The Spirit of Nia Tour - A Note From Debbie
By: Debbie Rosas | April 3, 2009
As I sat with our Nia team, the idea of a multi-city tour to help celebrate Nia's 25th Anniversary seemed daunting. Feeling exhausted at the end of the year, I worried about having the energy to give what was in my heart. Silly me. I had momentarily forgotten the power of love. Fifteen cities, hundreds of people dancing together at each event, the music and movement of Nia created a kind of magic that was extraordinary. The culmination of 25 years, people changing their lives, bodies, and most of all, finding their spirit made for an environment filled with love and gratitude - a palpable magic that gave me more energy than I could have imagined.
One of the things we wanted to do in preparation for the tour was to create a take-home souvenir, but T-shirts didn't seem quite right. We asked, "What can we create that would represent that which had changed the face of fitness, the act of taking off our shoes and dancing in bare feet?" The answer? Bears, with bare feet, dressed in white T-shirts with the Nia mark on the front and a saying that conveyed the main message of Nia, "Love Your Body!" on the back. This is just a bit of what I have learned from this Nia tour.
What was different from other tours Carlos and I have gone on was that we were both accompanied by our partners, Jeff with me and Annie with Carlos. During the trip, this allowed us to be together and also separate, spending time doing business and life. Traveling by car, train, and plane, we generally arrived in each city within two days. When met by enthusiasm, gratitude, love, and the question, "Are you tired?" our answer was always, "No." There was nothing tiring about receiving such abundant love from all the Nia communities, Teachers and students. It was a great opportunity for us to connect and meet Intensive Graduates and students we had never met. Each event in each city was produced with a great amount of professionalism, making our experience a true joy, adding to the Joy of Movement we shared with all participants. Each city was amazing, and each was a representation of the people, community, students and Teachers who come together to dance and do so much more.
Favorite moments: Kicking off the tour in New York, one of my most favorite cities. The variety of people, class sizes and joy that was always intoxicating. The endless "thank you" looks and words of love coming my way. Meeting Teachers who share this work for the first time. Being graced by the students of Nia Teachers, dancing with them and sharing the true spirit of Nia-love. Having the Nia bears sit on the stage as we danced. Jeff moving in and out of the crowd taking pictures for us all to revisit and remember. Riding on the train from Boston and having the engine break down twice. Ten below zero weather in Boston and being so happy that Jeff brought my fur coat for me so I could give my other coat to Annie. My birthday celebration in Vancouver, 200 students surrounding me and singing Happy Birthday and presenting me with a beautiful box filled with cards. Sipping champagne atop a wonderful view in Vancouver while celebrating my 58th year with Jeff. Snow in so many places. Potluck in Charlottesville. All planes on time. Driving on highway 101 from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara and taking in the rich beauty of our land. The Equinox California Studios NiaWear trunk show. The GPS system that made it possible to not get so lost. Dancing and doing what we love in so many places. What I loved most about the tour was feeling each community, seeing the faces of the people of all ages. Hearing their voices and knowing in my heart that I and all the Nia Teachers are doing great work!
I believe this tour is a new beginning for Nia, leading the next generation. I feel it. I feel the transformation and the letting go of the past, the stepping forward into the new vision for Nia that is guided by love, not fear. The past 25 years have been amazing for sure. They have given us the foundation needed to step out and into the next phase of our life and Nia's life. I know we are doing so with great integrity, wisdom, awareness, and love. We do so as stronger people, educated by Nia and by the life choices we have made along the way. I know Nia is proud that we have never sold out and that we listen intently with our hearts to humanity. Everything is moving in the right time and in the right way, and every choice we make is yet another branch for the leaves of Nia to sprout her messages for everybody to taste. Most of all, I am thankful for the opportunity to stand for what I believe in, "feeling to heal." I got to stand with Carlos and be proud of what he and I have done. I got to look out and see that the past 11 years, almost half of Nia's life, has been fed and nurtured by my husband and business partner, Jeff, knowing that he too could see the result of his love and care. Many thanks to Jeff, who for the past ten years of his life has devoted his time, heart and soul to supporting me, Carlos and everyone in Nia. Special thanks to him for also photographing and capturing the faces and people in each community so we could share the experience with all of you.
I am humbled by the outreach of this work and the hands and hearts of those who have made it possible for my dream to be real. It takes only one to change the world, as I have seen in many cities. When you add a second, third and fourth, well, that's when the magic of love creates things one alone can never do.
Feel proud, each and every one of you, for the work you do to touch the lives of others. Most of all, feel Nia in your hearts and know how deeply thankful I am to you - we are to you.
I am committed more than ever, and excited to move forward with the amazing talent that is with me: Jeff, Carlos, and you all!
May the next 25 years blow our minds and hearts.