Nia as Movement Therapy


By: Wendie Martell-Williams, Nia Blue Belt Teacher  |  May 26, 2009

Hello Nia Teachers and Friends,

This is my third year of being welcomed to present Nia as Movement Therapy for the National Rural Institute on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.  It is the 25th year for the innovative NRI conference, being held May 31-June 4Th at UW- Stout in Menominee, Wisconsin. 

The first year I attended, our "medical track" scholarship recipient group did a skit on "Dance-aholics Anonymous" and I led the talent show audience of about 200 people in a couple of fun Nia songs.  Afterward, the coordinators of the conference said, "You need to submit a proposal and tell us what that is." 

So, the first year my proposal was accepted and I taught a 1 1/2 hour class.  The students said they wanted more, so last year I taught three days for 1 1/2 hours in a mini-workshop.  Those students wanted even more (of course)!!!  This year I am on for a track of 4 days, 3 hours a day for a total of 12 hours. I intend to offer a use-able introduction to Nia as movement therapy, with a balance of theory and movement.

See the description, under track 8 at

Have you used Nia as Movement Therapy for those in recovery?  That may mean from Alcohol or Other Drug Abuse, depression, anxiety, other mental health issues, or physical health issues like chronic pain (many people have co-occurring conditions). Or do you know of other teachers who do?

If so, and/or if you know of students who would like to share their Nia experience (confidentially), please connect with my by email or phone (715-551-1970).  I am also interested in visiting treatment centers that are incorporating Nia or other types of exercise as therapy.

I would also welcome suggestions for songs, ideas for books, certain activities, anything you sense may be valuable for the presentation.

In addition, mark the date on your calendar and send me LOTS of energy for presenting for FOUR days! 

With Nia joy and appreciation,

Wendie Martell-Williams
Nia Blue Belt

P. S. Feel welcome to pass along the URL for the conference - Look into attending!  They offer great scholarships, and it's a fun conference.