Posted by: turtlebella | 20 June 2007

In the series of Nia: music

I’ve been listening a lot to the music of the White Belt DreamWalker (which I recently figured out is different from regular ol’ Dreamwalker, duh, turtlebella!) routine. I play it in the car, when I’m cooking dinner, playing solitaire on the computer, hanging out with the dogs and our new cat, whenever. Poor the sqvirrel is probably getting sick of it – last night he came to bed and announced, “I have that damn Nia song stuck in my head!” (He was referring to The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Thievery Corporation, which has been stuck in my head too, ever since I played it first; ooh and I just read that it features David Byrne!).

Sometimes I listen with my mind on other things and sometimes I listen with RAW (Relaxed, Aware, and Waiting). And I’m getting increasingly nervous. Because I know that I’m going to have to do the bars for it soon. “Doing the Bars” refers to Nia’s 8BC System of music- it’s a way to count the music, to become intimate with the music, to know what happens, when in the song. And when you do the bars of a song, you need to notice and differentiate the intro, the vocals, the chorus, featured instrumental solo, and other. And I’ve noticed, few of the songs in the White Belt DreamWalker have actual vocals (aside from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, actually). And so I’m wondering how in heavens name I’m going to bar a song with no vocals and no vocal chorus. I’ve often wondered if perhaps those two parts were applicable to songs with no vocals – after all, ‘vocal’ stands for the story of the song and ‘chorus’ stands for the moral of the story (of the song) and surely you could have those without actual words? But how will I know them?

This is all part of my larger anxiety about the 8BC system in general. I’d say that it’s my weakest point in Nia. I don’t generally have a problem dancing to the beat or to the music (I probably do too much of this- must practice FreeDance’s first stage more!). But when it comes to the bars…and DRESSING the bars!!! Oh my goodness, I get a little knot of anxiety in my stomach. I’m going to take it slowly- first do the counts of the music like a million times maybe, before I ever put pen to paper.

This all does make me realize something about myself: things I am unsure about I tend to rush over, do quickly, so as to get out of that feeling of being unsure and anxious. As if I get it over with I can move on. But I tend to not do a very good job of it then. And so it hasn’t really been done right. I need to breathe through the anxiety, stay in the moment, acknowledge the anxiety, and work through it. And not just rush to get it done. For several years I’ve been working on staying in the moment more (Nia is a good practice for that too…it’s not just a fitness program, it’s a lifestyle!). And I’ve gotten pretty good at being in the moment at good moments, those blissful times, they are easy to soak up, to really feel and appreciate them. But actually, being in the moment means being there at the difficult times too. That’s harder.

I think the 8BC system of music and working on the bars of the music for this routine can teach me the lesson of being present for those times I’d rather just were over already!



  1. Fun to read about your inner and outer experience of Nia learning and life. I just experienced Nia in the las couple of weeks for the first time and I love it! I’m already planning on learning to teach it! Ooo 8BC sounds like a wake up call for brain and body – !! Fun! May you breath through the funny stuff in the chest or where ever you feel it and let the music teach you – or something like that!?

    • Whoops! Now I see this post is from 2007! I guess you’ve made it through the 8 BC process by now!

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