I am so excited to bring Nia to Kernersville NC at Studio Elevé Thursdays at 5:30 beginning January 15th. Though I fell in love with Nia instantly, the Judge in my head was often critical if I didn't get the steps "right". I took me a while to realize there in no wrong way to Nia. Yes, there is choreography and, yes, it's fun to follow it. But Nia is all about self-expression and sometimes that self moves left when the teacher moves right. If you look around the room in a Nia class (and on the Nia routine DVDs), if you're not too busy just smiling away as you dance, you'll see no two people interpret the move the same way. There is the Form of Nia (choreography based on Nia's 52 Moves). And there is the Freedom of Nia (bringing your unique, beautiful, magical self to the dance). Here are a few tips for new (and old) students. And I'm looking forward to seeing you in class!
  • Start easy. First "learn the move", then "move the move" and when you are ready, "energize the move".
    Nia is a program that you can do at your own pace.  Use the tools and techniques of Nia to enhance physical comfort and pleasure.
  • Movements are demonstrated in level 1, level 2, and level 3, giving you an option to choose and honor where your body is today.
    Follow level 1 by focusing on base movements, then add the upper extremities. Start small and build intensity gradually, letting your body acclimate.
  • Nia is traditionally done barefoot to improve balance and stability.
    Shoes "muffle" the messages from our feet. So do at least part of the Nia class barefoot, but follow You Body's Way.
    (Ballet slippers, jazz shoes, or other flexible soft-soled shoes are good options.)
  • Bring (and drink) water, and wear loose comfortable clothes you can move and sweat in. 
    You may find your idea of workout clothes changing as you continue Nia; flowy is fun!
  • Nia is different - it’s meant to teach you about You, physically and emotionally.
    Keep your curiosity up and your criticism and judgment down.  Be  gentle and patient, allowing yourself  to move through levels and stay on plateaus.  
    This is the way to master anything.
  • Make the movements an expression of you.
    This is your workout.  Let your own unique rhythm and body language out.  Be jazzy,  be luscious,  lyrical,  snappy,  or sensually smooth, and be passionately yourself.  
    You have nothing to lose but your inhibitions.
Excerpted (and slightly modified) from an article or forum post by Kelle Rae Oien, 1st Degree Black Belt Nia Teacher & White Belt Trainer - I couldn't find the source again. Thanks, @KelleRaeOien