What to Expect in a Nia Class…Music, Movement, and Magic

Nia classes are done barefooted. That’s the first thing you’ll notice. Class begins with a focus or intention which could be anything ranging from the placement of the feet to sensing Universal Joy in your body when you move. Next, we step into class and the space we’ve created together, a space to seek pleasure and expression through movement. We breathe and fully inhabit our bodies as much as is possible, letting our minds explore, our emotions play and groan, and our spirit…well, dance.

Nia is an integrative practice that doesn’t just make you sweat and work your body in ways it doesn’t experience in other exercise regimens, it challenges every bit of you according to the level of dynamic ease that best suits your body and what it needs.

The MUSIC comes from every corner of the world, and often from independent artists that may be new to you. The music itself is an uplifting and energizing celebration of various cultures. When the movements begin, the variety of steps and stances, arm motions, and use of the natural body weights of the pelvis, chest, and head challenge the students to find their own freedom of expression within the form that is offered.

Nia draws from 9 different MOVEMENT forms to create a balance of linear and circular movements that use masculine and feminine energies. Wisdom and practices are taken from each of these forms to create an integrated neuromuscular fitness program called Nia.

The Dance Arts

  • Jazz Dance: The Dance of Fun, Showmanship, and Expression
  • Modern Dance: The Dance of Creating Shapes in Space
  • Isadora Duncan Dance: The Dance of Free-Spirited, Honest Movement

The Martial Arts

  • T’ai Chi: The Slow Dance
  • Tae Kwon Do: The Dance of Precision
  • Aikido: The Dance of Harmonious Spherical Motion

The Healing Arts

  • Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais: The Dance of Conscious Awareness of Sensation
  • Alexander Technique: The Dance of Movement from the Top
  • Yoga: The Dance of Conscious Alignment of Bones and Joints

Previous training in any of the above isn’t necessary because the choreography of Nia is crafted to weave the movement forms together seamlessly in a dance that can be modified to any fitness level. Whether you run marathons or you’re limited in your motion, you can work at the level that works best for you.

Your dance is your dance, and you’re free to move in your own Body’s Way. Everyone is welcome.

You may sing in a Nia class or make whatever noises you like. “Ha!” “Ooooh.” “Grrr.” “Mmmm.” “No!” “Yes!” Bringing the voice into class adds a new dynamic of breath, vibration, and emotion. For new Nia students, this is one of the more challenging parts of the class and can become quite emotional for people when they’re given the freedom to express themselves through their voice and their body at the same time. But we keep dancing and breathing and playing and laughing. That’s when the magic happens. When your Whole Beautiful Being is on the dance floor interacting with the other Whole Beautiful Beings. That’s when we stop being black or white or brown. That’s when we stop being whatever kind of work we do the rest of the day. That’s when we’re kids again, playing together without a care in the world. That’s when we experience the Joy of Movement that is right there waiting to be danced with in that moment in time and space.

Yes, you’ll sweat. And you’ll probably move your body in ways that you haven’t moved it in a long time, if ever. Be sure to wear comfy clothes and bring water for this one hour class. But the part I love most about a Nia class is the laughter and the sense of community. Where else do you go in life where you get together and consciously decide to play? Play in a way that is healthy, refreshing, and meaningful? In a way that fills your heart and makes you want to dance? That’s why I keep coming back to Nia.

Nia may stand for Neuromuscular Integrative Action, a mouthful to be certain. But when I’m dancing in a Nia class—as a teacher or as a student—I am free. And so are the others around me. We are boundlessly, MAGICALLY free.

See http://www.nianow.com/cdawnmccallum to find my class and event schedule and to learn more about Nia. There are dozens of FREE articles to browse and download plus Nia Sample Dance Videos so you can see what it looks like and try it at home.

Author Events have included

November 19-20 2008
PTA Reflections Contest Judge and
Guest Speaker
Dove Elementary and Grapevine
Middle School in Grapevine, TX


See www.barnesandnoble.com for
directions and phone numbers
of stores.

January, 31, 2007 Author Visit at
Stovall-Shaw Elementary School,
Stovall, North Carolina

February 6, New Hope Elementary
School, Hillsborough, North

February 8, St. Mark’s Catholic School,
Wilmington, North Carolina
February 8, Barnes & Noble,
Wilmington, North Carolina
(Inspiration Rd.), 6 p.m.

February 11, 2007 Kid’s Book Club
Book Event at Quail Ridge
Books in Raleigh, North Carolina at 3

February 15, Private school visit,
Charlotte, North Carolina
February 15, Barnes & Noble,
Charlotte, North Carolina
(Arboretum), 7 p.m.

March 30, Private School, Fayetteville,
North Carolina
March 30, Barnes & Noble,
Fayetteville, North Carolina, 6 to 8 p.m.

April, 14th and 21, 2007 Kids’ Poetry
Workshop at the Carrboro
Century Center in Carrboro, North

Wednesday, May 23, East Cooper
Authors Festival in Charleston,
South Carolina (all-day school visit and
Barnes & Noble event)

Charlotte, NC Barnes & Noble

Now available from Baha’i Distribution

August 2006
Carolina Parent ad:

September 2006
Official Book Release, Sept. 19

Tuesday, September 19, 7 p.m.
Local Author Night
Barnes & Noble in Durham, NC (at
Southpoint Mall)

Friday through Sunday, September 15
to 17
Society of Children’s Book Writers and
Illustrators conference in
Durham, North Carolina. Caretaker will
be available in the
bookstore. http://www.scbwicarolinas.org

Thursday, September 21, 7 p.m.
Author Night at Stanback Middle
School, Hillsborough, North

Sunday, September 24, 2 to 4 p.m.
Caffee Driade Book Release Party and
1215-A E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
See http://www.caffedriade.com for
directions and to catch a glimpse of
their Tree Palace in the back of the tea
house. Much of The
Caretaker of Tree Palace was written
here, within a few steps of
the cream and sugar.

Friday, September 29, 6 to 8 p.m.
Book signing at The Bookmark in
Historic downtown Hillsborough,
North Carolina during the monthly Arts

Carolina Parent billboard ad.

October 2006
To Texas and Back Book Tour (Check
back as more dates being
added all the time!)
Come to any of these events and be
entered into a drawing for a
$25 Barnes & Noble gift card. Drawing
will be held on November 1
when the winner will be posted here.
No purchase necessary.

See http://www.barnesandnoble.com for
directions and phone numbers
of stores listed below.

Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m.
B. Dalton in Asheville, NC (at the mall
on S. Tunnel Road, near
Dillard’s entrance)

Sunday, October 22, 5 or 6 p.m. (TBD)
Barnes & Noble in North Little Rock, AR

Monday, October 23
a.m.: Texarkana, TX school
p.m.: Sulpher Springs, TX school
Private Party: An Evening in Tree

Tuesday, October 24, 7 to 9 p.m.
Barnes & Noble in Frisco, TX
Stonebriar Center

Wednesday, October 25, 7 p.m.
Dallas Forth Worth Writers’ Workshop
in Euless, Texas. See www.

Thursday, October 26, 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Barnes & Noble in Lewisville, TX.

Friday, October 27
morning: The Brook Hill School in
Bullard, Texas
afternoon: Owens Elementary in Tyler,
evening: Barnes & Noble in Tyler,
Texas, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 28
morning: Barnes & Noble in Collierville,
TN at 10 a.m.
evening: Barnes & Noble in Nashville,
TN from 5 to 7 p.m.