The 5Rhythms dance movement was founded in the 1970s by former American dancer and author Gabrielle Roth.
She focused on five "body rhythms" to become more conscious through the action of dance.
The 5Rhythms are:
In Flowing, you move by being fluid in your body. Flowing is intended to be the "pipeline to your inner truth." You are encouraged to follow the impulses of the flow of your energy. When you relax into the flow of your physical body, other pathways are then opened.
In Staccato, you move in the power of your masculine energy. The music is typically percussive and strong to encourage a connection between you and the world. Staccato is considered "the gateway to the heart." You move with the part of you that stands up for what you care about, who you love, and what you love.
In Chaos, you move to release your whole body. You let go of your head, spine, hips, and feet. The music is quick to encourage you to break free of your illusions and embody the beat. It is intended to take you on a path from "I can't" to "I will."
In Lyrical, you practice moving out of Chaos. Lyrical is meant to be physical, energetic, emotional, and a type of spiritual dancing rebirth. As you move to the music, you become lighter in your feet, like a hummingbird flying in the air while feeling grounded and empowered.
In Stillness, you are instructed to move in slow motion—like Giant Galapagos Tortoise. When you move in Stillness, you use the accumulation of your bodies' life experiences to recognize your true wisdom. This movement ends with a sitting meditation, where you bring together the other 4 Rhythms in Stillness.
Each rhythm detailed above is a healing map for the body, heart, mind, and spirit intended to provide a path to self-discovery and personal awakening. The rhythm creates a "Wave," a simple movement practice designed to release the dancer that lives within you, no matter your shape, size, age, fitness level, limitations, and experience.
A rhythm is a different energy used to find your expression and stretch your imagination and body. The body holds stories that sometimes, the mind cannot explain. As Gabrielle Roth stated, the primary teaching of 5Rhythms is that "if you put the psyche in motion, it will heal itself."
What is a 5Rhythmns class like?
In a 5Rhythms class, there are no steps to follow. You move as the music moves you. You can dance fast or slow, big or small. You are guided through the music with soft instructions for breath and to focus on being in your body.
Sometimes, the teacher will invite you to dance near another participant to deepen your dance experience.
However, it is always your choice to dance by yourself or with others. This is true whether you are in an in-person class or a virtual class where you decide to activate your device camera or not.
5Rhythms is intended to go beyond merely dancing to music. Your movement becomes therapeutic, a type of meditation, and a representation of your emotional state. During class, you practice awareness of your body's physical sensations and the feelings that coincide with your movements.
As you continue to move, you allow your attention to pass through your mind. Through this process, feelings are released, and equilibrium returns to the mind and body.
Each class ends with a gentle breathing practice to further ground the mind and body. This process of releasing any stuck emotional energy held within your mind and body can help shift your life in a new direction.
Take a step into 5Rhythms by joining our weekly virtual class or sign up for the Syzygy Dance Project ENews weekly newsletter featuring class information, workshops, and the latest SDP news.
Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms. (1998, December 18). Retrieved from https://www.5rhythms.com/gabrielle-roths-5rhythms/what-are-the-5rhythms/
Gabrielle Roth. (2020, October 27). Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabrielle_Roth
Syzygy Dance Project (SDP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that transforms lives through dance movement. We offer regular dance classes to the public and outreach dance classes for inmates, veterans, recovering addicts, chronically ill patients, and the elderly.
Syzygy Dance Project
P.O. Box 2532
Sausalito CA 94966