“Smile at strangers – Kindness is the new cool!”
Nia Dance and Belinda.
Vibrant, Free Energy
Late on a Tuesday afternoon after a hectic day at work I headed to my first Nia Dance class kitted out in my activewear. Tired after a long day, I was open to a new experience, especially one that involved dance!
What I noticed first was the environment that Belinda created. It was lovely, inclusive and welcoming, and Belinda really made everyone feel like they were able to succeed in the exercises no matter what their level of fitness or experience.
Each session has a different focus, and Belinda offered this at the start. We began with slower and softer movements, which then became faster as the session progressed, and slowed down again at the end. The movements were easy to follow and Belinda layered sequences into three different levels depending on your ability. Incorporating breath work, choreographed dance moves, free movement, yoga, and stretches, Belinda took us through a series of songs working different parts of the body.
Belinda was encouraging to the class and brought a vibrant, free energy to her teaching, even using vocal sounds combined with the movements to create more variety and fun. For a person who loves to dance, it was amazing to take a class that incorporated and encouraged free movement alongside choreographed steps.
Belinda live streams and records her sessions for clients who are unable to make it and makes these available on her website for 24 hours. In our class there were people who were taking part online which is really awesome in our post-lockdown society.
I would seriously encourage anyone who likes to take group fitness classes to give this a go. It was an invigorating and revitalising workout suitable for all ages and abilities – fun and beneficial for mind, body and soul!
“Social activities on a regular basis can make all the difference to people’s well being.”
What services do you offer?
I offer choreographed, easy to follow dance classes to adults, that are so much more than exercise!
I consider the greatest value I offer is a place where people get together and enjoy beautiful music while creating happiness and friendships.
Why is this work so important to you?
I feel passionate about fitness and self-care.
In these times of uncertainty and imminent change I am able to offer classes online and in-person. I believe keeping up social activities on a regular basis can make all the difference to people’s well being.
Could you tell us how your interest in Nia Dance began?
I saw a poster advertising DANCE classes and decided I would give it a go. With my background in professional surfing and developing orchards, my relationship with my body was not always kind. From my very first Nia Dance class, I felt so relieved! Finally, I had found a place where I was encouraged to move in “My Body’s Way,” guided by the pleasure of what felt good.
What obstacles did you face to get to where you are now and how did you overcome them?
When creating a class for the public I realised there was a level of professionalism required to give the best value for me and my students. The Nia Technique offers Intensive life skills and personal development training. Each year for the last 4 years I have gained a new belt level. First was a White belt, then Green, then Blue, and now I am about to step into my graduation ceremony of being a BROWN BELT!
During Covid I upskilled my IT skills, knowing that some of my senior dancers and especially my dancers living with Parkinson’s would benefit from being able to stay home and still attend my classes.
Who should seek Nia Dance as a holistic wellness technique?
EveryBody, lol! Particularly those who would like regular time out from their busy lives and come and have some fun.
Could you share a well-being tip with the community?
Smile at strangers, Kindness is the new cool!
If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be?
Nobody cares if you make a mistake, it gives a moment where people can relate to being human.
– Experience and Interview by Vicki Shannon