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NOTE: It was brought to my attention that these words were not spoken by Chief Seattle. From Snopes.com “The words Chief Seattle has become famous for were written by Ted Perry, the screenwriter for Home, a 1972 film about ecology. They have since been widely quoted in books, on TV, and from the pulpit. A children’s book, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message From Chief Seattle, sold 280,000 within the first six months of its 1991 issue.” My feeling is that whoever said them, they are true and it’s bogus to attribute them to a Native American.

Connections and relationships are everywhere. As we move through our days, we are in connection with everything — our bodies, our movement, our thoughts, objects around us, other people, the environment — everything. The invitation is to open our awareness so that we recognize all these (inter) connections and making choices about what we want to bring to all of our relationships.

Speaking of relationships, I’m grateful for mine with Mary Linn. I love the chance to teach and create together and I’m grateful for her generosity in sharing her classes and her gifts. (We’ll be playing again in May so check that out below!)

You can find this week’s (inter)Connection & Relationship playlists below. If you’d like to listen to them, you can find almost all the music on Spotify where you can listen for free! Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

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

Moving to Heal classes with Sheila Queen 12:30-2pm at Northside Library (except *)
Join Nia Blue Belt and Moving to Heal Instructor, Sheila Queen for a class designed for anybody looking for a gentle movement practice to complement and facilitate healing of body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Northside Library from 12:30-2 (except*)
April: Friday: 4/27
May: Thursday: 5/10, *5/17 (1-2:30), 5/31
Friday 5/25
June: Friday: *22 (10:30-12), 29
For questions and more information, contact Sheila Queen at squeen125@gmail.com

Nia Freedance First Fridays with Kate at ACAC ~ Friday, May 4!
Every first Friday Kate Aust shares a Nia freedance class at ACAC Albemarle Square. Nia Freedance gives you an opportunity to play for a full hour moving your body’s way. We each get to tap into the creative wisdom of our body, emotions, mind and spirit stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance class will be Friday, May 4 from 11:25 to 12:25 in studio B.

Bliss Revisited with Susan & Mary Linn on May 14 & 17
Mary Linn & I are diving back into Bliss: a classic routine created by Nia co-founder, Carlos Rosas. The music of British production duo Mark Rae and Steve Christian and German DJ Shantel allow the body to drop deep roots and long powerful reaches. Join us for Bliss!
Mon, May 14, 1045-12noon Albemarle Square, Room A
Thu, May 17, 840-940am Downtown, Group Ex Studio
Thu, May 17, 630-730pm Albemarle Square, Room B

acac Memorial Day Hours: Monday, May 28
Susan will teach her class on Memorial Day at 11am at acac Albemarle Square. Spend part of the holiday with yourself, your body and us!

Acac hours for the holiday are:
acac Albemarle Square: 8:00am-4:00pm
kids zone – 8:30am-2:00pm
spa – 9:00am-3:00pm
acac Downtown 8:00am-4:00pm
kids zone – 8:30am-2:00pm
spa – 9:00am-3:00pm
acac Crozet staffed 8:00am-12:00pm
kids zone – 8:30-11:30am
acac Pantops staffed 8:00am-12:00pm
Adventure Central* – 9:00am-7:00pm *tennis courts only
Waterpark – 10:00am-7:00pm

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

Saturday, Apr 21, 2018, 1245pm ~ Earth Day: (inter)Connection & Relationship with Mary Linn

Monday, Apr 23, 2018, 1045am ~ Earth Day: (inter)Connection & Relationship with Mary Linn

Thursday, Apr 26, 2017, 840am ~ (inter)Connection & Relationship with Mary Linn

Back to the Earth 5:27 Rusted Root
A Horse with No Name 4:08 America
Octopus’s Garden 3:19 The Beatles
Joy to the World 3:18 Three Dog Night
Firefly 2:29 Michael Franti
Blackbird 3:08 Bobby McFerrin
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Birds 3:49 Coldplay
Fireflies 3:46 Owl City
Penguins 2:31 Lyle Lovett
The Buzzard 3:50 Old Blind Dogs
The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Re-Recorded Version) 2:43 The Token
Which Way Does That Old Pony Run 4:09 Lyle Lovett
Man Of The Hour 2:57 Norah Jones
Earth 3:02 Hans Zimmer, The Lyndhurst Orchestra, Lisa Gerrard & Gavin Greenaway

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018, 840am ~ (inter)Connection & Relationship

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Headphones 4:18 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Stolen Car 3:58 Sting
The Sound of Sunshine 3:44 Michael Franti & Spearhead
If You Love Somebody Set Them 4:16 Sting
Sometimes 4:06 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Never Coming Home 5:00 Sting
Once a Day (Featuring Sonna Rele) 4:00 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Brand New Day 6:20 Sting
Hey World (Don’t Give Up Version) 4:09 Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2017, 11am ~ (inter)Connection & Relationship (and Pat Taylor’s birthday!)

A Thousand Years 5:58 Sting
Headphones 4:18 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Stolen Car 3:58 Sting
The Sound of Sunshine 3:44 Michael Franti & Spearhead
If You Love Somebody Set Them 4:16 Sting
Sometimes 4:06 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Never Coming Home 5:00 Sting
Once a Day (Featuring Sonna Rele) 4:00 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Brand New Day 6:20 Sting
Life Is Better With You 3:19 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot 6:44 Sting
Hey World (Don’t Give Up Version) 4:09 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Somehow Familiar 3:40 Fabrizio Paterlini

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!

spring street 042016

Whoa. This was a week of dancing and embodying the elements of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, then the fire in Shenandoah, then losing Prince the Purple Rainmaker, then an Earth Day celebration with Mary Linn. Big whoa. Big breath.

All the music from all of that is below. You can also listen to them by going to Spotify! You can listen for free at Spotify! Sign up for free, follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists ~ just click and listen!

And first here the upcoming special classes and events:

• A Spring Thing, Friday, April 29, 545-715pm, Buck Mountain Episcopal Parish Hall*, Earlysville

Join Susan & Mary Linn for an evening of movement choices. Spring can be a time of both riding the ebullient wave of upward energy and finding peace in the midst of all that blossoming and growing! The first portion of the evening will be a look at some of the basics of Nia movement and how each can be adjusted as to the needs of your body in the moment. Then we’ll practice those movements in a Spring Thing Nia class experience. Free to everybody (donations gratefully accepted for the Buck Mountain Health and Wellness Ministry).
* 4133 Earlysville Road, Earlysville VA 22936 ~ GPS will take you to the church; the Parish Hall is the small white building just past the church.

• dance. sit. write. draw. returns! Saturday, May 7, 830am-5pm – SPACES STILL AVAILABLE!
It’s not too late, friends. Join us for a day that blends the practices of movement, meditation, writing and drawing to open the channel of your artist self ~ giving it some oxygen and space no matter what your experience is. Join us for a delicious day that includes the splendiferous cooking of the splendiferous Rebecca George.
The four-part mini-video series is complete. You can watch them all in about 10 minutes to get more information about the retreat and why you might choose to join us.
Why dance. sit. write. draw.? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6bfGotqvyM
Wait, why dance. sit. write. draw., again? (Or, Why Pablo Picasso and I Want You To Come To The Retreat) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-r3hl0fLPw
Dance. sit. write. draw. (It’s a thing!) https://youtu.be/7FzBcztH22g
Dance. sit. write. draw. (Your medicine) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16otG8dWj4o
Go to susanmcculley.com/workshops for the details and to register. Or email sjmnia@gmail.com with questions.

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

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: My playlists can also be found on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ by following “susanmcculley” (no space) and look for Public Playlists. Sometimes music is not available on Spotify so I may replace with another version or skip songs . ***

Monday, Apr 18, 2016, 1045am ~ Elemental Movement (TranceVision)

On The Forest Floor 5:05 Bob Holroyd
Alhambra Pt 1 1:21 Natacha Atlas
Duden 6:41 Natacha Atlas
Vision: O Euchari In Leta Via 6:08 Hildegard von Bingen
Desert Wind 7:48 Banco de Gaia
Mother Earth 6:52 Veeresh and the Humaniversity Sound
Amor Real 7:26 Jon Anderson
Fun Does Not Exist [Dolmus Mix] 6:22 Natacha Atlas
Through Cinemas 5:55 Loop Guru
The Spirit of the Earth Continues (Floating Earth Remix) 6:32 Cybertribe

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016, 840am and 535pm ~ Elemental Movement (TranceVision, mostly)

On The Forest Floor 5:05 Bob Holroyd
Duden 6:41 Natacha Atlas
Vision: O Euchari In Leta Via 6:08 Hildegard von Bingen
Desert Wind 7:48 Banco de Gaia
Mother Earth 6:52 Veeresh and the Humaniversity Sound
Amor Real 7:26 Jon Anderson
Fun Does Not Exist [Dolmus Mix] 6:22 Natacha Atlas
Cool, Clear Water 5:28 Bonnie Raitt
Hit the Ground 3:31 Lizz Wright

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2016, 11am ~ Elemental Movement

Snakeroot 7:58 Lis Addison
Always Waiting (fest. Irina Milkhailova) 7:08 Kaya Project
Quero Saber (fest. Orieta Pines) 6:29 Rodney Hunter
Moon & Sun 6:02 Dalminjo Fjörd Fusioneer
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) 6:23 Afterlife
Sandstorm 7:26 Darude ChaOs
Spring Street 5:00 Dar Williams
City Knows Your Name 4:59 Chris Coco
Hymn 5:25 Andrew McPherson

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016, 840am ~ Elemental Movement

Snakeroot 7:58 Lis Addison
Always Waiting (fest. Irina Milkhailova) 7:08 Kaya Project
Quero Saber (fest. Orieta Pines) 6:29 Rodney Hunter
Moon & Sun 6:02 Dalminjo Fjörd Fusioneer
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) 6:23 Afterlife
Sandstorm 7:26 Darude
Spring Street 5:00 Dar Williams
Landslide 3:20 Fleetwood Mac
Horizon 3:12 John Munson

Friday, Apr 22, 2016, 840am ~ Earth Day: Elemental Movement

Earth Link 7:21 Alain Eskinasi/Brainscapes
Purple Rain 8:42 Prince & The Revolution
Born Under a Bad Sign 7:38 Jimi Hendrix
Desert Wind 7:48 Banco de Gaia
Dive 3:58 Steven Curtis Chapman
Serpentine Fire 3:50 Earth, Wind & Fire
Drop 4:56 Cornelius
Spring Street 5:00 Dar Williams
Dust in the Wind 3:30 Daughter Darling
Four Strong Winds 4:06 Neil Young
On the Nature of Daylight 6:35 Max Richter Orchestra & Lorenz Dangel

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!

elements square 041616One of the first routines I learned when I began teaching Nia was a classic created by Nia co-founder Debbie Rosas called Chakras. Its focus was the elements of earth, water, fire and air and as a student, I loved the contrasting grounded, fluid, intense, and light movements. But as I worked on getting ready to teach it, something was missing.

I asked my mentor, Chris Friedman, to let me teach her the first song. After a minute, she stopped me and asked, “When you do that deep stance, which element are you dancing?”
“Earth,” I said.
She paused and said, “I can’t feel it when I watch you.”

Oddly, neither could I. I’d been focusing mainly on my feet and legs when I did this “Earthy” movement but Earth, Chris pointed out, is in my whole body.

Throughout the routine, I did my best to embody each element. Earth isn’t just in my bones and base, Water isn’t just in my joints and blood, Fire isn’t just in my nerves and muscles and Air isn’t just in my lungs and hands. Each element is systemic in the body.

We and the planet are made of the same stuff. As I embody the elements, I am embodying the interconnection within and around me.

earth 041616Earth

The Earth element is in our very bones, muscles, and connective tissue. Our physical form that allows us to literally stand on the Earth is of the Earth element.

Stability and strength are the movement sensations most directly connected with Earth. Like the globe itself, stability radiates energy out in all directions from center. And like the force of gravity that holds us to the ground, strength pulls energy in toward the bones.

Feel your radiating rootedness and your powerful physical form and you are feeling the Earth in you.

Of course, our bones and muscles and connective tissue can’t function without…

water 041616

Water

The human body is more liquid than anything else. Synovial fluid lubricates joints and saliva lubricates our tongues. Blood, our fluid tissue, touches every other tissue in the body. In her 2008, New York Times article, The Wonders of Blood, Natalie Angier wrote:

It is through blood that our disparate parts communicate, through blood that our organs cooperate. Without a circulatory system, there would be no internal civilization, no means of ensuring orderly devotion to the common cause that is us.

Much of us liquid and is constantly moving. The flow of mobility is the movement sensation connected with Water. The life giving, cleansing power fluid movement mirrors the liquid element that swims within us and around us.

Feel movement with no beginning and no end and you are feeling the Water in you.

Of course, the flow of blood and movement stops cold without…

fire 041616

Fire

The nervous system fires to ignite both unconscious and conscious movements. Without the electric spark of nerves, the body wouldn’t know what to do. Whether from the flash of thought and imagination, or the ignition of automatic processes, fire is in our fibers.

The movement sensation of agility with its quick starts and stops is most closely associated with fire. The sizzling heat of precise agility is how we can light our own element of Fire.

Feel the bright lightening quickness in your bones and you are feeling the Fire in you.

Of course, the Fire goes out without the nourishment of…

air 041616

Air

Just like the air around us, the air within us offers relaxing nourishment and powerful energy. Air is the spaciousness that we feel when we breathe deeply, stretch long, and connect to the vastness of spirit. Air and space can be found in every bone, fluid and tissue … and between every thought.

Flexibility is the movement sensation of energy moving out along the bones. Like a long exhalation, creating the length and space of flexibility connects the body most directly to Air.

Feel the spacious length in your body, your movement and your breath and you are feeling the Air in you.

Of course, Air has nothing to animate, nothing to nourish without Earth, Water, and Fire.

Earth Day is this week* so it’s a perfect time to recognize the interconnectedness of the elements on our planet and in our bodies. Dance with elemental movement and feel your connection to every part of you, the planet and the universe!

 


* Earth Day 2016 is Friday, April 22 and Mary Linn and I are teaching a special class that evening at acac downtown, 545-7pm. The class is free to members and they can bring a guest for free!

spring loaded David_Byrne_of_Talking_Heads“And as things fell apart, nobody paid much attention.” ~ Talking Heads, (Nothing But) Flowers

In a week of savoring spring and spring loaded joints and Earth Day, we danced to lots of great springy, earthy, nature-y music. But my favorite song of the week: (Nothing But) Flowers by Talking Heads. Check out their brilliant 1988 video here ~ I’d love to know what the statistics they quote are now. I expect none have gone in a healthy direction. Honoring the Earth and our inextricable connection to it in some way – not just on Eath Day but every day — is a step toward our healing and that of our precious planet.

Below are all our playlists from the spring. loaded. week. Go to Spotify and follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists there, too. Please note that Spotify doesn’t have all the music I have, so sometimes I’ll put up a different version of a song or skip it all together. Please let me know how this is working for you!

Before the playlists, some announce-y type things:

Nia Extravaganza Weekend ~ FRIDAY, MAY 1 – SUNDAY, MAY 3 ~ Join Nia Faculty Trainers Allison Wright and Vickie Saito for a Nia Extravaganza weekend in Richmond! They’ll offer three public classes and two playshops over the course of the weekend. Click here for more details and to sign up.

CINCO DE MAYO ~ TUESDAY, MAY 5 ~ We had so much fun team teaching on Cinco last year that we’re celebrating again! Join Mary Linn and me at 9am at ACAC Downtown AND 535pm at Albemarle Square for a Latin-themed class. Wear your ruffles and sombero!

UNIVERSAL MIND ~ SATURDAY, MAY 9 ~ Kick off your Mother’s Day weekend with Universal Mind or something interesting! We’re not sure exactly what we’re going to do but between Anne and Mary Linn and me, there will be great classes at 9am at ACAC Downtown AND 1230 at Albemarle Square.

NEW CLASS TIME ON TUESDAY & THURSDAY DOWNTOWN STARTS JUNE 1! ~ Set your alarm! Mark your calendar! Staring June 1, acac downtown Tuesday and Thursday morning Nia is earlier! Class with Susan on both days will be from 840am-940am starting June 1! Come play and let your practice embody your whole day!

As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.

Dance on. Shine on.

Susan sig

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: My playlists can also be found on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ by following “susanmcculley” (no space) and look for Public Playlists. Sometimes music is not available on Spotify so I may replace with another version or skip songs. What you find below is exactly what I used in class. ***

Monday, Apr 20, 2015, 1045am ~ Spring. Loaded.

Big Sky 4:04 Annie Lennox
Down To Earth 5:59 Peter Gabriel
The Fire From Within 4:12 Tryptamoon
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Freedom 2:50 Tyrone Wells
Nothing But The Water (II) 5:19 Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
African Drug [Original Tribal Mix] 6:02 Bob Holroyd
Gimme Shelter (The Voice Performance) 2:32 Hannah Kirby & Sarah Potenza
Drumming Up a Storm 5:59 Bob Holroyd
Hound Dog (The Voice Performance) 2:27 Kimberly Nichole & Lowell Oakley
Journeyman – AO 6:41 Bob Holroyd
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (The Voice Performance) 2:18 Brian Johnson & Joshua Davis
27 Words 4:23 Bob Holroyd

Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015, 9am ~ Spring. Loaded.

Primavera 6:21 Santana
Down To Earth 5:59 Peter Gabriel
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Just the Way You Are 3:41 Bruno Mars
Water Down the Ganges 7:10 Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas
Complicated 4:07 Yonder Mountain String Band
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Knock On Wood 4:13 Safri Duo
Amma 6:26 James Asher & Sivamani
Feel It All – Band Jam 3:50 KT Tunstall
Give Me Strength 4:03 Sally Taylor
Jai Radha Madhav 6:27 Deva Premal

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015, 1055am ~ Spring. Loaded. (Earth Day! Birth Day! with Mary Linn!)

Song for the Life 3:53 Kathy Mattea
Rocky Mountain High 4:46 John Denver
Saracen 5:03 Jeff Stott
Nature 4:25 India.Arie
Smokey Quartz 6:59 Shakatura
Born 2B Wild 7:59 Puff Dragon
(Nothing But) Flowers 5:36 Talking Heads
Dancing is Important 5:37 Moodswings
Down To Earth 5:59 Peter Gabriel
The Garden Song 3:51 David Mallett
A Stream With Bright Fish 3:57 Brian Eno & Harold Budd

Thursday, Apr 23, 2015, 9am ~ Spring. Loaded.

Amazing 4:15 One Eskimo
The Hush 5:24 Rae & Christian
Smooth 5:00 Santana
Corazon Espinado 4:38 Santana
Smokey Quartz 6:59 Shakatura
Born 2B Wild 7:59 Puff Dragon
Centerfield 3:51 John Fogerty
Jogando Capoeira 6:20 Beatfanatic
Solo Flying Mystery Man 3:29 Faithless
Scare Away the Dark 4:39 Passenger
Garden Song 3:51 David Mallett
A Stream With Bright Fish 3:57 Brian Eno & Harold Budd

Friday, Apr 24, 2015, 6pm ~ ROAR at Buck Mountain Episcopal

The focus for this class was based on the research of Amy Cuddy as she describes it in her 2012 TED Talk. Check it out here.

 

One Billion Rising 5:19 Catherine Feeny
Beautiful (Radio Mix) 3:54 Audio Adrenaline
Just the Way You Are 3:41 Bruno Mars
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) 3:42 Kelly Clarkson
Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars) 4:31 Mark Ronson
Break The Chain 4:32 Tena Clark
One Billion Hands 4:05 Lourds Lane
Roar 3:44 Katy Perry
Dog Days Are Over 3:41 Florence And The Machine
Shaking the Tree 6:26 Peter Gabriel / Youssou N’Dour
Phenomenal Woman 4:24 Ruthie Foster
Beautiful 4:06 India.Arie

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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