My First 5 Rhythms Dance “Movement Medicine” Experience!
Posted Mar 07 2010 11:40pm
On Saturday night I went to a 5 Rhythms Dance class. It was one of the funniest ways to exercise, to express creativity and to feel safe to fully be present in the moment.
If you’ve never heard of 5 Rhythms before then neither had I before last week. I found out about it through a friend who I guess is even kookier than me (you know who you are and you know that I love your kooky self!). So when he invited me to the dance class I gave a shy little “sure” before wondering what on earth I had got myself in to.
I ended up dragging along my entire household plus one more. So our little group of six turned up to the class a little unsure of what to expect.
When we turned up the hall was full of about thirty lovely people warming up and moving along to the gentle music that was playing. We were instructed not to speak with each other after we’d entered the hall so this amped up my vulnerability a little. A couple of my house mates have just returned from a long holiday in India where they attended very similar dance events so they very naturally and confidentially joined the class and started to move along to the music with their own movements.
But then something very unusually wonderful happened. Within less than five minutes my vulnerability and shyness were completely gone. I then felt completely safe to move my body to the music in any way that I wanted to. This feeling of freedom was incredibly beautiful and I started to dance around the room with a huge smile on my face. And then the night just kept getting better and better.
One of the most wonderful things about 5 Rhythms Dance is the amount of exercise you get. We danced for a solid two and a half hours. The music changed throughout the evening so at times we were all moving quite slowly, but most of the time we were using just about every muscle in our body.
In fact, there was one exercise that we shared with a partner. We formed pairs and while one danced the other observed. The observer had to tap the dancer on any body part that wasn’t moving …this meant that our ENTIRE bodies had to be moving at all times. This was an interesting way to learn what parts of my body were stiff, and what parts of my body I don’t normally use in Dance. It was also a beautiful way to work and use all those tiny little muscles in my body that are normally not touched.
I love, love, love to dance even though I’m not a trained dancer. So the evening was such a gift to me. By the end of the class I was feeling hot and sweaty but also incredibly high. My friends all felt the same. For each of us it was our first time at a 5 Rhythms Dance and we all had such an incredibly wonderful experience.
I’m definitely going back when I can. And I’m so happy the universe has presented me with a super fun way to exercise (even though it’s more than that). I set a strong intention a few weeks ago to find another form of exercise that was in a group and was fun, and here it is.
I guess I should also add before I finish off this post that 5 Rhythms Dance isn’t all about exercise. It can be a very spiritual experience. It can also be a way to release stored up emotions, and lets be honest - we all have those.
I personally didn’t feel as though I released any stored up emotions in the Wave class we did on Saturday night, but a friend of mine did. He spent quite a bit of time during the dances releasing emotion through crying. It’s actually quite wonderful how this space allows us to release anything, including emotion through something like crying without it being a problem. Anyone dancing can feel completely safe to express themselves in any way that they feel they want or need to, as long as it’s not violent or harmful to others.
There are also three levels of 5 Rhythms Dance, and we were dancing at level 1 which is the Physical. The second level is the emotional so when I try that one perhaps some emotions will bubble their way up to the surface. I guess in a way I kind of want that to happen because it seems like a very warm and supportive environment to be able to release stored up emotions. Much more beautiful than being alone anyway
If you want to check out 5 Rhythms Dance, did a Google search for classes near you because they are all over the world. From just a quick look on the net I’ve found classes in New York and London. If you’re in Brisbane or Mullumbimbi, check out Deva Nandan’s class here- 5 Rhythms Dance with Deva Nandan .