April Teacher Spotlight

Jonathan Horan

United States

Teaching since 1986

Dancing since 1970

For this one, I'm passing it over to Morgan Rae who recently wrote this Conscious Dancer reflection, giving a voice to the organizers that support the 5Rhythms practice.


I never realized dancing in a room together with other people was something I was taking for granted. Looking back, it’s screamingly ironic that the upheaval 5Rhythms practice predicted rhythmically in the dance was an upheaval that no one, teacher nor producer nor student, was actually prepared for logistically. I’ve been hard-pressed to find anyone out there that already had a plan B for what would happen if we all suddenly couldn’t actually meet in our regular in-person spaces to practice.

One year later, the conscious dance producer persona that once was so second nature to my own movements in the world continues to feel like an impossible task and ask. Some venues will take a rental reservation; others just won’t until local restrictions ease up. Booking a flight is mostly possible, but full refunds (not just credits) and guaranteed border entry are not. Quarantine requirements, medically holding safe space, moral choices – what happens if we are responsible for many students getting awfully sick or, even worse, losing their life?

What was once a relatively smooth Staccato practice of setting the wheels in motion for a future event 6, 12, 18 months down the road now is filled with lots of false starts and stops and self-guessing – is doing this planning work even worth it right now?

Throughout the pandemic, eager students have sent emails daily: When will our current training finish? Is our next 5Rhythms training or SpaceHolder orientation scheduled yet? Is Jonathan teaching in Europe this summer? Are the NYC classes opening up in person again anytime soon?

The only answer I continue to truthfully uncover these days that isn’t over-promising or under-delivering is quite simply: I don’t know.

Headed into my 10th year of 5Rhythms practice as a student, I’ve learned that committing to Chaos is an opportunity to bring into balance the limitless energies of destruction & creation, a rhythm of surrender to un-knowing what comes next in its most essential form. Releasing what our planning world looked like before and being open to what is resourcefully emerging in new ways. Letting go of yesterday’s expectations of what was, moving fluidly with today’s possibilities of what can be, and organizing futures only once one string in the swirl of unknowns can be discernibly tethered down to earth.

For now, as a producer, this manifests for me as pouring my creative action into live.5rhythms.com. Bringing 1-2 5Rhythms teachers from around the world technologically online each week to showcase the diverse teachings that make up our global 5RTA field. Ethically partnering with musicians, choosing to consciously ask permission and exchange financial value for their contributions, out of respect for our extended musical family that has also struggled in the limiting of live events. Crafting self-study series such as the Begin (Again), Dancing with Myself, and coming soon – Dancing with My Space, that intentionally lean into the true existence and challenges students and teachers face – how to maintain a practice as a dancer alone in your home.

And, because practicing our way through Chaos always gives way to Lyrical, this digital dance journey around the sun revealed a new possibility that likely wouldn’t have gotten the kick in the butt it needed to be planned and launched in haste one year ago. While the necessity of live-streamed classes will likely go down as the 5Rhythms dancefloors (thankfully) reopen, this era birthed into being a 5Rhythms platform with longevity and purpose: an on-demand practice portal rich in teachings, ripe with collaborative musical partnerships, and releasing 5Rhythms into the world with more accessibility than ever before – from 50 countries pre-pandemic, streaming now into 130 countries worldwide.

To paraphrase Gabrielle Roth: You didn’t think this was about planning to dance, did you?

Dancing With My Space

with Jonathan Horan

April 13, 2021

From Salt Lake City, USA

Richard Wiltshire

United Kingdom

Teaching since 2016

Dancing since 2005

It is not an exaggeration to say 5Rhythms saved my life.

When my first diagnosis arrived in 2009, it didn’t surprise me. I had been unwell for a while. Each time I danced unbeknownst to me my abnormally high blood sugars reduced to normal levels. A genetic diagnosis of a more serious, progressive illness came a few months later. I was fortunate that by this time my practice was deep-rooted enough in my day to day life that I was able to call on the dance for support and resilience in the years that followed.

My journey had begun in 2005 when I arrived at my first 5Rhythms class at an old boot factory in south London. Within minutes of stepping on the dancefloor I felt like I had come home - this is what I was missing in my life I thought. 

Although the genetic illness I had been diagnosed with had no known cure - it had a recognised remedy: movement. What providence - all I had to do was keep dancing. 

By 2014 I was forced to take medical retirement. Another blessing, as it gave me space to pursue the 5Rhythms teacher training. In 2016 I graduated and in 2018 I taught my first workshop for those who move with chronic illness. We danced through my shadow wave of chronic illness from the inertia, to the tension & frustration, through to the overwhelm, spacing out, and finally the numbness, and bringing them all into the light. Teaching the workshop was a turning point for me, and I felt a new path open up.

Some of my most healing dances have been those that take place in nature, though I never dreamt of teaching a regular class outside. That is until Covid came along…

UK rules have been more relaxed to outside exercise than inside so ‘Simply Being: the garden sessions’ was born.

All the 5Rhythms are present in a garden. From the earthy flow, to the staccato plants shooting up, to the wild blossoms of chaos, to the leaves letting go in autumn, and finally the stillness of winter.

The garden sessions are an invitation to align ourselves with the creative and healing forces of nature; co-creating together in movement as we dance through the seasons. We begin on Easter Monday and dance fortnightly thereafter. If you’re in London or nearby please join us - you never know it might end up saving your life someday! Tickets are available from here.

Simply Being: The Garden Sessions

with Richard Wiltshire

April 5, 2021

From London, UK


Falling Up Backwards

Emma Leech & Lorca Simons

From UK

April 3

Still Compassion

Lucia Horan   

From USA

April 10

Being Human

Arjan Bouw

From Netherlands

April 24-25

Emptiness Dancer

Lucia Horan   

From USA

April 24

Sharp Lines

Alessandro Moruzzi  

From USA

April 25









All 5Rhythms Teachers Association members workshops and classes counting towards 

The Dancing Path to become a certified 5Rhythms teacher. This includes online offerings!

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