Nia Testimonial: Carolyne Taplin, Nia Teacher

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

About me:

I have always been passionate about dance At the age of twelve, I had a riding accident resulting in my back being broken. My spinal cord was so badly damaged that I was paralysed from the waist down and the specialists told my parents I would never walk again. Fortunately for me, seven years of classical ballet training had given my body enough strength and flexibility that I eventually regained the use of my legs – and two years later was dancing competitively again. This experience changed my life in many ways – I appreciate so much more the ability to move, especially to music. I continued my ballet, adding modern dance and Tai Chi to my movement repertoire and in the early 80’s trained as a Jazzercise instructor.

As my family grew, I let go of dance and fitness teaching (but I always managed to dance around the house!!), and did not continue to dance with others until 2008 when I fell in love with West Coast Swing and began partner dancing for the first time in my life. It was wonderful to be moving to music again. Then in 2009, I attended a Nia class – I knew this was what my body needed. The dynamics of this dance are truly beautiful and the music seduces you. After a Nia class I am filled with well-being, and all my joints feel like they have been oiled! I am thrilled to have also found my inner martial artist!!

An unexpected benefit has been the joy in connecting again with my body, and understanding The Body’s Way by developing somatic understanding. Some other highlights have been: attending the residential White Belt Intensive training in Albany; joining a dance community that nurtures and promotes listening to our bodies; and meeting fabulous Nia teachers from NZ and the rest of the world.

A long time ago, ballet helped in my movement rehabilitation. Today I am a believer in wellness through movement. I teach several times a week in the Howick/Pakuranga area of East Auckland. I love being part of a dance community. I look forward to seeing you on the dance floor sometime!

Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?

Listening to the body and moving it gently and empathetically with mindfulness creates such a feeling of connection and mastery.

Where and with whom do you take Nia classes and/or trainings?

Auckland, New Zealand - the suburbs of Howick, Pakuranga and Ellerslie

What is one thing most people don't know about Nia?

The multi- dimensional benefits from loving your body.

What tip can you give someone who is considering trying Nia for the first time?

Be gentle with yourself, listen to your body and give it time to adjust.