5Rhythms Teachers

"At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm, a complex form...which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything in the universe. ~George Leonard"
Texas, New Mexico, Arizona Teacher Community
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Melanie Cooley

Certified 5Rhythms Teacher

From an early age, I was an activist, a rebel, defiant and determined to be a champion for those in need. At 17, I was in a car accident that landed me in physical therapy. I had danced my whole life, but those sessions were my first conscious awakening to the interconnectedness, the oneness, of the body. They shifted my path incrementally, sending me toward certification as a massage therapist by the time I was 21. While in massage school, I discovered the music of Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors, and I danced to it in my basement, over and over—though it would be decades before I heard the term 5Rhythms.

My years as a massage therapist both funded my path through higher education and deeply shaped my work during my graduate program in poetry. These threads—body and language—are the threads I weave and tangle, follow into labyrinths and cast across chasms. The science and the mystery of our embodied selves, the body’s silent language and the physicality of words. The warp and the weft. And from that weaving, still and again, engagement with community, grounded, softened. Incrementally adjusting the story of the world—on a dance floor where refugee women and their new American neighbors meet to laugh and dance, in a street where strangers of all backgrounds open their hearts to each other’s grief, on dance floor after dance floor where brave souls explore the endless internal wilderness and possibilities for connection.

The path is ever-unfolding. I place my faith in the wisdom of my feet. And my feet have led me here, to you.

Maps: Waves
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States
Dancing since: 1991
Languages: English, Spanish, French

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