Creating the Nia Routine “Flow”

Creating the Nia Routine “Flow”

Things have changed when it comes to creating Nia routines, but one thing has not: the somatic delivery of a pleasure-based workout that works!

Over this past weekend, we have been taping the upcoming Nia Routine “Flow.” I had the privilege to work with the lead choreographer, Nia Trainer Kelle Rae Oien from Sante Fe, New Mexico. What a joy to work with her and to collaborate to create this body of work to be shared not only with the current Nia community, with the general public at large.

Working together is a process of giving and receiving. It requires looking at the end goal, the bigger picture, which means, “There is more to consider than you the choreographer and your likes and dislikes.” Understanding this comes from letting go of ego and from stepping into the process of creating choreography with a “martial attitude”. Kelle did this masterfully, making the process of collaboration easy, enjoyable, fun, and efficient. We both learned a lot.

With today’s technology, it is so much easier to collaborate. I get to see what’s being created and give feedback in a timely fashion and along the way. This saves time and ensures we can create better and better material.

Our intent with “Flow” was to create choreography by “scaffolding.” This was achieved by Kelle sending me her basic Katas and by working with me to deconstruct the Kata to eventually build it up to make sure the dancer engages from the inside out, which is what the choreographer naturally does given the amount time, repetitions and embodiment of the work. In a nutshell, when you have the time to create it, you get it! This does not mean the translation of the work always works, which is why I am committed to helping the choreography team build somatic routines by taking people from less into more and from small into big using the scaffolding process, and using simpler patterns and more repetition, with “add-on” content to expand upon the basics.

When taping “Flow,” Kelle and I felt proud of the work we did together to deliver an excellent body of work, one we believe you will all grow with and benefit from as Nia Teachers and dancers.

High points for me were watching the intentional smaller dancing team, her back up: Kate Latimer, Jamie Klein and Gabrielle McGhee from her Studio Nia Sante Fe, and Sarah Caveney from Move Me Studio in San Rafael, California. Having practiced, you’ll see a deeper quality of relaxation in all the dancers, which is what Stuart and I wanted on film.

All of the changes we are making with Nia routines are driven by the desire to improve the product and deliver a better digital experience through Nia TV for the general public and Nia teachers.

Thank you Kelle, dancers, and everyone on the film crew that made this experience so enjoyable!

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