Nia has seen incredible change since the start of the pandemic. There is so much Nia availability online now, from Body and Life Trainings to ongoing Nia classes of all types, we can tap into it whenever we want. The ease and convenience of doing it from home is perfect for many, but not perfect for all. The in-person class is a craving for many Nia dancers, and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to do both. There are big differences between them as a Nia teacher and they are both joyful and great for conditioning.
Teaching online provides me the opportunity to go deeply into my own personal experience. Without a good view of the students, it’s the only place for me to go. I’ve gotten closer to my own experience through this medium and love it more and more. The somatic journey into my body is what I share, and hope it takes my students on the same journey. It’s how we are trained as Nia teachers…to share our experience. I’ve honed my craft of teaching with a focus and intent by teaching online since my attention can be so easily directed to my personal experience. I am mightily aware of the people on the other side of the screen and shape my sharing to aid them in the best way I can. They have an experience that is unique to them and I feel blessed when they share it with me in our chats after the Zoom class.
The in-person class is a chance for me to teach, coach, and guide. When I see bodies moving with me, I send messages to those bodies to help enhance dynamic ease and good alignment. I TEACH more, on top of sharing. I observe technique and expression from my students and do what I can to encourage more of both. Sounding in Nia class is much more fun with a group and so valuable to the Nia experience. It may not be happening online, even though I encourage it. My focus and intent can sometimes shift based on the feedback I’m getting from observing my students’ experience. I’m more alert to them, adjusting and weaving my teaching around their experience. We laugh together, dance together, and even goof-up together.
Which is better? I love them both. As a Nia teacher, I have an opportunity to get closer to me and to them. I wouldn’t have it any other way.