Jenn Hicks

Archive for the ‘Nia’ Category

Taking Your A$$ to Nia Class Even When You Just Don’t Fracking Feel Like It

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

I was once the type of person who stringently stuck to a schedule with military-like rigour.

In those days nothing could keep me from my routine. If something happened to get in the way, I panicked. I was lost without the comfort and predictability that came along with a fixed schedule.

Ultimately, that degree of rigidity didn’t serve me, and I learned to give in to some variability in my strict timetable. What I learned to develop instead were habits.

It was only by swimming in that pool of unyielding inflexibility that I realized how great it is to have habits – things that I do, not just for the sake of doing them, but because I want to get better at them. Having a practice is what helped me transition from “must do” to “want to do“. And that’s because the boatload of benefits makes me desire more! The rewards of being in my body (while also spending time with my mind, emotions and spirit) are limitless!

Here are some simple ideas that may help you get your a$$ to Nia class even when you just don’t fracking feel like it. Maybe, like me, you’ll develop a habit that keeps you hungry for more!




1. Know that you are welcome no matter what.

You can bring yourself, all of yourself, in any way that you want. You will be accepted, you will be appreciated. I promise. Being *truly* you is what Nia is all about!

You’re tired? Make your movements smaller, closer to your body.

Emotions close to the surface? Move into the emotion to keep your life force flowing!

Healing an injury? Move to stimulate your joints and support healing. You have the power to self-heal, and Nia supports that!

2. Know that you will smile (maybe even laugh) and that your body will be grateful.

How do I know that? Because at Nia, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We seek pleasure in our bodies and choose joy in our movements. We experiment and play and *tweak* not only our movements but also our mindset to consciously invite joy to be part of the dance!

One student told me that Nia makes her “feel positive and energized, both during the class and afterward“.

Another said  that “I know that I am not just boosting my heart rate. I am building my strength, toning my muscles, and improving my balance (very handy on icy winter sidewalks).  All of this while moving to incredible music – what’s not to like?

A student who earned her Nia White Belt said that because of Nia  “I feel vibrant, energetic and frankly better than I have ever felt in my body.  My posture has improved, no more aches and pains, my neck and shoulders aren’t stiff anymore and I feel youthful.


3. Know that Nia is a safe place to be perfectly imperfect and have fun!

Nia is *never* abofunut “getting it right”.  No one is on stage (although sometimes pretending we are can boost my confidence!) and no one is judging.

Nia is *always* about the Pleasure Principle; if it feels good, keep doing it; if it hurts, stop!

Nia offers only gain and the potential to dissolve pain.



If you’re a visual learner and enjoy looking at flowcharts, here’s a handy reference about habit-making you might enjoy.

(This blog post was inspired by this article)

Dancing Through Life with Pleasure: Student Stories about Nia

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

I’ve been enjoying dancing with Lee Weisser since I started teaching at The Healthy Joint this past summer. I knew she had a bit of a dance background, but I wanted to know more. I wanted to know where the beautiful smile and enthusiasm on the dance floor lived. Lately I’ve been really inspired when I watch how she connects to her body and lets the music move her. It is really, really satisfying for me as a teacher!

So last week I asked Lee if she would tell me her Nia story.  Here it is!

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Lee Weisser, M.Ed, ACC, Lee Weisser Communications

Jenn: How long have you been practicing Nia?

Lee: Since August 2014.

Jenn: Did you have any initial fears or reservations about trying Nia?  

Lee: No. I had heard about Nia for some time and was excited to try it. I did modern dance many years ago and had been searching for a way to enjoy the thrill of movement and get fit at the same time, without injuring myself.

Jenn: How do you describe Nia to others?

Lee: This is a challenge! Sometimes I just show them some moves…because it’s hard to describe.

Jenn: What motivates you to come to class? Why do you keep coming back?

Lee: I know I will feel positive and energized, both during the class and afterward. Jenn is an inspiring and enthusiastic instructor and makes all her classes both fun and uplifting. Jenn chooses music that promotes well-being and self-esteem.

Jenn: How does Nia make you feel?

Lee: Nia makes me feel connected to my body, to my soul, and to humanity in a very positive way.

Jenn: Has anything changed in you body or your life since you began practicing Nia?

Lee: Nia has increased my cardiovascular fitness and improves my mood during every class.

Jenn: Have you had any “aha” moments in class (moments that struck a chord with you or resonated deeply?)

Lee: There are some movements that I recall from my modern dance days that help me re-experience the exhilaration I felt in my youth. I appreciate being able to move my body freely, to use my mind to concentrate on routines, and I never hurt my body as a result of the classes. This is huge for me, since in the past I have often injured myself when trying to get fit.

Jenn: Anything else you’d like to share?

Lee: I always look forward to Nia classes – especially with Jenn! She is the best!


Thank you, Lee, for sharing your story and experiences with Nia!


Want to share your experience and inspire others? Contact me!

New to Nia and ready to experience a class? Take a look at my schedule or visit to find a class in your neighbourhood!