The Story of Camilla
The year is 2003 and the weight is at its highest – 131 kilos
Camilla Steen Larsen has been through a lot of turmoil, many years of lying to herself now shows both on the inside and the outside.
Something had to change and after writing a letter to her father, something all of a sudden happened – within in three months Camilla lost 20 kilos.
”I got a taste for it. I was out of working as cook and now working for my father as an dental assistant. The 9-5 working hours , the steady income, meals at the right times – it all fit a lot better in regards to the once-for-all lifestyle change I was coming to”
It only took her 11 months to loose 54 kilos, but that was nowhere near there the hard work was. It was when the kilos were gone, the real work began began – to get use to not weigh those kilos, with them was a layer of protection….
”Everything came 54 kilos closer, also in the relationship to myself.
The attitude I had also disappeared, so at age 27 I got shy for the first time receiving a compliment. It became a journey getting to know myself all over again. To embrace the new and the softness, that suddenly had come to surface. I became conscious of situations where everything got ‘too much’, where I would normally sit down with a bag of candy not to feel what was really happening in me. As well as a deep anxiety of becoming overweight again. For me to find the reason why I got so overweight in the first place – and changing that – has helped to not this time putting the weight back on again”
The meeting with Nia
After a few years break Camilla was back as an aerobic instructor. She had taken the QiGong education and a friend brought her to a Nia Class. Let us just say, that was not love at first sight.
”I had my solid opinions on what class teaching to music was, and thought it was a bit soft feel-yourself-like something. Again an attitude that belonged to “the old”. However I also knew, when after the second class with same experience, honestly feeling angry and irritated, that here was the perfect middle way between aerobics and qigong. That I could get so angry at choreography, to music, with happy people dancing – all what I was used to; something was on here, a door needed to enter”
After only two Nia classes Camilla went to Portland, Oregon in 2006. This became the beginning of a journey, which continues on. Now Camilla has all five belts and is a certified Nia Black Belt Teacher.
When Camilla came back she was the only one teaching Nia in Denmark. But with a feel, a passion, and drive leading her to opening her own studio in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen.
The journey to StudioNiaCph
“Incredibly people travelled with me from space to space for my dance classes. The first place we were was so damp, that a three-leaf clover grew out of the wall. I brought my own black and white checkered linoleum floor, rolled it out and duck taped it onto the concrete floor. I was so grateful that they came to dance with ME – several of them still dances with me”
Since then it was renting already established dance studios on five different locations in Copenhagen until the right space appeared. Camilla wanted more, she wished having her own, despite the risk of being the only one in the country teaching Nia – a pro as much of a con.
It lasted a year and a half to find the perfect place
”For the Danes Nia is something new and it takes time – we are not the fastest ones to open our arms and embrace the new. In the US Nia is almost as well-known as yoga and that is what I hope will happen in Denmark as well.”
The passion behind StudioNiaCph
Camilla’s decision of opening her own studio went through many ”what if’s” and ”this could potentially go wrong”, but in 2010 she found the right space and took the leap of faith.
”I thought: Now I am going to do it. If I risk big, I win big, and that is what I feel I have done. I have found strength by not falling back into old habits of ”I can’t do this” or ”I am not good enough for that”, ”what if”, ”It’s also so tough for me as I’m the only one in Denmark.” These beliefs that previously had a hold of me, and having me eat to drown my feelings. Now I dared to face my biggest fears and be able to feel, this is right. I LOVE going to work and see how something is touched in people. To see the changes they go through….and changes of old habits is not always with an eao-to-ear smile.
I found out that what makes my heart sing is to let my story inspire others to find their true path in life.”
This I do:
- by movement in the form of Nia, Soul Motion and YogaStretch
- with lectures sharing my story
- with 1:1 private sessions
- in workshops in and outside Denmark, where we have a warm and solid Nia and Soul Motion Community
- for Mastery of Self Training – where selfmastery is key
Where is the dance taking us?
Camilla has opened up to share her story of losing both her parents to cancer, right when standing on the verge ready to jump out to her career. Camilla has held lectures for ’The Danish Cancer Society” – more might come. Camilla shared the tools that Nia and Soul Motion has given her – all used when she stood in the midst of grief.
”Nia gives me everything – for the first after teaching since 1991 I could say that here I got it all at once. I both lose myself and find myself. Nia has without doubt kept me holding on to the positive changes, I made in my life. Nia has helped me keep my weight and not gain it all again, plus 10. It has not always been fun, I have stood in class with tears running down my cheeks. But it is okay – everything is perfect – I am right where I am supposed to be. They are allowed to see me, I have met myself and my fear. My experiences is what I take with me when I teach. I have been there, and I enjoy to share from there. I call it Motivation Through Movement and can I inspire and help people to find more pleasure and joy in life, I am right here to do it!”
In 2011 when Camilla had her first Soul Motion experience she fell in love. It was a workshop weekend with the founder of Soul Motion, Vinn Arjuna Marti.
“If it wasn’t that I had went the whole way with Nia and already a Black Belt, I am not sure, I wouldn’t have changed lanes. I met a part of me that I do not know as the one learning 13 principles and perfect them. I still remember being so inspired by an elderly gentleman in the workshop swaying his hands over his head. He could barely walk on his sore feet. I was deeply touched and as I drove home on the German Autobahn I felt like being moved by what was around me.
That was maybe the seed to this year – on the studio’s seven year Birthday – gets the new name Be moved.
“If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney
I really wish that we all can come to a point that it does not matter if it is called Nia, Soul Motion, 5Rhythms, Movement Medicine – it is dance and it enhances our consciousness. Dancing affects our nervous system. Dance stimulates, heals and gets us out of the habitual. Let us join hearts and begin our dance from here, both on and off the dance floor, the world need us.
”I dream of sharing dance and the joy of movement with the entire world! What it’s called is irrelevant. Nia has been my tool, my door opener. Soul Motion my love affair and great inspiration. The most important thing is the fact that I am sharing ME and not a copy of what others do, about whom we assume to have huge success. For a long time I have been running for money, but have now reach a point, where I know for sure, that when I allow feelings and life to move through me without wanting to control it, every moment of my day becomes a dance. I dance with life and inspire – not least myself!”
See you on the dance floor