5RTA | June 2017 Teacher Spotlight


Lucia Horan

United States


5Rhythms Teacher since 1994

Tribe Member since 1976


To love and be loved, that is the goal. This is my path, and the one I bring to all of my students as I present the question, “What is your capacity to love and be loved”?

In my lifetime of dancing with Gabrielle she lead me into the path of healing the heartbreak of young love, betrayal, abandonment and also the deep grief of death. On the other side of those dances, I was able to find acceptance, forgiveness, compassion and even appreciation.

These healing dances are not done in one dance or one workshop but are rather stretched across time. As I have stayed committed to the path, the result has brought me happiness, joy, contentment and true love. It is no easy task to stay open when the world has conditioned the heart to close in safety and protection. But yet my heart desired to love and be love. And nothing could stop that. This is no easy task, but a deeply sacred one.

The emotional territory of the heart might be compared the Mount Everest of our human experience. How do we navigate it all? How do we avoid becoming jaded and shut down after being hurt, violated and wounded? How can we bring grace to the most difficult moments and lessen the amount of suffering we experience? These are the questions we investigate through the Gabrielle Roth’s map of Heartbeat.

We practice not clinging or holding on. Not avoiding or stepping away. We embrace the service and action of each emotion as they help us survive. As we investigate beyond preference, one can see that fear is protecting, anger is defending, sadness is emptying, joy is opening and compassion is connecting.

We cannot change what is, but we can change how we relate to these natural states of being. As our awareness expands it is possible to see that these emotions are here to serve us, help us and assist us in survival.

And when our emotions fail to serve us in their original purpose, we are asked to dance an even higher dance. This is Creator asking us to move forward with great courage, acceptance, and forgiveness as we surrender and heal.

All this, so that we can transform our deepest wounds into our greatest gifts; and become of service to others. This dance of turning towards our own suffering teaches us compassion for all those who have been through what we have. This dance teaches us how to move out of the isolation and numbness that hardens our hearts and allows us to become better people as we dance through a most heart opening road of healing and transformation.

We all deserve to love and be love. Let nothing take that away from you. Take radical responsibility. You are the creator of your reality. Carry no further the lineage of pain handed down to you. It is never to late. Heal your heart. Heal your story, your ancestral story, your cultural story; and live a life full of love, kindness, contentment and joy. There is a simple way, a direct path. It is the dance of mindfulness, meditation and movement.

My unique perspective on Heartbeat is born from both Gabrielle Roth and The teaching of the Buddha Dharma. I include both seated and moving meditation in my retreats. These two practices highlight the polarities of life. Be mindful in both and you will have covered the whole spectrum of life experience.


Heart to Heart, 5Rhythms & Buddhist Heart Practice

with Lucia Horan


04 June 2017 - 09 June 2017

Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove




Karen Ritscher

United States


5Rhythms Teacher since 2010

Tribe Member since 2000


I took my first workshop with Gabrielle in 1998, and I wanted to run away as quickly as I could! I spent the entire weekend in my head, evaluating and judging, in ecstatic terror, while at the same time deeply longing for the freedom and joy that I could feel around me on the floor. My early path with the 5Rhythms® was not the “I’ve finally found my home” feeling that so many others describe, but rather a slow process of learning to tolerate the truth and intimacy I was finding on the dance floor. Now, after my first ten years of “in-and-out” practice, and another ten of completely committed practice, I can share that I am overwhelmingly grateful to Gabrielle, Jonathan and the whole world tribe for my life itself! Finding my breath, and my feet in the beat, time and time again, has revealed possibilities that I never before believed could happen.

Because I had been trained as a classical violist, I was used to trying to get it right and was, in fact, a slave to my perfectionism in both my performing and the rest of my life. 5Rhythms® has opened up a field of true creativity, and it is delicious! Now my worlds of 5Rhythms® and music overlap and feed each other. I am grateful for my “teachers” in the Alzheimer’s Group at the Stein Center, who show me over and over again what true presence is. I teach my weekly class Rhythm Body and I also love the 5RRO work I get to do with the Grief Loss Workshops and cancer groups at Montefiore Hospital.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer (multiple myeloma) with amyloidosis. At that time I was told that it was unusual that I was still alive, since I had been having undiagnosed symptoms for three years, and I really should have died. My healing has been a very interesting process, and I can say that I am now on the other side of this illness. I truly believe that this dancing path has helped me heal. Learning to be fluid with what is, knowing my heart’s callings, and learning to surf the chaos of the diagnosis and this confusing world we live in have all grown out of my practice.

Near the beginning of my diagnosis, soon after Gabrielle had transitioned, she appeared to me in the dance and said, ”It’s not your time yet!” So often I hear her voice saying, “the only way out is through!”

I am excited to offer Through Waves. I love the profound simplicity of exploring the fundamentals of our practice and am so grateful to share it!

“There is no way out but through the body, no way up unless we all go together, no way down unless we follow the beat, no way in unless we embrace the dark.” -- Gabrielle Roth



Through Waves
with Karen Ritscher
24 June 2017 - 24 June 2017
Joffrey Ballet School, Studio 3, New York




Upcoming workshops in June


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