When the word “jam” is mentioned around our house, it is likely we are not referring to the sweet, fruity variety that comes in cute jars. In Brian’s case, “jam” is the weekly event where he gets to bang on the drums and play music with a creative and talented rotating cast of characters. In my case, “jam” is a tradition in the Nia community where a group of local Nia instructors get together and lead a special class that raises money, usually for a local organization or a recent world event. In fact, the Nia headquarters in Portland, Oregon recently held a jam and raised more than $500 to benefit the folks affected by the flooding in Pakistan.
The Nia jam tradition is just all around goodness, in my humble opinion. When I was a student, I loved going to jams because they are an opportunity to experience the styles and flavors of a handful of Nia instructors all in one class. This really brought home to me the depth and richness that Nia offers in its drawing on nine different movement forms to infuse variety in the choreography, as each instructor naturally embodies some of these flavors more than others. Now as an instructor, I love to teach at jams because I will often present something new to me since it is usually just a few songs. A jam also gives me the opportunity to be instructor -and- student. And the jams are often bigger classes because they draw on the larger local community, and for me, there are few things as energizing than experiencing the Joy of Movement in a packed house of shining faces.
Upon moving to Asheville, I was excited to see this area has its own tradition of monthly jams. I was delighted and honored to teach a few songs last month along with Lia Barth and Charley Rogers. It was so fun to get back in front of a class since it has taken a little longer than expected to find the space for Nourish & Flourish and get it ready for opening. Check our calendar page for details on the next area jam. I look forward to seeing you on the dance floor soon!