5Rhythms Teacher since 2007
Tribe Member since 1997
My journey with the Rhythms began on my sofa, reading Maps to Ecstasy, back in 1990. It continued in other parts of my living room after my friend gifted me the Endless Waves CDs. I continued to dance at home for years before I could get to a class. I’ll always remember that first night in Camden, in the mid 90’s, Underworld were the latest thing and I had a peak experience, while my 8 year old son played with his lego at the edge of the room. Always be grateful to John Kelly for introducing me to the practice and letting me bring my boy along that first time!
I don’t know, I think the dance appealed to the party animal in me, who can’t deal with the social side of parties! It gave me a structure in which I could let go completely and go wild. And then it is also much much more than that. I just love to get to a purity of energy in the place beyond concepts and masks.
It wasn’t until I moved to London in 2000 that I could start dancing every week. I’d already had a major awakening in 1992 when I stepped onto the shamanic ceremonial path I still walk to this day.
Dance has always been a pleasure for me. So imagine my delight, in 2002, when I was doing a ceremony deep in the forest of Guatemala with a little band of fellow warriors, that I heard a message from spirit, to train to teach the 5Rhythms. This seemed to be a bona fide message because I would never have thought of it until that moment of asking for guidance. I had other plans!
When I got home I did my research and saw it would take me several years to realize the dream! But I never doubted it for one moment, and just got on with all that dancing! Fantastic. Learning through pleasure, the best way.
I completed the training in 2008 and have been teaching a weekly class ever since, as well as workshops and ongoing groups.
The inspiration for Love, in the Chaos came about in the wake of the US presidential election. It seemed the world was falling apart. The world IS falling apart! Over and over again, in the age of chaos, old structures and certainties are dissolving leaving us little to hold onto. Concepts begin to crumble.
This is exciting and essential, because it means we have a chance to reinvent our lives at a higher level. If it is even “we” who are doing it. Life is reinventing US, and dancing chaos is essential if we want to let Life through us to show us who we are.
The physical practice of the Rhythms helps us to ride the waves of chaos in our own minds, in our lives and in the wider world, all of which are connected. The Love I refer to in the title is synonymous with Space or Awareness. I’m talking about Love as the highest vibration available to us, which can felt dancing chaos, as that still centre in the eye of the hurricane.
Learning to live with chaos and keep moving, dancing, getting up when we fall down, surrendering, these are vital skills in our overly automated lives. And if we can raise our vibration, we’ll be well equipped to roll with the massive chaotic changes happening all around us every day, keeping a cool head and a warm heart, connected to the moving center in the belly. Most of the time.
Love, in the Chaos
with Jean Rankin
27 January 2017 - 29 January 2017
A Mindfulness Life Center, Scottsdale
5Rhythms Teacher since 2014
Tribe Member since 1972
As I leaned over the toilet vomiting with morning sickness - between lessons teaching art to school kids - I promised myself it was time to quit my day job, and follow my dream of returning to dance.
I found 5Rhythms several years later whilst juggling the roles of being a mother of two young children, a supportive wife, studying dance-movement therapy, and teaching Egyptian dance. 5Rhythms became my own private practice for keeping me sane and helping me hold it together.
I was adamant I was never going to become a teacher. The dancing path was my selfish journey. I was pretty angry at the world but each new workshop opened a door into a magical labyrinth of freedom full of wonderful characters, with demanding trials, and empowering triumphs. Eventually I danced through the doorway to a braver, softer, and more compassionate self, and realised I had something worth sharing.
Now into my third year of teaching I feel like I am only just warming up. I’m drawn to teaching the rhythms through grounded somatic experiences, through the imagery of archetypal stories and art making, and by exploring the magic of that painfully sweet lyrical trance spot in the map. I delight in holding sacred space for my women’s monthly workshops, and I relish the journey that the group takes together during a series or a weekend workshop.
But becoming a teacher almost destroyed my own dance/inner dancer. It felt like when Toto pulls back the curtain, revealing that the Wizard of Oz is actually just a guy with a few tricks and a bit of smoke. My dance just lost all the magic. But I’m committed to my practice - so I just kept showing up, and trusting the process, until I found my own red shoes, my own magic. This is why I am offering this five day Summer Sweat Your Prayers and Research workshop - taking time to allow this process, the energy of the wave to ripple through our dance and unfurl fully.
We’ll be dancing a rhythm a day: teaching in the mornings, sweats style in the evenings. We'll research our own embodiment and relationship to the rhythms. Our research is our inquiry, our tracking into the labyrinth, to discover and revise our ideas in the light of new evidence and experiences. I’m trusting we’ll all find ourselves a pair of sparkly red shoes.
5Day 5Rhythms Summer Sweat Your Prayers & Research
with Natalie Poole
25 January 2017 - 29 January 2017
Cecil Street Studios, Melbourne