about me 

Teacher, artist, performer, dancer,  most of all I am a lifelong learner. I love creating, and inspiring people to connect on a deeper level with their bodies, hearts and one another. Nothing brings me greater Joy than seeing the smiling faces of my students as they play and let loose, surprising themselves with what a great workout they received without realizing it! 

 

Here I am basking in the glow of having placed 1st at the  "Trashion" Show Fundraiser for Maine Disabilities Deaf Services. I made a 3-piece formal wear ensemble entirely of L.L. Bean catalogs!

Here I am basking in the glow of having placed 1st at the  "Trashion" Show Fundraiser for Maine Disabilities Deaf Services. I made a 3-piece formal wear ensemble entirely of L.L. Bean catalogs!

Artist

I love color, shiny gemstones, and basically anything that sparkles, which you will know immediately if you have seen my car! I also love fashion and creating whimsical, stylish outfits out of unconventional materials. I like to say, “I don’t sweat, I sparkle!” I believe in the absolute miracle of the body and there’s nothing I love more than connecting to the pleasure of movement. I believe that we are each creative beings and that the world benefits from the expression of our unique spirits through any and all possible means! In Nia we say “Life as Art.”  

Dancer

I have always been a dancer at heart. From one of my earliest memories of rocking out to “Upside Down” by Diana Ross, to winning the “Last Dancer Standing” award in a high school Dance-Off, I believe that I embody the stamina and desire to dance forever! In my early 30's, when the occasional night out dancing in bars just wasn’t cutting it, I discovered Nia and experienced a revelation!

I bring an ease of movement and share a deep seated curiosity, modeling what it means to stay open to the voices of the body as I move. Nia teaches me to step in with courage. Through my personal Nia practice, I am:

  • challenged to remain open to learn new-to-me moves
  • gifted with the connections and personal growth that come from sensing my spirit and expressing my emotions
  • engaged with my imagination and in continual awe the power of thought to guide and inspire movement  
Nia is the gift that keeps on giving! I wouldn’t trade my Nia practice for anything. It’s movement medicine I need to live well in my body. -Erin

 

Teacher

I’ve spent years teaching French to children and adults of all ages, using body language to communicate across language barriers. Stepping into teaching Nia was a natural fit for me. One of the most common things I hear students say with some amazement after class is, “I feel like I have more energy now than before class!” That’s the power of Nia!

Here I am with about half of my Portland Playback family!

Performer

Responsive, engaging teaching involves improvisation! Since 2008, I have been lucky enough to be an active company member of Portland Playback Theatre. Playback Theater joins the art of improvisation with the real-life stories of audience members to create a one-of-a-kind night, a community-building performance that honors the universal in everyone’s story.

I love hamming it up, and like to think that my years of doing improv inform my ability to access a range of emotions. Using the expressive power of the emotions in a Nia class allows us each to recognize and personalize our movement, both in class and beyond. That’s another one of the unique gifts of Nia.  

When emotions enter the dance of life, it becomes personal.
— Debbie Rosas

Podcasts

Click here to listen to a half hour interview about career paths, finding your passion, Nia and Playback. 

Featured Talks

Watch & listen to my talk at PechaKucha Portland, entitled "Discover Your Movement: Come Home to Your Body" Enjoy! [Photo credit: Larry Hayden]


My Nia Trainings & Certifications:

One of the seven cycles in a classic Nia class is called "FloorPlay" where we explore movement on the floor, using our body weight for optimal conditioning! As always, this part of class is done following your body's way...

One of the seven cycles in a classic Nia class is called "FloorPlay" where we explore movement on the floor, using our body weight for optimal conditioning! As always, this part of class is done following your body's way...

  • Nia White Belt Training (2009) with Casey Bernstein in Portland, Maine                     
    Focus: Art of Sensation | Intent: To embody the foundation of Nia

  • Nia Blue Belt Training (2012) with Helen Terry in Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Focus: Art of Communication | Intent: To create intimacy through somatic relationships

  • 52 Moves/Move I.T. Training (2013) with Debbie Rosas and Kevin VerEecke in Albany, New York

  • Nia Brown Belt Training (2014) with Debbie Rosas, Caroline Kohles and Winalee Zeeb at Nia Headquarters in Portland, Oregon
    Focus: Art of Perception | Intent: To live as an energetic being

  • Nia Green Belt Training (2014) with Britta Von Tagen and France-Laude Gohard in San Rafael, California
    Focus: Music - Movement - Magic of Nia |  Intent: To effectively deliver the Nia experience

  • Nia Black Belt Training (2015) with Debbie Rosas and Ann Christiansen at Nia Headquarters in Portland, Oregon
    Focus: Art of Creativity | Intent: To master the basics

  • Moving to Heal Training (2016) with Debbie Rosas in New York, New York

  • FAB Choreography (2016) with Debbie Rosas in Boston, Massachusetts

  • Retake of MOVE I.T. Training (2017) with Kelle Rae Oien, in Albany, NY

  • Current AED/CPR Certified

Additional Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. French & Romance Philology (2005), Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Dissertation: A Novel Reading of Gesture: Nathalie Sarraute's Unspoken Understanding

  • 3-time Marathoner: Maine (2006), New York City (2010), Sugarloaf (2017)

  • Performed a One-Woman Musical, MoonDance (2012)


I love that Erin focuses on getting each person dancing to feel comfortable moving just the way her or his body wants to do it or feels best doing a movement.
— Jessica