Nia Testimonial: Sara, Nia Student

Chicago, United States

About me:

I am a Chicago resident who is active in tennis and YMCA fitness classes.

Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?

I practice Nia for exercise, strength, flexibility, posture, cardio, balance and stress relief. I also think that the footwork, balance, and fitness components of it help me with my tennis game. I look forward to seeing the people at Nia, including the other students and the instructor, Valerie Beller. Valerie creates an extremely inviting and encouraging class environment and that really keeps me interested and motivated. Valerie’s positive energy and upbeat personality is one of the main reasons I keep going back!

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

I take Nia classes with Valerie Beller at McCormick Tribune YMCA, Irving Park YMCA, and Leaning Tower YMCA (all in the Chicago area). The fact that I am willing to travel to three locations to practice Nia with Valerie speaks for itself.

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

It is much more than just a cardio class. You also work on your strength, flexibility, balance and mindfulness. Your feet and ankles will get stronger. Also, prior dance experience is not necessary. Nia is welcoming to all shapes, sizes and fitness levels! The other thing I love about Nia is that you get a great workout without being too “hard” on your body. Valerie is very mindful of the whole “self” of each student, and teaches us to modify our movements, if necessary, based on our level and how we are feeling.

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

Anything goes with Nia, so you don't even need a tip. Just go with the flow, and don't worry about trying to be perfect. Just have fun!