5Rhythms Teacher since 1997
Tribe Member since 1991
24 years ago somebody suggested I read "Maps to Ecstasy" and listen to the cassette of "Bones”… ever since that moment, the 5Rhythms have been one of the cornerstones of my world. A little later I danced with Gabrielle in London and kept dancing. Danced my way in out and through what I would previously have tried to 'work out in my head'.
I hadn't rated the book much actually and it went back on the shelf while my feet did the studying.
Then 2 years ago, after 16 years of intensive regular teaching I thought I had 'found 'a clear, original understanding of the 5Rhythms. Then I read Maps to Ecstasy again and was shocked to find that all that I had 'discovered' was already written there by Gabrielle, a long time ago. Rather humbling!
It has taken me most of these 24 years to "get" that this is not an intellectual practice but a movement meditation practice that fast tracks us to the intelligence of Being beyond the grip of a frightened Ego.
It took me a long time to fall out of inertia and back into body and breath. With a psychotherapists education, and the cultural baggage of a society that valued IQ and imitation more highly than intuition and imagination, I had to dance a lot.
I was drawn magnetically to Gabrielle's wisdom whilst still not living it. I still acted as if the thoughts in my head were more real than the feelings in my heart and the knowing in my guts.
And this magnetic attraction to her and the Wave kept me dancing, got me training, got me teaching workshop after workshop for years all over the place.
With all this dance something has been slowly transforming.. The person that I called 'me" has gained a lot of breath, shed a load of fear, dropped a load of habits. Re-membered how to see and be.
Gabrielle was a wise warrior and a vibrant visionary. She got people to aim for their feet so they could, empty the chattering mind and land in their heart.
She inspired us to still the mad monkey mind so we could feel again the silence that is our core and inhabit a body, conscious alive awake connected creative. Meeting her and the path of her work when I did was a moment of true grace in my life.
"It’s like meditate or go mad because you get swept up. It becomes a matter of life and death...Dance is my gateway to a deeper sense of unity and…it’s my gateway to everything. It’s my gateway to more deeply live and occupy my body, my heart and my mind. When the body, heart and mind are unified, that is the soul or an expression of what we call soul, and that soul is spirited or catalyzed by breath...." -- Gabrielle.
More Than This - 5Rhythms in Process
with Alain Allard
15 April 2015 - 19 April 2015
Martha Graham School 55 Bethune Street, New York
5Rhythms Teacher since 2010
Tribe Member since 1996
My 5Rhythms journey followed the path led by my wife Meredith. She was the driver. I was a passive and often cynical passenger.
In the early 1990’s in Melbourne, Meredith had the book ‘Maps’ and a cassette tape ‘Initiation’. We lived above a chapel so we would gather a few friends, push aside the pews and follow the instruction of the American woman with the sexy voice. I used to tease Meredith saying, “Do you want to be an “Urban Shame (on you) Man” too! I had no idea.
In 1996, we moved to London, where Meredith found her first weekly class. Dance-addiction settled in and I began to meet all her new weird ‘embodied friends’. I feared a cult so went to check it out myself. In my first class I had a deep dance connection with a goddess-like woman in hippie clothes and went to bed fearing my marriage was over.
Once I had learned to put such common experiences ‘in my dance” I became a regular. I soon joined another class and went without Meredith. Was I…becoming my own dancer?
I first met Gabrielle at a one-night-only event in London. I queued for ages getting to see her; there must have been 1500 people there. She was on a big stage, far from me. But it was still an amazing experience. I was ready to buy the T-shirt.
In 2002, we came back to Melbourne and started a family. Meredith was a new 5R teacher and mother. I was now a father plus sound, reception, admin, childcare, promotion etc. I became immersed in the tribe and our work as it grew. I made beautiful friendships. I took the wheel myself. In 2010 I met Gabrielle again, this time as a Teacher in training.
Since then I have taught weekly. I took over Meredith’s big weekly class, which has now run for 12 years. I love teaching 5Rhythms. It has the creative edge of song composition and performance that I thrive on. I use humour a lot. I honour all our students, especially newcomers. They could be out partying, but they turn up with curiosity and I immerse them in ‘this discipline called freedom’. I work in a wild field. My passion is to help bring the wisdom of this practice into our work, our relationships, our dreams.
One of my favourite things to do is strip back to simply playing a drum and following the dancers, introducing the natural wave that comes when we really listen.
I am an enthusiastic, say-yes-to-everything person by nature but the practice reminds me to listen to myself. This is my eternal study; so I am honoured to have served a patient, slow apprenticeship. Transitions is my longest workshop offering and feels like my next exciting new growth. Seed becomes shoot, becomes sapling.
Transitions; A 5Rhythms Workshop
with David Juriansz
24 April 2015 - 26 April 2015