“If I can stop one heart from breaking, if I can ease one life the aching, I shall not live my life in vain” ~Emily Dickenson
My life’s purpose is to offer people a safe, open floor to dance, to heal the body, and experience their potential. This occurs every time a Body openly steps onto the dance floor, honors their natural rhythms, and explores their healing movement possibilities.
I am often asked, “What is your dance background?” The answer is none: I have no formal dance training. As a child I dreamed of being a dancer, only that dream was not fostered. Then one day, as an adult, I randomly stepped into my first Nia class. Within the first ten minutes, the voice of Nia spoke to me telling me I would be teaching this therapeutic movement modality. Hence, after two years of dancing Nia, I became a certified White Belt in May of 2004. The same Voice of Nia, or Spirit, has led me to dance around the globe, to various dancing and healing modalities confirming my passion and my life’s work. This same voice guides me in every major decision and direction. This dance has connected me to beautiful souls around the world and fosters life long friendships. This dance heals and renews my body. This voice shows up on the dance floor every time. This voice speaks the truth. This voice, this spirit, this dance is part of our universal dance- mine and yours.
Today, I am a certified Black Belt Nia teacher, a Level II Reiki Practitioner, a 5Rhythms practitioner, a Soul Motion practitioner, a Meditation Instructor, and an Open Floor Teacher in Training. Additionally, I am a college English Instructor and a proud mother of my unique son and daughter.
As Anna Halprin says, “Dance is the Mother of all the Arts-because the BODY is the instrument.” This instrument is your song, your journey, your light - let's dance it!
Nia is a holistic dance fitness class moving to soul stirring music. Nia stands for Neuromuscular Integrative Action, but is commonly referred to as “Now I Am”. After a Nia class, a student feels empowered: “Now I am in my Joy. Now I am in my Power. Now I am in my Body. Now I am Present...” The first principle of Nia is “The Joy of Movement” teaching students to move in pleasure, not pain. Classes are taken barefoot to increase sensory awareness and balance. Each class includes mindful movement guidance and somatic education; class cycles include warm-up, sustained non-impact aerobic conditioning, strength training, cool down and stretching. Nia combines 9 movement forms of Dance arts, Martial arts, and Healing arts: Jazz, Modern & Duncan Dance, T’ai Chi, Tae Kwon Do & Aikido, and Yoga, Feldenkreis, & The Alexander Technique.
Nia empowers people of all ages and body types to get fit by connecting the body, mind, emotions and spirit. It is currently practiced in more than 48 countries around the world in various venues from gyms to health care facilities, retreat centers and schools. Nia is adabtable to your body and your needs: For some, Nia is a fitness class, for others it is a livlihood. Nia is for you to experience and describe for yourself.
An Open Floor class is a lively & sweaty dance inquiry into your own dance: “Open Floor is where the rubber meets the road – a place for creative focus and loving attention” (openfloor.org).
Open Floor is for Men and Women of every level who want to move their bodies freely to great music; it is an open, freedance exploration. Courtney is an Open Floor Teacher in Training and she is committed to bringing this embodied movement practice to her community in Long Beach.