(previously known as Non-Impact Aerobics and Neuromuscular Integrative
Action, now referred to simply as "Nia"), pronounced "nee-ya",
blends three dance arts (Isadora Duncan dance, modern dance, and
jazz dance), three martial arts
(aikido, tae kwon do, and tai chi) and three healing arts (Alexander
Technique, yoga, and Feldenkrais). It is a form of aerobic exercise.
are choreographed and accompanied by a wide variety of music styles.
Nia teachers lead students through a series of 52 basic moves,
each of which can be performed at three levels of intensity (high,
medium, and low) and planes of movement (high, medium, and low).
1983 by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas in California
, Nia moved its headquarters to Portland, Oregon. As
of 2007, there are more than 1,750 Nia teachers in 40 countries.
As in the
martial arts, Nia practitioners can choose to progress through
levels of training called "Belts." A White Belt, the first level
of Nia practice, is required to teach Nia. Additional levels are
Blue Belt, Brown Belt, Black Belt, and Red Belt (Trainers).