Nia Testimonial: Penny Adams, Nia Graduate
Nelson, New Zealand
I grew up in the beautiful city of Nelson, New Zealand. At 20 I decided to see the world and moved to San Francisco, which was very exciting for a young kiwi girl. I have also lived in London and Adelaide. I qualified as an accountant while I was living in London, but changed to IT work and was running training sessions for users of account packages before returning to NZ with my husband in 2000 to have my daughter. We spent ten years in NZ running our own business. I am now working in accounting for a renewable energy company in Cotswolds, UK.
I was introduced to Nia by my friend Sarah. I had never danced, coming from a logical accounting background. The first few times I went to a class I felt completely outside my comfort zone, but knew it was something I was determined to continue. I have an artificial leg and have always been very active both as a child and adult. I played all the games at school with the other kids and was determined to join them in everything. My favourite sports were squash, swimming, netball and trampoline classes.
As an adult I continued to be physically active. However many of the activities I enjoyed had some negative impact on my leg. Jarring actions were particularly bad and resulted in discomfort or crutches.
I have been enjoying Nia classes for over a year now, 1-3 times a week. In October I completed my White Belt Training. Nia is without a doubt the only "exercise" I have been able to maintain for long periods of time without experiencing any negative effects on my leg. The fact that I was able to complete the full week of dancing during the White Belt only reinforced how fantastic Nia is for me!!!
I think the gentle moves and soft footsteps are the key! There's no jarring action. The White Belt was an unexpected emotional journey for me and I felt a connection to my leg that I have never experienced before. My leg was always just this thing I put on to walk. I now feel it is part of me and I appreciate how lucky I am. I’m looking forward to many more years of Nia and have more belts in my sight.
I’d love to encourage anyone to participate in Nia. Just move to your own ability and enjoy! You may be surprised at how good you can feel both physically and emotionally.
Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?
I practice Nia because it's fun and it's a great physical workout!
Where and with whom do you take Nia classes and/or trainings?
I take classes with Christine in Wotton-under-Edge and Avening in the Cotswolds (UK).
What is one thing most people don't know about Nia?
How much fun it is... and everyone can do it!
What tip can you give someone who is considering trying Nia for the first time?
Don't be afraid to try something new. I did and haven't looked back....
Can people who have never danced before practice Nia?
Yes! Just follow the moves to your own level and remember there is no such thing as "getting it wrong." Just do your own thing!!!