5Rhythms® Dance with Bernadette Ryder

5Rhythms® Dance with Bernadette Ryder

Awakening the Creative Self

Discovering & Recovering innate Creativity

A Year Programme – to unlock your latent creativity and release:

  • a poet or a painter,
  • a dancer or a writer,
  • an actor or a musician.

Possibly all of these – probably more.

Rooted in 5 Rhythms® Dance, inspired by Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”, this course uses movement to untether creative energy, then directs it through a broad variety of art forms, giving each unfettered expression, to recharge the creative juices.

“The soul is an artist, its nature is to create.”
– Gabrielle Roth

Within each of us is an artist. Your artist may be a photographer, sculptor, storyteller, film-maker, singer or digital artist. Perhaps all, and more besides. Yet we live in a culture that is judgmental and often condemning of artistic expression

Consequently, many have suppressed and denied their creative impulses for so long they have become blocked. For the artist in you to thrive, it needs recognition, permission and support. This course is designed to create the conditions and give you the tools needed to set your artist free.

Since 2004, Awakening the Creative-Self has worked for countless people, from professional artists blocked in mid-career to complete novices exploring their creative potential for the first time.

“Learn to enjoy the process of being a creative channel and to surrender your need to control the result.”
– Julia Cameron

Awakening the Creative-Self works through the healing practice of 5 Rhythms Dance, which grounds us in the body and unlocks our intuitive facility, which we release into a rich tapestry of different art forms, letting each find expression free from the restraints of judgment – especially self-judgment.

The Programme opens us, not only to a new relationship with our creative capacity as artists, but also to our creative potential, catalysing our capacity to become empowered choreographers of our own lives.

Prerequisite: Participants normally need to have attended a minimum six 5 Rhythms classes with a fully qualified 5 Rhythms teacher before the course begins. (Friday classes run all year.) However, if you have experience of other ‘focus’ practices, such as yoga or other conscious dance practices, please call to discuss.

Bernadette Ryder is an artist: dancer, singer, writer, painter & digital artist with a passion for liberating creative expression in herself and others. She has been teaching 5 Rhythms Dance and leading empowerment workshops for more than 20 years.

Awakening the Creative Self course


Dates: [t.b.c]
Times: start – finish
Venue: Bristol, UK
Prices: £XX – £XX
Booking: Online

Format: Year Group
Level: Waves/Elective




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    Further details

    General information applicable to all our classes and workshops:
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    5Rhythms is both a very ‘free’ individual practice which offers significant permission – while simultaneously being a group/community practice which calls for consideration and respect for the group process.

    Bring & wear

    • Loose clothing in which to move freely, and have a good sweat! – layers are good;
    • Something warm to put on or wrap round you when not dancing;
    • A water bottle;
    • Your curiosity!
    • Please don’t wear any kind of fragrance – the dance is an environment that heightens allergies and other sensitivities.
    • For safety, bags, valuables etc may be brought into the hall/studio.

    Some dos & don’ts

    • FEET:
      Many find bare feet easy and comfortable – some prefer Dance Sneakers which prevent sore feet and give support to arches, knees and ankles;
    • Other shoes are not recommended: trainers have too much grip so are hard on knees.
    • Don’t dance in socks – they slip too easily!

    “Do you have the discipline to be a free spirit?” – Gabrielle Roth

    This is a meditation/embodiment practice which has clear boundaries which need to be honoured if the full potential of this work is to be achieved:

    • Don’t use phones/tablets, even on silent – if you need to check on a babysitter or something, take devices outside the hall/studio (or, at Horfield, outside the building) and check them there.
    • Don’t talk – words take us straight back into our heads!
    • Arrive on time – the warm-up, including the initial ‘unguided’ warm-up is an important part of the process. The doors will be locked and there is no admittance 15 minutes after the start.
    • Stay until the end both for yourself, and for the group – if you leave early you will disrupt the collective energy and your own process will be incomplete.

    Zoom dancing – some guidelines

    You are responsible for setting up your own safe dancing space, and for holding your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing!

    Make sure the space is safe and give yourself as much room to move as possible.

    Have drinking water on hand, and anything you might need to make yourself comfortable, both during your dance and immediately afterwards.

    Tidy your space in advance, and set up anything else that would help make the vibe nice – lighting, an altar, etc.

    Move at your own pace and in ways that suit your own body.

    Look after yourself, anyone else (including pets!) in the room, and the environment you are in.

    In-Rhythm and the teacher/facilitator cannot take responsibility for any injuries sustained as a result of participating in these sessions.

    And finally… please let’s keep our online spaces completely safe and respectful – you agree when you sign up to make no recording of any kind, whether audio, video or screenshots etc. Thank you.

    (Thanks to Dancing Tao in London, on whose guidelines this is based.)

    And finally… here are a few ‘process’ tips to help you drop deeper:

    • Set up the space (and yourself) beforehand (see above). If possible remove/conceal any obvious distractions.
    • Try not to be transfixed by the screen – this is not like a Zoom ‘meeting’ or TV show – the screen is there to remind you others are dancing ‘with’ you, not as a focus for your attention.
    • Switch off ‘Self view’ – it’s the one that’s hardest to ignore! We usually cover the mirrors in a dance studio in 5 Rhythms – it’s the same thing.
    • Enjoy! 🙂

    Zoom ‘Livestreams’

    ‘In person’ classes may occasionally also be livestreamed via Zoom, for wider accessibility, especially for those who cannot attend in person.

    As indicated above, online participants agree on booking not to record the session in any way (audio or visual). There is also an area of the dance floor not visible on Zoom.

    This would usually be made clear on booking but, if added later, anyone attending ‘in person’ will be advised well in advance of the class, and offered a transfer or refund if not happy with this.

    For peace of mind, and out of respect for all concerned:

    • It is now essential that you arrive on time. The doors close 15 minutes after the start (no admittance, sorry). Thank you.
    • To care for each other:
      • if you can, please self-test negative (using the ‘lateral flow ‘rapid test’) within at most 48 hours before the class. We appreciate that these tests are no longer free, or even readily available – this is not a requirement.

      Please do not come to the class if you or a member of your household has symptoms that could be covid.

    • Please bring plenty of water.
    • In line with our risk assessment, based on UKActive guidelines:
      • total numbers in the class may be limited;
      • the venue will be ventilated while we are dancing, while ensuring that thermal comfort is not significantly compromised (to avoid injury);
      • we shall not be working with physical contact at all;
      • you may be requested to provide contact details for NHS Test & Trace, either in advance (on booking), or on arrival by either scanning an NHS QR Code or on paper – see Note below, and Privacy Policy addendum for details.
      • Commonly touched surfaces (doorhandles etc) will be sanitised in advance.
      • Wearing a face covering is your own choice, but please note that wearing a mask during exercise is not recommended in the English government guidelines.

    See also:

    Weekly Class Terms & Conditions.


    Our guidelines and venue risk assessments have been prepared with reference to national regulations, guidelines and current scientific understanding of covid-19 transmission, specifically as interpreted by UK Active, the national organisation representing operators of fitness venues, and similar bodies worldwide. Statistical evidence to date suggests that these precautions result in remarkably little transmission.

    If and when Test & Trace is operating, we shall ask for your contact details, in case requested by NHS Test & Trace. It is not compulsory to provide this information, but is recommended. This is privately held by us, and the likelihood of it being requested from us is extremely small.

    The above information is intended to be helpful for our class and workshop attendees, and supplements other general advice regarding symptoms, self-isolation etc., including any local regulations currently in force.

    Updated: 31 March 2022

    Open/Drop-in Classes

    Please see:
    Terms & Conditions – class bookings‘ (opens in new tab/window).


    Please download:
    Workshops, Courses & other events – Booking Terms and Conditions‘ [PDF]

    5 dancers


    Find out about other classesworkshops

    "Since I started dancing with you, you have sustained and inspired me, more than you could know. Thank you so much."
    Richard, Bridgend
    "I got so much more from this workshop than I could have ever expected ... meticulously organised and held, I could not find any other word to describe it than 'perfect'."
    Kelly, Plymouth
    "Bernadette's experience and generosity as a facilitator, her skill and capacity to hold space for a whole group whilst having a particular sensitivity to individuals as they work, is tremendous."
    Mags L, Durham
    "Wonderful energy, beautiful people one really couldn't ask for anymore. Highly recommended."
    Andre, London [Facebook 5* review]
    "I've found [Rhythm Circle] really nourishing and feel very safe in the space. I look forward to it every week and have got so much out of being with a regular group..."
    Caroline, Bristol
    "It's no exaggeration to say that 5 Rhythms with Bernadette has given me back my life!"
    JR, Bristol
    "(Bernadette's classes) have had a very positive impact on my life ... and far exceeded my hopes and expectations."
    NW, Bristol
    "Thank you for making such a beautiful safe space."
    LJ, Bristol
    "It was one of the best workshops I have ever experienced."
    SG, Gloucestershire
    "You said it would be nourishing – and you were right."
    KC, Bristol
    "It's quite astounding! I have learnt so much and have taken away so many lessons and so much positivity..."
    HT, Bristol
    "What would I change? - I'd prescribe the course on the NHS!"
    “I love these sessions… to let off steam, develop confidence connecting with others, to move away from the head fuzz and into my body… also just a lovely bunch of people”
    Ria, Bristol [FB post]
    "Bernadette's choice of music is always delicious and always seems to be in alignment with the energy of the room."
    Ria, Bristol [FB post]
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