I moved to Santa Fe, NM from Austin, TX in 2002. At that time there was just a handful of Nia classes going on in Santa Fe, and I was determined to see Nia flourish there. I had several false starts with studios, taught in almost every venue in town, and finally ended up working with Jan Pitlak to open Studio Nia Santa Fe. I poured my heart and soul into Studio Nia Santa Fe for 2 years, alongside Jan. My role as program director helped me fulfill a vision of a Nia dedicated studio and training center. Life events drew me away from Santa Fe to Nebraska in 2011. I left knowing that Studio Nia would have good stewards in the community I left behind. I was right.
I've just returned from a visit to Santa Fe, 5 years later, where I witnessed one of the most vibrant Nia communities on the planet. Mark Frossard and Kelle Oien are the owners of Studio Nia Santa Fe now. They have made tremendous improvements to the facility, and they've grown the program and attendance both at the studio and around Santa Fe.
As I was preparing to teach a class while visiting, students of mine from 15 years ago began to pour through the door. Person after person greeted me with the same refrain, "I'm still here dancing!". More than one person came to me to share some lesson they had received through me that changed their life. "You taught me to calibrate to my body", "you told me to wear each belt well", "you told me to trust my body to guide me" are some of the comments I got. I was moved by their trust in my words and how they had taken them in to guide their lives.
In Nia we consider our life unfolding like a sail boat tacking towards a destination. As we move forward towards fulfilling our purpose, we leave behind a wake of experience. I am so proud that Studio Nia Santa Fe is in my wake. Many more sailboats have fallen into my wake, creating their own, just as I am sailing in the wake of many great people. Thank you, Studio Nia Santa Fe, for prevailing with so much greatness!