Nia Testimonial: Sommer Albertsen, Nia Student
I have been dancing since I was three years old – ballet, jazz, modern, tap, hip hop, and musical theater. I've always enjoyed movement, and found it was the best way for me to express myself. But I also always felt there was something missing... until about four years ago when I found Nia in Susan Tate's class at The Dance Space in Seattle. That experience unveiled to me the real magic of dance. It felt like coming home in my body, aligning and flowing in a complete way.
I knew immediately that I was born to share Nia. I realize I cannot live without it in my life. On days when I haven't been able to make it to a class, I've found myself breaking out in dance on the beach, in the shower, in royal palace gardens in Sevilla, Spain, and on the streets. The power of Nia in my life is the light that keeps me going when I can't do anything but cry. It helps me jump high for joy. I really am so grateful for Debbie and Carlos creating this sacred movement craft that I know has the possibility to create peace and healing in this world.
I feel I am supposed to help spread the grace of Nia. I feel my background in dance, my whole life experience, and expertise in helping specialized populations for the past five years would make me a great teacher. I have been blessed to work with adults, youth with special needs, and senior citizens through my therapeutic recreation work. I have a gift for seeing the beauty and potential in all people, and for helping others see that potential in themselves. Pursuing a professional direction in Nia is how I can influence a sense of community and happiness in others. My ultimate dream is to have a community center where all therapies are available, and where all people can come together to enrich themselves. I feel becoming a Nia teacher could be the catalyst for making this dream come true.
I would like to meet Debbie and Carlos one day to give them big hugs and to thank them for impacting my life in such a significant way. I believe deeply in what they have created and cannot wait to share Nia in my own class one day soon.
Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?
Because I need Nia. It makes me feel alive, strong, beautiful inside and out, and connected to a community. I live a ferry ride and two hour drive away from my Nia dance studio, but I am willing to make the trip as much as I can when I have the financial means. I am planning on going to a class next week, and it makes me so happy. I cannot wait to be there.
Where and with whom do you take Nia classes and/or trainings?
I have been dancing with Susan Tate for a couple of years. She is not only an amazing Nia teacher, but also a good friend and life mentor. I've also been blessed to dance with Bill Stewart and Christina Stewart. I spent three week in Charleston, SC recently where I helped with marketing and assisting, which enabled me to dance Nia with them twice a day for three weeks. It was incredible. Bill and Susan are naturally gifted Nia teachers that I would be blessed to have as mentors. They teach with so much awareness.
What is one thing most people don't know about Nia?
The magic and influence of community and peace. That there is no judgement. All bodies are welcome and would benefit so much from a class.
What tip can you give someone who is considering trying Nia for the first time?
To be open and not so hard on yourself. Every single experience is different.
What is your plan for the future?
I don't have a plan for the first time in my whole life... and it feels so good. I believe I am not defined by "what I do," but rather by "how I live my life." Six months ago I felt like a failure and got really depressed. I lost my job and my apartment. I had to start over again without any of these things. I had to rediscover what makes me happy in my life. All I wanted to do was garden, dance and travel. So with some time to get myself out of the darkness, that is exactly what I did! I had no plan, but I knew things were going to work out. Nia helped me. After traveling alone in through France, Spain and Portugal for three months as a volunteer farmer and backpacker, I feel more alive then ever before. All I want is to be a Nia teacher. I have no idea what my plan is, but I know it's going to happen. I am at peace with whole lot of faith.