learning dance online and Niio Dance
find joy and connection through dance, a coming home to yourself...
In Niio Dance the first connection is with ourselves; the second is with the outer world; our environment and the natural world, the people around us and the relationships and support that is further out there in the collective field - such as how we are connecting now.
The dance course videos are beautifully shot in some stunning outdoor locations that are wild, ancient, elemental and often sacred or have symbolic or energetic significance. Not only is this to convey the power and majesty of our natural world, and how it directly affects us but also to illustrate our own fleeting, (though precious and brilliant) spark of existence that we are - in the grand schema of events - of this world and beyond.
Together with carefully chosen music created by some of the most creative, progressive and eclectic artists, and lovingly mixed and mastered by professional sound engineer Jose Trindade, Niio Dance courses are a visual and sonic feast, helping you to discover the true joy of music, moving meditation and dance all from the comfort of your home.
'If I can transmit to you some of the magic, artistry, and healing power that is possible through the joy of music and dance, then my job as a messenger has succeeded.'
a word from Helene..
When you dance with me online we are entering into the moving space together. Whilst the videos are pre-recorded for you to do in the convenience of your own time, we also have the chance to meet online.(and I hope in person one day at future Niio Dance retreats!) I am there to answer any questions, for us to share experiences, and for us to have moving time together - in real time!
I would not try to compare the energy of a large mass gathering of dancers and musicians to the intimacy and personal developmental aspect of an online dance course. This is a course for you, moments of dedicated 'me' time to begin, have a break in-between or end your day. All the videos are bite sized to fit into a busy schedule, and designed to bring you fully into the present in a fun and light hearted way. It also affords an opportunity to get to know yourself better, and to take time out for yourself to reflect on the bigger picture of your unfolding life.
The invitation is to be kind to yourself, and in doing so find a freedom and a courage to go beyond your usual comfort zone, that will filter into other aspects of your life.
from previous course:
'Niio Dance was a very transformative practice for me.
Listening to Helene's words of guidance and inspiration I was able to hear the invitation, not to just follow on mindlessly someone else's practice but to listen to the wisdom of my own body. We all have very different bodies and what we need to heal is to feel what's going on for us. By going inward and being able to focus on the aliveness of our bodies, our minds and emotions.
And I really loved the music Helene used, it carries you, takes you into yourself.
During the course I feel I've released my body of so much built up stress and emotion. My space at home felt part of Helene's space it didn't feel uncomfortable dancing on my own, even at times when I could feel resilience arise in my body, like I wanted to stop dancing, I would hear Helene’s voice encouraging me, talking to me and I managed to work through it.
Helene has so much to share and is such a generous and empowering teacher.
Her instruction is so natural you can feel it comes from the heart.
It was my favourite tool for staying well in lockdown. I really embraced the opportunity to tune into my body, getting out of my head and feeling confident with such an embodied dance movement .. Niio Dance ...
Shake out your stress and dance your way to freedom '
Pauline Crozier, Aerial Yoga Teacher & Studio Owner, Carlisle
Niio Dance courses are designed to:
Help you to find new ways to move - new patterns, ideas, shapes, forms, structures and in the process release long held tensions, and rigid patterns in the body
Help you to gain insight into what is happening in your body and why you might feel the way you do, both in movement during dance and in your everyday life - thus enabling you to recognise certain patterns of behaviour and beliefs that you might have - especially ones that do not serve you
Give you an opportunity for self-reflection
Open new options and pathways in the body to allow new ideas and insights into what is possible for you in your life
Be more present in your body - which is enlivening, and give you a stronger sense of self - a strengthening of life force
Thus in turn strengthens your spirit, your will and determination. Have the confidence and ability to make decisions, new plans and action them
Promote a sense of calmness and ease where you are not so easily triggered - your body a metaphorical shock absorber, having the ability to 'cushion' unsettling events
'Thank you for such an excellent course.
The presentation was highly professional, filming was impressive and it's clearly been really well planned and thought through.
Your on-line dance classes are really, really good.
I particularly like the bits in the open air !!'
Dr Jeff Watkins, Tivoli Healthcare, Cheltenham
Practical and Safety Aspects:
Create a safe space for yourself - make sure there is enough space around you to ensure there is no furniture or obstacles in your way
– perhaps light a candle or create a symbolic space in it.
Ensure that you will not be disturbed or distracted,
so that you can stay focussed and drop into the activity.
Create a personal, private space so that as Rumi said
- you have ultimate licence and freedom to ‘dance like nobody is watching’
Self checking in, self-care – honour your own rhythm, pace and energy levels – if at any point something gets too much either physically or emotionally,
then it is advisable to stop immediately,
rest and if necessary to seek professional help.
Every course is set out in a clear, easy to follow format:
A. Introductory Course Video
1. Module Introduction
This video gives:
a) an overview of the subject/topics covered, any points of interest eg historical, anatomical, symbolic etc,
b) more detailed module information including any safety points, aims and intentions.
2. Warm –Up Video
This video can be done as a warm-up to the main dance video, or as a mini movement activity in itself. The greatest gift we can give our bodies is that of movement, something we tend to forget with our modern sedentary lifestyles!
3. Dance Video
This video always begins with time to arrive, before going into more active movement. Concepts, ideas and themes are introduced or demonstrated, depending on the course/module, for you to absorb and follow before it opens into guided freer dance.
The meditations I teach come from various schools, but are underpinned by the teachings of pranayama in yoga and my own experiences in Vipassana and other meditations.
5. Post- Dance Reflection and related Exercises
When we move and dance, there is always the possibility that certain thoughts and feelings, memories and issues may come to the surface of our consciousness. It is advisable to keep a journal during the course, and for these reflective exercises. They can be for your personal reference, or you may like to share insights with your fellow course members when we meet:
6. Group Video Meet-Ups
We come together on a regular basis, to meet over a video call where we can ask any questions, share any experiences or insights, and get to know fellow course participants. From past experience, Niio Dance attracts those with a keen or informed interest in the body mind as well as movement and dance, and it can be a very supportive and heartwarming group.
7. Downloadable WAV/mp3's
For each course you have the option to download high quality WAV or mp3's of the warm ups, dances and meditations. This means you have the opportunity to sense into your body without external influence or distraction, discover your own dance flow, and get away from the screen. You might even be tempted to stick on some headphones and dance outdoors !
Meet ups are weekly for Dance Basics and Creative Dance Flow, and monthly for Niio Roots & Wings.
"I was not too sure what to expect with Helene's digital course, as it was the first dance and well-being online programme that I had subscribed to. I always found dance a therapeutic activity and I discovered that dancing, whether alone or as part of a class, helped to develop my confidence and identity through that mind-body connection.
However, what is different on Helene's course is that she facilitates a journey where I can process emotions in my movement. My understanding was that this holistic approach would help me to reconnect with my sense of self after a long period of caring for my parents. This is helped through Helene's narrative guidance, synergised with the music and scenery featured in the dance videos. The process also includes introductions, warm up exercises, meditation videos and reflective activities.
In Grounding Module Dance 1, Helene starts with the idea of Genesis and our evolutionary beginnings. She combines descriptions of physiology and natural history with movement, simulating ourselves with the flow of nature.
The visual landscape, music and the poetry of her narration are so vivid, and changes as we explore our feelings. In the second video I felt that that she is commentating on the story of my life, describing real experiences that we all feel - a unifying and affirming sensation. I cannot wait to start week 2!"
Mazal Goulding, Ecologist, Cirencester