Nia Testimonial: Katy Hobbs, Nia Teacher
My father always claimed that I came out dancing. As a child I spent my free time choreographing dances, putting on dance shows, and freedancing to a wide variety of music. At the age of ten, I was told I did not have the “right” body for dancing so I quit dance – but the passion never died. In fact, it just grew stronger though it remained dormant for many years. In my early 20’s, while working as a special education teacher, I realized I needed to take the time to fulfill myself as a student of movement if I was to be the passionate, loving teacher I was born to be. I began a regular practice of yoga and stepped back into the dance studio. Within two years, I was the yoga and dance teacher at my school. I was taking Pilates, Jazz, ballet, belly dancing, and modern dance, and preformed in several stage performances. All of this prepared me for the next phase of the journey.
In 2002, I stepped into my first Nia class and that is where the “miracle” began. Just two years later, as a wedding gift to myself, I attended a Nia White Belt Training with Helen Terry. Teaching and dancing Nia was like coming home for me. I danced through both of my pregnancies and danced while wearing each of my boys until they turned one. I've taught Nia to people of all ages – infants through adults. In my Master’s work, I used Nia as a behavioral intervention for children with emotional and behavioral disorders. As a Nia Black Belt Teacher, my enthusiasm, playful creativity, and passion for music and movement are evident. I encourage every body to move in his or her "Body’s Way," while creating new neurological pathways through play. In my own practice, I have found a beautiful home in my own body, mind, emotions and spirit. Join me for a blissful movement experience on your personal path toward health, love and joy.
Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?
Does the caterpillar know where she is going? Does she know why her hunger is so great? Flooding herself with food, waiting for the cue... being fully present to the changes, grieving the death of the slow, fat caterpillar and celebrating the life waiting to arise from deep within the womb. Pure and clear darkness, joyful, loving, impeccable space: the crystalis. No two eyes can penetrate the shell, try three... somehow she is pulsing the cells of hUmaNity, longing to burst through. From stillness, a dialogue begins. Pushing, undulating, pulsating: freedom NOW! Dying once more and yet simultaneously born again. The butterfly with wings too wet to fly. Dying to the cacoon yet lacking strength to fly. Dancing, shimmying, wiggling... dying to fly, dying to fly, dying to fly ahhh... off she goes into the unknown, forever transformed! Manifesting desire to return again and again and again! Now I am the butterfly! I have found my wings. Thank you, Nia!!!
Where and with whom do you take Nia classes and/or trainings?
Urban Yoga in Fort Worth with Kellie McClarty and Megan Reese, StudioNia in Portland with Carlos and Debbie (for my Nia Brown Belt and Black Belt Trainings), Adelle's beautiful space in San Antonio (for my Green Belt Training), and Move Studio in Dallas. I've done Dance Jams with Jule (Shannon is on my radar). I can't wait for RanchoNia with Helen... sweet, beautiful Helen. I will do my best to dance with anyone that comes to town... (Debbie, Holly, Helen, Carlos) BRING IT ON!!!
What is one thing most people don't know about Nia?
Most people don't know how freakin' fun Nia is. I hear so many people say, "Oh, I'm not coordinated, I could never do that." All I can say is, as a child we didn't even realize when we missed a beat. We had energy to play all day and took risks without a second thought. Nia brings me back to this place. The place of the beginner's mind with the eyes and playful heart of a child. It is adult recess! Nia is fun, it is joyful, it is creative... it reminds me how to playfully connect and dance through life.
What tip can you give someone who is considering trying Nia for the first time?
Do your best and do it your way. I always say if you look around and you think, "Oh no, I don't look like her or the teacher," then you get a high-five. We all have our own "Body's Way" and we all move differently. This practice is for you to let go and fall in love with your body. There is no right or wrong way to show up... just show up. By the fourth class, you too will claim the Nia community as your home! Come home to your body, mind, emotions and spirit.
What music would you love to see in a Nia routine?
More Shannon Day, more beat-fanatic, prayful...