Jenn Hicks

Archive for the ‘Nia’ Category

Dancing Through Life With Pleasure: Nia Student Stories

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
Photo by Nia Technique

Photo by Nia Technique

Meet Sue: she has been attending weekend classes at Joy of Dance since 2012.  She is a very dedicated student of Nia and graciously responded to my invitation to share her Nia story. My experience with Nia has been about getting more into my body and so I am so inspired to know that Sue shares that!

Here is her story:

“The last couple of classes I noticed something weird. I saw my body doing rather complex patterns correctly without my even thinking about it. It was just falling into the music and doing what everyone else was doing – with it’s own touch of style. I just had to watch and enjoy. Wow! What fun!

I don’t even know for sure how I ended up in Jenn’s NIA class. I think it started when a therapist said I should get more into my body. Next thing I knew I was looking up NIA classes on the web and thinking, “Hmm, Joy of Dance, isn’t that near me?”

But the thing is, I don’t even remember how I heard of NIA in the first place. Must have been some kind of grace. Since then, NIA with Jenn has been an important anchor in my life. I always feel a un-anchored on weekends and can get a bit down if I don’t watch it – not doing enough fun things – spending too much time doing (or avoiding) chores, etc. NIA gets me up and out on weekends – having serious fun first thing in the morning.

Jenn picks great music – stuff I normally wouldn’t think of. I just knew she was going to grab the Pan Am song and choreograph it for us – and she did – it’s great! I just love the exuberance factor – inherent in NIA but channeled beautifully by Jenn and my classmates.  Even though I was never athletic I have always enjoyed movement and NIA kicks it up a notch – or several. And speaking of kicks – I love the mix of abrupt martial arts and more flowy dance forms and how the movements are constantly changing”.

Thank you, Sue, 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!


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)