YMCA USA Nia Teachers

YMCA USA Nia Teachers: please email your testimony to me here. Include your name, name of your branch, city, how long you have been teaching and your testimony about teaching Nia at YMCAs. 

Limit to between 100-200 words. 

This page is only a placeholder so teachers can see the list of teachers and their  testimony since I cannot post PDF to Nia Teachers Facebook Page. When we are finished there will be a completed PDF for Nia teachers to use when approaching their community YMCAs for a position teaching. We need at least 10 participating YMCA Nia teachers to make this work. Please participate!

1. Randee Fox – First Degree Black Belt Nia Teacher
Greater Seattle YMCA Nia teacher 
Teaching at Bellevue Family YMCA since 2007 and Sammamish Family YMCA since 2016

I started my YMCA of Greater Seattle teaching career at the downtown Seattle branch. Two weeks later I was offered a job teaching Nia at Bellevue Family YMCA where I have been teaching Nia since 2007. Gayle Holeton and I went in together and started their Nia program. Since then we have had many Nia teachers start their Nia teaching careers there. 
Presently I teach classes there with two other Nia teachers, Vicci Kane and Rossella Vanti. 

In 2016 I was also hired to teach Nia at the new Sammamish Family YMCA where I helped to start the program with Alyson Young and Vicci Kane. I love the good will at our YMCAs. We all work together as a team and the YMCA welcomes all people which provides for a welcoming and warm health and wellness community for everybody to join. Some students have been dancing since my first classes – for 13 years! Others are brand new. Some are in their teens, some in their 90s! Everybody is welcome.  I am proud to be a YMCA of Greater Seattle Nia teacher and it has been one of my greatest professional joys.

Randee Fox, Gayle Holeton and class at 
YMCA of Greater Seattle’s 
Bellevue Family YMCA, Bellevue, WA.

2. Vicci Calvo Kane – Brown Belt Nia Teacher
Greater Seattle YMCA Nia teacher 
Teaching at Bellevue Family YMCA since 2014 and Sammamish Family YMCA since 2018

I am Vicci Calvo Kane and I am a Brown Belt Nia teacher that has been teaching Nia classes at the YMCA for over 5 years. I teach two weekly classes in the greater Seattle area-Sammammish and Bellevue Washington branches.

Our teacher group is strong with excellent coverage for subbing each other.
Our classes are full of loyal regular students and there are always new interested clients of the Y trying weekly. My classes range from people in their twenties through 80’s.
Students learn how to really connect with their bodies and joyfully move together in a community strong and supportive, safe and accepting. 

Nia’s philosophy is “through movement we find health” and adapting or “tweaking” the dance moves to each individual’s fitness and movement desires leads the body and mind to a very balanced and fulfilled experience.

In my YMCA classes I often hear how people feel their balance has drastically improved. They never thought they were coordinated or able to dance but marvel at the natural ability to “get it” and feel great!

Many people at first who are new to Nia can be reluctant to try class barefoot but after a few classes comment on how good and strong they feel their feet have become and even plantar fasciitis problems have begun to resolve. Everyone always loves the 7 cycles of class, culminating in what we call FloorPlay and sometimes a brief meditation following yoga like stretches.
I do hope you will consider adding Nia to your class offerings at your YMCA. The Y’s goals and those of Nia’s are very congruent. Your clients will have so much fun and enjoy this class.

3. Rossella Vanti - Black Belt Nia Teacher
Greater Seattle YMCA Nia teacher 
Bellevue Family YMCA, Bellevue, Washington since 2018
Subbing Nia at Sammamish Family YMCA

My experience in teaching at the YMCA has been phenomenal.

I moved from Europe to Seattle area in August 2017. I found very welcoming and openhearted people from Nia community inside YMCA community. I experienced kindness, integration, support and acceptance, which are principles deeply shared from both YMCA and Nia worlds.

I felt easily accepted, integrated in such a short time from my moving so that I didn’t have to suffer any stress from the big change in my life.

I’m so grateful to have experienced all this that I share it with the class I teach. I felt so loved that I want to make everyone in the class feel the same and receive what I received first.
It isn’t an open declaration but I’m sure the class feels my “love” and care for them.

Love multiplies love and the YMCA is the perfect place to make it happen.
Rossella Vanti and class at YMCA of 
Greater Seattle’s Bellevue Family 
YMCA, Bellevue, WA 

4. Marisa Barcia – Nia Teacher, Program Director and Marketing Director
Garfield YMCA, Garfield New Jersey since 2016

In 2016, which was my 15th year as Program and Marketing Director for the Garfield YMCA in Garfield NJ, I decided to get my Nia white belt. I only took one class prior to deciding I wanted get my certification offer Nia at my Y because I knew instantly Nia and the Y movement aligned. At that time I knew the Y core values and Nia promise I then knew...

The core beliefs are the same. A movement for EVERY BODY, regardless of age, stage, culture, race, range of motion, income, EVERY BODY could benefit from the promise. There is absolutely no judgement, with building the community the focus. The voice of each body of work empowers people to thrive with a sense of more wellness. 

For 3 years now, I teach two classes a week at the Y. The program is received well. While Nia takes many people into a very new experience, and it is common to have discomfort or some fear in new experiences, often I get feedback like "my body feels amazing. I was uncomfortable at first expressing emotion like that, but I feel free now" or "I never took a class that allowed me to move my own way" or "Form and freedom is such a new concept to me" "Wow, I experienced flow differently," etc.... But I've yet to ever get negative feedback, and retention has been wonderful as far as enjoyment and benefit of the program. 
Marisa Barcia Nia Teacher, Program and Marketing 
Director at Garfield YMCA, Garfield New Jersey.

5. Catherine Ventimiglio -  Black Belt Nia teacher 
San Francisco Stonestown YMCA since 2014I have been teaching Nia at the San Francisco Stonestown YMCA for 5 years.  There is a long history of Nia at this branch.  The first Nia teacher was Nia creator Debbie Rosas' daughter Jessica.  The exercise director who hired her is still involved with the Y.  She has been a long and strong Nia supporter.  She believes that the YMCA community benefits from this body, mind, spirit practice that is both fun and good fitness.

I teach 3 of the 4 weekly Nia classes.  There are other Nia teachers who can sub at the Y, so the Nia community always gets Nia, even if the teacher has to miss a class.  I sometimes sub classes at The Embarcadero YMCA, The Mission YMCA and The Dance Mission Theatre.

I love teaching Nia and I especially love teaching Nia at the Stonestown YMCA.  This is a strong and vibrant Nia community.   It's a diverse group of dedicated Nia dancers.  There is a felt sense of shared joy.  We enjoy dancing in our beautiful studio with spring loaded floors, mirrors on two sides, and a wall of windows.  There are usually between 20-32 people in the class.  Music, movement and magic.

I participate regularly in the 90 Days to Wellness program.  I come in for a session to dance with them, and talk about joyful movement, connecting with the Inner Dancer and moving from pleasure.  Several of them now practice Nia regularly.

The YMCA is a powerful force that creates loving community.  Everyone is welcomed and valued.  There is something for everyone.  This Y has 160 classes per week.  This year the Nia dancers contributed over $1000 to the Annual Giving Campaign in the name of the Nia community.  It was an expression of our support for the Y, and for the wonderful work it does in our community and in the world.

I live in gratitude every day to be able to dance and share Nia.  It is moving meditation - Life Force coming through the Body expressing itself as Joy.  When we leave distraction behind, we step in to this meditation.  All of us are dealing with life and it's challenges.  Nia is our time to self heal, express and experience joy.

One of the dedicated students said this to me about Nia, 
"The world is crazy.  This is pure".
Catherine Ventimiglio and San Francisco Stonestown
YMCA Nia students.

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