Nia Testimonial: Susan Weissman, Nia Student
I am a mother of two children living in New York City. One of my children has severe food allergies. I used to be a middle and high school English teacher, but I stoped teaching when my son was diagnosed wtih multiple anaphylactic allergies and asthma. Now I write about food allergies and parenting on The Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-weissman) and on my blog, Peanuts In Eden. Also, I'm working on a food allergy memoir, to be published by Union Square Press in 2011.
Why do you practice and/or teach Nia?
Shortly after my son was born and experiencing symptoms of his then undiagnosed allergies, I was in the my gym and saw another mother from my older daughter's preschool taking an odd looking kind of dance class. I watched her dance in a circle with other pople, smiling all the while, and thought "I could never do that." When I asked her about it, she told me to at least try one class. I'm so glad I did! Nia became an important emotional and physical outlet for me in some difficult months to come. While my family struggled to find a correct diagnosis and treatment for my baby boy, Nia was like a therapy - I freed my mind in Nia classes and allowed my fears and my hopes to dance around in my head with me. Rather than simply letting my thoughts escape, Nia let me accept what was inside (and outside).
Where and with whom do you take Nia classes and/or trainings?
I take Nia with several teachers at the Equinox Gym on East 85th in NYC.
What is one thing most people don't know about Nia?
If you don't have a background in dance, Nia can offer you the basics and provide you with a foundation so you can feel comfortable in other types of dance and fitness classes.
What tip can you give someone who is considering trying Nia for the first time?
Don't be self-conscious! In eight years of doing Nia, I've never felt that anyone was judging me.
Do you need a background in dance to do Nia?
Definitely not! I hadn't danced since I was ten years old when I took my first Nia class.