JULIE: “ So nice to have me time – I always leave smiling and feeling happy! ”
Before I started Nia, I was attending yoga classes and swimming in the local gym. I loved doing both, but found them a bit repetitive. Socially they were a fail confined to mats or lanes, for me I needed to connect with more people. I have made some lovely friends at Susanne’s Nia sessions, dancing with people who want to have fun and improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
When I was first introduced to the Nia Technique my reservation was mainly to do with dancing. Could I do it?
The process of experiencing holistic movement started with my first Nia session almost five years ago. The music was amazing, I was moving in ways I had never moved. There was no pressure to get things right, Susanne was gentle and warm in her approach. It was about enjoying yourself and listening to how your body wants to move. I was hooked! A regular attendee since, I look forward to my session every week.
Susanne creates a comfortable environment for men and women to be themselves. She is easy going, fun and knowledgeable making each session an experience for your mind and body. It really is like a movement mindful meditation. No matter how I feel before class I always feel better afterwards.
There have been many great results from attending holistic movement sessions with Susanne. Increased flexibility, increased fitness and increased confidence in connecting to my femininity.
If I only had to pick one benefit, it would be an overall increased wellbeing. I am so glad I found Susanne’s sessions. They are a part of my week, time for me, time to just be.
“I love dancing and have tried many ways of exercising and keeping fit over the years. I am now retired but Nia attracted me because it is about dance. I find this class energising, liberating and good fun. I have increased my flexibility and enjoy every session. Even my coordination is improving and Susanne is a great teacher. I like that we have a different theme each week. I have been doing this only a few months but can see me doing it for many years.”
I work as a counsellor and often find myself still carrying with me my client’s anxieties and issues even with the best support and supervision I can get.
Finding an outlet that was more than just physical exercise was very important to me. I needed something that was emotionally nurturing too.
Initially I attended Nia because it involved music and dancing but I soon realised that it was more than just “dancing” as I found myself emotionally recharged after every session. As a counsellor I know it is important to listen to our body and Nia allows me to be in contact with my body in a fun way. It also allows me to become more aware of where I store tension in my body and work on it.
My main concern at the beginning was to let myself go when we were free-dancing. The welcoming & friendly atmosphere helped me to get over my initial inhibitions and discover the more playful side of me. I have never attended a class where the group is so supportive of each other. Physically Nia doesn’t put any stress on my body and I can exercise/dance at the level I want or feel my body needs to, hence avoiding unnecessary injuries.
Susanne is more than a teacher, she is a mentor and has a wonderful holistic approach to life, which is incorporated in a brief talk at the beginning of each class which is always positive and about self-care. Nia is a wonderful class which encompasses exercise, my love for dance, emotionally nourishes me and it is fun. I highly recommend it.
“Nia has allowed me to find that inner child spirit to express myself through dance. Susanne has a wonderful and unique way with words & routines both calming and beneficial. Nia takes me away from the stresses of life and unlocks my happiness.
“As a self-employed person my working life dominated my days and often into the evenings. I found that I was increasingly spending time at my desk and not moving or stretching enough. I had been attending yoga classes for some years which was beneficial but I needed to find something that allowed me a little more creativity and movement. I found Susanne’s Nia sessions by chance.
I was looking for activities to get me out and moving more and found a site about Nia holistic movement. Further internet searches led me to classes held in south west London. I couldn’t believe it when I found a Nia teacher running classes in New Malden.
I haven’t danced and certainly not in public for years. As I hadn’t taken much physical exercise for some years I was really worried about what the class would entail…. would I have the stamina and energy to keep up and would I find the moves and routines really difficult to follow?
The first thing that struck me was how friendly Susanne and the group were. I was made to feel welcome immediately. I was reassured early on that it was fine to interpret the dance routines in my own way and there are opportunities in every session to dance freely and with abandon!
Then there was the music! It is wonderfully inspiring music and I love the care with which Susanne selects the music for the sessions. She takes time to plan the classes devising a theme for each session and explaining how this links to the way in which we will move our bodies throughout the class. The dance/movements/choreography are wonderfully in sync with the music and there are occasions when I dance with a fluidity that I never thought I possessed.
After almost 4 years of regular attendance I still look forward to every session. I am fitter, more flexible and no matter what sort of day I have had or how tired I feel, I know that by the end of the session I will be re-energised with my mind and body re-balanced.
“Before Nia I had been studying for a qualification in Body Psychotherapy for a while, but knew I needed to learn to move more freely and creatively, and that I would need some help with that.
At first I wondered whether I would like the atmosphere in the class – whether it would be full of over-confident, super-cool yummy mummy types who I would feel inferior in comparison to. That sounds quite silly to me now, because it is nothing like that.
I hoped to make some connections between what I have been learning about working with the body therapeutically and what it feels like to discover my own natural sense of movement. I also hoped to get back in touch with my femininity and a sense of myself as a sexual being.
Attending Nia sessions has been a pleasant surprise, I have enjoyed the dance-like holistic movement more than I expected to. I have been able to use the free dance sections to express my feelings about whatever is at the forefront of my mind that week.
Some of the positive results and benefits of attending Nia have been: Feeling happy to make an arrangement with my course mates to go out dancing to celebrate the end of the year, which I would have been anxious about before. Experiencing the community of Nia; friendly people, good vibes and a relaxed, easy atmosphere which the class generates.
“Susanne you created magnificence and took my body on a journey long forgotten. I haven’t moved like that since I don’t know when. I am beyond happy to have had this day with you. The sense of softness in the grass and the vision of nature that surrounded me was the closest I could come to heaven, and perhaps I/we really were there for the day. I enjoyed the closeness of all present and the harmony you created for this to happen. I know everyone felt it. You created such wonder for us, I loved the way you did everything, and the lunch too. A thousand thanks yous and love.”
“I enjoyed this evening soooo much. Thank You Susanne!”
I had been through a very depressing and traumatic time life changing experience which was totally unexpected. I was in a state of shock and suffered illness due to the circumstances. With the help of my amazing family and friends, and finding inner strength I managed to pull myself back out of a very black hole and wanted to begin living new life again. While I was still in a state of recovery my best friend encouraged me to join NIA which she had started to attend and loved. I gave it a try and have been attending ever since. This was nearly 2 years ago.
First I wasn’t sure what to expect as didn’t understand the concept of it. I also didn’t know if it was something I would enjoy as I generally like aerobic type classes. I wanted to find something new that was enjoyable and also to assist with health benefits, not only for the body but the soul and wellbeing. Also, to meet new like minded people and enjoy new experiences. Ever since joining, I have enjoyed the whole experience of each Nia session. Susanne brings calmness and inspirational thoughts and good feelings of well being, she gives encouragement and provides a way of learning to think about various elements in every day life which affects everyone in some way and how to deal with it positively. I truly admire her wonderful persona and how hard she works to ensure our classes are special.
The music is moving, fun, and it can be as energetic if you want or just easy going. There is no pressure and the free dancing is a way to release yourself and be a teenager again. Since joining, I have made new friends with many of the long term Nia members and it’s a very social able group, it’s become like a second family. Any time we have gone on additional Nia trips or weekends we have had a very fun and playful time together.
I feel a sense of wellbeing after each class, even when I have gone feeling tired and stressed. It always seems to release my tensions and stressful thoughts, and I definitely benefit from a more rested sleep afterwards.It has definitely been one of the key elements in helping with my road to recovery, and become me again..Thank you..
“Full of wonderful people and positive energy”
“ Nia was everything that Susanne said it would be. I went alone and was made to feel welcome and relaxed. The dancing was liberating and fun. Would recommend this class to anyone. Thank you Susanne!! ”