For years in Hollywood I trained with some of the best for the vital hard body required for my work, but not even a month had passed after moving here to the Big Island did I realize I’ll never be able to go back to the mindless, disconnected workouts so prevalent everywhere for years. Hawaiian-born, Next Generation Nia teacher trainer Megan MacArthur has so completely revolutionized my view of whole mind/ body/spirit health that I am telling everybody about her class. Know that blue tourist book revealing local Hawaiian’s best secret spots? Megan’s class should be in it for she’s too precious a resource to keep hidden any longer.
I’m no dancer. In fact, I’d call myself a born dork, but after stumbling into Megan’s class seven years ago, I feel as if I was being awakened to what my heart & body had been craving forever. Part free-spirited dance party, part meditative journey, part biological experiment, (can we really fly like she does?) classes are insanely fun, but more – Megan is a freakin,’ body popping, shimmying, twirling, leaping dance shaman working with not just the vessel of the body, but somehow magically enticing everyone’s spirit and mind to also dive into a sweaty, heart pumping bliss-out, far surpassing any mere workout. Her inspired sexy dance mixes fire up brain cells, belly laughter, and even the most dormant sensuality muscles, which seems integral to full bodied, passionate living not just in this lifetime, but especially on this island. Megan’s a master dancer/mover, an inspired teacher elevating bodywork to a divine science and I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Held at the mystical Ke Ola Mau Loa or ”˜Green’ Church along Mamalahoa Highway in Kamuela, classes fill with both an eclectic mix of longtime locals and travelers of all ages and backgrounds who’ve found out about Megan from either word of mouth, the International Nia website, her own beautiful social network, or my favorite – her YouTube and Vimeo Free Dances, short videos which are wowing people around the world.
Dancing Nia with Megan is not just about dance, it’s about transformation. She been dancing since she was 3 years old and after dancing professionally in San Francisco and New York City for years, her mother, Dodie MacArthur, suggested she try Nia after she herself discovered it on a trip to Mexico. Megan spontaneously hopped on a plane and took her first Nia class in a White Belt training class at the Nia International HQ in Portland, Oregon and hasn’t looked back since.
After starting Nia New York 19 years ago, Megan eventually returned to her home in Kamuela, Hawaii and has been powerfully inspiring through her decade long work working from The Green Church and beyond, even working/dancing/teaching through the pregnancies of both her two girls. You’d never know that this twirling dervish in class could possibly be a mother of two, (let alone in her 40’s), until you see Megan’s girls dance in class with us.
Jane Sibbett, actress (“Carol,” Friends, Herman’s Head, Once & Again and more) producer (The Braco Trilogy, Doc in the Box, Edge of Reality), writer and Nia White Belt.
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