5 Rhythms Dance with Bernadette Ryder

5 Rhythms Dance with Bernadette Ryder

Rhythm Circle - ongoing closed group

About Rhythm Circle

A closed group that gathers weekly in Bristol on Thursday evenings, to connect and support one another to drop deeper in the dance and expand the experience, comprehension and embodiment of the profound 5 Rhythms map.

The Rhythm Circle runs in ‘terms’ of approx 12 weeks. There are currently 40 places – at the beginning of each ‘term’, if anyone drops out, their place will be offered to those on the waiting list (contact Jon via the ‘Get In Touch’ button to join it).

Bernadette explains…

Play Video

Well, I was introduced to the 5 Rhythms in a seven-day intensive that I went on, so we were moving about eight hours a day, every day, for a whole week and – I’m very well aware it’s a cliche but – it’s still a fact that it changed my life. So much so that actually I’ve been teaching the 5 Rhythms for the best part of 20 years, ever since. One of the things that I’m very aware of is that most of my students since then only know the 5 Rhythms as an evening class, and what I’ve learnt through teaching it as much as I have is that, even just as an evening class, it is an enormously powerful practice, and that it does people the world of good. They love it, and there’s a reason why they love it, and I always think of it as like a cleaning out of the energy systems – that they’re able, even if it’s just once a week for two and half or three hours, really able to move freely, openly, and that does extraordinary things for people.

But I know that there is more. I know because I experienced it right back at the beginning, and then again and again over the years, my favourite thing was to dance for days on end, and when you go further into the 5 Rhythms the way that I have done in the past, there are layers and layers more – there are so many places to go, that we can’t touch in just two and a half, three hours, when there are every week people who are new, and are needing to go back round the basics. So I really want people to know what else is there.

So the other places that there are to go… there is a deeper exploration of each of the Rhythms, coming to understand where they come from, how they move in the body, what they do as they unfold, just really deeply going inside each Rhythm… and then finding each Rhythm inside. It’s a fractal map so, if you take the first Rhythm, Flowing, you move in that Rhythm, and you start to explore it, all the Rhythms are there again, and you go inside that, they’re there again.

But more than that, there’s also the dimensions of the emotions, and that particularly I believe we can start to unpack, when you have the same people moving together, dropping deeper into the practice together, over a period of time, and there’s the possibility of understanding the energetic of the emotions – getting to know, and feel, and understand how emotions move in your body when you translate it into dance, you get to know it in a whole different way – and one of the most profound things for me was the discovery of the degree of choice that I have about what I feel in any one moment, and I learnt that through the 5 Rhythms. I learnt it by going into feeling, finding it, expressing it, and then… changing it, and we have extraordinarily more choice about what we feel at any one time, and how we can transform uncomfortable, difficult or unwanted feelings into something else that serves us more fully.

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5 Rhythms is an enormously powerful practice – and even just as an evening class, people love it, and benefit greatly from it 🙂 … and, as Bernadette explains in the video (above), there’s so much more…

Have you ever wondered about our other classes? The course can be difficult to get onto as existing members and the ‘waiting list’ get first shout and then, if space allows, there’s a narrow window for others to dive in – if you are curious read on.

What’s different from Fridays, and why a ‘closed group’? What’s the powerful ‘magic’ that happens some weeks in open drop-in classes that leaves us all sitting in a circle, in Stillness, apparently ‘struck dumb’? Can we choose to go to those places, or is it some kind of lovely accident? And if we can go there, from scratch, in two and a half hours… where else could we go if we kept going…?

‘Rhythm Circle’ is where we gather to connect and support one another to drop deeper in the dance and expand the experience, comprehension and embodiment of the profound 5 Rhythms® map. Where magic happens because we choose it, through deeper individual focus, and active and conscious work with our collective energy. While workshops (particularly when residential) are the most obvious vehicle for this, with the trust and mutual support of a dedicated group, picking up where we left off week after week, we enable this deeper work in weekly classes too.

Since we started in 2014, each term many renew and others join us, mixing continuity and fresh energy. Being part of this group will demand more of you, but equally it will give more back. It will demand your curiosity and your commitment both to your own process and that of the group as you join a collective exploration. The map is rich and profound, the landscape endless and fascinating, the process powerful and deeply healing.

So if you’d like to practice some deeper 5 Rhythms ‘magic’, we set off for new terms in late September, in early January, and after Easter – it may not be Platform 9 3/4, but the journey can be as exciting, unexpected, and literally life-changing. There are always a few spaces each term, so why not join the waiting list? It’s never too late to find out more: watch the video, contact us (via the GET IN TOUCH button), and indeed, speak with any current or recent Rhythm Circle member on a Friday night… once words return…

See you on the dance floor

Much Love
Bernadette, Jon and team xxx

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Rhythm Circle Community (notices)

Updates & notices for current members & ‘alumni’:

SUSPENDED for the foreseeable future – thanks to everyone who came and danced 🙂

Members of the extended Rhythm Circle community dancing together (untaught). These are not open to the public – please see your email invitation for full details of venue, times etc.

Day of Week (frequency):
dd-Monvenue [linked]

Watch this space/emails.

Yay! Now that we can… the “Rhythm Circle Social” is back!
When? t.b.c.
Where? t.b.c.
Who? Current members – please see emails for full details.


Current term:
Thursdays, Jan 5 – Mar 23
(12 sessions, no break)
Times: 7:30pm – 10:00pm
(prompt start! see ‘Further Details’)
Venue: St Michael’s Parish Hall (see below)
Prices: £156 / £120 conc (12 sessions)
(payable in full before first session)
Booking status:

Sign up/renew* (pay in full/deposit)
Pay balance* (you’ve already paid a deposit)
(*password required).

Next term: April 27 – July 6
(11 sessions, no break)
* Still a couple of last minute spaces! *
Contact via:

To join waiting list: see
‘Get in Touch’ button below.

*Booking links are sent by email. Once you have seen the video (or transcript) and the ‘What’s so special…’ post beneath it, do get in touch if you have any further questions, and/or would like to join us. Thank you 🙂

Note: Holiday period 'Sweats'

When held, these are by invitation only: venue and timings are the same, and donations requested to cover costs. If anything changes, you’ll receive a further email, and this note will be updated accordingly.
Contact Jon for any further info (‘Get in Touch’ button).


St Michael’s Parish Hall
Park Ln, Bristol BS2 8BE
(parking: drive right up to the hall itself, and double back through the gate, to park in the ‘playground’ immediately adjacent to the hall – please NOT in the lower car park just down the hill)
[Google map]

St Michaels Parish Hall, Bristol

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    Further details

    General information applicable to all our classes and workshops:
    (click/tap on heading to expand)

    5 Rhythms 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.

    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]