Saturday, October 24, 2015

Stalking Impeccable Language

 As Nia teachers we like to be impeccable about our speech.
To that end, we have a few words that we carefully stalk the use of: namely “Try" “Because" and “Hard”. All three of these words have a weakening effect on our speech and our psyche as the speaker and as the listener. We have declared these words as dangerous because of the messages sent by their use.

“Try" is giving ourselves permission to fail. Instead of saying “I’ll try” we suggest saying “I’ll do it”  
Saying “i’ll try” is almost the same as saying “I’m not going to do it.”  And we know how important it is to set our intention.  So we use this word VERY carefully, and for the most part, avoid it altogether. 

“Because” can easily be abused in many ways. It often wastes time explaining ourselves when just the answer is sufficient. 
For example, “I’m going to invite my sister because she’ll enjoy this.” Would be more impeccable as simply “I’m going to invite my sister.”
“Because” also sets the stage for telling stories, which are more often than not untrue and not impeccable. 
“She didn’t come today because it was raining." This only works if she specifically told you that she didn't come for that reason. And “I won’t go there because then I’ll be embarrassed.” is predicting the future. 
These would be more impeccable as "She didn't come today." and "I won't go there."
But I think the most heinous abuse of the concept of "because" is when it is used as the lead-in to a follow up to a question. “Do we need to wear our hats? Because I thought that was optional. I wore mine last week and I was the only one wearing it.” 

“Because" demonstrates insecurity in this case.  The question is sufficient. The explanation for why you asked the question is pointless, time-wasting noise. The word 'because' in this case means, 'here's why I'm asking the question.' The majority of the time, not important nor relevant. 

“Hard” is making a universal judgment on something, when in truth, everyone may have a different experience.
For example, “Cuing between the 3 and the 6 is hard.”  is not true. I disagree and find it quite easy to cue between 3 and 6, so it’s not true to say that it’s hard.
"I struggle with cuing between the 3 and 6.” is ok. “I’m practicing cuing between the 3 and 6” is even better.

It is more that just the words that are to be avoided, but the ideas they represent. 
Simply using a synonym, or omitting the word but keeping the intent, is not the solution.
I’ve heard all of these techniques used at some point:
“She yelled at me BECAUSE I made her mad”
is the same as
“She yelled at me. I made her mad.”
The ‘because’ is still implied by continuing on to say the second sentence.
The idea of eliminating the word “because" is to eliminate the explanation part, so skipping the word and going on to the explanation is missing the point.

“the 8BCs are HARD.”
is the same as
“the 8BCs are DIFFICULT”
the idea is to acknowledge that they are not hard, but rather that you are struggling with them. 
Once you understand them, they will no longer seem hard to you.
They are not inherently ‘hard’. Nothing is.

“I’m going to TRY to mention the focus twice in each song today.”
is the same as 
“I’m going to ATTEMPT to mention the focus twice in each song today.”

There is a way to be impeccable in all of the examples above:
“She yelled at me.”
“I’m still learning to do the 8BCs”
“I’m going to mention the focus twice in each song today."

As Nia teachers, you have most likely already been exposed to these instances, and we all practice them to some degree, as we see fit.

But I’d like to suggest we consider stalking a phrase that isn’t included above.
And that is the phrase “just a White Belt”.
Obtaining one’s White Belt in Nia is a huge achievement and deserves to be acknowledged and respected for what it is.
It is condescending to use the phrase ‘just a White Belt’ as it implies that it is a frivolous achievement and that more is expected. 
In fact it is quite an extraordinary undertaking that should inspire pride and reverence. 
Example, “Are you a Blue Belt? No, I’m just a White Belt.”
Could instead be, “Are you a Blue Belt? No, I’m a White Belt.”

It seems like a small adjustment, but actually the meaning and implication is very different. 
I admire all of the work, expense and dedication it takes to commit to being a White Belt. It is a very important achievement, and I’d like to see it being referred to as such.
There should be no spoken or unspoken implication that one holding a higher belt level is somehow more worthy of respect.
I’d like us all to remain aware of the use or misuse of our words and what kind of messages we are sending with our choices.

Thank you,
with utmost respect for you all,
First Degree Black Belt

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Story of "Amazing"

AMAZING is the name of the Nia routine I'm going to be offering in 2016. Here is the story of how it came to be.

First, a little background: I'd been holding between two and fourteen weekly Nia classes on a regular basis in Seattle, Tuscany and/or New York City, without missing more than a week, since I first became a White Belt in 1996.

In 2010, I was living in New York and signed up to attend a yoga event in Santa Monica. I decided it might be fun to see if I could also arrange to sub some classes in the area while I was there. I made some phone calls and ended up booking gigs all along the coast. I flew from New York to LAX and did the entire trip on public transportation; planes, trains and rented automobiles. I took a few busses, too. I taught a newly created Nia routine of mine I called Bond Girls in Santa Barbara, Eugene, Portland and Seattle, and stopped to visit several old friends (I grew up in California and lived for many years in Seattle.)  It was so much fun. And I caught a bug for the adventure and excitement of combining teaching Nia with traveling.

After that, I went back to teaching my regular classes in NYC but continued to teach them for less than a year, until the spring of 2011, when I canceled them all and moved back to Seattle without any intention of starting up new ones.  Instead I rescued a dog from the animal shelter and devoted my energy and attention to his difficult rehabilitation.


After getting a sufficient handle on River, I loaded him into the passenger seat of a rented motorhome and we spent a week camping at several different Washington State Parks. It was a low-risk experiment to see how River would take to the idea of vagabonding. He seemed to love it, and did really well. I decided my next experiment would be to take him with me as I taught a few Nia classes. I took him first to a class that I was attending in Seattle, and then took him to one that I was subbing. I brought his cage and set him up and, outside of a bit of whining in the beginning, he did well enough that I set about planning a road trip with Nia and River.

I learned, on the camping trip, that the RV option was too cumbersome and expensive, so on the next trip I rented a Mustang. It was only a couple of weeks and covered the three Pacific coast states I was already so familiar with. I learned a lot and we had a great time. I made several adjustments each time we went on a trip. But all was going well so I set about exploring longer and longer trips.

By the end of 2015 we had taken at least a dozen trips, covering much of the USA. Some of them were over two months long. Each time I take a trip I learn more about myself, about Nia, about River and about America. I've gone through three Mini Coopers, four dog trainers, and four JAG Nia routines. I've created a new one each year to take "on tour" all over the country.

So far, just for these trips, I've created the original routines:
  • Woodstock Experience
  • Rock In - (a 60's version and a 70's version)
  • Bond Girls - (which was re-worked a few years later and re-emerged in 2014 as...)
  • Goldfinger
  • Frankie Say Nia

It didn't take me long to notice, as I visited all of these Nia communities across the country, that there was a great big family that I was a part of. Everywhere I went, I was welcomed warmly as if I were one of the gang, even if we had never met. We all spoke the same language and had similar passions. We all enjoyed this Nia thing with our bodies, our minds and our spirits. Through Nia I felt as if we were all one.

I was struck by how creative this family is. We share the love of expressing through moving our bodies to music while honoring the sacred uniqueness of each body's way. We share a common language and movement vocabulary. There is something very special about the big picture I was seeing, that I didn't think many people had the benefit of experiencing.

So this is what inspired my AMAZING idea.

It began as a wondering, back in 2014.

I wondered if I could be the needle and thread, stitching together the tapestry of a Nia routine created by the Nia family as a whole. I wanted to be the catalyst, focusing the creative energy of my Nia brothers and sisters into a classic-format, seven-cycle, vertical Nia routine. Something inside of me told me that it could work, though I had no idea what I was going to do, or how it would come together.

So in the winter of 2014/2015, as I was putting together my trip for the upcoming year, I included in my offerings, the opportunity to participate in this project I was calling the Community Network Synergy project, or CNS for short. I asked each community that wanted to participate to come up with a song. I suggested songs that had a special meaning to the community, but I avoided making any creative input into their decision. Some of the communities chose a song and others chose several and asked me to make the final choice. Once the song was chosen, I would arrive and ask them to FreeDance to the song until we found clicks and eventually full choreography for the song.

I had no idea if I'd get enough participation to build a standard 55 minute routine, or if I'd get so much participation that I'd have to edit it for time and not use some of the material. I was also unsure whether I was going to get a variety of song types, or if everything was going to be full on, high energy jams. I made a commitment to myself to be impeccable about not adding my creative energy to this process. I promised myself that I would only work with the material that my colleagues came up with.

One of the delightful and unexpected pleasures of this project was allowing myself to have no expectations or agenda, and to trust the process of receiving. Since I was offering as little input as I could get away with, each community tended to do the process differently.

For example, in Santa Monica, I arrived to discover that they had already choreographed several songs, which they demonstrated for me when I arrived. I got to choose which one to take. I chose the one with all the tae kwon do energy; a modern rock song called Counting Stars.

In Texas, several teachers in Houston each chose a different "Texas" song and presented them all as their Friday night Jam when I arrived. I then chose my favorite song from that jam but couldn't remember the choreography. I asked the teachers to give me some moves, but by then they had dispersed and I wasn't getting responses to my email requests. I finally cornered one teacher in the parking lot just before leaving town and she gave me a couple of movements, but I left Houston without actually having the song fully choreographed. I was bummed that it didn't work our for Houston. It was the first time a song didn't get finished. But when I got to my next stop, I brought it up before my class in Dallas, asking the Nia students there for some Texas-style moves that I could add. One of the students gave me the move that brought the whole thing together. So while most of the songs in the Amazing are from cities, I consider that this song comes to the project from the state of Texas. Collaboration!

Since the beginning of the CNS project, I had a few songs in my mind. I wanted Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere" and Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again". Neither of those songs ended up in the routine, and of course it was against my rules to suggest it to anyone. But I also wanted to use the song, Route 66. So imagine my surprise when in Santa Fe, they suggested using a Depeche Mode remix version of Route 66!

I allowed an exception to my no-participation rule in Seattle. Since I considered myself part of the Seattle teacher community, I allowed myself to throw a song suggestion into the ring. Of course, the deck was stacked since I was also the one with the final say on which song we used, my song, "Seattle" by Bobby Sherman was the one we ended up using.

In Boise, we hadn't planned to do the project at all. They invited me there to teach a weekend workshop and my 80's Nia class. By the end of the day on Sunday, we had covered most of the material and still had a couple of hours left. I gave them some options for ways we could spend the remaining time based on what we covered and what I had left. But I also threw out the idea of creating a song together and they liked that idea. It was a total left turn. I asked them to throw out some song suggestions and a few were offered until one of the students suggested something that I actually had in my phone; a hauntingly beautiful duet by Jane Siberry and K. D. Lang called Calling All Angels. I played it and we all decided we liked it. We quickly did the 8BCs on the dry erase board and started dancing. Ninety minutes later, we had barred and choreographed the song that ended up being our Warm Up.

Another coup was when, in Leavenworth, one of the suggestions they came up with was Craig Armstrong's version of Weather Storm by Massive Attack. I first heard the song when teaching in Tuscany and fell immediately in love with the intense drama of its gorgeous sonic landscape. I will admit, that I mentioned to that group that I was trying to create a full routine and I didn't yet have a FloorPlay song. I suggested that this song lent itself perfectly to playing on the floor. I danced with them and I admit that it was tempting to not do it on the floor. But we eventually came up with something very lovely that works so well to bring the class to a short FloorPlay session and to a nice final closing.

Another moment that demonstrated how accurate my feelings were that I was part of a big family came when I was preparing to arrive in Richmond, VA. They had only one suggestion, "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge. My memory may be failing me. Perhaps they did have other song suggestions, but when I heard "We Are Family" I immediately knew they were on the same wavelength as I was.

In the end, 13 communities decided to work with me during 2015. I ended up with exactly 54 minutes of material. I had a delicious Warm up song and several mild Get Moving songs which would also work as a Cool Down song, a couple of good kick-ass high energy songs, some great FreeDance moments and a FloorPlay song. Quite frankly, I was amazed at how well it came together. By the way, this amazement I kept feeling is where the name of the routine comes from. That, and the fact that one of the songs in the routine is called "Amazing" made it seem inevitable.

Several times during the process, I was emotionally moved by the profound collaboration. The ease with which it all came together was a perfect testament to the Nia "family" I had been sensing.  And I was overwhelmed by being able to receive so much of the creative energy I had only been teased by in past visits when I was there only to present my work. It felt to my like a great honor to be the spider, knitting this Nia web.

When we got home from my last trip, in October of 2015, I hit the studio and started to play around with what order the songs belonged in. Several times, I was moved to tears as I felt the thread. The routine has such a strong sense of cohesion as if it were created by one mind. There are some katas that show up repeatedly, giving the routine a holistic feeling of completeness. I especially love that many of these songs are ones that I would not have chosen, and some of the movement is new to me. It felt as if I was receiving such a gift from my community and from Nia.

I'm delighted to present this "Amazing" routine in 2016. I will be careful throughout the year not to say that I created it. I did create it, in a way, but not in the standard sense. I like to say that I catalyzed it. It was truly a collaboration and co-creation between me and the Nia communities in:

Colt's Neck
Kansas City
New York City
Santa Fe
Santa Monica
and Texas

If you live in the Seattle area, you may get a sneak preview as I practice it now and then in 2015 or in the winter of 2016 before we hit the road. But for most people, who don't live in Seattle, I hope you get the opportunity to experience "AMAZING" in 2016 and that you find it as delightful as I do. I think you will. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

iPhone Video Dump

I take lots of video of my dog, River, when we're on long road trips and then I don't do much else with them. Occasionally, I'll post a short video to Facebook, but other than that, I let them accumulate in my phone and watch them or show them to unsuspecting people at random times.

I probably would continue to store all of the videos in my phone, rarely seen by most of the world, if it weren't for the fact that I eventually run out of disc storage.

Yesterday, I got a message that I couldn't perform a simple function I was attempting because I had less than 500 MB of storage available on my phone.  So I deleted a bunch of useless things, but it only made a tiny dent. A more thorough investigation showed that the majority of space was being used up by two main things: my music library and my videos.

I need my music on my phone for my work, so I couldn't really do anything about that, but I was able to do something about the videos.  I decided to dump all of them into a movie editing app on my computer and create one long video of all of the clips I took during my travels this past year.

I added some titles and some music to help move it along during the slow parts, but otherwise it is pretty much just all of the video clips I took laid out end to end, forming a kind of loose narrative.

Then I deleted all the videos from my phone and it freed up about 6 GB!  Now I'm ready to shoot more videos!  In the meantime, please enjoy this slice of 2015 featuring River and me across the USA.

You may notice that when the video begins, I'm still driving Georgia, the brownish-green 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman. But shortly into it, I've switched to Babe the Blue Ox, a 2015 Mini Cooper 4-door Hardtop.

You may also notice that in the early part of the video, River and I have a 50 foot long red leash. I forgot to load it into the car after we stopped to play in a lake. I went back to the same spot the next day, but it wasn't there.  I replaced it with a green leash the next day. I wouldn't have chosen to get a long green leash because of how much time we spend on grass. The red leash was always easy to find against the grass. The green one, not so much.

There are a few moments in the video when I'm talking and I also have music playing that makes it really difficult to hear and understand me. That was intentional. Sometimes, when I was shooting, I would babble. Trust me, when there's anything even remotely worth hearing, I turn the music down.

Toward the end of the video, when we're in the Trinity Nat'l Forest in Junction City, California, I'm shooting on a cliff, looking down into a big river and I pan around to show the forest. I don't know if it's obvious, or if it looks like it's a foggy day, but it's actually a bright sunny day. What you're seeing is smoke from the nearby wildfires. Notice on the hill across the street from where I'm parked, you can see the ground and some of the blackened trees still smoldering.  There's also an eerie yellowish tint to that section of the video, but it's not a special effect; that hue was actually happening as the sunlight filtered through the smoke. It smelled like a giant campfire.

And what the heck... As long as I'm cleaning media off my hard drive, I might as well also post these random pictures here so I can delete them from my phone:
River on Columbus Ave; NYC

Medford, OR

Medford. OR

Stopping to switch seats.
Cottonwood, CA.
March 26 - River officially becomes a back seat driver

Waiting for class to start since we arrived an hour early.
Sandpoint West Athletic Club parking lot
Sandpoint, ID

Black Hills National Forest
Custer, South Dakota

Dickinson, North Dakota

Cenex Gas Station
Bismarck, North Dakota

Motel 6
Lakeville, MN

Motel 6 / Nashua, NH

Motel 6
Virginia Beach, VA

Highway Rest Area
Blacksburg, SC

Truck Parking Area
Crescent Valley, CA

Motel 6
Sparks, NV

Five Guys Parking Lot
Indian Hills, NV

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Stop Sharing Memes

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Facebook. Nearly every day I offer at least one thought that is running through my head. Sometimes it's a controversial thought that sparks heated debate and other times it's a question I have or a statement as simple as "I love sunshine."

But I'm noticing a disturbing trend in Facebook usage which I feel is usurping the aspect of this social media platform that I most appreciate and keep coming back for: human connection.

Some will say that online human connection is an oxymoron; that only "real life" interactions are valid, but I don't agree. They are both forms of connection with different energetics, but I don't think one is real and the other false. I have a connection to many people who I have never seen face-to-face, thanks to the sharing of ideas on Facebook.  And many people who I have met and don't see but once a year, can remain active in my life through social media interactions.

It is the sharing of ideas and arguing fine points that makes a human connection in my book. It can be done in person, over the phone, via pen pal correspondence and yes, in the social media realm.

So the thing that is disturbing to me and diminishing the value of my experience on Facebook is the sharing of other people's thoughts in the form of what we've come to know as 'memes'. Most of the time, they are attempting humor or biting satire.

Sometimes they come in the form of advice.

 And many times they seem to simply be a description of the person who posted it, or stating an opinion shared by the poster.
"So what's wrong with that?" you might ask me. 
My answer is that it is mostly insincere and impersonal, and in some cases, offensively pedagogic. I can easily trawl through the Internet myself and find prefabricated statements that I agree with. I don't need to see the ones that you've found. And I'm not suggesting that you don't believe the things that you're posting, or that I disagree with them either. But I'm suggesting that it is obvious to me that they aren't thoughts you actually had and I find that annoying and pretentious. You found the meme, read the thought and then clicked a button or two and suddenly it was shared with anyone and everyone you're connected with on Facebook. Great!  Now we all get to receive some unsolicited and impersonal advice that you didn't even come up with. 
Perhaps it doesn't even apply to me! 
Why are you sharing this? I imagine it is making the statement, "Look, I also believe this! I didn't say it, but I sure stood there and nodded my head vigorously.  Now you do it."

Rule of thumb: By the time a quotation makes it onto a meme next to a photograph or illustration, it is already a cliche.

I wonder if some people think that when a belief they share is written down by someone else and accompanied by a picture, that it will have more impact or be more meaningful or convincing to others. This isn't the case. I'm much more likely to be impressed by a thought that you have typed out then one you have found and clicked 'share' on.  I like to think my friends are more clever than resorting to recycling thoughts.

Please reconsider littering your Facebook feed with impersonal self-help slogans or sarcastic self-deprecating cliches. I have some friends that I've decided to block. I don't like to do this, and I take the decision very seriously.  I go onto Facebook so I can see what my friends are thinking and doing and to share the same about myself with them.  But some people seem to be making a full time effort out of sharing other people's thoughts to their own Facebook feed. 

Here's something to consider: if you have a point to make, make it yourself. If you want to express a belief, express it with your words, if you want to make a statement, type it! It doesn't carry any more credibility because someone else put the thought next to a picture of a beautiful sunrise. In fact, a large majority of the time, the originator of the meme posted it for commercial reasons. They intentionally choose a cliche populist thought so that lots of people will 'like', 'agree' and 'share'. Every time someone shares the picture, the poster's page gets more attention. So not only are you sharing didactic cliches, but you're putting advertising on my newsfeed.

Another facet of this practice is that it ensures that I get to see the same cliche shared a half dozen times. 

I'd rather see pictures of your new haircut, your kids' graduation or your trip to India. I'd rather hear about what you did last night than have to read YET ANOTHER picture postcard preaching to me.

I'd rather discuss things with you than have you pass something along to me to read that you spent about ten seconds on yourself and that I've already seen a dozen times before. There is little benefit in my mind to passing around tired cliches and passing them off as our sentiments. 
The solution??  Let me know what you're feeling, what you're doing and what you're planning to do. What are you excited about and what are you afraid of?  Type something personal in the status update box instead of just forwarding another Hallmark card. Post a picture of yourself, or one that you've taken, and accompany it with sharing a bit of what's on your mind. The next time you see a pretty picture with a 'deep' thought on it. Leave it sitting there and share your original thoughts about it in your own words.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

JAGs Birthday Bash

My 49th birthday is June 15, 2015. Forty-nine is a big year for me because it completes the seventh cycle of seven years.  Every seven years I undergo a major shift in personality and perspective.  It isn't usually an instantaneous thing, but something that happens over a several-year period. The most recent change could be felt beginning in February of 2014 during my First Degree Black Belt training and continued throughout most of the year. And I feel like I'm still adjusting to the new me; I can't wait to see what I become this time.

In the meantime, to celebrate this event, I'm inviting all of my Nia family to come and party with me. I have reserved the Century Ballroom on June 13 from noon to 4pm.

At noon I plan to teach my latest routine, Frankie Say Nia.  I have taught it plenty of times in Seattle, but that was before I took it on the road. When I take it around from place to place, I get a chance to refine and improve it at every stop, based on how the students respond to it. So it is now at a place that I feel very proud of, whereas when I had taught it in Seattle in the past, I was still feeling my way through it.

After that, at one pm, I want to play around with a song for inclusion into my 2016 routine. The working title of the routine is Community Network Synergy. The idea is that I am calling on the creative energy of my friends and colleagues to co-create all of the choreography this year. So far, I have worked with six different communities (Santa Monica, Santa Fe, Sedona, Kansas City, Dallas/Houston and Boise) and we have put together six songs. I'm halfway done with the routine. I want to include Seattle in the mix and I have chosen a song that I'd love to work with, but I'm also open to hearing other suggestions. I would like the song to be something that 'speaks to' the community or that represents the community in some way. It could be from a local artist, or a song about the city, etc. This is not a hard and fast rule, but simply a suggestion to help in coming up with song choices.

Then, when the song is chosen, what I'll do is share the method I use when I create choreography for my routines. But instead of using my creative energy, I want to use the creative energy of the teachers and students in attendance.  I will orchestrate it so that we use my method of creation, but I will be plugging in movement 'clicks' and inspirations entirely from my colleagues.

So far this has been an incredibly rewarding experience as I am inspired to use movements and songs I never would have thought of. I'm thrilled at how this routine is going to get me outside of myself and forge a new path for me in my creativity.

Here is the song I am considering for using in Seattle.  As I said, I'm open to other suggestions.

In my experience, it takes about 2 hours to fully realize the choreography to a song using the group method. And then, with the last hour, from 3 to 4 pm, I will teach a song or two from Frankie Say Nia so that the teachers in attendance will be able to teach them in their classes.

In the future, I may put together an entire playshop for learning the routine, but for now, this is the only means for learning the songs from me.

So what is the cost, you ask?  Nothing. It is my birthday, so it is my pleasure to present this to my community. I will be putting out the donation bowl in case anyone would like to contribute to the JAG & River Road Fund. Every little bit helps as we trek across the country. Staying in motels and filling up the gas tank every day can get a bit expensive.

So come and play with me on my birthday. Enjoy some Frankie Say Nia "80s New Wave" Nia and help to co-create next year's routine.

EVENT: 'Frankie Say Nia' routine and Choreography Creation Playshop

DATE:  Saturday, June 13

TIME: Noon - 4pm

LOCATION: Century Ballroom; 915 E Pine St.; Seattle WA

COST: FREE!  (donations gladly accepted)

WHO: Anyone is welcome; teachers, belts and students alike!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Western Road Trip through the eyes of Nia

I started this trip the next day after a Wisdom Comes Dancing playshop with Phillipe and Sabine.
It was a beautiful send-off to a long and eventful Nia adventure.

I taught my latest routine, Frankie Say Nia in 22 cities:
Forest Grove, OR
Eugene, OR
Nevada City, CA
Campbell, CA
San Diego, CA
Santa Monica, CA
Phoenix, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Durango, CO
Albuquerque, NM
Santa Fe, NM
Austin, TX
San Antonio, TX
Corpus Christi, TX
Houston, TX
Dallas, TX
Kansas City, MO
Lyons, CO
Boulder, CO
Boise, ID
Spokane, WA
Bellingham, WA

Eight of the engagements listed above were at places I had never been before. The rest were return engagements.

In addition to that, I taught my FreeDance Playshop three times and a Choreography Co-Creation playshop three times. In one city, I focused on teaching the local teachers my Rock & Roll Nia routine. In another city I participated in a teacher Jam and in another I battled it out with a fellow teacher, pitting my classic 80's songs against her 80's cover songs. Along the way, I took a few classes from other teachers as well, including a Move IT class taught by Mark Frossard.

This video was put together by a student in Forest Grove. 


Video posted on Facebook from my class in Albuquerque

Blog post about my visit to Campbell, including FreeDance Playshop and Frankie Say Nia routine.

After class in Phoenix, AZ

the "Tidal Wave" in Boulder, CO

After a FreeDance Playshop in Lyman, WY

Post Frankie Power in Albuquerque, NM

Post Nia Claw Hand Power in Durango, CO

Sweaty Personal Power in Nevada City, CA

80's Nia fashion poses in San Diego, CA

Teacher Jam in Houston, TX

Originals vs. Covers: Nia Duel in Dallas, TX

Frankie Say Nia at 6am in Houston, TX

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Memories of my Coffee Cup from the Road (spring 2015)

Every day I have a special moment with my coffee mug. It is fleeting but important. And every morning on this last road trip, I took a picture of my coffee mug and posted it to Facebook so that my friend could get an accurate idea of the size of it.  Usually once it was posted on Facebook, I'd delete it from my phone, but here is a collection of coffee mug photos that, for some reason or another, didn't get deleted.
Perhaps there is some special secret message in them, but I haven't found it yet. I'm posting them here in the hopes that one of my clever friends can decipher the meaning and let me know.
Spokane, WA

Thornton, CO

Thornton, CO

Salt Lake City, UT

Denver, CO

Lenexa, KS

Tempe, AZ

Addison, TX

Dallas, TX

Oklahoma City, OK

Addison, TX

Sedona, AZ

Campbell, CA

Medford, OR
Jacinto City, TX

Evanston, WY

Salt Lake City, UT

Spokane, WA
Seattle, WA