Rooted in Tibetan Sanskrit, the Mandala represents completion in the circle of life. This concept has come to hold new meaning for me.
A wise saying…"Sometimes through the winds of change, we find our true direction."
I have always loved dancing, music and movement. I was blessed to be raised in a household where the arts were always supported and I will be forever grateful to my parents for instilling this love into the core of my being… My father earned his living as a musician in Washington D.C. My mother always was a huge fan of his music, opera, all things art, and classical music. I was immersed in this from birth! The privilege of living in such an environment opened many doors for me, including studies with my mentor, who was a former ballerina with the Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo. She formed a regional ballet company, I auditioned, and made my way into the ranks, pointe shoes and all. It was my life….
Then we moved…our world of culture and charm was left behind in D.C. I continued my studies as best as I could. This culminated in adulthood with opening my own home studio, teaching ballet for many years, free-lance choreographing for the local school system and our local college –all amazing parts of my journey for which I am deeply grateful….Then, the circle turned again and I was introduced to the exotic and amazing world of ethnic dance, specializing in the dance of the Rromany people (the Gypsies), as well as all manner of Middle Eastern dance from many diverse regions. I went out on the circuit as an instructor, soloist, workshop teacher, and also taught locally, forming my own dance troupe, "Troupe Svatura”. This has been my focus for the past nearly 20 years now, and I am grateful for all the many incredible adventures, travels, and amazing national and international artists I’ve had the privilege of studying with along my journey.For more on this, please visit http://www.melanieinmotion.com/!
In the past few years, I began to sense and feel the need for something more….I resisted and resisted. Chalk it up to the very real adage of “once a dancer, always a dancer”. HOW on earth could I leave this identity behind??
The circle turned once again…and I found NIA! I had wanted to move away from the rigidity that is involved in teaching a dance discipline, that emphasizes technique, countless hours of behind the scenes work to put together lesson plans, preview music, choreography, etc. And most of all, I wanted to move my students away from the pressure of perfection…There had to be something more to feed not just the body, but also the soul. I researched the Nia Technique and concluded that this was the very direction and path that I had long been searching for. It would allow me to ‘shape-shift’, and also retain my need to dance, move, be creative, and best of all, bring healing to my fragile spirit. A wonderful bonus is that Nia will allow me to do this very thing with the students that cross my path, which gives me an entirely different holistic approach to wholeness, fitness, and the integration of our entire being: our body, mind, emotions, feelings, and our spirit’s needs.
There is a wise Zen saying: “When the student is ready, the Teacher will appear…” Enter one of the finest instructors in the field of Nia, veteran and master Black Belt Next Generation Trainer, Winalee Zeeb, of
So, as Dr. Norman Vincent Peale says, “Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.” This is what Nia is bringing into my life. My prayer is that I can also help others to find direction and JOY as we do this Dance of Life together…I hope that you will consider joining me!
I'd like to share my ecstatic Graduation Day when I received my White Belt Certification, including my wonderful Teacher, Winalee Zeeb. http://www.winaleezeeb.com/ ---find the pictures below my BLUE story!......
ADDENDUM!!!: I am now BLUE -- YAHOO!...On Friday, Nov. 20th, 2009, I earned my Blue Belt, the 3rd degree in NIA, under the magnificent training of Nia co-founder, Carlos Aya-Rosas. Twenty-three radiant fellow Nia sisters comprised a very intense and meaningful week of learning the Blue Principles of Communication, Relationship, and Intimacy....a wonderful enhancement and set of skills to further refine us as teachers of The Body's Way. Carlos' training was extremely challenging and intense, yet full of gems, pearls, and further "a-HA's!" for me, both as a student of Nia, as well as a teacher. I left feeling pleasantly emotionally and physically exhausted, yet greatly renewed in my heart and spirit. I have lots of new "tools" that build and blend so beautifully upon my White Belt principles.....I am greatly inspired to continue my journey with Nia, and now look forward to "the what next?"! - and that in itself feels like the miraculous to me...