Soul Dancing

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Short Answer…” Nia is like chocolate, you have to taste it." It cannot be defined by any one word or by a single phrase.

Detailed Answer… Nia is movement as medicine. It is the first and most advanced form of fusion fitness - combining healing, dance and martial arts into the ultimate "East meets West" method to tone your body, mind, and spirit. This combination creates a synergy that no isolated technique can match. Nia’s revolutionary idea of replacing punishment with pleasure advocates doing things the easy way instead of the hard way. This cardiovascular program uses whole-body, expressive, grounded movement, rather than repetitive jogging or lifting and is adaptable to every level of fitness, every age and type of body, even those with special limitations.

Nia is effective and fun!

Really Detailed Answer… Nia was created in the 1980s as an alternative to high-impact aerobics classes. Carlos and Debbie Rosas, Nia’s founders, taught aerobics in the days of the aerobics craze. However, they found the pounding movements became tedious and were hard on the joints, causing numerous injuries. The philosophy of “no pain-no gain” did not seem to make sense and went against  the body’s natural way of moving. This prompted them to search for a safer and more spiritual movement class. They kicked off their shoes, quit jumping up and down and started a flowing dance-like class that they called Non-Impact Aerobics, which later became known as Neuromuscular Integrative Action. Through the years, the practice evolved and the name transformed into Nia, a movement form that stands on it’s own. In Swahili, Nia means “with purpose”, which goes beautifully with the intent of Nia, which was designed to help you approach everything with purpose, feeling and passion.



















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             Even though the program is associated with the fitness industry, it is closely tied to the world of alternative health. Although it has its roots in mindfulness and arts, it is also strongly grounded in science. The concept of “no pain-more gain” is beginning to ring true with many new participants, as they realize they can receive a vast array of health benefits without punishing the body.  It allows you the freedom to move in your own way, in a non-judgmental atmosphere, while still following the structure of a simple routine.  Each Nia step is taught at three different levels. Those who are injured or interested in a low-impact workout will gravitate toward Level One, while Level Three offers a high-energy, aerobic workout.

Nia’s  fluid, circular, and linear movements are done barefoot to an eclectic blend of music - popular music, jazzy rhythms and world beats. Nia classes guide you to move your body the way it was intended to move and is intended to address all levels of fitness and wellness. The choreography encourages creative, individual expression to deliver a mind, body, spiritual and emotional fitness that strengths your heart on all levels.

Nia uses music, visualizations, sounds, and non-impact movement and energy to free your body from physical tensions and emotional restrictions.

             Nia is ever changing, as is each class….guaranteed never to be dull or humdrum. A session will leave you sweaty, but not breathless and you will leave a  class with a sense of calm and a smile.

Nia…So, what is Nia anyway?





Phone: 519-501-3591

Located in: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada



Tina Payton B.A. (Certified Nia Instructor)

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Nia is a treat for the soul.

© 2005-2011 Tina Payton / Soul Dancing. All rights reserved.

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