The 5 Rhythms are a major influence in what I offer, I teach classes that are pure 5 Rhythms based, for anyone who would like to focus on exploring this particular map into movement.
The 5 Rhythms offer us a way to approach ourselves and the world from the perspective of energy, rhythm and movement.
In the ethos of the 5 Rhythms everything in the human experience has a dance, a way of moving & being expressed through the body, from inertia to ecstasy. Gabriel Roth would ask, 'Do you have the discipline to be a free spirit?". The discipline part being the courage and willingness to dance whatever arises in you and this leads to the the experience of freedom, where nothing needs to be held back or hidden.
This dancing pathway as described by Gabrielle Roth is very accessible, everyone can participate fully, no dance background or special skills are required, rather the courage and willingness to step onto the dance floor and move with who and how you are moment to moment, movement to movement.
The invitation is to be...to be in the moment with how you are in each moment, rather than longing for connection or bliss, or looking for something other than what is actually happening, you are invited to be congruent, everything is a dance & everything changes.
The 5 Rhythms guide the dancer through 5 different ways of moving, each rhythm is a gateway to aspects of yourself, that you may be familiar with or may be little known. We all have ways of being that we are comfortable with, that ‘work’ for us. The Rhythms provide an opportunity to deepen these aspects and explore new possibilities in how we are in relationship to ourselves, others, our community and with Spirit (by whatever name you call her),
The 5 Rhythms are:
- Flowing: Feet, aarth, mother, nourishment, continuous movement, circles, spirals,
- Improved physical fitness, flexibility, tone, stamina.
- Body awareness, self-confidence and self-acceptance
- Exploration of relationship to self, to others, community & spirituality
- Social contact, meeting new people.
- Creative emotional expression and release.
- Anger management
- Exploring boundaries, contact and choices.
- Mind calming
- Opportunity to play
- Spiritual, prayerful, exploration
- A natural high and reminder of life's possibilities and magic
What Happens at a Class
When you arrive, there will usually be music playing and the invitation to warm up and prepare yourself for the class, this is an important part of the session. What each person needs in order to be ready for the taught part of the class may be different and may be different each week. Some people meditate, some people rest or stretch, some get straight into dancing, either way, it is time for you to arrive, let go of the journey and feel into how you are. Also to warm up your body and get ready to dance.
The class has a clear start time, if you want to chat and say hello to friends please arrive early, so that when the class begins you are ready to stop talking and engage in the class.
Often the warm up session extends into going through a wave (a wave is a way of describing how we move through all 5 Rhythms), untaught, after that we usually come into a circle together to check in & I will introduce a theme, or an aspect of movement that we are going to explore.
This is a simple and potentially profound movement practice and you can't get it wrong. Or right, for that matter - it's a chance to explore for yourself and everyone is welcome, whatever limitations or experience you have.
Wearing socks on smooth floors, chewing gum, etc, can be dangerous, and it's a good idea to remove jewellery and watches, especially if they're sharp or may catch.
We all have similar versions of the 'mind chat' it's what comes up and gets in the way of us simply being present in our dance. For example; self-consciousness, am I doing it right, thoughts or judgements (good or bad) about the teacher, or other dancers or yourself, thoughts about yesterday or tomorrow, thoughts about meeting that special someone on the dance floor, thoughts about attraction, being bored or excited etc, etc and so it goes on. Dance is one way to still the mind.
This practice asks us to follow what is arising in us, physicalise it, to let it move & let it go....'the art of non attachment'. This ethos of non attachment is extended to the dances we have with each other, practice letting go of agendas around what may or may not happen in relation to another dancer, so that you can be in the moment with what is happening. I know that people do meet future partners on the dance floor...it happens...what I am saying is that if you come with that agenda or fear, it gets in the way of us being present. I am naming this as simply one of the mind loops us humans get into in order to create more awareness and safety in the space.
I know it can seem unnerving/exciting when you first begin coming. Despite how it looks, not everybody knows everybody - though as time goes by this practice does catalyse our ability to be open and honest with ourselves and one another. There's no rush for anything. Take your time, go with what works for you. We're all different and that's to be honoured and celebrated.
People may be experimenting with being loud, big, bold, timid, intimate, self-contained. It's fine to move away from or towards someone - give yourself permission to experiment too - in your own way. Use your respect for other people and their process and expect respect for yours.
Everybody came for a first time. If you can, speak to someone (or two or three) at the end of the session, especially if you notice that you're feeling anything (shy, weird, exhilarated, etc). Ask questions, tell them how you are.
Welcome to this practice.