Dance invites us to shake up and shift our customary patterns of holding (which can cause injuries and pain) and enjoy being in our bodies in a different way. The nine movement forms of Nia, from dance, martial arts, and healing arts help us access different movement styles and energies that free us from the prison of our tension patterns: the dynamic precision of taiqwando vs. the playful lightness of Duncan dance vs. how-I-normally-move-through-the-day. Dance connects us to the joy we can only find in the present, and the more we engage in it, the more joy we access, and the more freedom we find. While joyfully moving to music we can easily recognize that we have everything we need in this moment, the essential truth that there is nothing missing in this moment.
So, while stretching and beginning to move, notice your aches and pains, some may have been with you for a long time, and greet them as friends. Ask them what they need, and always treat them with gentleness. What can you learn from them? How do they ask you to move? Notice how you feel while moving, and at the end of class. Each time we dance, we effortlessly slip out of the mask of everyday tension, without even thinking about it. We subtly change the way we live in our bodies, without forcing or rejecting anything. As we find our joy in movement, our bodies (and minds) change of their own accord.