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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What to wear to Nia...

Ever since my articles about Nia came out in American Way and Conscious Dancer, readers have been asking me what one wears to a Nia class. The simple answer is anything you can move in. But there is a sort of Nia style that’s developed that includes mostly bell-bottomed flowy pants and either fitted athletic tops or swooshy dresses on top.

Here are a few of my fave brands:

NiaWear – NiaWear comes straight from the source. You can purchase it from headquarters, online, or from most Nia instructors. I have several pieces and love all of it. The colors and styles are, of course, perfectly suited to doing Nia. They also great for hooping too actually. I love my bell-bottomed pants with the attached short skirt and the coordinating black tank with NiaWear logo.

Melodia – I got my first pieces of Melodia at the Lightening in a Bottle festival. The cotton is so soft and the styling is so groovy. It definitely looks like festival wear but translates perfectly to the Nia classroom.

Ipseity – I wanted an outfit from Ipseity from the minute I saw the line at a trunk show at headquarters. My girlfriend generously surprised me with one this Valentine’s Day. This stuff is so funky. I love it. And I can’t imagine any other part of my life where I could get away with what my husband calls my “Lord of the Rings” get-up. I love the rich purple and the soft, hearty fabric. And I just feel so groovy in it. Even if I’m not feeling up for class, I immediately get in the mood once I get these on.

Tdama– I love my Tdama tiered gaucho pants. The fabric could not be any softer and they look so good on. Dancing in them is great. But they also translate much better in the “real world” then a lot of my other Nia clothes do. Sometimes I wear them around the house or around town even when I don't have class.  Because the tiers on these particular pants start so far down, they also look really cook with a skirt on top of them .

Margarita Wear – These clothes are so cool!! They’re what I would have picked out as a kid but figured I wasn’t allowed to wear now since I’m a grown-up. Heck with that. The compression fabric is so strong that the pants look like they were made to fit a five-year-old before you get them on. But they look awesome on. My favorites are the ones with the giant rainbow on the bottom. Total 70s. But I also dig my polka dot and striped pairs. They’re not cheap. But then none of these lines really are. But they are definitely worth it. And, if you’re lucky, you can sometimes catch them on Ebay!

One thing I can say for all of these companies’ clothes is that the materials wash well, which is key if you’re washing things every week. I always wash them on the gentle cycle (warm/cold) and then hang them or lay them flat to dry. And most of them still look brand new despite lots of dancing and floor play!

As I mentioned right off, you can wear anything you like to Nia and my classes are always filled with students wearing everything from yoga pants to sweat pants to homemade goodies to full-on Nia gear. So don’t let the clothes scare you. This is definitely a no-uniform required kind of practice. But if you are looking for some Nia-appropriate garb, these are a few good places to start!

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