Roots, Palindromes and a Blossoming Spring

April 26, 2013

Dear Dancing Feet around the globe,

Gabrielle created the 5Rhythms. Gave it body. Gave it a feminine form. Gave it Maps. Gave it a Dancing Path. Her gifts of this lifetime are full and complete.

Throughout the Winter hibernation and my mourning, I’ve been dancing with the name Gabrielle gave our new mother organization before she left — that which has been founded at Gabrielle’s wish to fill the shoes of our creator for eternity, to become synonymous with the name Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms. Mysteriously (Coincidentally?) A palindrome.

A palindrome is a sequence of units that can be read the same way in either direction.

It can be as simple as a word – mom – or a date 12.21

Or as complex as several lines of poetry:


Palindromes can show up in the most divine, meaningful, yet random moments.

Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms has taken shape as 5Rhythms Global.


Forwards, backwards, it is synonymous with everything Gabrielle gave to the 5Rhythms community in her lone self. It will guide, it will grow, it will protect, it will support. Just like Gabrielle did in the cultivation of the 5Rhythms throughout her life, this organization will be the foundation, source and guide to cultivating the 5Rhythms for the next 500 years. A palindrome written and in meaning.

When things are synonymous backwards and forwards, they are giving and receiving equally.

They are supporting those who want to be supported.

They are nurturing those that let nurturing in.

They are protecting those that can benefit from being protected.

They are feeding, growing, raising those that want to be fed, want to grow, want to raise the roof — want to build this house for our children and our future long after Gabrielle, me, you and we are gone from this earth.

This idea is the foundation for 5Rhythms Global and Gabrielle’s 500 Year Map.

In my mourning, I’ve sat with everything Gabrielle asked me to receive from her when she left this life. I have been carefully contemplating the last years that I spent with Gabrielle as she faced her own mortality. A great gift of time to not only begin the grieving process together from the day she was diagnosed, but to create a map for the future.

10 Years ago we started to envision her 500 Year map because we might need it some day. 3 Years ago we developed this vision because we knew we would need it some day. 1 Year ago we finalized this vision because we knew that day was coming. And 6 months ago that day finally came.

Together, we crafted the future, the legacy, the succession, the vision and the map of the 5Rhythms after the life of Gabrielle Roth.

We sifted through the past 40 years, Gabrielle admitted what worked and didn’t, what is sustainable and what may require some change to ensure a practice that lives on forever. We dusted off and brainstormed around her old ideas that she never was able to achieve — ones that have been sitting on the shelf for years. We brainstormed around new ideas and how best to set them in motion.

And when we were finished, we had 5Rhythms Global and a map to explore.

“After you jump and before you land is god. “ ~ Gabrielle Roth

With Gabrielle’s life cycle complete, we jumped.

I admittedly spent time this winter thinking Gabrielle was just off teaching somewhere and would be back. Only a matter of time before she walks through the door. Time for me had been standing still as I waited for her. But time does not stand still for anyone. Time moves forward, and we can move forward with it.

And so on I go. I have landed.

I have one foot on this earth. This foot is firmly grounded. This foot carries the pure clarity I have as a result of the map Gabrielle and I created to ensure a future for the 5Rhythms.

I have one foot hovering, beginning to step next to the first, beginning the flow of my dance. This foot carries the shattered heart of a son mourning his mother. His giver of life. His provider & nurturer. His teacher & spiritual leader. His absolute best friend. As time moves forward, this foot will grow stronger.

These feet have been preparing for this dance for 3 years. A special dance. The dance that Gabrielle gave me as the “Keeper of the flame of the 5Rhythms.”

This dance flows into the Spring blossoming of 5Rhythms Global. A flower, when planted as a bulb, knows what type of flower it is, knows that its roots are grounded, knows the only way up is to grow and blossom.

5Rhythms Global, in its simple given name, knows what it is. It is an acknowledgement of the true ‘Global’ communities, offerings and reach of this practice. Once the Mama Raven and Papa Robert operation, with a USA centric model, 5Rhythms Global is acknowledging the offerings, contributions, and dedication of our worldwide teachers.

As the 5RG administrative and support family grows, with more people filling Gabrielle’s shoes of duties, we are holding clear her direction to return to the feminine root, letting go of structure and titles that no longer serve us and building new ones that feel aligned to the way organizations and communities are organizing today. On this path we know the masculine and are rooted in the feminine.

Here are some of the initiatives that we are designing and implementing:

5RG is reinforcing and shaping its global support of its teachings community, through Gabrielle’s 5Rhythms Teachers Association.

5RG is expanding the Teacher Certification Program, bringing our training workshops to Europe and tapping into teachers worldwide to bring their unique shining lights in this practice as part of training our new seekers on The Dancing Path.

5RG is rebuilding our worldwide web presence with a new website (coming soon!). This will better serve our teachings and interconnect our worldwide community.

5RG is creating a central archive to hold Gabrielle’s maps, workshops, manuals, prerequisites records for students on The Dancing Path, and videos of our dearest Gabrielle’s teachings to continue to drink from the source.

Overall, Gabrielle asked for 5Rhythms Global to unite and hold the incredible, expansive diversity of this work together. One single entity to be the umbrella. One force. One.

As history has taught us as that when any creator passes on, the 5Rhythms will experience growing pains in the transition as we allow ourselves time to meditate on Gabrielle’s 500 Year Map, brainstorming how to create the containers that will hold this vision past our lifetimes. While we are not there yet, these containers include new additions such as a 5Rhythms Producers Association, Sweat Your Prayers Training as a stepping stone on The Dancing Path, and more official The Moving Center® teacher communities worldwide. We are sitting comfortably in this meditation, allowing questions, allowing potential answers to come and go, flowing. We are simply holding a vision, a map, and evoking the spiritual creative process that each member of our dancing community whether it be teacher, student, family, friend, or colleague of a dancer, has to contribute. We have no timeline on this. We are holding no expectations. We have no rush to race through.

There are many teachers from around the world who are mourning Gabrielle and I respect the flowing grief, the emotions, the anxiety, the fear, the chaos and the love that mirror my own. I encourage you to dance with your teachers, calling upon the 5Rhythms practice to move through these feelings. Many of us have held the 5Rhythms, now let’s let the 5Rhythms hold us. The practice is the teacher and teachings.

Gabrielle was above all the person I enjoyed most being with in my life and while her physical presence now only visits me in my sleeping dreams, I am grateful for the over 200,000 hours of precious dancing memories I have spent with, behind, next to and in front of her like this one. We were a creative team from the day she gave birth to me, which she acknowledged was the moment she recognized the intuitive beats of the body, the moment our intertwined destinies began the lifetime of collaboration and creative vision of the 5Rhythms practice. She does not need to be physically here for us to continue to be a team — we can continue to hold our 5Rhythms work, our map for the future, our memories, and all of her love that much closer in our heart as our daily guide.

My purpose on this planet is to share this gift with others, teach my students and in the process, allow my students to teach me. The root of the 5Rhythms practice and community is a cyclical and reciprocal circle with student and teacher standing side by side, a feminine path with no one in the center of the circle, where we each have our own place, we each have our offering to bring. I will continue my offerings to this circle for my lifetime.

“If we set the body in motion the psyche will heal itself” ~ Gabrielle Roth

In Gabrielle’s passing I’ve learned that mourning and grieving energy can be channeled in positive ways. I’ve taken this energy into my return to the creative root, the spirit of the 5Rhythms. I am blessed to have workshops of students holding me in my grief as I hold them in their dance.

My personal healing journey is shared with the woman that I’ve committed to as my loving partner. Morgan Rae has been my rock, the arms that have held me leading up to and in the aftermath of Gabrielle’s passing and it is a blessing that my mother got to meet, know her and welcome her into our family. She might cross your path at a class or workshop, and you can also find us setting the body in motion by surfing the Atlantic Ocean’s waves closest to our Brooklyn, New York apartment or on the mountains snowboarding by our Salt Lake City, Utah home.

Gabrielle asked me to not stop my offerings of and learning from the teachings of the 5Rhythms in the immediate days, weeks, and months following her death. The 5Rhythms practice transforms suffering into art and I have been bringing my tears, my laughter, my memories and my heart to each and every dance. She wanted me to use the teachings, the work, the practice for its rooted purpose. To heal.

This Spring & Summer I continue my workshop offerings, sitting with and dancing through my own grief as we dance out of our heads and into our body together. Through our feet we crack open and heal our hearts, minds, souls and spirits.

Registration and Information

Kripalu, Lenox, MA | Waves: A Moving Meditation
April 12-14 | www.kripalu.org | Phone: 866.200.5203

New York, NY | Mirrors
May 9-13 | Email: info@5rhythms.com | Phone: 212.760.1381

Big Sur, CA | Cycles at Esalen
May 26-31 | Contact: www.esalen.org | Phone: 831.667.3005

Schweibenalp, Switzerland | Medicine Dance
June 3-9 | Email: tanzdichganz@bluewin.ch | Phone: +41.526.5410.54

Denmark | Tribal Mirrors
July 3-7 | Email: jan@redsted.dk |

Orval, Belgium | Mirrors/Naked Soul Residential
July 12-22 | Email: luc@owc.be | Phone: +


God, Sex, & The Body at Westerbeke Ranch

In the series of maps that comprise the dancing path of the 5Rhythms®, God, Sex and the Body is an initiation into being an embodied soul… [Read More]

Workshop Price:

Housing Prices:
$800 — Onsite
$500 — Day rate for locals
$400 — Campsite (limited #)

Sonoma, CA | God, Sex & the Body
August 1-4 | Email: info@5rhythms.com | Phone: 212.760.1381

The Moving Center New York under the guidance of our NYC Teachers continues seeking the edge of Gabrielle’s New York City inspiration, dancing daily week in and week out, channeling our waves of turbulence and chaos, sadness and tears, peace and love from other parts of the world into our dance to strengthen the unity of our circle and to release Gabrielle’s spirit from her physical self and obligations to this earth.

We, both 5Rhythms Global and The Moving Center New York, continue to hold with highest integrity Gabrielle’s vision for the 5Rhythms Reach Out with a ground-breaking, model-setting program with Montefiore/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Interns, doctors, and staff are attending monthly Waves sessions. 5Rhythms has become a regular offering as part the institution’s annual introductory week for new interns. We’re establishing on-going 5Rhythms programs for their elders and caregiver’s communities, and also as part of their healthy living curriculum for adolescent girls. The possibilities for touching multiple populations through Montefiore’s wide-reach is limitless. We’re setting up pilot programs that we hope to duplicate throughout their hospital and medical school to make the 5Rhythms accessible to everyone and anyone who comes into their facilities. Another great opportunity that association with Montefiore is bringing to the 5RRO is the development of well-documented metrics that will serve to confirm the impact that the 5Rhythms is an effective healing modality. Classes have already been a huge success; and, according to surveys after the last two sessions we held, participants reported reduced stress levels that manifested in feeling lighter and more alive. They are ready for more. Gabrielle’s dream is taking its first baby steps and coming to life!

The 5Rhythms is the largest, most electrifying and well-established movement discipline in the world. A map for the 5Rhythms for 500 years is big – 500 years is a long time away.

In 500 years we won’t exist as our physical selves on this earth any more.

Gabrielle’s final wish and dream was that the 5Rhythms will.

See you on the dance floor.



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