I have this dilemma that I toy with when I am working with new music. At what point do I bring it into class and play with it in public. I like to sometimes teach with it before I have done any of the Freedance work to find choreography. Just to see what will emerge. Things come up in class that would never happen with just me and the dogs in my living room. And yet, the craft that I like to bring to a class is not there in the same way as when I work with something I really, really know.
I have some new music I am working with now, Commercial by Los Amigos Invisibles. Most of the songs are a 7-8 beats per bar (fast) and there are short recordings in between many of the songs with random sounds and funny talking. It is not the usual straight out album. definitely some fun things to move with. Am I ready to take a small leap and bring it into class?
The triad of Anticipation, Preparation and Relaxation is where I go to help me figure out if I can bring it in. I love the multi-dimensionality of this triad. There is the physical preparation listening to the music, barring it, dancing to it, preparing the focus, creating the space and the anticipation of knowing what comes where and when the moves will change and when a certain instrument is going to play. This allows me to be relaxed in class and to truly teach what I sense. Then there is also the layer of the preparation and anticipation that happens as the class happens. Preparing the class to make a change and to anticipate what is coming. This creates relaxation in the whole room. We know where we are going, the guide is present and giving us fair warning and sometimes some surprises.
When I have new music, the second dimension of the triad applies more than the first. I do not know the music as well, I do not have mapped out choreography. The clearest thing I can have is a focus that will be the thread throughout the class. That, along with the Joy of Movement helps me to craft on the spot. The preparation I bring in is in the 13 Principles of Nia which I embody. I cast that I will bring all of them in, turn on the music and jump into the unknown.
And although this seems more alive in classes where the music is new, it is what happens to me in every Nia class I teach. The music goes on and I have a plan, but sometimes things happen and emerge that I had not at all anticipated. This is what keeps my Nia practice alive for me. It is adventure of the highest kind.