We are pleased to announce that Holly Nastasi is the 2011 Nia trainer of the year!

Holly is honored as trainer of the year for many reasons. As a Nia teacher, Holly has been successful at creating strong and vibrant communities in Austin, Texas, Sante Fe, New Mexico, and now Lincoln, Nebraska where I have no doubt she will rock the house as she always does.

I remember Holly's first White Belt Training. She was the one sitting on the floor with piercing eyes that questioned what we were doing. Made sense to me, as she is a trained, educated Kinesiologist. As life would have it, she fell in love with Nia, and went on to teach classes at the University of Texas and also in clubs. Eventually she opened one of the first NiaSpace studios. Over years of training Holly, I can tell you she showed great dedication, integrity, honesty, and a professional desire to be the best – and she is. Ask anyone who takes her classes, and they will tell you how warm and patient she is in leading people into the space of self-discovery through Nia, a place where women and men of all shapes and sizes do fall in love with their bodies and lives.

She's created community among Nia teachers and students, mentored new teachers and trainers, written kick-ass press releases, created press events, hosted my trainings and events, and been a true friend. Above all, what I am most proud of is Hollys' ability to be a mother, a wife and a teacher all at the same time. Not an easy job for sure, but Holly rocks it. She rocks it by being who she is: an amazing beautiful, intelligent, loving human being who cares deeply about people.

I have been privileged to stand by Holly in times of great joy and sadness, and she has done the same for me. Many nights we have both consoled each other. It means a lot to me to know people like Holly are there as a friend, mentor and collaborative professional. Holly makes us all better.

This year marked one of the most challenging times a mother can have. Holly's son, Daniel, suffered a severe injury to his spine, which paralyzed him. Her call to me that day was something I never imagined. It has been a hard time for Holly and her family, and through it all, Holly has continued to hold the space for Daniel to heal.

Please join me in celebrating Holly as trainer of the Year for 2011. Drop her note and send healing energy to Daniel, as his journey is one that will take a whole village.