In Appreciation of My Many Teachers

JRC13 92013

Jason Alan Griffin, this is what you stimulated last weekend.

Saturday’s class reminded me of a dynamic I had left behind. Along with that dynamic movement of energy was the pleasure I had also forgotten often accompanied the experience. I moved differently. I spent time not knowing. I left Saturday’s class at Jill Campana’s Sacred Space happily tired. I didn’t really want to leave. I didn’t have anything to say, I just felt resistance to driving home when I did. I felt as though I was leaving something there. I’m sure it had nothing at all to do with Jill’s warm and open hospitality at Sacred Space as well as the love that is palpable in the home she and Frank have created!

On Saturday I danced for myself and the joy of being in community.

Sunday’s class came. While I had indulged myself at Jill’s, I was a bit more outwardly focused during Sunday night’s class. The result was a double-edged blade (as most experiences are). Jason poured an enormous amount of energy into every song for our 95 minute class.  That outpouring was enough to ride on and I while I couldn’t put my finger on why I smiled through both of Jason’s classes, I knew there was a connection.

On Sunday night, I noticed Jason’s teaching style, transitions between moves and songs, cueing skill and material embodiment. As a Nia teacher, this guy is a great Nia teacher. It was what he brought as a human being that made it an extraordinary experience for me.

Fast forward to…

Pam Berk and Velvet last Saturday morning at 9 am. Play time! In Green belt I remember being told to follow what the teacher did, even if she or he wasn’t teaching it exactly as it was designed and I think about that when I take another teacher’s class. (Sometimes I’m so literal!) One of the most wonderful gifts I receive from Pam is her generosity and willingness to give me room to discover. She brings her own wonderful creativity, but she also invites her students to dive into their own body’s creativity.

I’ve discovered so many ways to move familiar choreography in Pam’s classes.

And in Kendra Dicker-Deutsch’s classes.

And in Jenny Rogers’ classes.

And in Jill Campana’s classes.

Stephaney Robinson (Abilon)

Carlos AyaRosas

Debbie Rosas Stewart

Ann Christiansen

Ken Gilbert

Dana Kalombo

Kari Wynn

Jill Factor

Jamie Klausing

Kim LeClair

Kathleen de Miranda

Myrna Weinman

Denise Medved (my White belt trainer)

Sara Shafran

Sandi Oppenheimer

Trish Humenensky

Kathy Rink

Jenn Cesario


To every single one of my students. To those of you who have been with me from the beginning. To those of you who walked in, got halfway through the first song and left. To those of you who are anywhere in between the two!

You have all influenced me in some way. I have learned from you all and you have my gratitude.

2 thoughts on “In Appreciation of My Many Teachers”

  1. Jason is a unique and inspiring Nia teacher. I’m so glad you hosted him in your area as well. I marvel at his ability to just travel around the country with River, stopping in here and there to do a class, a workshop, etc. I felt equally inspired when you taught at my studio. Your ability to innovate and encourage others to be innovative is a gift. I’m honored to be among those you mentioned in your blog post. I’m grateful for our friendship both inside and outside of Nia. We all have so much to give to and so much to learn from one another. In gratitude!!!

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