Why is Nia danced barefoot?

With bare feet we have access to sensation through 7000 nerve endings, providing greater stability as we strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the feet, legs, and trunk.

Barefoot exercise maintains foot flexibility, stimulates blood flow, replenishes skin, strengthens muscle health of your foot, and is overall beneficial to a healthy immune system.

Understanding how your own feet work is key. It is essential to evenly distribute your weight so ankles and knees are supported, and toes are given the freedom to direct movement. Take a moment to look inside your shoes to notice where your sole wears the most. This will help you note your foot’s preferred side, reminding you to be attentive to the other side for a balanced stance.

If there are physical reasons not to practice Nia barefoot, a soft sole shoe may be worn.

For more science on barefoot see https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0966636215004993