That's My Girl

The following article is written by freelance writer and author Jenny Block, and first appeared on Radical Self-Care at

“It’s like your whole body is awake,” my daughter said to me from the back seat. There was a sense of awe in her voice that I don’t think I had ever heard before. “I feel like crying.” She had just gone to Nia with me for the very first time.

Jule held some classes over the holidays at MoveStudio, renting the space while it was officially closed. Since they were “private” classes, kids could come. Kids who could “handle it,” Jule had specified.

I wasn’t sure whether or not my eleven-year-old could handle it. Would she be too cool for school and simply giggle from the back of the room? Would she find it too daunting to follow? Would it freak her out to see me dance?

I needn’t have worried.

She followed Jule intently. Found her way when she got lost and said to me after class, “I’ve never seen you so happy.”

My daughter looks like me. She likes raw cookie dough and sweets like me. She has a bit of a mouth…like me. And she feels everything very deeply. Yes, like me. But I have never felt more like she was my own then when we did Nia together.

She got it.

I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t. I would have been disappointed. That’s for sure. But luckily I don’t have to worry about that any longer. I saw a change in her that night. A “click.” It was like she understood.

“I bet the whole world would stop fighting if they all danced together,” she said. I nearly passed out. Those were nearly the same words I had written months before in a blog called “I Weep” about healing ourselves and the world.

All I knew at that moment was that I owe her Nia. She deserves it. She has a right to a practice all her own.

Which was a big realization for me. I mean, Nia has changed my life. So, clearly I should have known it would change hers. And only for the good.

But I am ashamed to admit that at first I didn’t want my girlfriend or my daughter to come to class. I wanted something that was all my own. That they could share or borrow or use up or lose or shrink. I actually felt a twinge of regret when my little sister became addicted to it after I took her to a class. “But this is my thing…” I wanted to whine.

But it isn’t my thing. It’s our thing. And you can’t use it up or lose it or shrink it. You can only make it stronger.

And that’s exactly the point. We must be generous. With ourselves. With our friends and our families. With the universe. And not just because of the season. But because generosity begets generosity.

You know, Nia may not be woo-woo. But it certainly is magic.

About Jenny Block:

Jenny Block is a freelance writer and the author of “Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage” (2008 Lambda Literary Award). Among other gigs, she writes a weekly sex column for Jenny holds a BA and MA in English and taught college composition for ten years. For more on Jenny, visit her website at