Magic on the Mountain: Dancing Back to Life

Once upon a time, two people fell in love with a mountain, so they left the big city and went to live on its slopes. Now it just so happens that one was a photojournalist, and the other, a maverick marketer turned healer.

Below is a letter we received from JP du Plessis who had a life changing experience watching a Nia DVD:

Hi guys and gals at Nia,

I would just like to take the opportunity to thank everyone on the Nia team for what you have created and made available to the world. This morning, for the first time ever, I danced along to my wife’s Dance to Drums DVD. I only lasted 35 minutes, not because of low fitness, but because I started to cry uncontrollably and I haven’t stopped since.

It was not only the first time in the two years of our marriage that I have danced with my wife Tracy, it’s the first time I’ve danced with my daughter Mika, who is now almost three years old. It is also the first time in about ten years that I have danced. And man, did it shake some stuff loose! Maybe I should have started with a beginner’s lesson.

For the decade spanning 2001 until 2011 I worked as a crime and conflict correspondent for some of Africa’s top newsrooms. You see a lot in ten years, especially when dealing with Africa’s volatile war zones and brutal crime scenes. Most days I would see more in an hour than I would ever wish upon anyone in their entire life. I had stored all that information within me - the emotions, the fear, the horror, the smells, the sensations and the personal trauma – and I had forgotten how to dance.

This morning while I stumbled around the living room, bumping into Tracy, standing on Mika’s toes and almost kicking the TV over, all that scar tissue started to shake its way out of my joints and muscles and memory; but most importantly, I began to shake it out of my soul. Suppressed memories and suppressed traumas (I’ve been in some really shitty situations) have been flashing through my mind all morning since. Instead of being enslaved by the associated traumas, however, I am finally crying about them. And by finally releasing them, I am looking at them with fresh eyes. I am alive, and I can dance with my family. And that has made me the happiest man in the world, which is making me cry even more.

This morning, in those 35 minutes, I started the process of releasing my grip on my past and I starting to live in the “now,” I feel like a bus has hit me (in a good way!) and I know that I have a journey of processing and letting go ahead of me, but through Nia I know I’ve finally found the tools that I have been looking for to help me shake it all loose and get on with my life. I don’t know how it works, I can’t explain the magic behind what you’ve created, but all I can say is: “Thank you so very, very much!”

Blessings and light, to all who are doing their part to make this magic available to the world!

Love, JP

Since this experience JP and his wife have decided to bring Nia to their community. They share land with about 50 impoverished farm workers, and over the past two years have been doing whatever they can to improve the lives of those around them, as well as their families and neighbors. They are about to build a community hall, installing a big-screen TV and a DVD player. Both are getting their white belt training, and their mission is to help everyone feel the power of Nia.

We invite you to view his website and stay tuned for an update on Jp and Tracy’s journey with nia: