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. 


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