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 24 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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Details - next term

Dates: Thursdays – Sept 9 – Dec 16
(14 sessions, break Oct 28)
Times: 7:30pm – 10:00pm
(prompt start! see ‘Further Details’)
Venue: St Michael’s Parish Hall (see below)
Prices: £168 / £140 (conc)
(payable in full before first session)
Booking status: open for renewals
(current members – see email)

Note: 'Summer Sweats'

By invitation only: venue and timings are the same. If advance booking becomes necessary, 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 Michael's Parish Hall, Bristol

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

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    To unsubscribe or change your options at any time, please use the buttons/ links at the foot of our emails 🙂 Thank you!

    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.

    To ensure that we all get the best out of our opportunity to dance together again 🙂 for your peace of mind, and out of respect for other dancers:

    • Since we have to check everyone in, it is now essential that you arrive on time. The doors will be locked and there is no admittance 15 minutes after the start. Thank you.
    • If you are not yet fully vaccinated, please test yourself on the day of the class:
      (test kits available from gov.uk here);
      (NHS Covid Pass available here, not required by us, but useful to have).
    • Please bring your own water.
    • In line with our risk assessment, based on official & sectoral guidelines for exercise spaces:
      • total numbers in the class may be limited;
      • the venue will be ventilated while we are dancing;
      • you are 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.
    • We shall be working with distance awareness – which is in any case, simply an extension/application of a core aspect of 5 Rhythms practice 🙂
      • please observe the usual social distancing protocols;
      • once inside the venue, please greet with a smile across our safe space;
      • we shall not be working with physical contact at all.
    • Commonly touched surfaces (doorhandles etc) will be sanitised in advance; hand sanitiser and paper towels/tissues will be available.
    • 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. Having said that…
    • For those who find vocal expression is habitually a part of your dance, it is important that you bring a scarf or mask specifically for that purpose so you are sounding through a soft barrier.

    See also:

    Weekly Class Terms & Conditions (on our bookings website).


    Our guidelines and venue risk assessments have been prepared with reference to national regulations 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.

    We are required to ask for your contact details, in case requested by NHS Test & Trace. It is not currently compulsory to provide this information, but is strongly recommended. While infection rates remain low, the likelihood of contact information given to us subsequently being requested by and passed on to NHS Test and Trace during the following 21 days is extremely small.

    If we are requested to share our class records, you would then be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Depending on the circumstances and the length of time that has elapsed, this could include arranging for you to be tested, asking you to take extra care with social distancing and/or – in some circumstances – asking you to self-isolate.

    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.

    Open/Drop-in Classes

    Please see:
    Terms & Conditions – class bookings‘ on our bookings website (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. [Facebook 5* review]
    Andre, London
    "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!