5RTA | November Teacher Spotlight


Sonja Hellmann



5Rhythms Teacher since 0

Tribe Member since 2003


I came into this world with the fear of my mother that I could "have a shadow". The doctors told her my head was smaller than normal. I'm so happy I have a shadow! Aren't you? (and isn't a smaller head lighter to birth?)

My way to the dancefloor began in the shades next to it. Collecting the sparkling glitter, fallen off the showdancers costumes. I still like to collect stars in the dark. Pearls born from the dance, grown in the dark.

Haruki Murakami wrote in "1Q84": "Where there is light, there must be shadow, where there is shadow there must be light. There is no shadow without light and no light without shadow.... We do not know if the so-called Little People are good or evil."

In my teenage years I was a Goth. I danced to a music style called darkwave with friends all dressed in black. and white. and violet, as my hair. We had so much fun these days – dancing in the dark down and feeling so light.

In 2003 I stumbled into a 5Rhythms group, right after my art and art-therapy Diploma. Some years later I danced my 2nd son into this world. And opened my business "Lichtschacht – art investigation". A "Lichtschacht" is the way where the light enters the inner rooms, cellar and core of a building. In our moving meditation the breath is the gateway for light into our deepest and highest being.

Nowadays I'm working as performance artist in nature & urban settings, painter, art-teacher and I'm teaching 5Rhythms Waves in several classes in Bonn and around and travel for teaching and co-creative projects. I still bring my art – which is not MY art - to the dancefloors – the paintings, born out of the tribe, come to life in the light of your eyes.

5Rhythms as Praxis, Perspective and Performance art is my offering in "DARKWAVES Schatten-Licht-Tanz“ So, welcome to explore the gateway of light into our most inner beings, let's meet where light and shadow are the same. Angels and Daemons – both creative forces from same source on our path of exploring and freeing self.

“The only way out is through.” 
― Gabrielle Roth


DARKWAVES Schatten-Licht-Tanz

with Sonja Hellmann


30 November 2019 - 30 November 2019

Brotfabrik , Bonn




In Memory of Mati Vargas-Gibson

United States


5Rhythms Teacher since 2007

Tribe Member since 1998


I grew up in Mexico in a family where gatherings were attended by dozens of people. Being in a crowd is a comfortable place; in my culture, people touch, hug, and connect intimately easily. In fact, it’s expected that everyone should. I moved to the USA as a teenager and remember how my body experienced a culture where personal space was more defined; where people didn’t shake hands or greet with a kiss. I recall censoring my impulse to connect physically in order to belong. I also lived in Europe where these two extremes seemed to find a middle ground.

When I began practicing 5Rhythms it felt wonderful to be in a space where interaction with everyone was part of the point of the dance! I became fascinated by how everyone brings their experiences of “the other” to the dance floor. I saw that, because I was so comfortable with the group at large, I had little sense of what it was like to just be with my own energy without isolating; what it was like to not loose myself in the presence of others. I also met my comfort zones and uncomfortable edges of dancing with another person, the vulnerability of seeing someone clearly and being seen fully.

Through thousands of dances, I experienced deep transformations in these three realms: intimacy with myself, connection with another, and belonging to the group. It is one of my favourite things to explore when offering 5Rhythms. Everyone has different responses when dancing with others, but, at the end, we are all humans hungry for connection and ease in all our relations. Gabrielle said “if you put the psyche in motion it will heal itself”; I’d like to add: “if you put a bunch of people in motion, they will heal together”.

Most 5Rhythms dances have moments that call us to be on our own, with a partner, or in the tribal collective. I love dedicating a whole weekend to creatively investigating these levels of relationship, focusing on how the dance itself offers endless possibilities for opening up and releasing the stories of loneliness or disconnection we all carry: the opportunity for being free in the moment when we dance together.



The Dance Between Us: The art and practice of moving together
with In Memory of Mati Vargas-Gibson
01 November 2019 - 03 November 2019
Intersect Arts Center, St. Louis




Upcoming workshops in November


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