I use musical, verbal, and physical (non-contact) facilitation to help participants cultivate a personal movement-based practice in the 5Rhythms® tradition. Each class may have a loose theme, and most of the class will be spent moving.
As you enter the space, music will already be playing. You are invited to set your belongings on the periphery of the room and join us on the dance floor. Go ahead and warm up, move as the music inspires you. You don’t need to wait for anyone’s permission to begin!
We will move for a bit, then gather for a short teaching and demonstration of some aspect of the 5Rhythms practice. Then we will move again, with an invitation to explore aspects of the teaching and how they manifest in your own body.
5Rhythms is at the surface a simple and accessible practice, it is also a deep one. I recommend at least four classes to begin to get a sense of the map. The more regularly you attend, the deeper your practice will become. The more you dive in, the more you will discover!
My goal is create a collective space conducive to cultivating this deeper connection to ourselves, to each other, and to the greater whole. If you have questions that would help set you at ease and tat are not covered here, feel free to contact me to ask.
Before You Arrive
- Be clean. Please arrive with a clean body and clothes, as some are sensitive to any scented products (including essential oils) or strong body odors.
- Be clear minded. We dance free of alcohol and mind-altering drugs.
- Be safe. Leave your shoes & socks off the dance floor. (Note: If you need shoes for foot health, soft-soled shoes that have not been worn out on the street are fine. Dance socks with sticky dots on the bottom are also okay.)
- Be on time. Arrive in time to be on the dance floor at the posted start time and plan to stay for the full session. Doors close 10 minutes after the start time to allow the crew to join us on the dance floor.
- Be present. Leave your cell phone off the dance floor and turned off. No photography or video.
Holding a Safe and Mindful Space
If you are new to this class, it is natural to feel nervous. You are not alone! Your nerves, your curiosity, your willingness, and your uncertainty are all welcome. The guidelines below are intended as a starter kit to help you feel more comfortable. They are tools to help you enter this dance more readily—and help us all in the sometimes challenging practice of being present in an embodied way.
- After you enter the studio, refrain from talking.
- Be mindful of others’ personal boundaries. Do not touch others without their permission. If you solicit a partner dance and it is not actively welcomed, move away.
- If someone touches you without permission or solicits a partner dance that you are not interested in, feel free to move away, to tell them no with clear body language, and/or to tell them no verbally. If your no is not respected or if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Melanie.
- Cultivate responsibility for your physical and mental well-being. Be aware of any limitations to your physical and mental health, and take care to move and explore in ways that are not hazardous to you.
- Please follow the suggestions of the teacher as you might a yoga teacher. The suggestions are intended as invitations, as doorways toward a deeper practice. Not every suggestion may resonate with you. That’s okay. I invite you to explore the suggestions. To allow whatever sensations and emotions arise to find expression in your movements. To observe your internal experience without judgment or attachment to “doing it right.”
- That said, you are a sovereign being. If an instruction is wrong for you, choose what is appropriate for you. If an instruction is challenging, consider trying it and moving with whatever sensations arise.
- Endeavor to remain engaged and moving through the entire session, even if those movements are small. Notice any urge to check out. See what happens if you keep moving, even just a bit, instead. To quote Banksy, “If you get tired learn to rest, not to quit.”
- If I ask you to take a partner, please do. We are here to develop boundary skills as much as freedom skills. Take your own authority as to what feels appropriate with each partner.
- Be mindful of your role in the collective space. We are practicing with both freedom and responsibility. Stay aware of the other people around you. How much space can you expand into without impinging on the space of others? Without causing harm to those around you?
- You may notice an urge to vocalize as you move. Deep, organic, from-the-belly sounds are welcome: moans, groans, hums, sighs. High-pitched up-in-the-throat screams and hollers can be jarring both for your own physiology and that of other dancers. If you notice an urge to scream arising, consider cycling that urge into your dance, letting that energy fuel you rather than discharging it in a scream. Or allow the scream to emerge in breath without sound.
- Notice if judgements of yourself or others arise. Practice noticing your emotions, resistances, stories, and thoughts. Practice observing and moving with and through them rather than falling into them.
- On leaving, please be sure to have fully re-grounded in the everyday world before driving.
I will play a range of music to help facilitate this exploration and practice. Not everyone will resonate with every song. That’s fine. Part of the practice we are cultivating is the ability to move into your responses. If you dislike something, if you feel the need to leave the floor when the music gets raucous or to fall asleep when the music becomes calm, that is information. And this practice invites you not to give in to that impulse, but to move into it. To explore it. If you feel anxiety or boredom or frustration or aversion, move into that sensation. Let your body express it and witness whether and how it changes.
If you have questions, you are always welcome to contact me. In addition, if you pre-register for one of my Tucson 5Rhythms Waves classes, you will have the option to meet with me in person before class to ask questions, get an orientation, etc.
Thank you for joining me in this exploration!