Dear Mary Ann (That’s me back in 2013 when I had just become a Nia Teacher!),
My dear there are some things that, looking back, I want you to know,
- Not everyone is going to share your passion for Nia, in fact most of them will have never heard of it and therefore will be pretty hard to persuade! It’s your job to give them a sense of the joy and freedom you feel as a result of your Nia practice but that isn’t always, i’ll be honest, the easiest of things to do!
- Your friends won’t all flock to try your class out . One or two will come but they have their own schedules, their own classes and a load of things they do which they already love. Instead you’ll discover entirely new people through your class and your friends will mostly never get to understand just how much fun you are having in your classes.
- Occasionally no one will come to class and you’ll dance alone. You have to show up and keep showing up no matter if no one else does, you’re the teacher after all. That means you show up even if you have a sense you’d rather stay in tonight, commitment to your class and students is the path you have chosen to walk!
- It’s a little tricky to explain what’s so good about being ‘in your body’ using words. It much easier to understand experientially but that means people first must come to class and have the experience of the amazing way that Nia makes you feel.
- There is no perfect time to teach a class. People who really want to will generally find a way to come!
- Teaching something not many people have yet heard of is part of the path you have chosen, perhaps even its a path you were born for? After all your life you’ve gravitated towards being an innovator, interested in what is new and different, right? The downside is that it also means it’s pretty hard.
- Zumba is a marketing machine with a massive budget. That’s why so many more people have heard of and have experience of that. Nia is a much smaller enterprise. That is the main reason why no one has heard of it. (I.E. the problem you face is about quantity not quality)
- A great many of the reasons people don’t always come to class are not about you. They have their own issues committing to themselves and the things that they want to do.
- All this means you must be dedicated. You must trust that there is something more important about Nia and what it represents than the numbers in your classes or workshops. You must believe in the power it has to make a difference not only to your body and how you feel but to your students too.
- Despite all of these obstacles to having full and profitable classes I can promise you that Nia makes a real difference to your back, your body as a whole and your life. So you must be persistent and keep on picking yourself up and publicising your classes, teaching people to love movement and find joy in their own bodies is truly special and worthwhile work.
Commit, Continue, and whatever you do, keep on dancing,
Yourself in 2016.
I’m currently teaching Nia every Thursday evening at 7PM at The Green, Nunhead, SE15 3QF and from June I will be teaching there at 7:30PM on Monday evening, as well.