Nia routine immersion

Two weeks ago, I went to my first Nia routine immersion. The routine was Pulse, choreographed by Kelle Rae Oien, who was also my White Belt teacher trainer.
The immersion was intense, thorough, and packed with movement and information.

We started with a FreeDance class to the music of Pulse, and then did a class of the full routine. We had a short lunch break followed by several hours of going through the bars, moves, and music of each song. There was space for questions and for experimenting with the katas (a series of moves that form parts of the routine). Repetition to create body memory was a huge part of the process.

It was great to have Kelle teach the routine she created.  I enjoyed hearing her perspective and background on creating the routine, and she shared some tricks to remember the various moves. It’s also fun to watch her fluid and natural movements; she seems incredibly at home in her body. At the end of the day, she showed us a six minute summary of the moves of Pulse.  It was very flowing and Tai-Chi like, and beautiful to watch.

Do I remember all the moves now on my own?  Some of them.  Perhaps more than I give myself credit for. I did the whole routine along with the DVD on Tuesday, with the music but without cueing. Sometimes I would lose my place and then remember by watching the dancers move on screen.  My mind strained to remember the concepts, bars and count.  However, I did realize that the movement and connection to the music was in my body and sometimes it was best to keep moving without so much mental focus. I’m not at a point where I could teach the full routine with ease, but I generally remember a lot of the choreography.  I definitely felt more confident when I dance Pulse now.  I’ll be ready to teach my two songs at the Nia jam (with six other teachers!) in two weeks!

Returning to Studio Nia Santa Fe for the immersion was like returning to one of my Nia homes. After all, I got my White Belt there.  I love the sense of community there. When I walked in, I was greeted by several people almost immediately. It had been six months, almost to the day, since my training ended.  During this day-long workshop, I sat with other Nia teachers and students and felt so grateful to be among them.  It was wonderful to connect, learn, and be immersed in such a nurturing Nia-centered environment.


One response to this post.

  1. Cool. I’ve never made it to an immersion. Well, once Helen Terry came and taught us one of her routines, but I don’t think they called it an immersion. It was not a routine from HQ. She did all of Sanjana’s moves to a cover album by Anne Lennox.


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