My first ever 5Rhythms workshop was a 5 day workshop in Belgium with Ya’acov Darling Khan. I arrrived in a bit of a state after having spent half the night in a train station in Brussels – followed by a train journey to the belgian countryside, a bus journey further in and finally a walk through the forest for a couple of miles to find the farm we were dancing at.
This was the 13th of September 2001 – 2 days after 9/11. Somehow (I didn’t watch the news or read papers – but still!) I’d managed to miss the whole thing (I do remember thinking it was strange to see police with rifles at Prestwick Airport but then it was my first flight so it might have been normal for all I knew). So when Ya’acov started talking about this tragedy in America I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.
He also said that with events like these it was so important to dance. It has taken me a while to understand what he meant. There are all sorts of responses people can have to events like these – sadness at the deaths, anger at the killers, smug satisfaction that the americans got what they deserved. My own response had been, of course, to ignore the whole thing because I couldn’t make any sense of it. (Years earlier I used to rant and shout at the television when the news was on but that strategy got boring after a few years)
So it was good I found 5Rhythms at this point to give me a way of dealing with life that didn’t involve making sense of it – because, to be honest, it still doesn’t make any sense and while I might have managed to detach my thinking from what it likes to call – a lot of nonsense, I still live in the world and my body is very much effected by all of it so I need a way of processing all of this information or else I’ll just freeze up under the weight of it all.
5Rhythms does this for me. Classes and teaching gave me new ranges for expression. That first workshop put me in touch with my terror (thank you Ya’acov!). Others let me dance the shapes of my fears, or my joys, gave me a new sense of connection as well as feel my lack of it, brought out my anger – certainly pissed me off anyway.(thank you Gabrielle!) Turning up for classes now it’s a case of – ok I wonder what I’m going to find today? And I never really know until I get there.