This aerobic dance class is designed to introduce participants to the aesthetics of African dance technique while developing some knowledge and appreciation of its vibrant movement and music. African dance develops efficient use of relaxed movement, grounding, weight-shifting, and isolation. The class begins with a warm up geared towards releasing the weight of the body by rolling down the spine, shoulder and neck rotations, isolation of the pelvis and chest while opening and releasing the hip joints. We integrate these movements into traditional and non-traditional African movements while deepening our connection to ourselves and community with the inspirational and authentic, live African drumming. Individual movements are strung together to create an uplifting, cardiovascular combination that will have you breaking both a sweat and a smile. This movement and music will leave you feeling both renewed and inspired.
Ecstatic dance is an authentic, spontaneous, expressive, and meditative movement practice that incorporates elements of various body/mind/movement practices. It occurs in a safe and non-judgmental environment where creative possibilities are infinite, and freedom and joy preside. Dancers move barefooted without verbal interaction. There is no choreography or instruction. The leader facilitates conscious creation of sacred space by setting a focus, offering a poem, or other suggestions, and with sophisticated sequences of music crafted to evoke spiritual expressiveness in personal movement. No experience is needed—just a willingness to move and be moved. You are free to dance by yourself, with another, or join a spontaneous group expression. The eclectic music gradually builds to a high energy level then winds down to a meditative, relaxing finish. Be prepared to sweat. The ecstatic dance community is a tribe that enjoys dancing and growing together. All are welcome.
Dance the way your body wants to—with out choreography or judgement! Get out of your head and into your body to discover the innate body wisdom you possess.
Facilitated by Elizabeth Cervantes.
MixxedFit® is a people-inspired dance fitness program that is a perfect blend of explosive dancing and boot camp toning. Everything about our dance fitness program can be described as explosive – all of our movements are always big, exaggerated, full-out, and our very best. We dance to our favorite songs on the radio that we would dance to at a nightclub. Then, we spice things up by adding boot camp-inspired exercises to make your workout more effective and challenging. If you’re plateauing in your traditional dance fitness class, this might be the answer to your prayers. A traditional MixxedFit® class is 60 minutes in length and will get you to your fitness goals a lot quicker than just dancing alone. Why? Because the secret is in the toning that we incorporate. The best part of it all is that we tone using our own bodies.
No equipment, no dumbbells, and no awkward toning contraptions! Our choreography is not complex and difficult. Our steps are repetitive and very easy to follow which means that our students can naturally increase their level of intensity during their workouts. We aim to keep our choreography simple. That way, our students can focus on “working out” rather than following dance steps. If you can do things like squats, jumping jacks, and shake that booty, you will have a blast in class.
The Nia Technique™
Created 30 years ago by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Aya-Rosas, Nia draws inspiration from the dance arts, martial arts, and healing arts for a cardiovascular, aerobic, and fun workout that is challenging and stimulating, yet easy to follow. Just as dancers do in modern dance or martial artists move in the dojo, we practice class in our bare feet so we build strength from the ground up.
As a Nia student, you will improve your strength, flexibility, and mobility for greater functioning in your everyday life. You will learn how to move safely using The Body’s Way, which is how our bodies are designed to move. Nia asks you to pay attention to your body’s sensations, and in doing so, you’ll fall in love with being in your body.
You’re also encouraged to move in Your Body’s Way, learning what brings you the greatest pleasure and following the invitation to experience the joy of movement. Most of the class, you will follow the instructor through steps and stances; however, within these moves is the opportunity to find your own rhythm and beat and to dance it your own way. A typical Nia class includes some elements of free dance in which you shake, boogie, rock, roll and sway as you please; anything goes. A lot of what makes Nia fun is that we also are dancing together. Nia offers us the opportunity to explore and to play. The hour you’ll spend in class is your time to recharge, connect, let loose, and get fit.
The best way to learn about Nia is to come take a class. Many of the instructors at Studio Sway offer a first class free of charge.
Typical Class: Dress in anything in which you can move, sweat, and feel good. We encourage everyone to dance in bare feet, though some of our dancers prefer a light shoe. If you want to wear your soft-sole sneakers, please wear a pair that is worn only inside so we keep our floor happy and smooth and clean.
Students of all levels are welcome in all classes. There are no beginner and no advanced classes; we all dance together. There are three levels of movement in Nia. Students are encouraged to pick the level that feels most comfortable for their bodies. If you are recovering from an injury, you may decide to use a smaller range of motion at Level 1. If you want to go all out, dance at Level 3. Some students may shift levels throughout the class.
Classes begin with setting a focus and intention, whether physical or mental. For example, a class may focus on the arms, core, legs, or spine, and may have the goal of unleashing creativity, experiencing joy, or relieving stress. An invitation then comes to step in to your Nia, leaving behind all that will not serve you in class. A warm-up is followed by approximately 45 minutes of more intense movement. The class then moves into free dance (movement without teacher guidance), floor play, and a cool down. At the end of class, students step out and back into their days.
Students who are new to the Nia Technique may find it takes a few classes to start learning the lingo and remember some of the most common patterns. However, the most basic movement in Nia is a step. If you can step, you can dance Nia.