Me, the Singer, is dancing barefoot in the churches of London. That is where the 5 Rhythms movement is happening–more and more people come to dance, but not to night clubs or discotheques. Those places where sweat is mixed with alcohol and tobacco smells are still in power; but they do not empower. These – have wooden floors, high ceilings, stained glass windows and so much white clean space.
It is easy and fun to breathe, scream, hum and moan in these white clean spaces.
5 Rhythms was the child of Gabrielle Roth, an American theatre director, dance teacher-explorer, an urban shaman woman from New York, who wanted bring people into Ecstasy state without substances and introduce them to freedom from the mind. To make it through the body and make the body an object of adoration.
We are so different. Some dancers have been coming to 5 Rhythms for 8- 10 years; others are beginners - different sizes, ages, nationalities and incomes, short legged and long legged. Most of us are not professional dancers. Some are; but we all love to move in a room where nobody judges, evaluates or compete. We are all searching – some for inner alignment, some for community, peaceful mind, some for freedom from pain, losses and grief.
Five rhythms – Flowing, Lyrical, Staccato, Chaos, Stillness form a wave, a cycle of a dance. We become that wave as the body is carried forward by sound, without the mind deciding where to go and what part to move in which direction. Music, very colourful in mood and rhythm, is heard by all the body, not only the ears. The sound fills your cells and takes you into another reality. This is pure meditation. Meditation in motion. Trance follows.
We are reminded by the teacher to breathe consciously, to have a certain intensity and speed of exhalation. Breath leads me and gives me an indication of how fast I can go. At some point, after approximately an hour of dancing, the intensity of the atmosphere reaches such a peak, the tension which accumulated in the body during the week in all of us, collapses. A firecracker Bang! And the sound of release escapes the bottomless bodies. Uuhs and Ahhhs and Humms and Mmms – all of us are in these sounds at that moment. We laugh together when we dance with a partner, repeating each other’s movements and creating unusual new ones. We cry too, knowing that even if someone notices, they won’t judge. Crying happens when the freedom of being yourself hits us.
Usually I quietly hum at the end of the class, when Lyrical section starts. My voice blends into the melody. I feel expanded, free, happy, and a little bit tired. At the same time there is this knowing that my voice lives in this body, in my bare feet kissing the wooden floor, in my flying arms and hands, in the movement of my neck.
Music, voice, energy, body. Everything is a dance.