5Rhythms Teacher since 2001
Tribe Member since 1994
I discovered dance at the age of 29 and fell in love with it. After a few years of professional ballet and modern dance classes, I discovered the 5Rhythms® at a Shakti Gawain workshop. In the 5Rhythms, I was able to find my own dance, self-expression, and something inside of me cracked open.
At the time, I was completing my BA in Dance, and added a drive of over an hour (each way) every week to dance the 5Rhythms. I went through the teacher training to dive deeper into the practice, and I was interested in bringing dance to underserved populations. Kathy and Lori asked me to assist them at an AIDS conference. During the class, the women were dancing in their wheelchairs with their oxygen masks on. They commented that the conference focused primarily on their illness, yet this 5Rhythms class awakened their aliveness. It was exciting to see people with such major health challenges, so moved by the practice.
In 2004, I began teaching a weekly public class in Sausalito, CA, which is still thriving today. I hold the dance as a journey of self-discovery and a vehicle for healing. I feel honored to create space and bear witness to the transformation that happens on the dance floor. My classes and workshops play with archetypal themes and weave in the work of cultural anthropologist, Angeles Arrien. I created the Medicine Circle, which starts with a 5Rhythms wave and weaves ritual, movement, community, sound and prayer, to connect to spirit. It takes the circles that happen organically on the dance floor to another level, bringing a deeper intention to it.
When Gabrielle was diagnosed with cancer (and knowing how much outreach work meant to her), I kept hearing Tracy Chapman’s voice in my head singing “If not now, then when.” I could no longer wait to start the outreach work. In 2010, I began offering weekly classes at the San Francisco County Jail, then at the Veterans Affairs Hospital, working with vets suffering from addiction, PTSD, and dementia. I founded Syzygy Dance Project, a 501 C(3) nonprofit that provides dance and movement classes for underserved populations. Moving with people who do not know they can dance – seeing their eyes light up, smiles on their face, and witnessing them dance through the challenges they face -- touches my heart and deepens my work.
Gabrielle once mentioned that providing movement classes to veterans had special meaning for her. She said she would tell me the story one day but that day never came. Regardless, I’m glad I did not wait for “one day” to start the outreach classes. I feel privileged to bring this work into the world and reach so many diverse people. We’ve now worked with over 1,600 veterans, inmates, elderlies, addicts and youth, offering dance as a path for transformation.
Please join me for my upcoming fall workshop in Arizona – Dancing the Mystical Path.
Dancing the Mystical Path
with Sylvie Minot
11 September 2015 - 13 September 2015