Nia Testimonial: Donna Wyatt, Nia Graduate

Registered Social Worker
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

About me:

I'm 57 year old mom of 2 fabulous young adults. I've been married for 30 years to the same patient man. Professionally, I've worked in nearly every facet of Social Work in the past 35 years, and am looking forward to retirement in another 2 years. I've attended exercise classes most of my adult life, but never attained my "Ideal Weight" according to any chart - I guess I'm "Fit and Fat" if that's possible. But I've finally learned to love the body I have.

Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?

I always considered exercise like cod liver oil; You know its good for you, but you really don't enjoy it when your in the middle of it. It was something I did because I was 'supposed' to. My goal for attending classes was usually to lose weight, which never seemed to work for long. When I discovered Nia, I finally found an exercise class that was FUN! No careful choreography like a formal dance class, and an opportunity to be my Inner Dancer and reconnect with the little girl who used to twirl around the house like a ballerina!

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

Patti Tennessey has been my Nia Mentor/Teacher since I began taking classes. I'm preparing for my Green Belt in a month and she is so with her time help me get ready and provide opportunities to practise and learn. She seems to know when to push me, even on days I have low energy. She has created a wonderfully supportive Nia Community here in Kelowna, BC.

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

Here in Kelowna, most people have never heard of it, so every time I mention it, I'm explaining what it is. When they hear it includes dance moves, their first response is "oh, I can't dance, I'm too unco-ordinated" so I try to calm their anxiety by emphasising the FUN part!

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

Come with a open mind! We have all been in their spot, not knowing anyone or any of the moves. Be as kind to yourself as you would be with anyone trying something for the first time, and have FUN.

What have you learned for your Nia Classes?

That even though I am not nor never have been a size 10, I have a wonderfully strong, capable, graceful body. It can do more now at 57 than it could at 37!