Holly Nastasi, MEd, Nia Training Faculty, Ist Generation Trainer.
I loved to move from an early age. I spent hours enthralled with records and never missed a chance to get up and dance. That love led me to the formal study of dance at UT Austin when I was 18. An intense exposure to Jazz, Ballet and Modern dance during that time taught me the art of movement. After two years, my life took a turn as I focused my attention on building a family. However, it wasn’t long before I was dancing again, this time as an aerobics instructor teaching Jane Fonda-style aerobics.
This began my fitness career in 1982. I succeeded and pursued my credentials in the field, ultimately earning a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and a Master’s degree in Health Education from UT Austin. My studies included anatomy, biology, biomechanics, human physiology, as well as human behavior and the idea of wellness. I was introduced to Nia in 1993 at a Health Promotion Conference I attended as part of my studies. Deborah Kern, now Nia Black Belt, was presenting on “The Motion in Emotion”. Just returned from her White Belt, Deborah was beaming with eagerness to share about Nia. Her talk changed my life forever.
Shortly after I was in my own White Belt with Debbie and Carlos, beginning my transformation. My early passion for dance and my dedication to exercise had been met with Nia. I began teaching two weeks after my White Belt and have never looked back. Nearly twenty years on, I am committed to sharing Nia with the same eagerness I heard from Deborah at that conference years ago.
As a Nia teacher, I love sharing the pleasure of movement with students and I recognize the value of my role as guide in their experience. The principles of Nia, through all the Belts, guide me on my path as a teacher and in life. I’ve taught thousands of Nia classes and love it more each time. This love has led me to open numerous studios, including NiaSpace in Austin, Texas, as well as ZiaNia, Studio Mateo, and StudioNia Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’m grateful to have worked with so many talented Nia teachers and students along the way. Currently, I am helping build StudioNia Lincoln in Lincoln, Nebraska. We have a small team of teachers and White Belts that will only grow.
It has been a privilege to share the Nia White Belt Training with so many since I began as a Trainer in 1998. I feel blessed to know the work of Nia, and to have teachers like Debbie and Carlos. Nia has shaped my life and filled me with purpose by being a tool to live into my greatness. I’m especially honored to be part of the Nia Training Faculty and to be able to count as my colleagues and friends so many wonderful people. We touch the world in a special way!