take a nia dance class





1 h



May 3rd, 2017. I just took a Nia dance class and I’m silently crying.

All students are all on the floor, in the semi-darkness after an hour of intense, deep and liberating dancing.

As I am on my belly, getting some rest, feeling free from all the energy I had inside, looking at the fairy lights that look like starts, a memory I had totally forgotten fills my head.

And takes over my emotions.

I remember myself at 13.

I am in Middle School.

I am wearing this dress I love, blue with long sleeves, very close-fitting cut, with a cascade of flounces from the belt to the knees.

My hair, as usual, is pulled back into a tight bun.

I am with a bunch of friends in the schoolyard, talking. And I am happy.

Classes are over and I am minutes away from heading to the most important place in my life, my dance studio.

I leave my friends in a hurry and run to the car.

My mom is there, waiting for me.

She’s proud.

She, who has always wanted to dance, looks at me with stars in the eyes.

I’m a light, young and blue dragonfly.

Ready to put her pointe shoes on and take off.


2 years later

I’m home, crying, devastated.

We’re moving from my home town, Casablanca, to Rabat, capital of Morocco to follow my dads’ work.

Where am I going to dance in Rabat?

I want my studio, not any studio! I want my teacher, not any teacher!  

I don’t know what to do. I cry. I write poems, in French. One of them ends like this: “Un jour, sur ce parquet, flottera une âme. Personne ne le saura, ce sera moi” (One day, over this wooden floor, will float a soul. No one knows. This soul is me.)


Yesterday, May 3rd, 2017

I’m in Bethesda, MD. I want to take a Tango class because I love this dance.

I love Flamenco more. But I don’t feel I could be good at it. So I go for a Tango class.

I can’t find one but there is this: Nia dance class.

Nia? What’s that? The class description says: “Through movement, music, and FUN! Nia classes guide you to move your body the way it is intended to move. Based in the dance arts, martial arts and healing arts, Nia offers a total, invigorating mind-body workout that emphasizes joy, pleasure and ease.”

I’m hesitating. I feel a bit lazy and tired now. But this self-care journey is here to motivate me. I put my clothes on and leave home.


One hour later

I’m on the floor, crying. Liberated from something I had totally forgotten about.

How could I forget I wanted to be a dancer?

How could I forget how much I love to dance?

How was I able to bury it so deep that even Hubby doesn’t know about it?

I am sad for the young me.

I miss my mom.

But when I stand up, I feel free. Light.

My tears released, I am joyful again.

Suddently, 42 sounds like a perfect age to be a Tango dancer.

Don’t you think so, my friends?



PS: Thank you so much Sue for this fantastic moment and for the best tips ever before a class: “try to follow the advanced students, listen to your body and if you get lost, just dance.”

And thank you Caroline for sharing your Moon Landing Dance. I’m grateful. #Selfcare.

WHY IS IT SELF-CARE?  Nia helps you create proper weight maintenance, strengthens your muscles and improves their tone, increases your flexibility, releases stress. It also improves the energy circulation within your body. A complete workout for the body and mind 🙂


This first message is for my non-Arabic-speaking friends. Nia in Arabic (niya) means: intention, trust, good faith.

When you put your Nia into something, you put your heart, your soul and your good faith in it. By doing it, you set yourself free because you’ve done the best you could.

It’s very interesting because a Nia dance class is something that calls these feelings in you. If you want to take full benefit of the class, be there. And set yourself free. Because ultimately, Nia is based on doing what feels right for your body. 

Second message is for my French-speaking friends and it’s a riddle: what song do you think I was singing all evening after this Nia class?

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