NIA Dance - Video Transcript

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Date: October 2008
Duration: 0 / 01:58

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Carla Warneke, NIA Dance Instructor.:

NIA is a fusion of the best in martial arts, dance arts and healing arts such as yoga and tai chi.

A lot of times, people come to class, and, since it’s a mind-body technique, they are expecting to be serious, to be somber, no smiles allowed. But it’s not like that at all. NIA is a lot of fun. And more than once people have started the class and while the class is going on, you hear, “This is fun.” And they feel very surprised and very excited that something they’re doing that’s healthy, that’s also mind-body connected, is a fun thing to do.

NIA is especially suited for cancer patients because it is very adaptable. Sometimes we have people come in and they’re sitting in the chair most of the time. But they’re still moving. They’re still breathing, smiling and feeling connected to the group, so they’re participating fully. And that’s one way it’s good for cancer patients. A lot of times the cancer patients have been through so much and they’re tired. But with the music – the music itself is very powerful – and the gentle fluid movements of NIA by the end of the class they say, “I feel energized.”

We use all kinds of music because music is very powerful. The body has a physiological response to it. It touches people’s spirit. It inspires them. And so we have some of the more slower, meditative music, and we also have drums and quick things and popular music. And so there’s always something there to inspire people to move and to help lift their spirit.

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Videographer/Video Editor: Deborah E. Thomas
Producer: Darcy De Leon