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The notion that we can offer ourselves affectionate awareness, that we can treat ourselves as kindly and compassionately as we treat our friends, this feels like a revelation to me. Today I offer the poetry of one of the songs we danced to this week and my wish for you that you feel your own warmth, your own tenderness, your own friendliness for your sweet self.

Isn’t That What Friends are For? By Bruce Cockburn

Heavy northern autumn sky
Mist-hung forest — Dark spruce, bright maple —
And the great lake rolling forever to the narrow gray beach
I look west along the red road of the frail sun
Where it hovers between shelf of cloud and spiky trees,
Receding shore;
The world is full of seasons; of anguish, of laughter
And it comes to mind to write you this:
Nothing is sure
Nothing is pure
And no matter who we think we are
Everyone gets his chance to be nothing
Love’s supposed to heal, but it breaks my heart to feel
The pain in your voice —
But you know, it’s all going somewhere
And I would crush my heart and throw it in the street
If I could pay for your choice
Isn’t that what friends are for?

We’re the insect life of paradise:
Crawl across leaf or among towering blades of grass
Glimpse only sometimes the amazing breadth of heaven
You’re as loved as you were
Before the strangeness swept through
Our bodies, our houses, our streets —
When we could speak without codes
And light swirled around like
Wind-blown petals,
Our feet
I’ve been scraping little shavings off my ration of light
And I’ve formed it into a ball, and each time I pack a bit more onto it
I make a bowl of my hands and I scoop it from its secret cache
Under a loose board in the floor
And I blow across it and I send it to you
Against those moments when
The darkness blows under your door
Isn’t that what friends are for?

The playlists from the week are below. If you’d like to listen to them, you can find almost all the music on Spotify where you can listen for free! Put the music we dance together with other pieces that lift you up, calm you, and challenge you!

But first, here are a couple of things I know you want to know about:

Two special classes with Nia and Egoscue teacher, Antje Waxman
Wednesday, December 13
1:45-2:45pm | acac Albemarle Square Mind Body Studio
Intro to Postural Alignment with Antje W.
Join Antje to learn about your personal posture deviations and misalignment and this method can help you to relieve chronic pain and tension in your body.

AND

Thursday, December 21
1:00-2:00pm | acac Albemarle Square Studio A
Smovey FIT N DANCE with Antje W.
Join Antje for a unique dance class with Smovey rings. Smovey (from Austria) provides a dynamic upper and lower body workout. The Smovey rings create a vibration in your hands and stimulate the lymphatic system and the brain through hand reflexologies. Easy to follow dance steps and no heavy weights. Leave the class re-energized and feel the vibration in your body!
Email Antje to reserve your spot: antjew@acac.com

2017 Holiday Hours for all acac Charlottesville locations
Sunday, December 24 (Christmas Eve)
Albemarle Square & Downtown: 7:00am – 2:00pm
Kids Zones: 9:00am – 2:00pm
Spas: closed
Crozet: no staff
Adventure Central: closed

Monday, December 25 (Christmas Day)
ALL acac locations are closed.

Tuesday, December 26 (Day after Christmas)
Albemarle Square & Downtown: open at 8:00am and close at 10:00pm
**Susan will teach her regular class 840-940am Downtown in the Group Ex Studio **
Spas: open 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Kids Zones: opens at 8:30am
Crozet: staffed at 8:00am

Sunday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve)
Albemarle Square & Downtown: 7:00am – 2:00pm
Spas: closed
Kids Zones: 9:00am – 2:00pm
Crozet: no staff
Adventure Central: closed

Monday, January 1 (New Year’s Day)
Albemarle Square & Downtown: 8:00am – 10:00pm
**Susan will teach at Albemarle Square in Studio A from 11-1215pm (15 minutes later than usual)**
Spas: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Kids Zones: opens at 8:30am
Crozet: regular hours
Adventure Central: closed

8-week Mindful Self Compassion class with Laura DeVault
We live in a world full of environmental challenges, political upheaval, and divisive rhetoric. Our self-worth can become dependent upon our latest success or failure, adding another layer of stress to our lives. Mindful self-compassion takes a different approach. When we turn toward our suffering with compassion, we can learn to be more peaceful in our inner world, as well as with our outer landscape.

In this course, we’ll engage in practices that will allow participants to have a felt sense of self compassion, as well as to take home practical tools for evoking self-compassion in daily life.

This 8-week class begins on Sunday, January 14, & continues through March 4, from 2 – 5 PM. It will include a 1/2 day retreat on Sunday, February 18, from 9 AM – 1 PM. Instructors Laura DeVault and Anna Vanhoy have both completed the Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training through the UCSD Center for Mindful Self Compassion. Contact Maureen Otten at 434-220-4686 to register, or contact either Laura or Anna for more information. Registration fee: $400.
You can also go here. https://www.facebook.com/events/148456942590320/

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.
Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

Monday, Dec 11, 2017, 1045am ~ Affectionate Awareness

Altus Silva 6:07 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, Deep Forest, James McNally, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Vernon Reid
Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat
Shadow 4:28 Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
Exit Through You 5:52 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger
Everything Comes From You 4:42 Big Blue Ball featuring Richard Evans, Joji Hirota, Sevara Nazarkhan, Sinéad O’Connor, Guo Yue
Burn You Up Burn You Down 4:31 Big Blue Ball featuring Billy Cobham, Peter Gabriel, The Holmes Brothers, Wendy Melvoin, Arona N’diaye, Jah Wobble
Always A Friend 3:36 Alejandro Escovedo
Forest 6:17 Big Blue Ball featuring Levon Minassian, Arona N’Diaye, Vernon Reid, Hukwe Zawose
Object Of My Affection 3:53 Shawn Colvin
Don’t Get So Down On Yourself 3:11 Chris Isaak
Universal Dance of Kindness 5:53 Nawang Khechog

Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017, 840am ~ Affectionate Awareness

Altus Silva 6:07 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, Deep Forest, James McNally, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Vernon Reid
Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat
Shadow 4:28 Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
Exit Through You 5:52 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger
Burn You Up Burn You Down 4:31 Big Blue Ball featuring Billy Cobham, Peter Gabriel, The Holmes Brothers, Wendy Melvoin, Arona N’diaye, Jah Wobble
Always A Friend 3:36 Alejandro Escovedo
Forest 6:17 Big Blue Ball featuring Levon Minassian, Arona N’Diaye, Vernon Reid, Hukwe Zawose
Object Of My Affection 3:53 Shawn Colvin
Isn’t That What Friends Are For? 5:23 Bruce Cockburn

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017, 11am ~ Affectionate Awareness

Altus Silva 6:07 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, Deep Forest, James McNally, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Vernon Reid
Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat
Shadow 4:28 Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
Exit Through You 5:52 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger
Everything Comes From You 4:42 Big Blue Ball featuring Richard Evans, Joji Hirota, Sevara Nazarkhan, Sinéad O’Connor, Guo Yue
Burn You Up Burn You Down 4:31 Big Blue Ball featuring Billy Cobham, Peter Gabriel, The Holmes Brothers, Wendy Melvoin, Arona N’diaye, Jah Wobble
Sweet Freedom 5:14 Safri Duo feat. Michael McDonald
Forest 6:17 Big Blue Ball featuring Levon Minassian, Arona N’Diaye, Vernon Reid, Hukwe Zawose
Dust in the Wind 3:30 Daughter Darling
Isn’t That What Friends Are For? 5:23 Bruce Cockburn

Thursday, Dec 14, 2017, 840am ~ Affectionate Awareness

Altus Silva 6:07 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Ronan Browne, Deep Forest, James McNally, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Vernon Reid
Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat
Shadow 4:28 Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
Exit Through You 5:52 Big Blue Ball featuring Joseph Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger
Burn You Up Burn You Down 4:31 Big Blue Ball featuring Billy Cobham, Peter Gabriel, The Holmes Brothers, Wendy Melvoin, Arona N’diaye, Jah Wobble
Sweet Freedom 5:14 Safri Duo feat. Michael McDonald
Forest 6:17 Big Blue Ball featuring Levon Minassian, Arona N’Diaye, Vernon Reid, Hukwe Zawose
Dust in the Wind 3:30 Daughter Darling
Isn’t That What Friends Are For? 5:23 Bruce Cockburn
Serengeti (Bliss Mix) 5:30 Infernal

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?

For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…
If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going.
Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. They are offered all around the world so you can find one near you or where you may want to go!

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P1 Joy of Movement choose joyThis week, we launched into the 13-weeks adventure of the Unofficial Guide to the 13 Principles of Nia. It’s designed to focus not just on what we do in class, but on how these powerful principles and practices can reverberate positively out into our lives. I love the movements we do in Nia. They train, condition and heal the body like nothing else. But what is truly remarkable to me is how we can take these principles, designed for a physical practice, and directly apply them to our work, our play, our chores, our relationships and our lives. Super cool juicy goodness, if you ask me.

If you go to the Focus Pocus Facebook page you will find several photographs and videos about our focus this week. Feel free to post any of your own!

EnJOY, everybody!

Dance on. Shine on.

Susan sig

Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014, 9am ~ The Unofficial Guide: The Big-J Joy of Movement

All I Want 6:52 Shantal
Mulatica Mia (Cuba Remix) 5:32 The Tao Of Groove
Palais Mascotte 5:47 Patrick Duvoisin
No Quiero Nada Mas 4:46 Sancti Spiritus
Keep On Searching 5:08 Kraak & Smaak
Freek 7:16 Shakatura
Joy to the World 3:18 Three Dog Night
Better Man 5:21 Playing For Change
Walk on the Ocean 2:58 Toad the Wet Sprocket
Little Gem 4:32 Euphoria
Peace & Harmony 5:29 Relaxation Harmony & Wellness

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014, 1055am ~ The Unofficial Guide: The Big-J Joy of Movement

Turn On, Tune In, Find Joy 5:04 Freakpower
Nourah 6:51 Makyo
The Fire From Within 4:12 Tryptamoon
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
Complicated 4:07 Yonder Mountain String Band
Shakin’ It Up 6:15 Ganga Girl
I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ 4:48 Scissor Sisters
Black Velvet 4:46 Alannah Myles
Tupelo Honey 3:37 Van Morrison
When It Falls 5:31 Zero 7

Thursday, Aug 21, 2014, 9am ~ The Unofficial Guide: The Big-J Joy of Movement

Sofa Rockers [Richard Dorfmeister Remix] 8:34 Sofa Surfers
The Hush 5:24 Rae & Christian
Spellbound 5:43 Rae & Christian
What Do You Say 5:00 Haley
Drop It Low 3:45 Kat DeLuna
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Shakin’ It Up 6:15 Ganga Girl
Crazy Benny 5:32 Safri Duo
Ticket To Ride 3:10 The Beatles
The Letter 2:43 Marc Cohn
Butterfly 4:30 Bob Holroyd
Isn’t That What Friends Are For? 5:23 Bruce Cockburn

Friday, Aug 22, 2014, 9am ~ The Unofficial Guide: The Big-J Joy of Movement

Helpless 4:15 K.D. Lang
Whole Thing 5:27 Big Blue Ball featuring Francis Bebey, Alex Faku, Tim Finn, Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger, Andy White
Habibe 7:12 Big Blue Ball featuring Natacha Atlas, Hossam Ramzy, Neil Sparkes, The Hossam Ramzy Egyptian Ensemble (Adel Eskander, Wael Abu Bakr, Momtaz Talaat
Shadow 4:28 Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
Love and Hope 4:24 Ozomatli
Slippery People 4:14 Talking Heads
Jogando Capoeira 6:20 Beatfanatic
I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ 4:48 Scissor Sisters
Unwritten 4:19 Natasha Bedingfield
Brand New Day – Reprise 3:14 Joshua Radin
Wrap My Words Around You 3:11 Daniel Bedingfield
Falling Slowly 4:04 Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova
Paddle and Portage 3:36 Solitudes

Saturday, Aug 23, 2014, 9am ~ The Unofficial Guide: The Big-J Joy of Movement

The Blower’s Daughter 4:44 Damien Rice
The Hush 5:24 Rae & Christian
The Fire From Within 4:12 Tryptamoon
Spellbound 5:43 Rae & Christian
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
What Do You Say 5:00 Haley
Complicated 4:07 Yonder Mountain String Band
One Way Road 3:06 The John Butler Trio
Slippery People 4:14 Talking Heads
Cruel Summer 3:28 Bananarama
Waiting On The World To Change 3:21 John Mayer
Butterfly 4:30 Bob Holroyd
Isn’t That What Friends Are For? 5:23 Bruce Cockburn

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT NIA?
For more information about Nia and this rich system of training and learning? Everything Nia is at http://www.nianow.com…

If you’re traveling or moving, you can find a teacher or classes wherever you’re going. 

Interested in teaching or deepening your practice? Check out the Nia White Belt Training. There is one planned in Richmond and lots of other places, too.

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