Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Relax into Personal Power - Kansas City

First Degree Black Belt Nia teacher Jason Alan Griffin (JAG) is coming to Kansas City and teaming up with Brown Belt Nia teacher Marcelle Rudnick to present a sensational workshop.

Relax into Personal Power

Do you like the idea of your own Personal Power?
Would you love to be able to increase your power by relaxing?

Using JAG's latest routine, Frankie Say Nia, which is a fun, quirky and exhilirating blend of songs from the "New Wave" musical movement of the early 80's, JAG and Marcelle intend to teach how by using our Arms and Hands and the sensation of Touching, we can increase our own Personal Power during Nia classes and out in the world, as well.

Check out this video showing JAG in his home in Seattle as he plays around with some of the music and movements that you'll see in his Frankie Say Nia routine.

In the Kansas City workshop, Marcelle will show us how we can increase our ease and power by sensing our hand and arm movements, and especially by tuning into our sense of touch. It will be an enlightening lesson by a local teacher who loves the work of Nia for its combination of magic and power.

And then JAG will bring what we learned into the context of the Nia routine, Frankie Say Nia.  He will break down all of the moves in the routine while we discuss all of the opportunities to use what Marcelle taught us. What we will learn and practice is a basic philosophy of the Nia technique: That as a student you always have a Choice! And Choice is what allows each person in class to have whatever experience they want and need.

As we go through the details of the routine, we will discuss the ways in which you might personalize the movements. And we'll see how each choice you make regarding how you personalize the movement in class will help guide you toward having your best experience. In this way, you are in control of what you get out of class, and in Nia we call that your Personal Power.

The focus of the routine is on the Creative Arm and Hand Expressions and the Intent is to Relax into Personal Power. We'll have lots of fun and discoveries along the way.

No experience is required; we will give you everything you need to enjoy your Personal Power right away.

4:00 pm - 5:15 pm  -- Embodied Play with Senses w/Marcelle


5:30 pm - 6:45 pm  -- Embodied Learn with Movements from Frankie Say Nia w/JAG


7:00 pm - 8:00 pm  -- Nia class - "Frankie Say Nia" routine w/JAG

DATE: Thursday, April 23

TIME: 4 pm - 8 pm

PLACE: Arbor Vitae Yoga and Wellness Center
               7235 Central St, Kansas City, MO

COST: $44 (at the door)
            $39 (if pre-registered before 4/16)

Save $5 by registering in advance.
Use this link to register on-line, or contact Marcelle to pre-register in person.

See you there!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Frankie Say Nia Birthday Bash

June 15 is my birthday.
To celebrate, I don't want presents or cake.  But I am putting together a playshop to dive deep into the routine I created this year, and I'd love for you to join me.

Frankie Say Nia is a classic Nia routine using all 80's New Wave music.
The focus of the routine is on Creative Arm and Hand Expressions and the intent is to Relax into Personal Power.

I have reserved the beautiful Century Ballroom on Saturday, June 13 from 10am to 2pm.

I want to start the day with a bit of freedancing and then possibly doing a choreography jam. 

Part of what I'm doing this year is co-creating my next year's routine with communities across the country. Each community will choose their representative songs and then we'll play with them together until we come up with something that will end up as part of my 2016 routine. So, of course I want Seattle to be one of the represented communities. We will play around with the songs for a while and find the 'clicks' to settle on some choreography. I can teach a bit about how choreography is created, Nia style, or we can all share our insights for artistic creation.

After that, I'd love to do a Frankie Say Nia learn the moves session. In this session I will not only be breaking down the choreography to the routine, but also offering lots of insight into how we use the focus and intent. I will show exactly how we use the Creative Arm and Hand Expressions and the concept of Form and Freedom to make Choices to Manifest High Magic and claim our Personal Power.

 Here is a sampling of some of the choreography from the first song of the routine, "Cars" by Gary Numan.

And then, finally, in the last hour, from 1pm to 2pm, we will all do the full routine together.

There have been a few teachers that have expressed an interest in learning the routine, and this playshop would be part of the package I have put together for that purpose. While this playshop might be all a teacher needs to learn this routine, I'm also going to offer another session, where we'd focus on the 8BCs and music notation and on putting the choreography notes onto the bars, so the routine is written out and the teacher has it on a permanent record.  Please contact me if you are interested in learning this routine this year.

Frankie Say Nia is a crazy fun routine with great, familiar hit songs. It will be a great experience and a fun birthday celebration.

The cost of the four hour celebration is only $45. But if you sign up and pay in advance, you can get it for only $39.

Frankie Say Nia Birthday Bash

Use the Buy Now button above to pre-register and save through Pay Pal. If you need to make other arrangements to pay in advance, please contact me directly.

You are also welcome to show up at the door and pay $45 on the day of the event. The discount for pre-registration ends on June 6.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Rates and Production Info

FYI this info sheet has five sections.
  1. Payment
  2. Dog
  3. What Material I Teach
  4. Housing
  5. What To Do Next

I have no established set of rates and I have no minimum requirement to visit and teach in your community.  Here’s how I find it works best for everyone:

I appoint a Producer in each town I plan to visit. If you are reading this, you are probably being asked to be my Producer in your town. The Producer and I decide together what materials I’ll present while I’m there and we’ll settle on a date and time.

The Producer will secure the space and promote the event to the local community. The Producer will also set the price for the event, collect fees from the students and use those fees to pay the rental in the space, if applicable. The profit after expenses is split 30% / 70% between the Producer and myself, respectively.

I am also open to other suggested ways of arranging this.

There are some cases where the best location to invite me to is a place that strictly offers a single payment for the class. In the past, we have had great success with asking the students to consider making a voluntary donation to the "JAG & River Road Trip Love Fund". In other words, when the students are paid members and would otherwise get the class for no cost, we have put out a donation bowl and have found that the students are happy to contribute what they can to supplement the standard payment from the facility for a special Nia event.

It is important to note that I do travel with my dog, River. He is always at my side. He comes into the studio with me on his leash, I set up his crate in the corner and he sleeps in the room while we do class. Afterward, I put him back on his leash to lead him out and back to my car. Over the years, I have had a number of facilities balk at allowing a dog on the premises, which I totally understand, but I've also had dozens of facilities allow River to accompany me. He is very well-behaved and has probably been in more different gyms and movement studios across the country than most people have.

Here is a list of what I’m considering offering this year. If there is something you'd like me to present that isn't listed here, please ask me; I'm confident we can arrange it. But what I've put together specifically for this year's road trip are:

1- Frankie Say Nia: an 80’s New Wave classic format Nia routine (55 mins)

2- Community Network Synergy: a choreography Playshop intended to develop a song for inclusion into a full Nia routine to be created by multiple communities and presented by me in 2016. (2-3 hours)

3- FreeDance Playshop: An informative, experiential playshop for students and teachers. This playshop can be taught with or without the accompanying classic Nia class taught almost entirely in FreeDance style. (2-4 hours)

4- The Art of Joy: An informal playshop inspired by First Degree Black Belt. The focus is on happiness and the intent is to learn and share all the ways in which we bring and find happiness in our lives.  It is a look at the concept of Joy in Nia and how it translates into our lives through the perspective of First Degree Black Belt. (time varies)

For a more in depth description of each item, visit this page.

Many producers have asked about helping me with housing while I am in town. And my short answer is, "Don't worry about it."

It is usually my experience that staying at the local Motel 6 offers such ease, simplicity, predictability and privacy that I actually prefer it to being housed locally.
When I have stayed in private homes, I am constantly keeping an eye on my dog rather than being able to relax and socialize. At check out time, I find the austerity of a motel room makes it much easier to keep track of my personal possessions. Rarely, have I left items behind when I’m checking out of a room because I simply leave the room completely empty (except for the towels and the remote control). But I have often left personal items behind in a home environment. As I scan the furnished room looking at each item and determining what’s mine and what stays, it’s very easy to overlook something.

I do appreciate the gesture enormously! And I do still stay at private homes and love it. But I say this so that no one feels obligated to house us.

If the community wants to step up the hospitality, the best way to help me would be to feed me. Getting decent food is my biggest challenge on the road. I would be amenable to prearranging for some students to pay their class fees with fresh, wholesome, food or homemade meals that travel well.

Another possible way to assist me is for someone to offer me the use of their kitchen for cooking up some of my own meals for stocking my travel cooler, but that requires a bit of preparation and planning. 

And it’s always nice to be taken out to a restaurant or visit a home for a meal, as long as River can join us. I make it a practice not to leave him alone in strange environments.

And again, I want to say that none of these things are requested by me. These are things that have come up on prior trips often enough to warrant my mentioning them here.

The first step is to decide what you want me to present in your town. You can choose more than one thing.

The second step is to establish a date and time for these presentations.  Here is a basic outline of where I plan to be and when. I have probably already contacted you with a proposed date for your town, and I don't have a lot of wiggle room as you can see from this proposed itinerary. But things can be shifted around a little bit as long as it's still early in the process, and as long as we don't stray too far from the course.

Example of flier
Once we’ve secured a date and location I will enter your pertinent information into my flier template and send you a copy for distribution. You are also totally welcome to make your own promotional materials. If you need or want more info or pictures from me, please don’t hesitate to ask.

I am excited to be working with you on putting together the most epic yet of all of my road trips. Please let me know if you'd like to move forward. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

"Frankie Say Nia" Possible Tour Dates

 I will post updates to this schedule as they're made.  Days marked * have been confirmed; ask me for details.

*Portland - March 22  -confirmed w/Samantha
*Forest Grove - March 22 -confirmed w/Kim
*Eugene - March 24 -confirmed w/Amy
Ashland - March 25 -Rachael

*Nevada City - March 27 - A.M. confirmed w/Aimee
*Campbell - March 27, 28 - confirmed w/Terre
Ventura - March 29
*San Diego - March 30 -confirmed w/Janice
*Los Angeles - March 31, April 1, 2 -Cheryl

*Phoenix - April 3 - confirmed w/Casey
*Flagstaff - April 4 - confirmed w/Stephanie
*Sedona - April 5 - confirmed w/Alba

*Durango - April 7 -confirmed w/Evonne

*Albuquerque - April 8 -confirmed w/Erin
*Santa Fe - April 9, 10, 11 -confirmed w/Sarah, Mark, Kelle

Lubbock - April 12
Austin - April 13, Luanne,
*Austin - April 14 confirmed w/Ursula
*San Antonio - April 15 -confirmed w/Adelle
*Corpus Christi - April 15, 16 -Michelle
*Houston - April 17, 18, 19 -Kristie
*Dallas - April 20 - confirmed w/ Jan
*Dallas - April 21 -confirmed w/ Shannon, Jule

Oklahoma City (or environs) - April 22 - ???

*Kansas City - April 23, 24 -confirmed w/Marcelle

* Lyons - April 25 -confirmed w/ Jasmine
*Boulder - April 26 - confirmed w/Jackie

*Lyman - April 27 -confirmed w/Lisa

Salt Lake City - April 28, 29 -Renee, Lisa

*Boise - May 1, 2 -Britta, Michele

*Spokane - May 3 -Laura
*Bellingham - May 6 -confirmed w/Darcy
Anacortes - May 7 - Wendy
Port Townsend - May 8 - Allison, Aletia

*Seattle  (JAG's Birthday Bash "Frankie Say Nia" Playshop)  - June 13

*Leavenworth - June 15 - confirmed w/Gayle

*Hayden - June 16 -confirmed w/Jamie
Sandpoint - June 17 -Laurana

Missoula/Helena - June 18 -Jody, Cathy, Kathryn
Billings - June 19 -Sue
Red Lodge -June 20 -Sue

Fargo - June 22

Minneapolis - June 23, 24, 25 -Dawn

*Hubertus- June 27 am -Jill

Iowa City - June 27, 28 -Beth

Chicago - June 29 -Catherine, Jamie, Emily

Vernon - June 30 - Jody

Columbus - July 1, 2 - Teresa, Jill, Kathy

Rochester - July 3 - Jane
Albany - July 4, 5 - Richele, Casey

Newfane - July 6

Amherst - July 7 - Lisa

Portland - July 8, 9 -Erin

Boston/Cambridge - July 10 - Julianne

Block Island - July 11, 12 -Nancy

*Cornwall - July 13 -Lynn

July 14, 15 - A.M. - Nancy, John

Manhattan -July 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 -NiaNY

Colt's Neck - July 21 -Meredith

King of Prussia - July 22

Baltimore - July 23 -Amy, Alba, Lola

July 24 - Suzannah, Helen

Richmond - July 25, 26 -Marybeth
Newport News / Virginia Beach - July 27 -Patrizia

Greensboro - July 28 -Karen, Cynthia
Asheville - July 28 (wed am) -Annie
Charlotte - July 29 -Sherrie

Fort Mill - July 30 -Sherrie

Gainesville - July 31 - Sarit
Jacksonville - Aug 1 - Christine
Miami - Aug 2 -Esther
Pompano Beach - Aug 3 -David

Decatur - Aug 4 -Sandy

Cullman - Aug 5 - Ann

Little Rock - Aug 6 - Somers

Edwardsville - Aug 7 -Sally

Omaha - Aug 8
Lincoln - Aug 9 - Holly, Denise

Fort Collins - Aug 10

Salt Lake City - Aug 11

Reno - Aug 12

*Yosemite National Park - Aug 13, 14, 15 - confirmed @Tenaya Lodge
San Francisco Bay Area (North) - Aug 16
Humbolt State Park - Aug 17
Redwood State Park - Aug 18

Ashland - Aug 19 -Rachael
coast - Aug 20, 21

Centralia - Aug 22 -Christina
Olympia - Aug 23 -Julia
Seattle "HOME!!"

I look forward to creating and planning and playing with so many old and new friends and colleagues across the country.

If you see your city on here, I probably have you in mind as a producer.  If you don't see your city on here and you'd like to have me come and share my work there, please contact me immediately and I'll do my best to add you.

If you think you might want me to be in town for two days (or more) but you don't see enough days listed near your city, please let me know as soon as possible.

If you see your city, and we have worked together in the past, but you can't or don't want to produce for me this year, please let me know so that I can find another producer or scratch that city off my itinerary.

I have inserted a few 'extra' days of padding about every five days or so. From experience, I know that things tend to take more time than I originally plan for, and the frequent buffer days help absorb the domino effect sometimes caused by such changes. The days are added at random, so don't be surprised if you see two days by your city and you don't need them. They'll get used up somehow.

Using this as a starting point. Let's tinker for the next few weeks and see where it settles.

I will post updates to this schedule as they're made.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

JAG Menu 2015

Here are the ideas I have for things I am preparing to bring with me on my travels around the country.

1--  FRANKIE SAY NIA (routine)

I’ve created a routine using all 80’s Alternative “New Wave” music. With songs such as Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Burning Down the House, We Got the Beat and many other quirky tunes from bands such as the B-52s, Culture Club and Frankie Goes to Hollywood who gives us the inspiration for the name of the routine. Frankie Say Nia is a play off one of the slogans that the band used to promote itself. "Frankie Say Relax" and "Choose Life" appeared all over the place on white T-shirts in big black block letters.

It is a standard, one hour classic format Nia class allowing five minutes to set the focus and 55 minutes of fun, familiar 80s music.

If your class is into ‘dressing up’ for special event classes, the New Wave fashions offer lots of fun ideas. Themes were lots of bright colors and faux animal prints. (For example, purple leopard spot tights) It was a kitchy throwback to the 50’s. The emphasis was on bold individualism. 

Musically, New Wave was playful, irreverent and quirky. The songs are fast and short with a strong emphasis on the synthesizer keyboard rather than the guitars of Rock. Also unlike Rock and Roll, new Wave never took itself very seriously. 

The focus of Frankie Say Nia is on the Creative Hand and Arm Expressions with the intention to Relax into Personal Power.
Here is a movie I put together from footage of me developing Frankie Say Nia in my living room.

CNS = Community Network Synergy (choreography playshop / jam)

My goal is to create a Nia routine with the help of several Nia communities across the country. I already have Kansas City and Houston on board. And of course, Seattle. I'm inspired by my travels to all of the burgeoning and flourishing Nia 'tribes' and am constantly blown away by the level of passion and creativity I encounter across the USA. So I want to synergistically tie it all together into a Nia routine. 

I want to find 13 communities interested in contributing to the routine. I already have Kansas City and Houston on board. And of course, Seattle. Ideally, before my arrival in town, each community will have decided amongst itself which few songs it wants to provide for consideration to the routine. Then when I arrive in town, we will all meet for a choreography jam session and bring those songs to life. In order to create a nice, cohesive vertical routine, I will maintain final say in which songs end up in the final routine, but it will all come from the playshops and jams with the communities across the country, networking together to create through synergy. 
Community networking synergy or CNS for short. 

CNS also stands for Central Nervous System.

So what I’d need now is for the communities interested in participating in this to schedule the choreography jam with me for when I’m going to be in your town in 2015. And then at some point before my arrival find a creative way to work as a community to come up with the three songs that will contend for the honor of representing your town in the final routine. And when I do arrive, we’ll all get together and work out what the choreography will be for the songs you’ve chosen.

This routine will not be an official Nia release, so the good news is we don’t have to worry about music rights; anything goes, music-wise. When I conferred with Debbie Rosas she informed me that she is busy creating a similar routine, only she will be including the songs in upcoming official routines, so those will require music rights. My routine, CNS is not official and will not ever be for sale; it is a community bonding experience. The way we can get away with this is by never electronically recording it. It is only reserved for live, in person experience. The old school way!

In 2016, when I make my rounds again, I will bring the finished routine back so everyone can share the synergy we created as a nationwide network. 

I'm so excited about this idea.
So… who’s in?

3-- FREE DANCE (playshop)

As part of the Community Network Synergy project, or on its own, I teach a wonderful Free Dance playshop that is student friendly. It is aimed at teaching a student how to create their own, vital and self-motivated FreeDance experience during class, regardless of what the teacher is providing. At the same time it serves as a wonderful tool for teachers in how to effortlessly guide very rich and exciting FreeDance segments that never leave the student wondering what to do. 

The day starts with a brief chat about FreeDance, including what it is, what people believe it is and why it is valuable. The bulk of the playshop experience is devoted to my toolkit. I will share my tools with you, one by one and give you the opportunity to practice them. I have taught this playshop many times and I’m always amazed by how much each person’s FreeDance is revitalized with just a couple of tools, and totally transformed after a couple of hours. Once someone is exposed to this work they will never again fear, dread or avoid those unguided moments in class, and will instead anticipate and relish them with spirited, creative gusto.

This playshop can also conclude with a super fun Nia routine I put together of all guided FreeDance songs.
This is a video I made last year, when I first had the idea to put together a New Wave music playlist. I just put together a bunch of my favorite songs from the 80's and started freedancing.

4--  THE ART OF JOY (playshop)

Taught in a Tight But Loose format, this playshop is meant to stimulate happiness and encourage it to grow. It is based on some of the Happiness work from First Degree Black Belt as well as Joy of Movement, Life As Art and the personal experiences of JAG and everyone present in the room.

The playshop is experienced in three segments, we will begin with a pow wow and discuss happiness; what it is, why it's important and how to achieve and maintain it. And we’ll talk about JAG’s 13 Principles of Happiness. 

In the middle section, we’ll do 13 guided FreeDances, each exploring a different aspect of happiness as related to Nia’s 13 Principles. The focus of this section is on The Self and the intention is to illuminate happiness. 

In the final segment of this playshop, we will go back to our puppy pile and share discoveries and ask any questions that came up. We could also use this time to discuss other topics of health, related to happiness, including eating, exercising, meditating, self-healing, self-massage, sleeping, playing and avoiding toxins. And of course, Nia!

I can make this playshop work in just about any time frame, but I think it would ideal at about three or four hours. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Last Blog Entry You Ever Need to Read About Nutrition

Want a sure-fire way to keep spinning your wheels in a quagmire of confusion while remaining conflicted about what to eat? Keep on reading blog entries about what "latest studies show". With new studies coming out daily (most of them not even peer reviewed or repeatable) you should be quite fuzzy on the whole thing in no time. 

Keep on buying the latest Best Selling nutrition book and fully buy into whatever slant of the month is being touted by the populous. Search especially long and hard for those articles that support your current way of thinking, they’re out there. No matter what you believe, it’s out there, somewhere. The Internet is an amazingly vast place with such an array of input of all types. You don't have to look very far or hard before you'll come across a an article about a 'study' that proves what you 'believe' (or what you don’t want to believe) about nutrition. 

But then keep looking and you’ll soon find one that claims just the opposite is true, or that that original belief has been debunked and this is what we believe now.

In truth, studies don’t prove anything. A study is an experiment based on an assumption. That assumption is played out and the results are gathered and evaluated and conclusions are drawn. The evaluation and conclusion of results is a highly subjective practice. Anyone with a bias could easily create and publish a study showing their desired slant to be true. It happens all the time. Nothing from one study is conclusive, scientifically. The only scientifically significant results are those that occur in different studies initiated from different assumptions made by different parties at different times, yet yielding the same results. (that’s called being ‘repeatable’).

Anytime you read “latest study shows…” be alerted that someone is trying to fool you into thinking that a study in and of itself is conclusive. In fact, a single study that stands out and refutes a long-supported and agreed-upon result found in numerous other studies is probably not going to be considered statistically significant when you look at the whole picture. Not unless this new piece of information is tested over and over again. But that won’t stop bloggers and sensationalizing nutrition writers to prey upon our naiveté and confusion.

That's why, like a broken record, I keep repeating the same things over and over again. The same things my hero Jack LaLanne used to say sixty years ago. The trendy beliefs about what’s “good for you” and what’s “bad for you” have changed many times in those past sixty years, but Jack has been giving the same message the whole time. And I, too, am trying to impress upon a frantic community that it would be in their best interest to stop trying to ‘hack’ their body with the latest gimmick, diet, superfood, cleanse or whatever latest discovery of ‘what is good that used to be bad’ or ‘what’s now bad that they used to say was good’. 

But if you are tired of being confused. It’s actually pretty easy and simple. Step away from the "nutrition" part of the Internet. It is mostly bullshit. Written by ... well frankly written by anyone who has a computer and sees a possibility to make money or get some attention by feeding into what I see as a frenzy of confusion.  And the same with buying diet and nutrition books. There’s nothing new or valuable in there. 

The more time you spend reading about the latest findings, the less you will know.

When you’re ready to stop fooling yourself and you want to get real, then look for the foods that we’ve eaten  and thrived on as a species since the dawn of recorded time, and leave the rest of the garbage sitting on the shelves.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Looking Forward to 2015

Today marks the beginning of the 100 day countdown until I begin the Frankie Say Nia tour.

Which kind of freaks me out at this point, because it is not much more than a vague idea in my head.

But I gave myself until January 1 before I said I had to start writing anything down and contacting people. Until then, I am allowed to keep it all as a fantastic jumbled notion in my head. But I kind of want to start organizing it, so here it is. I'm going to spell it out for the first time.

It will begin on the first day of spring when I'll have a send-off event in Seattle and then make my way down the west coast (WA, OR, NV, CA) and across the desert (AZ, NM) turning around in Houston (TX) and heading back up through the mountains (CO, UT, WY, ID) and then back to Seattle for a little break in time for the summer solstice.

If I get my act together I might be able to put together a class or a series of classes in Seattle before I head back out again, which I plan to do after July 4.

Then I'm headed across the north (MT, ND/SD) to the lakes (MN, WI, IL, MI, IN, OH, PA, NY) and the northeast (VT, NH) and then down the east coast (ME, MA, CT, NJ, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL) finishing with the trip from south Florida through the mid-west. (AL, MO, IO, NE) The final leg, through the Mountain zone all the way back home, could go many different ways depending on how the first part of the route ends up.

I definitely want to be out of the southeast before hurricane season. I'm hoping I can make it back to Seattle by the fall equinox.

And then, for the rest of the year, I am leaving it open for now, but could possibly head down the west coast one more time before hanging up my driving gloves for the winter once more.

Things will very likely shift and change as it comes to life, but it felt good to get that idea out of my head and into print. I'm looking forward to it. Can you tell?