If you are an actor with little or no dance training, The Nia Technique™ may be the perfect exercise class for you. It gives you a great cardiovascular workout and improves your overall fitness, while actually developing your instrument as an actor.
Nia is a sensory practice combining dance, martial arts and the healing arts in a captivating movement experience focused on sensation, not performance. Nia asks, how does this movement feel in your body?
Nia classes are one hour long and consist of roughly 85% easy choreography and 15% “freedance,” when participants move however they want. The music is beautiful and inspiring, licensed from unknown artists.
Nia choreography is low-impact and safe for all bodies – and it lets you express the full range of emotions. In fact, emotional expression is encouraged. It’s safe to be weird or vulnerable in Nia.
Nia increases mindfulness and sense memory skills. Nia teaches you to sense your body and be conscious of your movements – very good for the actor’s instrument. Sensing your body in detail helps you remember your real life emotions and call them up when needed.
Nia helps you develop characters. The moves are the moves, but Nia encourages you to do the moves your way, or any way, at your discretion. You can therefore use Nia to explore the physicality of a character through breath, movement and sound.
Nia expands your expressive range. Nia invites you to move in unfamiliar ways, which expands your physical range of motion, a good thing in itself for playing a wider range of characters. Moreover, any movement in Nia can be imbued with any emotion. You can use Nia to practice expressing emotions that are hard for you, or that are appropriate for your character.
Nia makes you a better mover. Nia lets you build movement skill without taking on the perfectionism of dance culture. Nia improves your balance, coordination, and ability to learn movement sequences. It also increases your understanding of musical phrasing and the music-movement relationship. Even a totally non-dancing actor will become a better mover with Nia.
Nia lets you play with form and freedom. The choreography in Nia is analagous to the script of a play or movie: you have to follow the script (form), but make your own choices within it (freedom). Nia is the same way. The moves are the moves (form), but you make your own choices and can even establish your own personal focus or through-line for the hour (freedom). Form and freedom are central to Nia.
Nia Technique™ may as well have been designed with actors in mind. Give yourself a chance to experience this inspiring movement practice.
In metro Los Angeles, Nia classes can be found in Studio City, Encino and Eagle Rock. www.ValleyNia.com
Nia classes around the world can be found on www.NiaNow.com: click “Find Nia” to find a class near you!