5RTA | April Teacher Spotlight


Masayo Benoist

United States


5Rhythms Teacher since 2014

Tribe Member since 2009


1998, my left side of the body was 0 out of 10 level paralyzed by stroke. It was shocking, at the same time my curiosity for the body was huge. I spent time facing my body for 8 months. For the first 4 months, I was in wheel chair and taking physical therapy. Slowly re-developing my nerve.

I lost my job and previous marriage. I didn’t want to stay in Japan so I moved to LA with a cane for restarting my life. This gave me new life, a new husband, yoga, hiking and a sweet dog.

In 2009 a group from Japan was going to Esalen and were looking for a "translator who knows a little about acting dance, music, and yoga".

Nobody said yes, so even though my English wasn't good at all I was given the job because of my 'entertainment expertise’.

On my first day of Esalen, I was asked to dance! "if you don’t dance you cant be here.” Even when I explained my history, one of the teachers said "just forget about your stroke and trust your body.”

I had no where to run, but I was nervous to try to dance again since my recovery. I tried, I spun, I fell, and I cried. OMG! I did it! I did it!! It was an ugly spin, but I was amazed I could do it. It meant that I could still recover. I realized how amazing the human body is.

This is the story of how I met 5Rhythms even though I didn’t know anything about it or who Gabrielle was at the time.

From that day my life was totally changed, and I realized that even though I had a devastating stroke, it was the path that brought me here so I was grateful.

I feel that I am proof we can all start our lives over even after the worst things happen.

“Shadow becomes light!”

Looking back at my time recovering, I realized it also had a cycle like that of 5Rhythms "Wave".

As a teacher, my biggest intention is to help people realize in themselves the power of self healing.

Also how we can share our weaknesses to become stronger and how thats a gift.

Currently I visit Japan doing workshops 2-3 times a year and mentoring Sweat Spaceholders via Skype in 4 cities. Also part of my work in Japan has been to support charity as well.


TOKYO: No Rain, No Rainbow

with Masayo Benoist


20 April 2018 - 22 April 2018

羽田スタジオ, Tokyo




Chantell Foss



5Rhythms Teacher since 2014

Tribe Member since 2007


I grew up preposterously disembodied. I tried earnestly to be all the way here in the flesh, but my world taught me that I couldn’t do what was required, and so I often felt astray and mis-made. Solace and delight flickered though me when I stepped outdoors, and when I blindly took refuge in exercise. As a new mother, I got lucky. Old-school yoga bore me into teachings of breath, presence, and responsibility. Doing my best to follow these new lifelines, I scraped through illness and personal mayhem and received the grace of turning to face middle age. I heard spirit and discipline calling, but on my own, I circled meditation practice, unwilling to walk in the door. I was loitering.

That’s when 5RHYTHMS blew the door off its hinges. My first dance, under Joanne Winstanley's wise wing, made me feel like a newborn and its labouring mother all at once. Unfathomable freedom, unending mystery! Swished into these electrifying depths, I could get real enough to begin feeling, expressing, and healing. The Wave's power was so palpable that I released my grip on the river’s shore and trusted the current. In the dance (especially those with Gabrielle) came truth, ego death, and another chance to take my first breath. Every dance, it's the same: rebirth. It didn’t occur to me for years to hold the Wave for others. But now, it fits. I feel “in this together”, on some level, with every dancer I’ve met.

In prevailing North American culture, trust is often imagined 2 ways: it's an airy ideal that proves one has purity within, or it's a naive illusion perilously placed in stuff found outside ourselves. Both these attitudes are incomplete and lead us away from what is seriously trustworthy: the process of life itself, our bodies and instincts, our felt experience and intuition, our creativity and inspiration, our honest reflection and integration. In JUST TRUST, we’ll deepen these resources by moving with them through the Rhythms. We’ll turn our attention toward what’s happening in the moment, and practice digesting and responding to what’s truly going on. From there, we can relate to others and the world with more self-knowledge. We’ll use the Wave to activate our awareness and trust ourselves in the dance.



Just Trust
with Chantell Foss
27 April 2018 - 29 April 2018
Sun FM Dance Studio, Kelowna




Upcoming workshops in April


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