Dancing on the Earth

A blog by Nia teacher, Wendy Roman

When I first opened my dance studio, Rhythmwood, in 2012, I had no idea there would be so many wonderful events taking place here. I have received so much joy in producing and hosting Nia Belt Trainings. I love it, not only because I get to connect with the joy in people’s bodies and hearts as they move through the week, but because I get to move right alongside them. At the end of the week a real bond has grown between the participants; these bonds hold tight and carry us forward into the future. I have made many beautiful connections which have enriched my life immeasurably.

In 2013, I had the honour of producing the Nia White Belt training with the magical Roberta Mohler. From the first time I danced with Roberta, I felt she had some kind of magic power to make time slow down. Her teaching style makes me feel grounded and graceful. Roberta has been a wonderful mentor to me in the teaching and sharing of Nia, as well as the embodiment of the Nia principles. In this training, many of the women who attended have been dancing Nia with me since I first started teaching. This made the week very special indeed.

Soon after the White Belt training, I had the idea of producing the Nia Blue Belt training. I immediately thought of Winalee Zeeb, a dynamic and playful powerhouse, while also being a grounded teacher. Not being one to hold back on a feel good idea, I decided to invite her. As it turned out, Winalee used to own a diving company here on the Bruce Peninsula and was familiar with the area. I was thrilled when she accepted my invitation!

One of the greatest pleasures in hosting the Blue Belt training was being able to attend and serve the trainees. I remember what it was like to be in a training for the first time, absorbing all the information that one takes in during the week. Being present and available to the women each day was an honor. When people arrived each morning they were greeted by our two dogs Bindi and Tosa. Often you could see the dogs peeking in through the sliding door of the studio throughout the day. I think they liked the energy in there! Then there were the chickens and the rooster who were part of the greeting committee too. The chickens gave us the fresh eggs for some of our lunches. I remember one afternoon during Blue Belt, Winalee asked us to listen, and wait until we heard a bird call. After many minutes elapsed, sure enough the rooster crowed. We all laughed as the rooster became an integral part of our learning about communication!   

Some of my favorite memories include having everyone eat in our home each day for lunch. My partner, Rick, made fresh lunches for everyone. They were well received and appreciated, and Rick became quite popular with the women. What woman doesn't love a man who cooks? After the work of lunch was complete he would spend his time tending the garden situated in the yard outside the studio. His gardening taught us a lot about Dancing Through Life and Living Meditation. The studio itself taught us about Life As Art. We danced on natural earthen floors in the studio made of straw bale walls with local earthen plaster. Inside, the walls, so lovingly created and decorated with art from local artists, held our group each time we gathered to dance and learn together in our safe and sacred space.    

People come from near and far to dance in this space and I look forward to the future of Rhythmwood. My love of dance drives me onto continue my study of embodied movement practices. My next dream is to produce the Nia Brown Belt training. I hope to inspire and empower others to find more joy and meaning in their own bodies and lives. Follow your dreams. If you can think it and dream it, you can do it!

Wendy Roman is a Nia Black Belt & Nia 5 Stages Instructor as well as a certified Dance Our Way Home facilitator. Rick Roman is a natural builder specializing in log and straw bale structures. Rhythmwood is located on the Bruce Peninsula, a few hours north of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. To learn more please visit the website at www.rhythmwood.ca    

Photo by Wendy Roman