Monday, September 10, 2012

Solar Dog

Solar Dog is a Nia routine created by Debbie Rosas and no longer available through Nia.

In my version, I've changed it considerably, as I do with most routines that I've worked with for years. I obviously think what I've done is an improvement over the original.  That statement is not intended to belittle the work of Nia or Debbie Rosas at all. In fact, I have respected Debbie and practiced Nia for over 15 years.  I suspect that if you took this routine in Debbie's class today, you'd find that she has also changed it quite a bit from what she originally released on video.

The focus of Solar Dog is on the joints: Ankles, Knees, Hips, Spine, Wrists, Elbows and Shoulders.
It uses the music from a discontinued sampler of music from the Planet Dog record label run by Michael Dog.   The first song is focused entirely on the ankles.  The second one on the knees. The third song is focused on the hips and pelvis. The fourth song puts attention on the spine.  The fifth song is an epic 11+ minutes and it focuses on the upper extremities; specifically the fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders. The routine then cools down and focuses on movement of the whole body with an awareness of all of the joints.

It is a highly technical routine. A friend and student of mine once called it "the corporate Nia routine" because of a distinctly different "feel" than you get from most Nia routines.

Here are a couple of videos of me working on the routine before I got it to a place I considered appropriate to present. You can get a sense of the style of music and movements you can expect in Solar Dog, and you can maybe get a laugh as my choreography falls apart before your eyes.  Rest assured that when I teach the Solar Dog routine, it doesn't have glaring errors like the one you see here.

This is a very fun and exciting routine and challenging both mentally and physically as we isolate and free up the joints while maintaining awareness of precision of the joints throughout the movements. I always have a great time when playing with this one, and I always get very, very sweaty.

If you're interested in the Solar Dog routine, I suggest finding a local Nia teacher who can teach it to you, or invite me to come visit your town and I'd be happy to bring it.

Enjoy the joints!

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