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Lots of juicy, awareness-expanding and heart-stretching dancing this week. Thanks to Helen Terry and Mary Linn for a jamba jam on Friday night. If you couldn’t be with us and would like to offer some love the the Nia Houston community, you can go here.

After seeing the art for this week’s focus, my friend Adrienne sent me this beautiful essay by Thich Nhat Hanh that eloquently explains the Both And principle.

And this is the poem I read in some classes this week:

Surrender by James Yates

Surrendering to all that arises,
Surrendering to the resistance to all that arises,
Letting it have its way with me,
Letting it break my heart open,
Letting it break the barrier between
Me and you,
Mine and yours,
Here and there,
Now and then,
Within and without,
Right and wrong,
Life and death,
Suffering and enlightenment,
Between one and all.

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!

There is so much happening in our vibrant community. Here is a listing of the seriously great things coming up:

CHARLOTTESVILLE WHITE BELT TRAINING public classes
In addition to the training, Helen will be offering classes open to the public at the Parish Hall of the Buck Mountain Episcopal Church in Earlysville (4133 Earlysville Road, Earlysville VA ~ the small white building just past the church). The remaining classes are:
Saturday, Sept 16 6-7pm
Sunday, Sept 17 10-11am
Classes are $15 each or 4/$40

Autumn Equinox Event at Sevenoaks Retreat Center in Madison on September 19
Find Equanimity in these Turbulent Times at an Autumn Equinox Ceremony at Sevenoaks Retreat Center
(403 Pathwork Way, Madison, Va. 22727). Tuesday September 19, 12 noon – 8:00 PM – Come for any or all of the day. Strengthen and ground in this ancient and universal seasonal ritual and remember the inner union and peace that underlie our outer dramas and conflicts.
Remembering our depth will help us weather the storms of Life that disturb the changing surface, but do not touch the eternal Center.

I’m glad to be part of this afternoon/evening celebration. I’ll be teaching the Love Warrior routine from 12:30-1:45pm and there are lots of other offerings to enjoy. The day will include:
Equinox Medicine Wheel Ceremony
Drumming class
“Love Warrior” NIA dance class with Susan (12:30-1:45pm)
Falling into Winter: Dying into Death: A Pathwork Process of Surrender.
Deepen through story into Source–from “Women Who Run With Wolves”
A Quaker/ Meditation Meeting,
Pot-luck supper,
Ending with a Fire Circle.
Come for any or all events.
Contribution requested, but open to everyone. For more information and to register: https://www.sevenoaksretreat.org/events/autumn-equinox-ceremony/

A Day Away: a retreat for you
Take a day to rest, to move and dance, to make something, to eat nourishing food, to be together. On September 30, join me and Rebecca George for a day of self-care and relaxation at the Buck Mountain Episcopal Parish Hall in Earlysville.

Set down whatever you’re carrying, take a breath and feel the restorative power of a day away.

$100. Please register by September 25. Limited to 20 participants.
Checks to SusaNia LLC and mailed to 1255 Sunset Avenue Ext., Charlottesville VA 22903 with indication of any food intolerances or at http://www.susanmcculley.com.

Moving to Heal Nia Training October 8-9 with Jule Aquirre
This training is designed for teachers and non-teachers and will be held on Sat and Sun, October 7 & 8 with trainer Jule Aquirre at the Tango Studio downtown. Designed with the unifying theme of healing, Moving to Heal (MTH) training provides you with the knowledge and skills to deliver and experience therapeutic benefits in the Nia class experience. For more information and to register go to: https://nianow.com/node/1182936
ALSO, Jule will offer a master class on that Saturday (10/7) at the Tango studio at 5:30 pm

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, Sep 11, 2017, 11am ~ Both And

Dark Road 3:49 Annie Lennox
Light You Up 3:51 Shawn Mullins
Rafiki (Sidewalk Mix) 6:25 Bob Holroyd
Don’t Say 5:47 Deep Dive Corp.
Blood Stud (Ray Mang Remix) 8:36 MB Disco
Reconfluence 6:19 Bob Holroyd
U R The Answer 5:57 Stephen Bray/ Michael Beckwith
Lovers of Light 3:58 Afro Celt Sound System
Dark Moon, High Tide 4:12 Afro Celt Sound System
Long As I Can See the Light 3:16 Marc Cohn
Light 7:22 Hans Zimmer & Johnny Mori

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017, 840am ~ Both And

Dark Road 3:49 Annie Lennox
Light You Up 3:51 Shawn Mullins
Rafiki (Sidewalk Mix) 6:25 Bob Holroyd
Don’t Say 5:47 Deep Dive Corp.
Blood Stud (Ray Mang Remix) 8:36 MB Disco
Reconfluence 6:19 Bob Holroyd
U R The Answer 5:57 Stephen Bray/ Michael Beckwith
Lovers of Light 3:58 Afro Celt Sound System
Dark Moon, High Tide 4:12 Afro Celt Sound System
Long As I Can See the Light 3:16 Marc Cohn

Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017, 11am ~ Both And

Dark Road 3:49 Annie Lennox
Light You Up 3:51 Shawn Mullins
The Flame 6:51 Deep Dive Corp.
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Down To Love 6:34 Hot Toddy
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
Scare Away the Dark 4:39 Passenger
Let Your Light Shine 4:06 Keb’ Mo’
Put Your Lights On 4:45 Santana Feat. Everlast
Long As I Can See the Light 3:16 Marc Cohn
Light 7:22 Hans Zimmer & Johnny Mori

Thursday, Sep 14, 2017, 840am ~ Both And

Dark Road 3:49 Annie Lennox
Light You Up 3:51 Shawn Mullins
The Flame 6:51 Deep Dive Corp.
Heartbreaker 5:24 Crazy P
Down To Love 6:34 Hot Toddy
Steal Drum 7:07 The Martin Brothers
Let Your Light Shine 4:06 Keb’ Mo’
Put Your Lights On 4:45 Santana Feat. Everlast
Long As I Can See the Light 3:16 Marc Cohn
Light 7:22 Hans Zimmer & Johnny Mori

Friday, Sep 15, 2017, 9am for Anne ~ Both And

Dark Road 3:49 Annie Lennox
Light You Up 3:51 Shawn Mullins
Rafiki (Sidewalk Mix) 6:25 Bob Holroyd
Don’t Say 5:47 Deep Dive Corp.
Blood Stud (Ray Mang Remix) 8:36 MB Disco
Reconfluence 6:19 Bob Holroyd
U R The Answer 5:57 Stephen Bray/ Michael Beckwith
Shining Light 4:32 Annie Lennox
Long As I Can See the Light 3:16 Marc Cohn
Light 7:22 Hans Zimmer & Johnny Mori

Friday, Sep 15, 2017, 7-815pm~ Dance and Donate: Jam for Nia Houston with Mary Linn and Helen

You’ve Got a Friend (feat. Aretha Franklin) 6:02 Tapestry Revisited – Bebe & Cece Winans featuring Aretha Franklin
American Honey 3:45 Lady Antebellum
Drumming Up a Storm 6:01 Bob Holroyd
Texas Flood 5:22 Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
I Feel The Earth Move 5:00 Eternal
Let the Good Times Roll (San Quentin) 5:08 B.B. King Live at San Quentin
We Come Together (Fishy Beat Mix) 3:48 Goldfish Feat. Sakhile Moleshe
Texas Cookin’ 4:25 George Strait
That’s Right (You’re Not from Texas) 4:55 Lyle Lovett
Give A Little Bit 3:36 The Goo Goo Dolls
Dark Waters 4:35 Bob Holroyd
The Water is Wide 3:03 James Taylor
One Voice 3:24 The Wailin’ Jennys

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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decoding the details 3 013016

If you’d asked me a couple of months ago, I would have told you that Jazz just wasn’t my cup of tea (or shot of bourbon or whatever the Jazz-appropriate beverage is). I would have said it was discordant and random and long and frankly, irritating.

Lately, though, Frank’s been turning on a Jazz station in the evenings. And I like it. Well, I like some of it. A lot of it. Sometimes, I slam my teeth together and a painful noise but mostly, I like the feel of the sound.

Years ago when Green Day released their first album, I had a friend who was a huge fan. When he played their music it sounded crazy and loud and indecipherable to me. He said, It’s just unfamiliar. Once you listen for a while, you’ll get it. He was right.

With that in mind, Frank and I signed up for an online Jazz Appreciation course. We’re learning about different genres, the history, the classic songs, and we’re learning (slowly) how to understand forms of jazz.

It’s like we are breaking the code of the music. We’re listening and counting and counting and listening and confused and then, Ooh, yeah! There’s the change! It’s like understanding a different language or being in on a joke. Oh yeah, I get it.


have this feeling when I count music using the 8BC system in Nia. It’s a genius system, developed by Nia co-founder Carlos Rosas, and it creates a map for any song with a beat. With the 8BCs, I can decode the rhythm and speed, the sections, and the details within a song.

But it took me a while to figure it out.

I struggled mightily (and avoided the 8BCs) for years and it wasn’t until my friend and mentor, Helen Terry, showed me the joy and play of decoding music that I started to love the system. We call in “doing the bars” and Helen got me hooked on it.

Once Helen taught a song in class – Big Lie Small World by Sting – with the most unusual choreography. The movements made sense in my body but didn’t follow any pattern I’d ever danced before. I asked her was the Sam Hill was up with it, and she said, Do the bars.

I popped that Sting CD into my car stereo and I listened dozens and dozens of times. I’d listen and get lost and get lost and listen and count and get nowhere. But then one day (and I can tell you exactly where I was when it happened), I heard it. I broke the code. I felt like an 8BC super hero.


What the jazz course and the 8BC system is to music, meditation is to the mind and emotions. If I’m feeling a whole bunch of everything and my head is a mad house and my heart is pounding, getting still, pausing to sit can help me decode what’s happening.

Meditation allows me the space to feel physical sensation, label emotions that are moving through, notice when and what I’m thinking. Sometimes I just stay confused and upset, only calmer. Other times, I break the code: Oh, right. I’m embarrassed. I’m angry. I’m afraid. That’s what’s happening.


Whether I’m decoding music or my mind, the practice is noticing the details, becoming more familiar, more intimate with what’s happening. Sometimes (like in bebop or when I unexpectedly do something ridiculous), I’m still confused. But sometimes, sometimes, I break the code.



BONUS: Some Nia routines have codes built into them: recurring patterns or movements. Kelle Rae Oien’s Pulse routine has a code that shows up in almost every song. Here’s a hint.

DOUBLE BONUS: Tomorrow is the start of the 28-Day Meditation Challenge sponsored by one of my favorite teachers, Sharon Salzberg. Whether you are brand new to meditation or you are renewing your existing practice, this is a great way to get some support and community. I’m also blogging about my experience every day (ish) with a mandala that I’ll post on my A Thousand Beautiful Things blog (and on the 28-Day blogging site, too). Join me there!

safe crumbling 010916

What does “safe” really mean?

The year before last was a doozy in my little world. That year helped me see that safety is relative.

My beloved husband herniated a disc when he unloaded a bunch of shingles onto a roof and then carried a big fat piece of granite. There is risk in physical work.

Laid low by the herniated disc, my husband was only able to sleep on one side. He then developed excruciating bursitis in the shoulder he slept on. There is risk in sleeping.

An acquaintance who was my very age died in a mountain biking accident. There is risk in riding.

A father of a friend died on his way to the kitchen. The six-year-old daughter of another friend was killed in a car accident on the way to her Daddy’s house. There is risk in living.

Risk can make me want to avoid the “causes”: don’t carry heavy things, don’t sleep in one position, don’t ride mountain bikes. But this risk avoidance starts to break down: don’t go to the kitchen? don’t ride in cars? don’t live? It occurs to me that nothing is really safe.

We can’t avoid risk. Risk is implicit in living. In fact, it’s risky to attempt to live a risk-free life. Debbie Rosas, one of Nia’s co-founders, often says that the most dangerous thing you can do is sit (and the Sitting is the New Smoking movement agrees with her). While Debbie is referring, I think, to the physical implications of a sedentary life, I would go further to argue that avoiding risk is detrimental to the mind, emotions and spirit, too.

So how do we find the balance between safety and adventure, carefulness and exploration, caution and growth?

Helen Terry, my Nia mentor calls it taking safe risks. Lizzie Clark, my hot yoga guru says, “Be fearless, never reckless.”

This is the balance I want to strike in my work, my practice, my life.

A safe risk, a fearless but not reckless choice is both deeply personal and always changing. For some people, just showing up in one of my classes or going to a yoga class in a hot room is a huge risk. For others it may be wearing bright colors or making sound. What feels easy peasy to you, might feel terrifying to me.

Part of what I love about practicing together is that we can all find our own edge to dance on. Each of us can, moment to moment, find the place of aliveness and possibility without carelessness. By choosing safe risks, we are moving into our potential.

The challenge is that we live in community, in a society full of people with differing opinions about what is safe and what is reckless. Even in my classes, the conversation about the safety of the temperature in the room and the volume of the music can get heated in a hurry.

As in the studio, so in the larger world. Politicians talk about “keeping America safe” but honestly, what does that even mean? For a country of our size and diversity, safety seems like a hollow promise. Does “keeping America safe” mean mass deportations and military operations around the globe? Does it mean legalizing drugs or not? Does it mean using chemicals in order to grow enough food or does it mean growing organically so the food we eat doesn’t have chemicals in it?

Yesterday, I saw a customer in Whole Foods carrying a gun. Why in the world someone would need a pistol in the produce department is a bafflement to me. I can tell you for sure that I did not feel safe shopping with him. Did I really think he was going to use it? No. But the potential that he could rattled me more than I expected.

I didn’t bolt the store as some said they would have. I finished my shopping, said hello to a friend, waited to check out. I asked the cashier and manager about the firearms policy. I’ve written to the store to tell them I think it’s a truly dreadful idea to have guns in a grocery store. I plan to contact Whole Foods Headquarters to learn more.

Here’s the thing: I think many things we think are dangerous actually aren’t and many things we think are safe actually aren’t. If that’s true, then feelings of both danger and safety are at least nebulous and perhaps illusory. Even within our complex culture, all any of us can do is listen to our own inner wisdom about choosing what we risk doing and what we don’t.

I will continue to do hot yoga, wear my crazy pants and make sound in class. I will continue to drive and go into the kitchen and ride my bike. But perhaps I will change where I shop.

helen class image 2014
It’s been a big week of movement, music and magic for sure. Thanks to all who braved the weather during the week, to those who joined us for Helen Terry’s special class, and those who came to play with Mary Linn and me and Miracle.

Below is the music from the week ~ thanks to Helen for sharing her playlist!

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

Dance on. Shine on.

Susan sig

Monday, Feb 23, 2015, 1045am ~ No Words

Plazza [Base Mix] 4:02 Dust
A New Day 4:03 Laya Project
Biene Maya 4:06 Daniel Levez
Resolution (Rewound By Thievery Corporation) 4:02 Thievery Corporation
Look Up 5:56 Zero 7
Release It [Instrumental] 6:27 Afro Celt Sound System
Shisha 5:20 Naked Rhythm
Once Again (Live) 6:04 Hang Massive
Curried Ripples 5:03 Ganga Girl
Outro 6:24 Hang Massive
Wishful Thinking 5:32 The Album Leaf
A Stream With Bright Fish 3:57 Brian Eno & Harold Budd

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015, 9am ~ No Words

Plazza [Base Mix] 4:02 Dust
A New Day 4:03 Laya Project
Biene Maya 4:06 Daniel Levez
Resolution (Rewound By Thievery Corporation) 4:02 Thievery Corporation
Look Up 5:56 Zero 7
Release It [Instrumental] 6:27 Afro Celt Sound System
Shisha 5:20 Naked Rhythm
Once Again (Live) 6:04 Hang Massive
Curried Ripples 5:03 Ganga Girl
Outro 6:24 Hang Massive
Wishful Thinking 5:32 The Album Leaf
A Stream With Bright Fish 3:57 Brian Eno & Harold Budd

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015, 1055am ~ No Words

Plazza [Base Mix] 4:02 Dust
A New Day 4:03 Laya Project
Biene Maya 4:06 Daniel Levez
Resolution (Rewound By Thievery Corporation) 4:02 Thievery Corporation
Look Up 5:56 Zero 7
Release It [Instrumental] 6:27 Afro Celt Sound System
Shisha 5:20 Naked Rhythm
Once Again (Live) 6:04 Hang Massive
Curried Ripples 5:03 Ganga Girl
Outro 6:24 Hang Massive
Wishful Thinking 5:32 The Album Leaf

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015, 9am ~ No Words

Plazza [Base Mix] 4:02 Dust
A New Day 4:03 Laya Project
Biene Maya 4:06 Daniel Levez
Resolution (Rewound By Thievery Corporation) 4:02 Thievery Corporation
Look Up 5:56 Zero 7
Release It [Instrumental] 6:27 Afro Celt Sound System
Shisha 5:20 Naked Rhythm
Once Again (Live) 6:04 Hang Massive
Curried Ripples 5:03 Ganga Girl
Outro 6:24 Hang Massive
Wishful Thinking 5:32 The Album Leaf
A Stream With Bright Fish 3:57 Brian Eno & Harold Budd

Friday, February 27, 2015, 545pm ~ Special Nia Class: Rising with Helen Terry

Lift The Wings 2:04 Bill Whelan
Feeling Good 3:57 Michael Bublé I
Rise 7:37 Herb Alpert
Rise 4:21 Samantha
Womans World – Tribute to Cher 3:44 Heart Music
Rise Above [Remix] 6:17 Afro Celt Sound System
Rise Up 5:58 Karsh Kale
You raise me up 4:51 Josh Groban
Raise It Up 2:28 The IMPACT Repertory Theatre
Long Time Sun 4:00 Anatam Kaur
Holy Morn 2:25 Tina Malia

Saturday, February 28, 2015, 9am and 1235pm ~ Miracle with Susan and Mary Linn

Miracle 7:30 Olive
This Time 4:44 Olive
Why 5:00 Enigma
Shadow in Silence 4:22 Enigma
The Child in Us 5:06 Enigma
Dancing is Important 5:37 Moodswings
Blind Television 5:23 Jammin’ Unit
Splendid 6:07 Marschmellos
Thank You 6:26 Sinead O’Connor
Bless This 7:21 Deseo Remixes (original by Jon Anderson)

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! 

flength strexibility lionOne of the biggest criticisms of hot yoga practices is that in the heat, bodies over-stretch and lose joint stability. I think if hot yoga is practiced with Flength, drawing energy in as much as sending it out, balance will be maintained even in a hot environment.

Sometimes people say I’m strong but I don’t have the flexibility to do Nia or Yoga. I think it’s a matter of cultivating a state of Strexibility, allowing energy to move out as well as in, to optimize comfort, ease and health in the body.

That’s what we went with this week: Flength and Strexibility and below please find all the playlists.

But first…

Announce-y type things:

Join me for Sharon Salzberg’s 28-Day Meditation Challenge! It’s not too late to join meditation teacher and author, Sharon Salzberg for her yearly 28-Day Meditation challenge. I blogging every day about the experience on her site and you can follow me and the other meditator-writers here.

No Words launch at Buck Mountain Episcopal Church in Earlysville. I’m excited to be debuting my No Words routine on Friday, February 13 at 6pm at the Buck Mountain Parish Hall at 4133 Earlysville Road. Music and movement are human expressions beyond language. This routine combines all-instrumental music with wordless teaching to offer a meditative, energizing, and personal experience. Hosted by the Buck Mountain Health and Wellness Ministry, the class is free and open to everyone with the request for donations toward the committee’s work in the community.

– The most extraordinary thing is happening. Wednesday, February 18 would have been Chloe Rose Leong’s 7th birthday. After Chloe was killed in a car accident on December 22, 2014, her mother and our friend and Nia Teacher, Mary Linn’s fondest wish is to have Chloe’s life remembered by letting go of the to-do list and appreciating how precious our time is together. In that spirit, Mary Linn invites us all to celebrate Chloe’s birthday as Brownies for Breakfast Day ~ do brownies for breakfast, or find your own ways to slow down, spend time with, and truly be in gratitude for your family, friends, and especially any children in your life. As of this writing, over 17,000 people around the world are participating in this event. I’ll teach a special play-full, drum-full class that day, Wednesday, February 18, 1055am-12noon at acac Albemarle Square. How will you celebrate Brownies for Breakfast Day?

Jeanne Catherine hosts a Magic Nia event at Divine Play on February 21! Find all the details here.

Helen Terry returns to Charlottesville for a special Nia class on Friday, February 27 at 545pm at acac downtown! It’s a chance to dance with a gifted and experienced trainer to her routine “Rising.” Space is limited to early registration is strongly recommended. You can get details here. $20/members and $25/non-members. Please register with acac downtown member services ~ 434.984.3800

Mary Linn has been grateful for the simple meals the community has offered on the nights when she is teaching. We’ve added some dates, so please consider giving her some nourishment by going here.

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

Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sigMonday, Feb 9, 2015, 1045am ~ Flength & Strexibility

The Rising 4:47 Bruce Springsteen
A Different Space 8:43 Bob Holroyd
Resolution (Rewound By Thievery Corporation) 4:02 Thievery Corporation
Succumb to Me 5:15 Terence Trent D’Arby
What Do You Say 5:00 Haley
Mafich Aravi 8:03 Banco de Gaia
Freek 7:16 Shakatura
Diavolo In Me (Devil In Me) 4:05 Zucchero & Solomon Burke
You’re the Ocean 3:49 Teitur
Long Bone 5:16 Sofa Surfers
Give Me Strength 4:03 Sally Taylor

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2015, 9am ~ Flength & Strexibility

Streetcorner Symphony 4:09 Rob Thomas
Journeyman – AO 6:41 Bob Holroyd
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Short Skirt / Long Jacket 3:28 Cake
Drumming Up a Storm 5:59 Bob Holroyd
What I Be 4:45 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Start Wearing Purple 3:43 Gogol Bordello
Best Day of My Life 3:14 American Authors
Proud 4:30 Heather Small
Born At The Right Time 3:48 Paul Simon
Floater 4:51 Waldeck
A Day In The Life, Across The Universe 5:28 The John Lennon Song Project

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2015, 1055am ~ Flength & Strexibility

Song for Olabi 6:07 Bliss
Fast Love 5:27 George Michael
Palais Mascotte 5:47 Patrick Duvoisin
Spinning the Wheel 6:24 George Michael
Dance Floor (Nu Brazilia Remix) 5:28 The Tao Of Groove
Up In Indiana 4:36 Lyle Lovett
Rhythm Is? (Marques Wyatt Mix) 5:49 Afro-Mystik
Waiting On The World To Change 3:21 John Mayer
Porcelain 3:55 Moby
Yu 9:59 Ishq

Thursday, Feb 12, 2015, 9am ~ Flength & Strexibility

Sacred Light 4:56 Bob Holroyd
Rafiki (Sidewalk Mix) 6:25 Bob Holroyd
Palais Mascotte 5:47 Patrick Duvoisin
No Quiero Nada Mas 4:46 Sancti Spiritus
Keep On Searching 5:08 Kraak & Smaak
Dance Floor (Nu Brazilia Remix) 5:28 The Tao Of Groove
U R The Answer 5:57 Stephen Bray/ Michael Beckwith
Played A Live 6:46 Safri Duo
Sunsethighway 4:00 Kiln
Give Me Strength 4:03 Sally Taylor
Lydia 5:58 Tim Story

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!

And if you’re a belt, Helen Terry is coming to the Charlottesville area for a Blue Belt training in February! An exciting opportunity to deepen your practice!

the thread pinkWhen she was starting Gampo Abbey a Western Buddhist monastery in Nova Scotia, Pema Chodron’s teacher said, “Watch how it evolves and make decisions based on what is happening, not your plans or expectations.”

Her teacher was talking about the thread.

The intent behind the focus this week ~ The Thread ~ is to apply this wise counsel to our days. Can I simply follow the thread of my experience/day/class/life instead of rolling it into a tightly-planned ball or obsessively dissecting the fibers? It is a challenge for me to set my vision and intent for the future but to stay relaxed and present enough to make choices based on what is actually happening. And therein lies the wisdom.

We danced to lots of music this week about being present and living in the moment, about the “dangerous and irresistible pastime” of planning and obsessing, about how “the years just flow by like a broken down dam.” Below please find all the playlists from The Threads this week.

But first…

Announce-y type things:

Join me for Sharon Salzberg’s 28-Day Meditation Challenge! One of my favorite meditation teacher and author, Sharon Salzberg sponsors a yearly 28-Day Meditation challenge during the month of February. Everyone is welcome whether you’ve been sitting for years or you’ve never meditated not even once. It’s not too late to jump in and be part of the mindful community. I am writing about the experience on her site most days and you can follow me and the other meditator-writers here. Commit to sit by signing the pledge and being part of a month of mindfulness.

No Words launch at Buck Mountain Episcopal Church in Earlysville. I’m excited to be debuting my new No Words routine on Friday, February 13 at 6pm at the Buck Mountain Parish Hall at 4133 Earlysville Road. Music and movement are human expressions beyond language. This routine combines all-instrumental music with wordless teaching to offer a meditative, energizing, and personal experience. Hosted by the Buck Mountain Wellness Ministry, the class is free and open to everyone with the request for donations toward the committee’s work in the community.

Jeanne Catherine hosts a Magic Nia event at Divine Play on February 21! Jeanne will teach! There will be a potluck! The world will be a better place! Find all the details here.

Helen Terry returns to Charlottesville for a special Nia class on Friday, February 27 at 545pm at acac downtown! It’s a chance to dance with a gifted and experienced trainer to her routine “Rising.” Space is limited to early registration is strongly recommended. You can get details here. $20/members and $25/non-members. Spaces are limited and filling so please register with acac downtown member services ~ 434.984.3800

– After the death of her daughter in December, our friend and teacher, Mary Linn is breathing into the month of February. Chloe’s 7th birthday would have been on February 18. Mary Linn invites us all to celebrate it as Brownies for Breakfast Day  ~ do brownies for breakfast, or find your own ways to slow down, spend time with, and truly be in gratitude for your family, friends, and especially any children in your life. I’ll teach a special play-full, drum-full class that day, Wednesday, February 18, 1055am-12noon at acac Albemarle Square.

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

Dance on. Shine on.
Susan sig

Monday, Feb 2, 2015, 1045am ~ The Thread

Coming Back To Life 6:19 Pink Floyd
Living In The Moment 3:55 Jason Mraz
Never Know 3:33 Jack Johnson
Drifting Away (Paradiso Mix) 5:07 Faithless
Drive By 3:16 Train
Drop 4:56 Cornelius
Life Begins Again [Featuring Robert Plant] 6:22 Afro Celt Sound System
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Life Less Ordinary 3:35 Carbon Leaf
This 3:33 Brian Eno
The Book Of My Life (Feat. Anoushka Shankar) 6:16 Sting
This Is Your Life 4:18 Switchfoot
Angel from Montgomery 3:32 Louisa Wimberger w John Kelly and Johnsmith*
Intro 1:44 Ishq

Tuesday, Feb 3, 2015, 9am ~ The Thread

A Thousand Beautiful Things 3:07 Annie Lennox
A New Day 4:03 Laya Project
Back to the Earth 5:27 Rusted Root
Dance of Sarasvati 9:07 Kitaro
Right Here Right Now 5:57 Fatboy Slim
Ecstasy 5:02 Rusted Root
Lady Marmalade 4:25 Christina Aguilera
Wombo Lombo 4:14 Angelique Kudjo
Minimba Featuring Mari Boine 5:55 Future Prophecies
Angel from Montgomery 3:32 Louisa Wimberger w John Kelly and Johnsmith*
Kindheit B. Pesch / Sein Leben (Filmmusik zum Dokumentarfilm), 2002 2:21 Bruno Groening

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015, 1055am ~ The Thread

Streetcorner Symphony 4:09 Rob Thomas
Journeyman – AO 6:41 Bob Holroyd
When Doves Cry 4:04 The Be Good Tanyas
Drumming Up a Storm 5:59 Bob Holroyd
What I Be 4:45 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Start Wearing Purple 3:43 Gogol Bordello
Best Day of My Life 3:14 American Authors
Proud 4:30 Heather Small
Born At The Right Time 3:48 Paul Simon
Keep Breathing 3:28 Ingrid Michaelson
Floater 4:51 Waldeck
A Day In The Life, Across The Universe 5:28 The John Lennon Song Project

Thursday, Feb 5, 2015, 9am ~ The Thread

Coming Back To Life 6:19 Pink Floyd
Living In The Moment 3:55 Jason Mraz
Never Know 3:33 Jack Johnson
Drifting Away (Paradiso Mix) 5:07 Faithless
Drive By 3:16 Train
Drop 4:56 Cornelius
Life Begins Again [Featuring Robert Plant] 6:22 Afro Celt Sound System
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) 3:52 Michael Franti & Spearhead
Life Less Ordinary 3:35 Carbon Leaf
This 3:33 Brian Eno
The Book Of My Life (Feat. Anoushka Shankar) 6:16 Sting
This Is Your Life 4:18 Switchfoot
Angel from Montgomery 3:32 Louisa Wimberger w John Kelly and Johnsmith*
Intro 1:44 Ishq

* This gorgeous cover of John Prine’s masterpiece is unpublished. I have permission from the artists to share it if you’d like it. Just email me at sjmnia@gmail.com

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!

And if you’re a belt, Helen Terry is coming to the Charlottesville area for a Blue Belt training in February! An exciting opportunity to deepen your practice!

honest and gentle ampersand
“Let’s be honest with ourselves here…”
“Be gentle on me…”
Honest & Gentle.
The magic is all in the ampersand.

Below please find the music from a week of dancing in the space between Honest & Gentle. Gonest? Hentle?
We played with a couple of songs from the upcoming routine, No Words (see information about the launch below), Covers Uncovers and some Nia classics. EnJoy.

But first a few Announce-y type things:

Sharon Salzberg’s 28-Day Meditation Challenge! begins on Sunday. One of my favorite meditation teachers, Sharon Salzberg sponsors a yearly 28-Day Meditation challenge during the month of February. I will be one of the bloggers writing about the experience on her site and you can follow me and the other meditator-writers here. Commit to 28 days of meditation by signing the pledge and being part of a month of mindfulness.

No Words launch at Buck Mountain Episcopal Church in Earlysville. I’m excited to be debuting my No Words routine on Friday, February 13 at 6pm at the Buck Mountain Parish Hall at 4133 Earlysville Road. Music and movement are human expressions beyond language. This routine combines all-instrumental music with wordless teaching to offer a meditative, energizing, and personal experience. Hosted by the Buck Mountain Wellness Ministry, the class is free and open to everyone with the request for donations toward the committee’s work in the community.

Helen Terry returns to Charlottesville for a special Nia class on Friday, February 27 at 545pm at acac downtown! It’s a chance to dance with a gifted and experienced trainer to her routine “Rising.” Space is limited to early registration is strongly recommended. You can get details here. $20/members and $25/non-members. Please register with acac downtown member services ~ 434.984.3800

– Our friend and teacher, Mary Linn is taking one day at a time after the death of her only daughter, Chloe, in a car accident on December 22. Much gratitude for the Invisible Net of Love that has surrounded her in these darkest of days. The meal schedule is full through the end of February, so please check back to these Thursday posts and here and here for information for more dates as they are needed. Donations are still needed as the realness of lawyers and legal proceedings and therapy of all kinds continues.

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

Dance on. Shine on.

Susan sig

Monday, Jan 26, 2015, 1045am ~ Honest & Gentle

Wonderwall 4:09 Ryan Adams
You Can’t Always Get What You Want 6:47 Rusted Root
Love The One You’re With 5:03 Luther Vandross
I Will Survive 5:11 Cake
More Than This 4:07 10,000 Maniacs
Super Freak 4:04 Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby
Higher Ground 3:22 Red Hot Chili Peppers
Shisha 5:20 Naked Rhythm
Da Ya Think I’m Sexy (Feat. Rod Stewart) 4:22 N-Trance
Sweet Child o’ Mine (Rick Rubin…) 3:56 Sheryl Crow
Dancing Queen 5:21 Nils Landgren Funk Unit
The Joker 4:46 k.d. lang
Bridge over Troubled Water 5:32 Eva Cassidy

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015, 9am ~ Honest & Gentle

Sajanna 5:06 Badmarsh & Shri
Nourah 6:51 Makyo
Smokey Quartz 6:59 Shakatura
Exploration 5:31 Karminsky
Amor Real 7:26 Jon Anderson
Ghosts in My Machine 3:33 Annie Lennox
The Hearts A Lonely Hunter 6:22 Thievery Corporation
Push It Up (feat. Kylie Auldist) 3:37 Cookin’ On 3 Burners
The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) 4:16 Jason Mraz
Long Bone 5:16 Sofa Surfers
Wishful Thinking 5:32 The Album Leaf

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015, 1055am ~ Honest & Gentle

A Thousand Beautiful Things 3:07 Annie Lennox
A New Day 4:03 Laya Project
Back to the Earth 5:27 Rusted Root
Dance of Sarasvati 9:07 Kitaro
Right Here Right Now 5:57 Fatboy Slim
Ecstasy 5:02 Rusted Root
Lady Marmalade 4:25 Christina Aguilera
Wombo Lombo 4:14 Angelique Kudjo
Minimba Featuring Mari Boine 5:55 Future Prophecies
Flame And Circle 6:08 Tim Story

Thursday, Jan 29, 2015, 9am ~ Honest & Gentle

Wonderwall 4:09 Ryan Adams
You Can’t Always Get What You Want 6:47 Rusted Root
Love The One You’re With 5:03 Luther Vandross
I Will Survive 5:11 Cake
More Than This 4:07 10,000 Maniacs
Super Freak 4:04 Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby
Higher Ground 3:22 Red Hot Chili Peppers
Shisha 5:20 Naked Rhythm
Da Ya Think I’m Sexy (Feat. Rod Stewart) 4:22 N-Trance
Sweet Child o’ Mine (Rick Rubin…) 3:56 Sheryl Crow
The Joker 4:46 k.d. lang
Bridge over Troubled Water 5:32 Eva Cassidy
A Stream With Bright Fish 3:57 Brian Eno & Harold Budd

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!

And if you’re a belt, Helen Terry is coming to the Charlottesville area for a Blue Belt training in February! An exciting opportunity to deepen your practice!

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