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What exactly is Nia?

Now there’s a question!  Here’s the simple answer.

Nia is a fitness programme that combines dance, martial arts, and healing movement.  It’s a workout which you do at the level you choose so it can be very gentle or really challenging. We dance barefoot because Nia is non-impact; we don’t do lots of pounding and jumping. Nia combines 52  moves into choreography..sometimes simple so you can follow easily, sometimes a challenge for the brain and co-ordination so you don’t get bored or  stuck in the same movement patterns.  Nia is a  body, mind, emotion, and spirit  workout.

In a Nia class, there is a wide variety of great music to dance to, dancing the steps your way.  Everyone responds to music differently so you use the emotion the music stirs in you to create your own unique way of doing the moves. What Nia means to me is great cardiovascular conditioning, functional, precise movement, freedom of movement, moving without fear of being criticised, all this and more. But what stands out is pleasure. Movement being pleasurable, being joyful!  That’s what keeps me doing it. You connect to yourself and to the community you dance with. The worldwide Nia community is a supportive, loving  and joyful community to belong to.

Blue Belt Training in Johannesburg with Ann Christiansen

How did I become a Nia Instructor? 

I was at a Pilates conference in Cape Town and one of the workshops was a Nia workshop.  I spent  3 hours under the guidance of the gifted teacher, Kathy Wolstenholme, exploring movement through dance and martial arts  to the most gorgeous music. And during this workshop,  I remembered:  I used to love to dance … a lot. Not formally, not with any great technique,  I just loved dancing, Then I became critical and self conscious when I danced. So I danced less. And then stopped. And I forgot that I loved to dance.That workshop in Cape Town woke up the dancer in me, re-ignited that love and so the only thing for it was to take a White Belt training and then a Blue Belt Training.  These week long trainings are the most wonderful personal development trainings.  And a first step to becoming a Nia Instructor. A Nia class is usually an hour and I find I smile through most of it.  I really look forward to that hour of dancing as opposed to enduring it. And my body thrives on Nia classes. Dance has created more balance, mobility and ease in my body.



So come and join me in Norfolk for an hour of joyful and pleasurable movement!