By Ron Rudolf
After my retirement several years ago I have been exploring the spiritual offerings in the city and my most recent discovery is the 5Rhythms Dance.
This dance program was created by Gabrielle Roth and it’s now a worldwide movement, given in many countries throughout the world. Gabrielle believes that experiencing life should be felt from the heart, not the mind. The heart is where all passion lies, and following our heart, tuning in, so to speak, helps lead us to that richer, more fulfilling life we all desire. 5Rhythms Dance encourages us to let go of our mind and open to what we are feeling in the moment and put all that emotion into movement the moment we hit the dance floor. The more we are able to do this, the more magical the dance becomes. You’ll have roughly 40 participants dancing (moving) to their own inner rhythm, letting their heart direct their movements. The more we let go of the self-consciousness created by our mind, the more we get in the flow. Feeling is the keyword here, not thinking.
Gabrielle starts the Forward to her book, Maps to Ecstasy, by writing, “In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask you one of four questions: When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?” Dancing, singing, storytelling and silence are the four universal healing salves. Letting go of the mind is essential to this process. I once asked a woman in the class, a former dancer, how she described the 5Rhythms to friends. She replied, “When dancing, I create the dance. When doing the 5Rhythms, the dance creates me.” This said it perfectly, describing how I felt while dancing. My movements were being created from within.
5Rhythms dancers range in age from the mid-twenties to the fifties and sixties, with the majority in their thirties and forties. The crowd is friendly and this could be a great way to meet other like-minded people, both before and after the dance. No talking is allowed on the dance floor. Dress is very casual, really anything you want to put on, from gym clothes to flowing gowns.
If you want to explore your spiritual side, come and try 5Rhythms out. Sessions are given weekdays in the evenings. The energy is high and you can experience a great workout, better, I might say, than you would in any health club. However, the strenuousness of your dancing depends on what you are feeling, so the workout is what you make of it. The sessions go for two hours with a short talk midway through. Expect to be sweating before long. And, like yoga, expect to feel more energized at the end.
Ron Rudolf is a retired financial executive who has found many new friends all over the world as his interest in spirituality and mental well-being has expanded to include attending retreats and seminar both in the USA and Europe.