Interested in learning something new and finding different ways to exercise? Then look no further than downtown Goshen for a variety of dancing opportunities.
From 8 to 11 p.m. on the first Saturdays of each month, First United Methodist Church hosts a night of contra dancing. The cost is $4 for students and $7 for the general public. The church is located at 215 South 5th St. in downtown Goshen.
No experience of dancing with a partner is required; beginner’s workshops are held from 7:30 to 8 p.m. before each session. Experienced callers lead dances, and live music is provided each night by local and regional bands. The church also hosts a potluck beginning at 6 p.m. before each dance. Visit http://godancing.org for more information.
If a more spiritual dance experience is desired, Nia dancing may be the most beneficial. Described as “an emotional fitness odyssey” by the New York Times, Nia uses expressive movement to incorporate growth of the body, mind and spirit into a fitness program.
Nia is a Swahili word with a variety of meanings: “the body’s way,” “with intent” or “with purpose.” Nia is also an acronym for the message “Now I Am.” It also stands for “Neuromuscular Integrative Action.” The philosophy of Nia is “through movement we find health.”
Nia classes are held on the third floor ballroom at Downtown @ 808 Church at 216 South Main Street. Melonie Wade, an experienced dancer and choreographer, leads the classes.
The regular fee is $10 ($8 for students) per class. Classes are available from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. on Fridays. Visit http://www.nia-joyinmotion.com for more information about classes.
Alana Kenagy, a junior who regularly attends Nia classes, described the sessions as an opportunity to incorporate free dance and personal expression with structured moves. Often Wade begins the class session with some type of spiritual poem or reading.
“It’s about feeling comfortable in your body and enjoying yourself,” said Kenagy. “Every time I go, I’m glad that I do—I leave the lesson in a better place than when I got there.”