Nia is more than fitness. It's a lifestyle that is shared one dance at a time. It changes people's lives forever.

The Nia awards celebrates men and women who have dedicated their lives to body and life mastery by teaching, training, and living their lives modeling greatness. Enjoy this video celebrating all of our Sacred Athletes of 2013. It also celebrates you. You have given your time and effort to seeing our vision spread throughout the world. Here is the list of our awards from 2008 - 2013. 

Here's to more great years ahead. Thank you. 

2013 Nia Awards

Teacher of the Year
Régine Petit, Teacher

Régine Petit "has a strong multidisciplinary training (DESS Marketing and STAPS license), she engages the truth of body language development, and conscious breathing. In France, she launched and developed the practice of Nia, first on the French Riviera and then iin Paris.

Trainer of the Year
Dorit Noble, Trainer

Dorit become a Nia trainer in 2006. Before finding Nia she was a Opera Singer who worked with CAPAB local opera company in Capet Town, South Africa. We celebrate Dorit for selfless and loving ability to build community. Over the past 8 years, 53 of her students have become Nia teachers. Dorit models what it means to be a trainer and supports others to share in their greatness. Dorit lives in London with her son and husband.

Student of the Year
Sarah Brown, Teacher

Sarah always yearned to study the Nia Livelihood Belts. Whether teaching or not. In her words:

“I am an embryonic learner, still grounding in Nia's whole-life Practice, the Body's Way, Sensation Science and the healing of my own body/mind/spirit; so presently I focus on facilitating a small-cluster customized classes - including a weekly session with elder folk (nicknamed "ReViVaNia"!).  I am excited about training  further in several evolving specialty applications of Nia.”

Sacred Athlete of the Year
Holly Nastasi, Trainer

She loved to move at an early age and spent hours enthralled with records and never missed a chance to get up and dance. Her life took a turn as she focused her attention on building a family. However, it wasn’t long before she was dancing again, that time as an aerobics instructor teaching Jane Fonda-style aerobics.

She was introduced to Nia in 1993 at a Health Promotion Conference she attended as part of her studies. Shortly after she was in her own White Belt with Debbie and Carlos, beginning her transformation.

THE 2013 TOP SALES AMONG NIA TRAINING FACULTY

First Generation Trainers:

1: Ann Christiansen, Trainer, and her husband Sören Petersen, who is the incredible force behind her, helping Ann build a strong reputation throughout Europe.

Ann is celebrated for her dedication to the depth of the work and her astounding perseverance in building the Nia business in and across Europe since 1998.

Her path to becoming a Nia trainer can be traced back to her early passion for swimming. Her dedication to swimming opened doors to travel, adventure, and a deep appreciation for athleticism. In 1984 Ann had the honor of swimming in the Los Angeles Olympic Games and in the European World Championships. In 1998 she became a World Champion in masters swimming.

Following the 1984 Olympics, Ann enjoyed a modeling career that took her around the world to Paris, Milan, Zürich, Hamburg and Tokyo where she lived from 1987 to 1992. In Tokyo Ann taught swimming, wrote 4 books on swimming techniques, and hosted a weekly TV show.

After returning to Europe Ann began to study applied kinesiology, massage therapy and alternative healing techniques covering subjects like sound therapy, 7-Chi keys, chakra balancing, and nutritional kinesiology to mention a few. She had a ten-year career as a physical therapist, and served on the staff of the Swedish National Swim Team between 1996-1997.

Her Olympic swimming career and study of kinesiology, physiology, and energy healing, was an excellent preparation for her first encounter with Nia in 1997, and though she did not know what to expect, she immediately sensed a fusion of all of NIa’s learning and interests. The intelligence and depth with which Nia connected the body, mind, emotions and spirit seduced her to dive in, and the following year Ann experienced what she says was life-changing: The Nia White Belt Intensive.

Ann bega sharing and growing Nia in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and throughout Europe. In 2003 Ann became a Nia Trainer and is now certified to teach all 5 belt levels of the Nia educational system and Move I.T, Nia´s newest program. 

2: Winalee Zeeb, Trainer, holds 2nd place in top sales for 2013. Winalee’s success comes from her love and passion for sharing Nia, turning people on around the world in only the way she can, inspiring people to find the true joy of Nia movement. Her home Studio “Heart Dance” is the perfect place for people to find warmth and care in her home and compassionate spirit.

3: Helen Terry, Trainer, holds 3rd place in top sales for 2013. Helen’s success comes from her amazing ability to manifest not only a successful training business, but a one if its kind state-of-the art Nia Studio and a Nia retreat center. One of the first people to create a studio, NiaMoves Houston continues to thrive 17 years later. Her vision grew into “Soma Ranch,” a live-in training facility in Texas, where people come to study Nia and other somatic arts. Celebrating Helen would not be complete without saying “thanks” to Joe Terry, her husband and business partner, and to NiaMoves business partner, Kristie Bryant, and the Houston community for supporting her and Nia.

Second Generation Trainer:
Sophie Marsh, Trainer, thrives on sharing her contagious passion for Nia, inspiring people to live their authentic joy and offering innovative Nia classes, playshops, retreats and White Belt trainings. She believes embodying the Joy of Movement is key to embracing our innate vitality, body wisdom and passion for life.

The first Australian Nia Black Belt and Nia Trainer, Sophie blends over 15 years experience in holistic fitness and as a corporate trainer in sales, systems and staff development. Through Nia's playful integration of body, mind and spirit Sophie lovingly guides people to move beyond their perceived limits, to discover and express their magnificent potential, to connect with others in meaningful ways and to co-create conscious communities.

2012 Nia Awards

Teacher of the Year
Kelle Rae Oien, Trainer

Great teachers strive for excellence. Learning is their passion. Teaching is their gift. Mastery is their commitment. Whether she is teaching in Santa Fe, Bali or Brazil, Kelle creates an experience that is joyful, magical, and memorable. As a rolfer, her knowledge of the body is shared with intelligence of Nia with impeccability. Kelle supports her local community with over twelve Nia classes per week, monthly workshops, and retreats to deepen her student's Nia experience and somatic knowledge. Her 2012 endeavor was helping to build community momentum at StudioNia Santa Fe as well as being a contributing choreographer to one of Nia's newest routines, Fly! She has also been very busy changing bodies and lives as one of Nia's newest White Belt Trainers. Kelle is the ideal role model for what it means to share Nia with ease, elegance, and a high degree of skill.

Trainer of the Year
Winalee Zeeb, Trainer
from Michigan, holds 2nd place in top sales for 2013. Winalee’s success comes from her love and passion for sharing Nia, turning people on around the world in only the way she can, inspiring people to find the true joy of Nia movement. Her home Studio “Heart Dance” is the perfect place for people to find warmth and care in her home and compassionate spirit.

Sacred Athlete of the Year
Ann Christansen, Trainer

She has taught thousands of Nia classes and loves it more each time. This love has led her to open numerous studios, including NiaSpace in Austin, Texas, as well as ZiaNia, Studio Mateo, and StudioNia Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

2011 Nia Awards

Teacher of the Year
Dana Hood, Trainer

Dana has loved dance since she was a child. After her first Nia class in 2006, Dana knew she had discovered a new path to pleasurable fitness. She fell in love with how Nia encourages fun and energetic movement with self-expression, while also emphasizing creativity, conditioning, community, spirit, acceptance and love for the body just as it is. 

It is Dana's passion to create powerful, expressive and healing movement experiences. Students in her classes discover a new and fun way to move, sweat, heal, tone, balance and stretch the body, mind and spirit.

Denver is a thriving Nia community and Dana Hood has made it that way. Beyond the incredible classes she offers almost every day, she has been the first teacher in the area to create a sense of community. She is always putting together jams, events and workshops. Last fall she spent hours of her time mentoring and coaching a group of thirteen White Belt graduates who had never taught a class, to bring them to a place of readiness. The event she did at the studio I attend gave all the funds to charity and many White Belts grads who would have never had the courage to teach are now teaching because of her. She is definitely a perfect person to win this award. Her ability to share her gifts and talents through Nia has touched many.

2010 Nia Awards

Teacher of The Year
Mario Reinthaler, Teacher

Mario is inspired by his deep and powerful commitment to be the best he can be He has been a leader in his widespread European community, which extends through all of Austria, Germany, Switzerland and beyond. Mario's commitment to sharing Nia led him to volunteer for a series of (desperately needed) translations of Nia educational material.

Mario is a tremendous support for the entire Nia community. He actively supports the German-speaking Nia community in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, translating educational material such as the booklets for all Nia routines, Nia manuals and more. He sets a great example of teaching Nia for all age groups, including seniors, and bringing Nia into remote areas of Austria. His teaching style is so charismatic, his students call him 'Herr Mario'—Mister Mario.

Nia Livelihood Award
Joe Terry, Student and Business Partner with Trainer Helen Terry

Two years ago, we presented the first "Nia Teacher of the Year Award," to recognize teachers who truly shine in embodying and sharing the joy of Nia. 2010 marked the launch of another award, to acknowledge those who may not teach but celebrate and support Nia in a powerful way: The Nia Livelihood Award.  We're proud to announce Nia's very first recipient of this special award: Joe Terry, loving husband of Nia Trainer Helen Terry.

Husband to Helen, and father of Liliana, Joe exemplifies what it means to love, support, give, nurture, build, protect and cultivate the very essence of Nia in his family, his local community and the world. On any given day, you'll find Joe building on Soma Ranch, their breathtaking Nia retreat in Houston, Texas (which he built from the ground up!), making breakfast for Helen and Liliana (often served in bed), folding laundry (and placing it perfectly in the drawers), and cooking gourmet breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the Soma Ranch guests.

Joe is always there to support his family—from teenage emotions to Helen's joys and fears—while taking care of himself in the midst of it all. By stepping into his own greatness, Joe teaches us what it means to be man—not a man "behind" the woman, but a man next to her, as they walk the path of greatness side by side, sharing their own unique gifts together.

Nia Trainer of the Year
Winalee Zeeb, Trainer

The title of Nia Trainer comes with great responsibility, as every breath, word, choice and move of a trainer must model what it means to choose and share joy. To enter this realm is a powerful and ongoing achievement. To rise above in this realm is a truly sacred act. This said, in 2010 it was our pleasure to present the first Nia Trainer of the Year Award to the bundle of joy and energy that is Winalee Zeeb.

For anyone who's had the pleasure of taking classes, workshops, playshops (such as her famous "Plearning" events), and/or her White and Green Belt trainings, you know every cell in her body just shines with joy and love. She truly models what it means to listen to sensation and choose joy in every moment, every breath.

If you have met, learned with and/or danced with Winalee, you have seen how everything she does is masterful and impeccable. She thinks of others and herself. She supports others and herself. She is a devoted daughter, wife, stepmother and grandmother. She is our bearer of, as she calls it, "dolphin joy."

Winalee has touched many lives, always leaving people with a new understanding of how much joy is truly available at all times. If you have ever danced Nia, you have danced with Winalee, as her light and love are the very essence of the Nia Promise.

2009 Nia Awards:

Teacher of the Year
Joanne Edgar,  Brown Belt-5 Stages

A writer, storyteller and activist, Joanne has had the privilege of working with many amazing people on important social, and political projects for change. She worked on the very first Nia article written in Ms. Magazine in May 1986, called “Soft Aerobics: Gain Without Pain.” At seventy, Joanne is an avid Nia student, Brown Belt and 5 Stages grad, as well as an amazing triathlete. She exudes an air of confidence, elegance, grace, ease and youthfulness and surrounds herself with powerful, inspiring women like Gloria Steinem. She lives her life with passion, confidence and guided by “sacred intelligence,” a term I use that means going beyond being just “conscious”. Committed to living her purpose and to living into her greatness, she is a sacred activist; someone who does what needs to be done to make herself and the world a better place. She is a woman who has Created A Sacred Livelihood for herself and she lives life as a Sacred Athlete. From the very beginning when Nia came to New York she was there, helping, and supporting the teachers and the community. Dedicated to living into her greatness Joanne’s vacations center around traveling to remote places in the world with Earth Watch where she “learns,” by helping research scientists around the world.  

2008 Nia Awards:

Teacher of the Year 
Ann Christiansen, Trainer

Ann is celebrated for her dedication to the depth of the work and her astounding perseverance in building the Nia business in and across Europe since 1998.

Her path to becoming a Nia trainer can be traced back to her early passion for swimming. Her dedication to swimming opened doors to travel, adventure, and a deep appreciation for athleticism. In 1984 Ann had the honor of swimming in the Los Angeles Olympic Games and in the European World Championships. In 1998 she became a World Champion in masters swimming.

Following the 1984 Olympics, Ann enjoyed a modeling career that took her around the world to Paris, Milan, Zürich, Hamburg and Tokyo where she lived from 1987 to 1992. In Tokyo Ann taught swimming, wrote 4 books on swimming techniques, and hosted a weekly TV show.

After returning to Europe Ann began to study applied kinesiology, massage therapy and alternative healing techniques covering subjects like sound therapy, 7-Chi keys, chakra balancing, and nutritional kinesiology to mention a few. She had a ten-year career as a physical therapist, and served on the staff of the Swedish National Swim Team between 1996-1997.

Her Olympic swimming career and study of kinesiology, physiology, and energy healing, was an excellent preparation for her first encounter with Nia in 1997, and though she did not know what to expect, she immediately sensed a fusion of all of NIa’s learning and interests. The intelligence and depth with which Nia connected the body, mind, emotions and spirit seduced her to dive in, and the following year Ann experienced what she says was life-changing: The Nia White Belt Intensive.

Ann bega sharing and growing Nia in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and throughout Europe. In 2003 Ann became a Nia Trainer and is now certified to teach all 5 belt levels of the Nia educational system and Move I.T, Nia´s newest program.