From Little Things Big Things Grow

Communities thrive when they share a common purpose and sense to connect and contribute.
In the words of iconic Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly, “from little things big things grow.”

In the early 2000s, when Nia classes first began with Sunday Ross in Sydney and Sophie Marsh in Brisbane, hardly anyone in Australia had heard of Nia. Then, in 2007 a seed was sown when four Nia teachers formed the Nia Australia Association with the intention to support and grow the Australian Nia community. Less than a decade later there are over 60 active teachers, well over 300 White Belts and the ranks of Green, Blue, Brown and Black Belts are swelling each year. Australia has hosted three Nia 5 Stages trainings and 52 Moves is scheduled for November 2016. 

In 2017, ten years after the formation of Nia Australia, Debbie Rosas is making the journey to our remarkable country to inspire, teach and expand our community even more. Ann Christiansen, Sophie Marsh, Kelle Rae Oien and Laurie Bass are offering trainings and more in Australia. It’s gonna be huge!

Geographically, Australia is an enormous country, the largest island on Earth. It is a long way from Nia Headquarters and takes many air miles for International Trainers to get here. Even then, there are vast distances to travel between regions and cities. In addition to the locals, the growth of our community is thanks to those who have visited us from afar to share their love of Nia. The first White Belt Training was offered in 2005 by Holly Nastasi. Since then, Ken Gilbert, Winalee Zeeb, Laurie Bass, Ann Christiansen and Susan Sloan have offered trainings here. Nia in Australia took a big step forward in 2011 when Sophie Marsh joined Nia’s International Training Faculty.

In 2013, we held our first Nia Australia gathering to dance, celebrate, learn, embody, be inspired and be together. We held a second gathering, a series of National Playshops, where smaller groups met in different parts of the country on the same day at the same time to dance, play and connect. We have a vibrant online community, which keeps us connected and gives us a space to share our experiences, feelings, thoughts, questions and enthusiasm.

While each member of our tribe brings great dedication to the practice and shares the joy of Nia in their daily lives, there is a core group of volunteers who have worked tirelessly for the growth of Nia in Australia. Sophie Marsh, Noel Boycott, Anita Patterson/Pulie, Lisa Silverstone, Joanne Wilkinson and Meggie Danielson have each volunteered as President of Nia Australia, bringing their unique creative spark to the health and well-being of our community.

Nia Australia’s mission is to “Create a Movement for Greatness” with the intention to “Embody Radical Joy.” Each of us is a work in progress and are lucky to have this practice and each other. We asked our online community, "What is the most rewarding part of having a Nia community?" Within a day, the answers poured in. Here are five of the many beautifully articulated responses we received:

There is no competition in Nia, we are here to support and elevate our whole tribe for the growth of our community :) gratitude x. Yvette Connor

Dancing through life with Nia. Nia brings joy, connections and happiness. Nia, you rock our world. Giulia Ponticello

So many reasons...I feel deep passion when I dance with my Nia tribe; the energy in the room sometimes brings me to tears of joy. Thank you, Nia. Mandy Loveday

A wonderful feeling of connection, authenticity and trust. Sue Logan

I think the word is love - love for body, love for CommUnity, embracing welcome and acceptance and inclusion - Big love - because we cause each other to shine. Carolyn Jeanneret


By: Sophie Marsh & Ann Boon