The 5 Rhythms Dance , The Transformation Through Dance

I was looking forward to treat this subject in my blog to introduce you this enjoyable holistic bodywork available in our area.

For me, dancing is one of the best ways to get fitness and enjoyment, if added to it you get “therapy”, then you get a great value, don’t you think so?

My friend and colleague, Sherron St. Clair introduced me the 5 Rhythms. She is currently learning to be teacher of this practice and is organizing her space “My Rhythms”. My first approach to her sessions was to have fun and a different night out, but soon realized that it was more than fun.

These sessions are organized always in an alcohol-free environment, which is great because you are truly yourself and the ones dancing beside you too, which at the beginning may cause you some apprehension, but if you try, you will be surprised of yourself. Nobody really cares the way you dance, when you stop or if you leave the room. This is a real opportunity for you to let go all your worries and limitations in a very safe and non-judgemental environment, to find yourself after the session, in a new space full of possibilities for you.

Every time I go to a session I experience a challenge and a chance to let go or to learn to do so. During the session I experience different emotions at the same rhythm the music is played. I can start the session coming from a dull day, where anger, apathy, tiredness, and other negative emotions were carrying me on, to finish the session with a feeling of joy, peace, emotional control and energy, which returns the smile on my face and the sun shines for me during the rest of the day. Yes, definitely I think “5 Rhythms” is a kind of therapy-meditation which helps me to understand myself more, growing inside and reviving my energy.  I recommend it to every person, independently of health conditions but, specially for people who wants to feel better physic, mental and spiritually.

The official definition of  “5 Rhythms Dance”, sourced from Wikipedia is as following:

5Rhythms is a movement meditation practice devised by Gabrielle Roth in the 1960s. It draws from many indigenous and world traditions using tenets of shamanistic, ecstatic, mystical and eastern philosophy. It also draws from Gestalt, the human potential movement and transpersonal psychology. Fundamental to the practice is the idea that everything is energy, and moves in waves, patterns and rhythms. Roth describes the practice as a soul journey, and says that by moving the body, releasing the heart, and freeing the mind, one can connect to the essence of the soul, the source of inspiration in which an individual has unlimited possibility and potential.

The practice focuses on putting the body in motion in order to still the mind and allow the person to connect to the spiritual. The five rhythms (in order) are: flowing staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. All together, when danced in sequence are known as a “wave”. The dance is usually allowed to express itself with minimal instruction, with the teacher allowing the music (DJ’ed or live) to guide the pace of the class, coming in with instruction to connect the group, deepen focus and expand therange of movement. While the practice is greatly transformative and can be deeply therapeutic, even though, Gabrielle Roth does not describe it as a form of dance therapy. Many therapists have obtained a 5Rhythms certification to support their therapeutic practice. The 5Rhythms has grown into an international movement with over 200 member teacher, who are mainly based in the US and Europe.

Perhaps my own experience and the dictionary explanation doesn’t clarify much; this is what other people who experienced the dancing said, (source: Cook, Sarah; Ledger, Karen; Scott, Nadine (2003), Dancing for Living Report: Women’s experience of 5 Rhythms dance and the effects on their emotional wellbeing, Sheffield: U.K. Advocacy Network)

“Get into my body and away from my head” (Jay): “I learn to inhabit my body, listen to my body, follow my body. Feelings flow through me. I am here, alive, awake and present” (Georga).

“You can dance your feelings, and no ones judging you, so different from normal day life” (Isolbelle); “nobody makes fun of you” (Eileen); “no one is looking at you” (Rose).

“It’s a long time since I was a little girl that I’ve been able to do something creative .. enjoy the process rather than the end product .. not having to perform well, and that’s what’s really nice for a change (Isolbelle).

“I was absolutely terrified the first time and I was stunned because the teacher was so uninhibited .. me and me friend .. we were shitting ourselves .. we just wanted to really run but we supported each other and we went back .. that’s over 10 years ago .. that’s what 5 rhythms has done for me, its heeled a lot of my inhibitions about my body” (Fiona)

“The first half hour of the introduction I was thinking how am I going to get through, I felt so self conscious but you know within 45 minutes I was loving it … (with) every session feeling self conscious is decreasing” (Isolbelle)

“An enjoyable way to get fit” (Karen)

“A feeling of unstoppable energy and enthusiasm for the day” (May).

“Really losing myself in the physical movement, it clears my mind so that I can really know what I feel about something” (Kit)

“Really good to discharge and have a space to do it.. getting rid of the emotional overload from like all the bits of my life .. leave some of that here and go out with less” (Mary)

The best way to understand it is: dare to try; there is nothing to lose.

Sherron organizes a Saturday night session a month in the Brockagh Centre (Laragh), TOMORROW AT 8.00 is your last chance before the New Year. Otherwise, every Monday morning you can enrol the sessions in Roundwood parish hall at 10.30 am.

All the sessions last around 2 hours, the first half an hour is to warm up. The price is quite affordable, for €10/session you get fun, fitness and therapy, great value! (€5 concession for people with low income) For more information see her contact number 086 878 8311.

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