect to Your Body through Nia Dance + Smoothie

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JOIN HIBA GIACOLETTO AND I FOR OUR SECOND NIA DANCE + SMOOTHIE EVENT ON JANUARY 22!

TAKE A MOMENT FOR YOURSELF AND CONNECT TO YOUR BODY IN A WHOLE NEW WAY THROUGH NIA DANCE. NIA INCORPORATES MARTIAL ARTS, DANCE ARTS AND HEALING ARTS AND IS ACCESSIBLE TO ANYONE, NO MATTER YOUR FITNESS LEVEL.

THEN LEARN HOW YOU CAN NOURISH YOUR BODY THROUGH SMOOTHIES YOU CAN EASILY RECREATE AT HOME.

HERE’S HOW YOU’LL BE ABLE TO CONNECT TO YOUR BODY THROUGHOUT THE EVENING:

55 MINUTES: NIA DANCE WITH KATIA (CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR) – NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE NEEDED – ANYONE CAN DO IT!

10 MINUTES: HOW TO MAKE SMOOTHIES FOR WINTER DEMO WITH HIBA (HEALTH COACH)

20 MINUTES: SOCIALIZING WITH A NEW AWARENESS IN OUR BODIES AND A SMOOTHIE IN OUR HANDS 🙂

YOU WILL LEAVE THIS UNIQUE EVENING FEELING MORE ALIVE AND GROUNDED AT THE SAME TIME, READY TO TAKE ON THE NEW YEAR!

WHEN + WHERE: JANUARY 22, 19:00 – 20:30 @ KAK.ALOM STUDIO – 21BIS RUE DE LA NAVIGATION COST: 40 CHF, INCLUDING DANCE CLASS, SMOOTHIE DEMO + TASTING