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In late 2006, after nearly a decade teaching modern dance, ballet, jazz and tap in Dubai, my husband stumbled over an article about a dance form called ‘Nia’ while reading a health magazine. He passed it to me and I was immediately fascinated by the blend of diverse movement forms the article described and was intrigued to learn more. At the time I was searching for something different to the traditional forms of dance I had been practicing for years; a holistic movement practice that was gentler on my body. I have always enjoyed the stillness of yoga, yet the dancer inside me needs and craves more movement choices. I felt a strong desire to follow not just a physical, but also mental, emotional & spiritual path and Nia seemed like a natural progression from the world of dance into a new realm of holistic fitness.
At the time there were no Nia classes available in Dubai so I sent off to Nia headquarters in Portland, US for the dvd so that I could at least see what it was all about. I remember sitting down to watch it for the first time and knew instantly that this was something I wanted to explore more. Around this time, my husband and I relocated to the UK and soon after we were settled I saw an advert for a Nia White Belt Intensive Training hosted by a Master Black Belt, Helen Terry. This coincidental timing was perfect. I signed up despite the fact that everyone thought I was a little crazy. Considering the fact that I hadn’t even taken one Nia class at this point, they may have been right, but somehow I instinctively knew I had to do it.
I remember showing up for the introduction evening feeling very nervous but as I sat listening and absorbing every word Helen spoke, I began to relax. I had a strange feeling. I felt very safe, comfortable, ‘at home‘. My Nia journey had begun. The next day of the Training we started to dance, I felt at ease in my body. As a professional dancer, I had been trained for years to have every movement in the right place on the exact beat of the music, not even an eyelash out of place, but with Nia I was invited to experiment with movement and form in new ways. The choreography felt amazing and as the class continued, I felt a deep sense of joy overcome me as I freed my body and expanded my mind to the endless possibilities of movement. The experience of breaking old dance habits was totally liberating and I felt truly alive in my body. For the first time in my dancing career I focused on listening to what my body needed in every moment so that it felt comfortable, rather than trying to perform challenging movements that didn’t feel good. This heightened sense of awareness allowed me to consciously listen to the sensations in my body and move it accordingly. The result was a feeling that every cell in my being was smiling in response. I was so excited and energised I wanted to burst, and I remember thinking to myself, ”If I can feel this great – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually – after one class, how am I going to feel by the end of the week?” I was hooked.
Fast forward, in 2009 my husband & I relocated to Hong Kong. Currently I am the only Certified Nia Brown Belt instructor in the city, and my personal goal is to build awareness for Nia in Hong Kong and around Asia. Dancing and teaching Nia has changed my life. This beautiful dance form holds such a special place in my heart and through its practice I feel as though I’ve found my true path and ‘calling’. I feel truly blessed to be able to do something that I love and feel passionate about every day and am continually inspired to deepen my self practice; to be a better teacher and person, and to go out into the community and make positive and openhearted connections with like-minded souls.
In 2010 I was invited to present Nia at Kamalaya, Thailand’s award winning Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa Resort. Dancing Nia in such a sacred and special environment was truly incredible for me. I felt a deep connection to space and the vastness of the natural environment around me in a way I never have before. Being in touch with nature and open to the elements – the sights, smells and sounds of Koh Samui – while dancing Nia, was a moving and unforgettable experience. Kamalaya is a haven; a place for you to slow down & transform. Koh Samui has long been favoured by Buddhist monks as a sanctuary for spiritual retreat. The island, they say, has a special energy that enriches and enlightens their spiritual path and helps them connect more profoundly with the universal energies. Kamalaya itself is centred around a monk’s cave that once served Buddhist monks as a place of meditation and spiritual retreat, Kamalaya’s essence is expressed in its name, ‘Lotus (kamal) Realm (alaya)’, an ancient symbol for the growth and unfolding of the human spirit.
So now in 2012, I am so thrilled to announce that with the support of the wonderful Helen Terry, I am witnessing a dream unfold for me. An incredible opportunity for everyBODY to experience a Retreat White Belt Training at Kamalaya. My two most favourite things combining together! The White Belt Training truly is somatic education for is everyone. Like me you don’t need to have done any Nia before the Training. You don’t need to want to teach, you need only the desire to cultivate more love, joy in the body and in your life. I believe this will be a transformational experience.
Opportunities are presented to us in life and it is our choice of course which path we step, if things are meant to happen they do. There has to be a flow and for it to be at the right time, when we are ready. For me the Nia Training was a profound step into a journey of self discovery, self awareness and self empowerment and my journey with Nia get’s richer and richer the higher I progress with the Belt System. The body of work that Debbie Rosas and Carlos Aya Rosas have created is incredible. I discovered so many tools that have enhanced my life in every way. This will be the FIRST EVER Nia Intensive Training in Thailand. Nia history, happening right on our doorstep, here in Asia!
Is this the right time for you now? Are YOU ready to take this next step…. journey with us and find your purpose for life
Dates: 21-27 June 2012
For more information on how to register: http://www.niahongkong.com/#!white-belt