Last July, I became one of the teachers at Studio NiaMoves leading Nia and hooping classes on a trial basis to teens from The Center for Success and Independence (TCSI) . The center offers adolescent trauma therapy and treatment for teen substance abuse and co-occuring mental health issues.
Happily, that initiative has blossomed from a trial into a full partnership with plans to continue providing classes to teenaged girls at the studio. Put another way, dance has become a regular part of therapy available to the center’s teen residents!
Dubbed “Dare to Dream, Dare to Dance,” the studio/center partnership means TCSI youth may enjoy classes at the studio 3 to 4 times per month. It’s yet another example of how Studio NiaMoves encourages people to tap into their inner wisdom, strength and resiliency.
As a teacher, I am proud the program has proven to be sustainable, and apparently so is TCSI co-founder and director Marylou Erbland.
“We’re excited the partnership will continue and see it as a good thing,” she said. “The physical and emotional effects of Nia and hooping compliment regular counseling sessions for the girls in our care and benefit their overall recovery.”
That’s not all. Erbland says she’s witnessed several notable shifts in girls who attend weekly sessions at NiaMoves.
“They experience a clear sense of accomplishment for being able to do something they thought they couldn’t,” Erbland said. “We’ve seen other teens recognize and step into leadership roles, modeling positive behaviors for their peers to follow.”
Body image is often a stumbling block for adolescent girls, and my fellow teachers and I encourage students to appreciate their bodies without judgement. Cambrey Lindsay and Amy Thorpe lead Nia classes for the TCSI teens, while Tambrey Webb steps in with hooping.
Got plans for February 10? Let’s dress up and head to Bejeweled, TCSI’s annual fundraising gala. Proceeds will support scholarships for teens who depend on the services TCSI provides. A portion of the proceeds will help fuel programs such as “Dare to Dream, Dare to Dance,” meaning TCSI youth may continue coming to the studio for healing movement.
Bejeweled promises fun, food, drink, dancing, auctions, and the chance to win tickets to the smash hit Hamilton! Tickets to Bejeweled are now on sale.
When we support the important work of TCSI and the Nia studio’s mission, we help teens dance their way onto a future path of success!
Black Belt Nia Teacher
SuryaSoul Soma Teacher