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At its essence, embodied presence is about getting body and mind together in the same place at the same time. Simple and complicated as that. It takes practice to gather our scattered parts even for short bursts and it’s one of the main reasons I do the mindful work (and play) we do together. It’s a big enough topic that we’ll be focusing on it next week, too (only a little different flavor).

Kurt Vonnegut reminds us that life is a garden, not a road and what matters is not where you go but what you notice. So what did you notice this week? Spring is springing in Virginia, so there is plenty in the natural world to notice, not to mention in our internal landscapes. Please share any of your noticings in the comments so we can all be reminded to invest in the sensation of the moment. (P.S. Did you notice all the critters and creatures in the garden art?)

Below are our playlists for the week. If you’d like to listen to the music, you can find almost all the songs on Spotify (you can listen for free)! As always, please let me know if you have any questions about any of the music we dance to!

And friends, I am always ALWAYS looking for new music. Do you have a song that you love to move to or that moves you? I’d love to know what it is! Please respond in the comments below or email me at sjmnia@gmail.com!

Before the playlists, some announcements of things that are happening!

First Friday Freedance with Kate ~ April 5 at 11:25am
Nia Freedance is an opportunity to play and tap into the creative wisdom in our body, emotions, mind and spirit. For a full hour we get to dance together with the intention of stimulating our own unique movement creativity. The next Nia Freedance will be at ACAC Albemarle Square Friday, April 5 from 11:25 -12:25.

Honoring the Effect of Trauma in our Lives with Larry Goldstein and Wendy Hubbard April 27
Larry Goldstein and Wendy Hubbard lead a workshop on releasing the grip of trauma using structures work, personal stories, and group work. Structures enable a person to go back safely to a traumatic memory with crucial support that was missing then and offers fresh options — an alternative memory – a different outcome in which basic human needs are met and longing for love and protection are fulfilled. This reconstructs inner implicit memory maps in the brain and helps people become viscerally acquainted with feelings that were lacking early in their lives. Pre-course online class Saturday, April 20, 3-5pm, In Person One-Day Class Saturday, April 27, 10-6p, Post-course online class, Saturday, May 4, 3-5pm. Cost $150. Limited to 12 participants. To register and for more information, contact Wendy Hubbard at whubbard0@gmail.com.

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

Monday, Apr 1 2019, 1045am ~ Embodied Presence: Garden Not a Road

Garden 3:59 Sean Hayes
Cosmopole 6:39 Cantoma
Wander This World 4:51 Jonny Lang
Kintamani (Hanoman’s Forest Mix) 5:46 Transglobal Underground
Baya Baya 5:27 Safri Duo
Fallin’ High 6:00 Safri Duo
Garden Of Delights 2:36 Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
Marjaani Marjaani (From Billu) 5:26 Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh & Pritam
Wanderin’ 2:42 Chris Isaak Speak Of The Devil
New Morning 3:44 Alpha Rev
Tupelo Honey 3:37 Van Morrison
Skin Deep 4:30 Derek Trucks Band with Buddy Guy
Giuseppe Tornatore Suite: Malena (Main theme) 4:22 Yo-Yo Ma, Ennio Morricone & Roma Sinfonietta

Tuesday, Apr 2, 2018, 840am ~ Embodied Presence: Garden Not a Road

Garden 3:59 Sean Hayes
Cosmopole 6:39 Cantoma
Wander This World 4:51 Jonny Lang
Kintamani (Hanoman’s Forest Mix) 5:46 Transglobal Underground
Baya Baya 5:27 Safri Duo
Fallin’ High 6:00 Safri Duo
Garden Of Delights 2:36 Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
Marjaani Marjaani (From Billu) 5:26 Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh & Pritam
New Morning 3:44 Alpha Rev
Tupelo Honey 3:37 Van Morrison
Skin Deep 4:30 Derek Trucks Band with Buddy Guy

Wednesday, Apr 3, 2018, 11am ~ Embodied Presence: Garden Not a Road

Garden 3:59 Sean Hayes
Cosmopole 6:39 Cantoma
Wander This World 4:51 Jonny Lang
Kintamani (Hanoman’s Forest Mix) 5:46 Transglobal Underground
Baya Baya 5:27 Safri Duo
Fallin’ High 6:00 Safri Duo
There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back 3:19 Shawn Mendes
Marjaani Marjaani (From Billu) 5:26 Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh & Pritam
Wanderin’ 2:42 Chris Isaak
New Morning 3:44 Alpha Rev
Tupelo Honey 3:37 Van Morrison
On the Nature of Daylight 6:35 Max Richter Orchestra & Lorenz Dangel

Thursday, Apr 4, 2018, 840am ~ Embodied Presence: Garden Not a Road

Garden 3:59 Sean Hayes
Cosmopole 6:39 Cantoma
Wander This World 4:51 Jonny Lang
Kintamani (Hanoman’s Forest Mix) 5:46 Transglobal Underground
Baya Baya 5:27 Safri Duo
Fallin’ High 6:00 Safri Duo
There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back 3:19 Shawn Mendes
Marjaani Marjaani (From Billu) 5:26 Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh & Pritam
Wanderin’ 2:42 Chris Isaak
Tupelo Honey 3:37 Van Morrison
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!

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Quetico The Pines Trail 033After weeks of traveling, what a gift to be back together. Our focus this week was the essential nature of this practice, to keep returning to sensation without story or judgment. We played with the understanding that sensation and events are neutral, it’s our mind that makes it good or bad or pleasant or unpleasant or party or drama. Anchoring our attention in the direct experience of sensation gives is powerful grounding for whatever comes our way.

Below are all the playlists for the week and you can also find them on Spotify https://www.spotify.com/us/ where you can listen to all the music for free! Follow me at “susanmcculley” and you’ll find my public playlists ~ just click and listen! No matter where you are, we can listen and dance together! Note that if you are using the Spotify app for mobile devices, the program inserts “recommended” music that is not on my original playlist. Also, 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. Have fun with it.

A couple of things you might like to know about:

Team Teaching with Mary Linn September 7 and 8 ~ Now that we’re back in the same city, Mary Linn and I are excited to team teach a classic Carlos routine, Agolo. We’ll be sharing our version of this playful and joyful body of work on Labor Day, Monday, Sept 7, 11-1215pm at Albemarle Square, on Tuesday, Sept 8, 840-940am Downtown and 530-630pm at Albemarle Square.

Traveling Posts on A Thousand Beautiful Things ~ Find posts from my recent travels, photographs (phone camera only!), words, and essays about gratitude, beauty, mindfulness and more. Please join me there!

SAVE THE DATE: DANCE. SIT. WRITE. DAY SHOP HAPPENS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2015 ~ Mark your calendar for the next opportunity to spend the day playing in the intersection of movement, meditation and creativity! More details to come this summer (you can follow along at https://www.facebook.com/events/443642725810963/ ) Let me know if you have questions (sjmnia@gmail.com)
As always, please let me know if you have questions or how I can help more.

Dance on. Shine on.

Susan sig

*** PLAYLIST NOTE: You can listen to all my playlists on Spotify 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, Aug 24, 2015, 1045am ~ Coming Back

Healing Senses 8:27 Parijat
Mulatica Mia (Cuba Remix) 5:32 The Tao Of Groove
Palais Mascotte 5:47 Patrick Duvoisin
No Quiero Nada Mas 4:46 Sancti Spiritus
Dance Floor (Nu Brazilia Remix) 5:28 The Tao Of Groove
Mad World (feat. Safri Duo & Isam B) [Raaban Edit] 3:34 Michael Parsberg
The Basement 3:35 Eric Hutchinson
i love baby cheesy 6:37 Banco de Gaia
Black Water 4:22 Doobie Brothers
The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) 4:16 Jason Mraz
Moonshadow 2:52 Cat Stevens
No Trace 3:58 Jamie Catto & Alex Forster

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015, 840am ~ Coming Back

Qurna 7:09 Banco de Gaia
Freedom 6:31 George Michael
Palais Mascotte 5:47 Patrick Duvoisin
No Quiero Nada Mas 4:46 Sancti Spiritus
Mafich Arabi 8:03 Banco de Gaia
Sweet Freedom 5:14 Safri Duo feat. Michael McDonald
Cantaloop 4:38 US3
Four Strong Winds 4:06 Neil Young
Little Gem 4:32 Euphoria

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015, 1055am ~ Coming Back

A Thousand Beautiful Things 3:07 Annie Lennox
Nourah 6:51 Makyo
Lovers House 4:49 City Reverb
One World, One People 4:43 Xcultures
Shakin’ It Up 6:15 Ganga Giri
Maha Lakshmi 5:19 El Cosmo Group
Four Strong Winds 4:06 Neil Young
Big Blue Ball 4:52 Big Blue Ball featuring Peter Gabriel, Manu Katché, Karl Wallinger
The Light 4:29 The Album Leaf

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015, 840am ~ Coming Back

Helpless 4:15 K.D. Lang
Luna 6:04 Ganga
Mulatica Mia (Cuba Remix) 5:32 The Tao Of Groove
No Quiero Nada Mas 4:46 Sancti Spiritus
Say Hey (I Love You) (Featuring Cherine Anderson) 3:56 Michael Franti
Dance Floor (Nu Brazilia Remix) 5:28 The Tao Of Groove
Samb Adagio 5:58 Safri Duo
Wake Me Up 4:10 Avicii
Streetcorner Symphony 4:09 Rob Thomas
Moonshadow 2:52 Cat Stevens
Adagio 5:11 Safri Duo

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!

art project outfit 111613 001Here I am before class this morning, wearing my Art Project outfit (stained white pants that I died purple yesterday and the red top that was a sundress that I cut down into a shirt). Purple and red.  Do you know the poem?

Warning by Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman
I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
I can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and a pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We will have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old and start to wear purple.

ANYway, today we allowed ourselves the gift of Just This. Focusing our attention right here, right now in the present moment to the one thing that we are doing. One thing at a time. Letting go of the cultural pull toward multi-tasking and distraction. It’s a freeing practice that I, for one, remember and then forget and then remember again.

Give yourself that gift this weekend. Do just this. Just this, right now.
Dance on. Shine on.
~Susan

Saturday, November 16, 2013, 9am ~ Just This: Single-Tasking

Kecharitomene – 6:35 – Loreena McKennitt
Always Waiting (fest. Irina Milkhailova) – 7:08 – Kaya Project
Tears From The Moon – 4:18 – Conjure One Feat. Sinéad O’ Connor
Praise You – 5:22 – Fatboy Slim
Desert Days – 5:31 – John Kelley
Lady Marmalade – 4:25 – Christina Aguilera
One Billion Hands – 4:05 – Lourds Lane
Baya Baya – 5:27 – Safri Duo
This – 3:33 – Brian Eno
Sacred Love – 6:03 – Sting
Looking in the Eyes of Love – 4:19 – Alison Krauss & Union Station
Fervent Supplication – 3:43 – Russian State Symphony

sjm xmas 1969 hippety hopThis is a picture of me on Christmas Day, 1969. I was four. Even then, I was totally diggin’ on circular, spiral, Hoppity Hop shapes (please note tongue hanging out – as it often still does today!). I hope you found some interesting integration between the movement of your body and the meaning-making of your brain. What have you noticed about the sensation of movement in your 13 joints? What have you noticed about the shapes you prefer? I’d love to hear about it.

Here is the music from this week’s classes.
EnJOY.
Dance on. Shine on.

~ Susan

P.S. Another bonus week!  I get to teach on Saturday morning, November 16 at 9am at acac Downtown. We’ll be focusing on Just This…Single-Tasking, at least for one hour. Please join me!

Monday, November 11, 2013, 1045am ~ Movement & Meaning

Human – 3:04 – Dionne Farris
Clouds – 6:33 – Feuerhake
The Fire From Within – 4:12 – Tryptamoon
Smooth – 5:00 – Santana
Play That Funky Music – 3:14 – Wild Cherry
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) – 6:23 – Afterlife
Shake Your Hips – 4:47 – Desperado 5
Spiral – 7:02 – DJ Skydreamer
In Your Eyes – 5:26 – Peter Gabriel
Moon On My Shoulder – 2:20 – Lyle Lovett
Flame And Circle – 6:08 – Tim Story

Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 9am ~ Movement & Meaning

On The Forest Floor – 5:05 – Bob Holroyd
Alhambra Pt 1 – 1:21 – Natacha Atlas
Duden – 6:41 – Natacha Atlas
Vision – 6:08 – Heldegard von Bingen
Desert Wind – 7:48 – Banco de Gaia
Amor Real – 7:26 – Jon Anderson
Fun Does Not Exist – 6:21 – Natacha Atlas
Through Cinemas – 5:55 – Loop Guru
Dance of Innocents – 7:08 – Nawang Khechog and Peter Kater

Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 1055am ~ Movement & Meaning

Symbol I – 6:35 – Children of the Bong
Always Waiting (fest. Irina Milkhailova) – 7:08 – Kaya Project
Gulf Breeze – 6:30 – Eat Static
Splitting World – 8:35 – Eat Static
Nothing But The Water (II) – 5:19 – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) – 3:52 – Michael Franti
Samb Adagio – 5:58 – Safri Duo
Night Over Manaus – 5:49 – Boozoo Bajou
Dance of Innocents – 7:08 – Nawang Khechog and Peter Kater

Thursday, November 7, 2013, 9am ~ Movement & Meaning

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
Bayami (Extended Dance Remix) – 6:11 – Ganga Girl
Spiral – 7:02 – DJ Skydreamer
City Knows Your Name – 4:59 – Chris Coco
Hymn – 5:25 – Andrew McPherson

comparison AA sayingThe Joy of Contrast. I think we’re really onto something, friends. Imagine how different the world would be if instead of putting a ton of energy into measuring up and artificially keeping score, that we were just amazed and excited by how awesome each of us is? When I looked around in classes this week, that’s what I saw and, well, did I mention that I love my job?

Below are the playlists from classes this week. I’m working on a new routine called Airborne and some of this week’s selections are from that. Perhaps more next week before my last summer trip to a Minnesota family wedding (dance floors need to be burned up in the Midwest as well as the Mid Atlantic!). I’ll be away August 29 – September 4 and of course, the super ACAC Nia team has them all covered!

Have fun. Dance on.
Xo
Susan

The Joy of Contrast ~ Monday, August 19, 2013, 1045am

Damascus – 2:03 – Conjure One Feat. Chemda
Down To Earth – 5:59 – Peter Gabriel
I Shall Be Free – 6:13 – Kid Beyond
Quero Saber (fest. Orieta Pines) – 6:29 – Rodney Hunter
Compared To What – 5:56 – Candy Dulfer
Freedom – 2:50 – Tyrone Wells
Praise You – 5:22 – Fatboy Slim
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) – 3:52 – Michael Franti
Sunchyme – 3:54 – Dario G.
Amazing – 4:34 – One Eskimo
Billie Jean (Live) – 4:09 – The Civil Wars
Oracle – 5:29 – Maneesh De Moor

The Joy of Contrast ~ Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 9am

Wonderwall – 4:09 – Ryan Adams
Down To Earth – 5:59 – Peter Gabriel
Lovers House – 4:49 – City Reverb
Compared To What – 5:56 – Candy Dulfer
Freedom – 2:50 – Tyrone Wells
More Than This – 4:07 – 10,000 Maniacs
Sometimes – 5:14 – Kaskade
Deeper (Into Places) (Silk Spinner Mix) – 6:23 – Afterlife
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) – 3:52 – Michael Franti
Knock On Wood – 4:13 – Safri Duo
Sweet Child o’ Mine (Rick Rubin…) – 3:56 – Sheryl Crow
Skyfall – 4:47 – Adele
The Boy In The Bubble – 4:30 – Peter Gabriel

The Joy of Contrast ~ Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 1055am

Big Sky – 4:04 – Annie Lennox
touching the void – 9:08 – Banco de Gaia
forever changes – 5:34 – ZKT
Ma’ Africa – 4:49 – 1 Giant Leap: Mahotella Queens/Ulali
Nothing But The Water (II) – 5:19 – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
One Week – 2:49 – Barenaked Ladies
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) – 3:52 – Michael Franti
Night Over Manaus – 5:49 Boozoo Bajou
Sure Thing – 6:03 – St. Germain
The Sea – 5:08 – Morcheeba
Early Till Late – 4:47 – Cantoma

The Joy of Contrast ~ Thursday, August 22, 2013, 9am

Shake It Loose – 3:33 – Dolphin Boy
Down To Earth – 5:59 – Peter Gabriel
Stop For A Minute (feat. K’naan) – 4:07 – Keane
Takshaka – 10:42 – Makayo
Drumming Up a Storm – 5:59 – Bob Holroyd
Played A Live – 6:46 – Safri Duo
I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) – 3:52 – Michael Franti
Artichoke Funk – 5:56 – Zeb
Nothing But The Water (II) – 5:19 – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Lavender Hill – 4:33 – Lex van Someren
Ascension – 4:52 – Lex van Someren

ok go here it goes againSo good to play and dance for a week between my summer camp and beach junkets! And a helpful reminder about all the choices we really do have in every moment.

Below are the playlists for classes this week. In particular, I enjoyed some Dead Can Dance, The Derek Trucks Band and Eva Cassidy.  Safri Duo totally rocked it for us on Tuesday morning.  Evidently, these two Danish percussionists have been banging on drums together since they were youngsters and boy HOWDY do I love Played A Live!  And for your video-watching, treadmill-dancing pleasure, please enjoy OK Go’s Here It Goes Again  (now THAT’S a treadmill workout! Disclaimer: please don’t try this at home or at acac :).

I’ll be away at the beach for the next couple of weeks, so please check the ACAC Schedule page for the teaching line-up. The next time I’m teaching is Friday, July 26 at 1125am at ACAC Albemarle Square. Come join me as I’ll have lots of pent up Nia Energy by then! Then I’ll be back on my regular schedule (M 1045 & W 1055 Albemarle Square and T/Th 9 Downtown) for the week of July 29.

Happy, healthy, dance-full summertime, everybody!

Xoxo
Susan

Choice – Monday, Jul 8, 2013, 1045am

Yulunga [Spirit Dance] – 6:56 – Dead Can Dance
Center Of The Sun – 5:01 – Conjure One Feat. Poe
Tears From The Moon – 4:18 – Conjure One Feat. Sinéad O’ Connor
Smokey Quartz – 6:59 – Shakatura
Dream Machine – 3:53 – Mark Farina
Ali Click – Trance Mix – 7:29 – Brian Eno
Freedom – 2:50 – Tyrone Wells
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free – 4:09 – Derek Trucks Band
How Can I keep from singing – 4:29 – Eva Cassidy
Sure Thing – 6:03 – St. Germain
Common Threads – 4:17 – Bobby McFerrin
Early Till Late – 4:47 – Cantoma

Choice – Tuesday, Jul 9, 2013, 9am

Coming Back To Life – 6:19 – Pink Floyd
Living In The Moment – 3:55 – Jason Mraz
Free Your Mind – 4:52 – En Vogue
Drive By – 3:16 – Train
Drop – 4:56 – Cornelius
Breathe (Extreme Mix) – 4:04 – Soulfood
Sweet Freedom – 5:14 – Safri Duo feat. Michael McDonald
Played A Live – 6:46 – Safri Duo
Everloving – 3:26 – Moby
Balance – 3:10 – Bob Holroyd
Father I Know – 3:08 – Jamie Catto
Peace & Harmony – 5:29 – Relaxation Harmony & Wellness

Choice – Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013, 1055am

The Day After Everything Changed – 4:30 – Ellis Paul
Nourah – 6:51 – Makyo
Free – 4:09 – Illumine
Free Your Mind – 4:52 – En Vogue
No Quiero Nada Mas – 4:46 – Sancti Spiritus
Keep On Searching – 5:08 – Kraak & Smaak
Ghosts in My Machine – 3:33 – Annie Lennox
Closer to Free – 3:09 – BoDeans
Played A Live – 6:46 – Safri Duo
Raag Trance – 5:32 – Biddu
All We Are – 3:37 – Matt Nathanson
Devorzhum – 6:13 – Dead Can Dance

Choice – Thursday, Jul 11, 2013, 9am

Wonderwall – 4:09 – Ryan Adams
Marisi – 6:33 – Cantoma
Tears From The Moon – 4:18 – Conjure One Feat. Sinéad O’ Connor
Shadow – 4:28 – Big Blue Ball featuring Juan Cañizares, Papa Wemba
Short Skirt / Long Jacket – 3:28 – Cake
Drive By – 3:16 – Train
Shadowman – 6:36 – Afro Celt Sound System
Here It Goes Again – 3:00 – OK Go
Stairway To Heaven – 8:03 – Led Zeppelin
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free – 4:09 – Derek Trucks Band
All We Are – 3:37 – Matt Nathanson
All Remains – 7:30 – Afro Celt Sound System

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