Yesterday, I taught my last Nia class before I fly away for two months. Although it is always bittersweet to leave for the summer, I am learning and growing as I step out. I wanted to share some of this learning with you. First of all, I am proud to say that we have such a dedicated and thriving community, I was compelled to hire a sub for my classes. We consolidated the three classes into one for the summer — The Monday Night Dance Party!! “(6:30 - 7:30 pm - at ZenSpace, of course!) More on our Nia and Zumba subs later…
The perspective of Stepping In to my classes in September and Stepping Out of my classes in June enables me to reflect on my teaching and my practice. Step In and Step Out are the 2nd and 7th Cycles of every Nia class experience. When we Step In, we consciously prepare our body, mind, emotion & spirit for the dance leaving all distraction behind. When we Step Out, we consciously close the experience and embrace what comes after. Nia extends far beyond my classroom teaching and dancing and reaches into my life creating a richness and deep fulfillment.
As I Step Out of this year of teaching, I am reflecting on my advances as a teacher, and I am yearning for more. As a teacher and guide, I have learned more ease with transitions and I have improved my knowing of how to move my students more smoothly through movement. I am sensing more deeply as I dance, finding myself less in my head and much, much more in my body. I have added knowledge and new practices to my repertoire, including Nia Move IT, Nia 5 Stages, and all my Coach trainings and certifications, which I weave into my classes through the Focus and Intent (Cycle 1 of the Nia class experience).
As for my yearnings, I have packed up some routines, new and old, with the intent of learning and reviewing over the summer. I intend to dance Nia most days, and my focus is to bring the routines into my body so my mind is free as I teach. As students, you will experience more ease in your movement and transitions between and greater ability to drop into sensation during class. I will also continue to develop a Synergy between Coaching and Movement that I will weave into my Nia and Coaching offerings at ZenSpace in the Fall. More on that as I delve deeper...
Now, may I introduce you to Marisa and Amanda who will join us at ZenSpace this summer!
Marisa Guastella will be stepping in for me this summer on Monday Nights. Former belly dancer turned amazing Nia teacher, I encourage you to dance with Marisa! She has an amazing story and is a beautiful being.
Check out Marisa’s Bio —
Born and raised in NY, Marisa Barcia entered into the performing arts at the age of 8, studying for over 30 years, teaching for over 20. She earned her Bachelor's of Science in Performance as a Classical Guitarist from Hofstra University; studying performance with William Zito and music theory under composer Chandler Carter. She settled in NJ in 1999, where she resides today with her 2 children. After having children and needing to lose 110 pounds, her focus on movement and fitness brought her to her love of dance. Marisa claims dance was the next logical progression of her journey in the arts. With her musical background and analytical nature, she was taken by the study of movement in her body and new found level of fitness. She studied Bellydance with Chadia of the Gypsy Caravan Dancers and is a certified Sharqui Bellydance Instructor through Oreet Jahassi. She found Nia, "by accident," and knew right away she found a personal practice that connected her mind, body, emotions and spirit. She feels the practice brings out her essence through the 52 moves and music. She traveled to Texas to obtain her white belt in July of 2016 and was quick to share the practice instructing her own Nia classes. Marisa is involved in the Nia NJ Community, continued to the teacher training of Moving to Heal with Nia Creator, Debbie Rosas in Baltimore, MD. Once she stepped into Nia, she hasn't looked back. While busy as a program and marketing director at a YMCA, Barcia also teaches private guitar and flute lessons and enjoys writing. Marisa sees her creative side as the channel for her love of the art of practice itself. She says, "the dojo can be the dance floor, a conversation, or a daily chore; it's the quality of living that I am always practicing. Is it authentic, purposeful and joyful? These are my ingredients to a life well lived."
And please welcome Amanda Eitzen, Zumba Teacher, for the Dance Party on July 10th! Yes, that’s right! We are introducing a ZenSpace-Inspired form of Zumba and it is debuting on July 10. Amanda will bring us Zumba with a focus on healthy, sustainable movement. Her classes will include an introduction to the moves so you know what’s coming and you will be able to dance without injury.
Check out Amanda’s Bio —
Amanda has been dancing since before she could walk! Growing up she took classes in ballet, tap and jazz and eventually became an assistant dance teacher during her high school years. She fed her hunger for dance in college with aerobics and hip-hop classes (and of course the occasional dance club!) While attending graduate school and working full-time, Zumba was her getaway and stress reliever, and she was glad to be taught by some truly amazing instructors over those 3 years. In 2013, after finishing graduate school, and at the encouragement of her instructors, Amanda became certified in Zumba. She was fortunate to teach at Branchburg Sports Complex in Branchburg, NJ where she had attended classes. After moving to Hoboken for full-time work, Amanda began teaching Zumba at Stevens Institute of Technology in 2015 and is pleased to be able to continue to share her love of Zumba and dance with others!
And finally, I would like to say a special thank you to ZenSpace Owner, Kristen Mangione, and our new ZenSpace Business and Membership Director, Voula Papadopoulos. ZenSpace has grown this year and is poised for even more growth. I am proud to work with these wonderful people who are dedicated to transforming lives one person at a time, one body at a time. The Nia Technique has a home in Hoboken at ZenSpace and I am so grateful each time I step in to the studio.
Have a wonderful summer, friends. Wear sun screen, laugh lots, play everyday, jump into the water and most definitely, dance barefoot,