A Dance Practice for Life
“Mine is a dancing path”- a timeless quotation from my spiritual dance teacher, Gabrielle Roth. She was the grandmother of conscious ecstatic dance, a visionary whose lithe body birthed a moving meditation practice for modern times. Her legacy of the 5Rhythms®, a workout for body and soul, continues to seduce and inspire people of all ages, in all corners of the world, to surrender to the bigger dance of life.
I fell in love with the dancing path of the 5Rhythms in a small gym in Cambridge, England around 1997. It was my first experience of conscious dance. I could not understand why the teacher, Adam Barley, was not giving me detailed choreographic instructions of how to do the dance. Everyone was dancing free form and moving across the floor in various ways and seemed to know exactly what to do. Adam just looked at me (it felt like he looked right through me) and said, “keep moving”. I did just that. Fast forward 20+ years and many hundreds of dances later — I am still a student of the 5Rhythms practice. My first few classes exploring this formless dance left me both fascinated and terrified at the same time. What the heck was this movement practice that shook up my body and soul in a way I had never experienced and had me hungry for more?
Adam’s words to me, “just keep moving”, are one of Gabrielle’s teachings that has become a mantra in my life. No matter what is going on for me, I can move with it and transform it through the dance. Nothing is too much or too big for the dance. I have danced through joy, grief, frustration, broken bones, heartache, ecstasy, birth, healing, love, letting go, boredom, anger, passion…just to name a few!
Today I am blessed to be a certified 5Rhythms teacher but sometimes I still struggle to describe the 5Rhythms practice to people. I’ve been so intimate with the dance for so long, it becomes harder to define it in a few sentences. Maybe it is easier to describe the 5Rhythms by what it is NOT.
- It does not have steps and routines to memorize, but it does have 5 distinct Rhythms that are a blueprint of the energetic patterns of nature.
- It is not a fitness or salsa class but it is a practice that requires discipline to show up again and again in order to shed layers of our hardened physical and emotional armor.
- It is not a religion, although many use it as a spiritual practice.
- It is not a social dance, nor a place to cruise for a new lover, nor a rave with drugs and alcohol. It is a gathering of people who come to intentionally open up their body, connect to their essence and transform their scars into stars.
- It is not a therapy group but many find that it is therapeutic: “Movement is medicine, and I trust that if you put the psyche in motion, it will heal itself.” Gabrielle Roth
Gabrielle created a sacred movement cosmology from her own dancing body. Her medicine wheel contains a detailed map of the body parts including major emotions, the cycles of life from birth to death and an array of ego characters with all their corresponding archetypes. This is a movement practice that leaves nothing hidden within the human soul. Her legacy lives on through the hundreds of 5Rhythms teachers world wide and the thousands of students who have danced with them.
Are you curious to experience the 5Rhythms practice up close and personal? Rasayana Studio has monthly Waves classes and a workshop coming up in February. No experience is necessary and all bodies are welcome aged 16+. You are invited to join me on the dancing path.
February 16 Monthly Waves Friday night drop-in class. 7- 8:45 pm
February 24 5Rhythms Fundamentals Workshop from 1 – 5 pm.
In this workshop beginners and seasoned dancers will have the opportunity to learn and embody each of the 5 sacred Rhythms: Flowing-Staccato-Chaos-Lyrical-Stillness®. Using the body as our gateway, we will discover our personal expression of each Rhythm and how they influence all aspects of our lives. This workshop is an invitation to witness and support each other to dive deep into the 5R practice – a journey of curiosity, personal revelation and self-healing.
Pre-registration is required and early bird registration ends on February 17.
March 2 & April 6th Waves Friday night drop-in classes. 7-8:45 pm.
I look forward to meeting you in the dance.
Marcia F. W. Jones
Certified Movement Analyst, Developmental Movement Educator, Certified 5Rhythms® Teacher, Shamanic Practitioner