5 Rhythms Dance with Bernadette Ryder

5 Rhythms Dance with Bernadette Ryder

5 Rhythms Dance

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The 5 Rhythms®


The 5Rhythms is a simple, powerful moving meditation that anyone – of any age, size, or physical ability – can practise. There are no steps to follow, no choreography to learn, no way to do it wrong. The only requirement is a body that is still breathing, a heart that is still beating, and mind that is still curious!

Just like light, sound or ocean waves, a dancing body when moving freely passes through five distinct rhythmic patterns. These patterns continuously repeat themselves in a wave of motion.

Each of the 5 Rhythms is illustrated in this video (and described above).

From "Maps to Ecstasy" by Gabrielle Roth*

These appear published weekly to our mailing list and blog, and added here as they are published:


The first of the 5 Rhythms…

“Gradually begin moving with the flowing rhythm of the music. Stretching, undulating, feeling the weight of each movement in space, you’re inventing your own tai chi. You feel your feet firmly on the floor and the circular movements of your legs, your arms, and your hands describe an evolving continuum. You’re centered in your belly and all the movement begins and returns there: rising on the inhale, exaggerated and prolonged, and sinking and contracting on the exhale. Now follow your feet and flow with the music as the spirit moves you. There’s no right way to do it, only your way. And gradually your own style, your unique way of being, will emerge, and the movements, and the breathing, and the flow of the music will blend into a dynamic unity so that you will feel you are the rhythm, you are flowing.”
—Gabrielle Roth, “Maps to Ecstasy”


The second of the 5 Rhythms…

“… Move into staccato following … music … that has a hard, driving, pulsating beat. Let the beat to take hold of you. Then, inhaling with each movement and letting out the breath explosively, making whatever sounds come out, your movements become fast-paced, thrusting, pounding – each movement isolated, with the beginning and an end. You’re moving in lines and angles, no longer in circles, and your moves are percussive, short; they’ve got edges, and your breath releases in bursts of sound. As in every other rhythm, if you ground your awareness in your feet, the waves will flow through your whole body and you’ll become more and more aware of all the parts of your body as they’re swept into the beat.”
—Gabrielle Roth, “Maps to Ecstasy”


The third of the 5 Rhythms…

“To move into chaos, I love to be carried away by tribal drumming. Chaos is rooted in flowing and staccato rhythms but revs them up beyond control. Jerks, spins, releases, taking every movement over the edge, yet totally grounded in your feet. You’re carried away, surrendering to the surging of the music. Letting the brain and the controlling mind go, and letting the body loose – no blocks, no inhibitions, no doubts, just pure animal gyrations.”
—Gabrielle Roth, “Maps to Ecstasy”


The fourth of the 5 Rhythms…

“When you have let go in chaos, you enter the rhythm of lyrical where you let go of letting go. It’s really chaos inside out. The intuitive moves that have driven your dance are shifted into the zone of your imagination where you reinvent yourself, make yourself up from scratch in every moment.”
—Gabrielle Roth, “Maps to Ecstasy”


The fifth of the 5 Rhythms…

“Finally comes stillness. The movement becomes inner, a feeling of empty fullness, of concentration, of vibrant presence. You move in slow motion, or you move and stop, move and stop, feeling your feet, your face, your hands, your total body. No longer is the movement the meditation, but the stillness between. It can look like mime or like break-dancing. Move and stop. Hold. Move and stop. The breath is strong, the vitality intense. The time is now, the place here. Every gesture total, measured, your body full of breath, your look direct.”
—Gabrielle Roth, “Maps to Ecstasy”

Find out more...

The 5 Rhythms, the foundation of the the work of Gabrielle Roth, is a map of how energy flows – through the body, through our lives…

The late Gabrielle Roth, originator of the 5 Rhythms explains more in this short video.

* “Maps to Ecstasy” and a treasure trove other books, music, clothing and more are available online – support 5 Rhythms worldwide by buying direct from the shop at 5rhythms.com


Rhossili Residentials 2023
Gower Coast, South Wales:

The Deepening
5 Day Waves Intensive

May 3-7 (almost full)

Waves & Beaches
4 Day Retreat/Holiday
July 13-16

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Sept 21-24

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    For more about the 5 Rhythms see