What attracted me to become a Nia teacher?

I was introduced to Nia by my own teacher and first trainer, Kathy Wolstenholme, who brought the technique out to South Africa. As a child, I had a deep yearning for dance, but having “flunked” ballet, aged 3, my mother did not believe dance was my calling! At the age of 20, tremendously timid and nervous, I finally enrolled at my very first dance class ……. and never looked back! I have been dancing now for more than 3 decades. I took adult open classes in Modern and Jazz, did exams while 6 months pregnant and generally allowed my inner child to finally delight in dancing my dance! In 2002 I stepped into the aerobics studio of the then Health and Racquet Club and was asked to take off my shoes for the class. Unthinkable! The lights were dimmed, the music began and I felt myself coming home to my body for the first time. And the joy flowed and flowed and flowed.


In January 2003 I took my White Belt training, simply to expand my understanding of Nia and for my own personal growth. Little did I know that that would lead within 3 short months into teaching classes at the fledgling River Club Nia Studio. From these humble beginnings, I branched out on my own and began teaching in Hout Bay from July 2003. It began with kicking off my shoes in a gym. It continues to this day, uninterrupted, with many hours of training, hundreds of classes and workshops and various studio spaces for Nia Hout Bay. All held together with boundless joy and truly “delighting in dancing my own dance”! My inner 3 year old smiles at the thought of those nasty beginnings to the beautiful world of dance!



Tania & Nia

Tania & Nia 
Some of the very first Nia teachers in South Africa.

What I know now

Through Nia I have come to know that when we are truly comfortable in our own skins FIRST, when we open up to a real relationship with our bodies, then our bodies can start to listen to us. When we feel gratitude for the fact that we can get up out of bed today, that we can make any movements, no matter how small, that we can walk, that we can express ourselves, that we can even eat unassisted, then our bodies start to be in relationship with us. But we must learn to love the one we are with so that it can love us in return. When last did you feel really, really at home in your own body? I am passionate about teaching women how to leave behind the mass media expectations of how we should look, what to wear and what constitutes beautiful or sexy.  Nia has brought me home to my body, through movement and music and connected me deeply with other women through dance. I invite you to step into the room and delight in “dancing your own dance.”

NixyPod #10 Trauma Release & Nia Dance, Tania Bownes