5 Rhythms Dance with Bernadette Ryder

5 Rhythms Dance with Bernadette Ryder

God, Sex & the Body

5 Rhythms® Workshop with Alex Mackay

* UPDATE: Two more European GSB dates with Alex announced *
(incl registration links for both)

Full pre-workshop details have now been emailed to you. If you have not received them please contact Jon ASAP.
Venue: see ‘Map showing approx location‘.
Timings: see below
Travel, shopping etc: see Local info.

In the dancing path of the 5Rhythms®, ”God, Sex and the Body” is an initiation into being an embodied soul. It is a deeply personal journey, a celebration like no other, a ritual for the hot and holy you. It’s a call to stretch our imaginations and move through a spectrum of feminine and masculine archetypes, to dress them up, to get inside them and give them expression.
“This is the Map of the Soul.”


Thurs March 30 - Sun April 2, 2023

Location: Bristol BS9 (address advised on booking)
Times: 11am Thurs – 5pm Sun
Prices: £275 early bird until Feb 15, £325 thereafter
(+optional accomm/meals)
Booking: £100 deposit, online

Teacher: Alex Mackay
Format: 4 day (with residential optional)
Level: God, Sex & the Body
Prerequisite: 15 hours Waves level instruction

Planned timing:
Thu 11am – 6pm
Fri 11am – 6pm
Sat 11am – 5pm & 8:30 – 11:30pm
Sun 11am – 5pm
(Thursday start and Sunday finish are definite, so you can make travel plans on that basis. It’s now unlikely that other times will change, but if they do it will be widely publicised during the workshop!)

Bristol is very well connected, internationally and within the UK, and is compact and easy to get around.
Bristol Airport has direct low-cost flights to a wide range of cities in Europe and beyond and, if you can’t fly direct…
Heathrow Airport is only a 2 hour bus ride away (it can be as quick as getting in to Central London!)
Temple Meads Rail Station has regular fast trains to London, and direct routes to many places in the UK, including the North of England and Scotland.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…. well in Manchester in the 1990s I was teaching 5Rhythms with my stacks of CDs, reading about goddesses in the bath, sitting in ceremony and dancing at gigs and clubs. On our teacher training, Gabrielle put the trainees into decades for a talking exercise and merged the 30s and 40s together with the responsibilities and ambitions of the centre of life, leaving the 20s and over 50s to make the other group – she said we all had more freedom but in different ways. Now in my 50s, I’m bringing all my past selves with me to the dance floor – the one who travelled to New York to learn from Gabrielle, the one who lived simply in the woods, the mother, the university lecturer, the one lost in a dance under the stars..

Dancing and teaching God, Sex and the Body really feels like exactly what I am here to do – exploring the archetypes within us with curiosity and creativity. During the pandemic, I watched the old Star Wars films with my teenager – and many scenes made me wish for a God, Sex and the Body workshop. Hans Solo was such a rebel mix of Wild Son and Mistress, Luke Skywalker the Holy Spirit and Wild Son, Princess Leia and Darth Vader both seemed to embody different extremes of the Father archetype!

Science Fiction and ancient myths both give us clues about how to expand past the mundane, same old same old patterns, give our overloaded and tired aspects a rest and aspire to new adventures and acceptance.

Alex Mackay 5 Rhythms teacherGod, Sex & the Body is part of the curriculum that feeds the soul as we also change our relationship with the ego. I am the first teacher after Gabrielle Roth and Jonathan Horan to offer this map.

Over 4 days of dancing and an archetypal party, we have the chance to enjoy our hot and holy selves, discover how the artist, lover, seeker, shapeshifter and alchemist are present in our lives, and meet each other in moments of surprising truth. In chaotic times we need inspiration more than ever.

May the force be with you.

Alex Mackay

[more about Alex]

Bristol is very well connected, within the UK and internationally, and is easy to get around.
Bristol Airport has direct low-cost flights to a wide range of cities in Europe and beyond and, if you can’t fly direct…
Heathrow Airport is only a 2 hour bus ride away (it can be as quick as getting in to Central London!)
Temple Meads Rail Station has regular fast trains to London, and direct routes to many places in the UK, including the North of England and Scotland.

“My creative self always led the way, finding relief and freedom when dancing and drawing – and although the body is my medium, using imagination and sculpting the mysterious have always attracted me just as much. I want it all – no divide between spirit and flesh, between the masculine and feminine within.. the lover to have desire and find beauty in many moments, the seeker to naturally connect to inspiration and devotion, the artist to design and take care of a life full of these riches.

“I danced God, Sex and the Body with Gabrielle many times and have danced and co-taught with Jonathan in 2017-18, finding new energy, questions and treasure each time. . I’m so delighted and grateful to be teaching it myself, and a workshop with a built in party has to be perfect for me!”

— Alex Mackay, 2022

“For 25 years I’ve witnessed Alex Mackay as a dedicated embodiment of all the maps of our 5Rhythms mandala. In her committed practice, a willingness to continue moving, exploring and seeing herself through the deep awareness of her own rhythms. In her teaching, a lyrical playfulness delivered with mystery, creativity, and maturity.

“The more we co-created along her path studying our God, Sex, & the Body maps, the deeper my respect has grown for Alex’s embodied presence of the shapeshifter — a soul dancing without attachment and with intention to unearth the uniqueness and balance of nurture and action, of fascination and adventure, of intuition and integrity.”

— Jonathan Horan, 2018

Prices, booking & payment


£275 (early bird, until Feb 15)
£325 full price thereafter.
(5RTA: 15% reduction for teacher/spaceholder members)

Planned timing:
Thu 11am – 6pm
Fri 11am – 6pm
Sat 11am – 5pm & 8:30 – 11:30pm
Sun 11am – 5pm
(Thursday start and Sunday finish are definite, so you can make travel plans on that basis. It’s now unlikely that other times will change, but if they do it will be widely publicised during the workshop!)

Accommodation &/or Meals


There is accommodation onsite for approximately half the group. We shall give preference to those booking first and/or travelling from overseas. You can add it to your booking later (contact Jon), but it’s more work for you and us (£10 amendment fee)… and don’t wait – we expect it to fill quickly- better to do it when you book.
Click here for options and prices:

recommended (best deal):
4 nights
WedSun £     199.75
other options:
4 nightsThursMon £     229.75
3 nightsThursSun £     184.75
5 nightsWedMon £     254.25

Includes meals: 3 good meals per day, usually from breakfast Thurs to dinner Sunday (6pm) inclusive, with slight variations based on arrival/departure dates.
Most special diets catered for (see booking form).

per daydetailscost
1 meallunch only  (4 days) £       36.00
2 mealslunch+dinner (3.5 days)
(not Sun dinner)
 £       59.40
2 mealslunch+dinner (4 days)
(incl Sun dinner)
 £       67.20

Adding to your booking later:
If still available, you can add acommodation/meals to your booking here (£10 admin fee).
(Amendments may attract a larger admin fee – see ‘cancellation policy’ below).

Booking & payment

Booking deposit: £100 (via PayPal or bank transfer) secures your place. If you prefer to pay in full upfront 🙂 please choose the “Offline Payment” option when booking, and we will send you bank transfer details.
Click here for full details and to book online:

The balance of tuition, food and accommodation is payable, by bank transfer or cash, by Feb 28*, or immediately on receipt of bank details, if you book after that date. Earlier payment is always appreciated.

Check availability &
Book Online

*To qualify for the ‘early bird’ discount, we must have received payment in full by this date, otherwise ‘full price’ applies to your balance due. If we have still not received your balance payment by Mar 7, your place will be offered to someone on the waiting list.

Cancellation Policy – Workshop Fee:

  • A full refund, less a £40 admin fee, will be issued if notice is received by Feb 28, 2023.
  • A full refund, less a £100 admin fee, will be issued if notice is received by Mar 16, 2023.
  • A 50% refund* will be issued if notice is received by Mar 23, 2023.
  • No refund will be issued for cancellations after Mar 23, 2023.
    (a 75% refund* MAY be issued if the workshop is at capacity, and a replacement is registered.)

* less the appropriate admin fee

Cancellation Policy – Onsite Accommodation/Meals:

  • If you cancel your workshop booking, the above policy simply applies to your entire booking.
  • If you keep your workshop booking but cancel your accommodation, the above policy applies separately to the onsite accommodation element (between Mar 1 and Mar 23, the deduction will be the smaller of 50%/£100).
  • Modifications: Simple changes (particularly to meals only) can be made to your accommodation booking free of charge, but any change that involves significant work will incur a £25 admin fee.

NOTE: If you are cancelling your place in the workshop at any time due to testing positive for COVID, or a known exposure to COVID, then we will offer you a refund for your workshop fees less a £40 processing fee.

If we need to cancel/postpone our workshop due to a worsening of the pandemic, then we will refund participants 100% of their workshop fees. Please note that we are not able to cover any costs incurred by participants for transportation or accommodations, so please organize your travel and travel insurance with this in mind.

Safeguarding: The venue is on a school campus, and there may be a few students around, although it is school holidays. You will be required to agree to basic ‘safeguarding’ principles – primarily not conversing significantly with anyone you encounter onsite who may be under 18.

DISCLAIMER: Your booking is with Alex Mackay, and subject to her terms and conditions not those for In-Rhythm/Bernadette Ryder’s workshops shown elsewhere on this website. Publicity and booking facilities are provided by In-Rhythm for administration purposes only, and creates no contract with or legal liability of any kind by In-Rhythm/Bernadette Ryder.


15 hours of 5Rhythms Waves level instruction.

This must be taught drop-in or workshop hours (not ‘Sweat Your Prayers’), with an accredited 5 Rhythms Teacher and completed beforehand.

5 Rhythms Teacher Training

This workshop fulfils the requirements for the God, Sex & the Body hours prerequisites for those on the Teaching path.
Please note that, in line with 5 Rhythms Global policy, teacher discounts are only available to qualified members of 5RTA, not to those completing training prerequisites.


Drama & Dance Studio

Bristol BS9 – beautiful venue in its own grounds. The address will be advised in your final pre-workshop email.
For local bus routes see ‘Other local info/resources’ below.

Click title to close, & anywhere on map to shrink annoying white box!

The studio is spacious with an excellent floor, all recently refurbished for dance and theatre teaching.

Badminton School drama/dance studio

This workshop has a residential option with capacity for about half our group. There may also be accommodation with local dancers, and plenty of other places to stay.

  • Shared accommodation (detail t.b.c.): Accommodation is in 3, 4 (or one 6) bed rooms with shared bathrooms.
  • Room allocations will be male/female – if non-binary, please indicate preferred share on the booking form. Those choosing to stay on Sunday night will share room(s), so that other rooms can be vacated.
    • Choosing sharers: If there are others with whom you wish to share a room, we need to hear separately from all concerned. Please ask the other(s) to contact Jon to confirm.
    • Single rooms: If all available spaces are not taken (very unlikely), a single rooms may be requested, on payment of a single supplement equal to the cost of a second bed, payable on arrival.
    • Ensuite flats: Two are available at a premium rate. Please contact Jon (via a ‘get in touch’ button) if you are interested in one of the flats.
  • Staying nearby: There are other options, including local B&B, AirBnB and inexpensive hotels [links below]. It may be possible to stay with other dancers in Bristol – details to follow.
    Please note:
    (a) Bristol is a small city, but local transport does not serve all areas equally – please check you will be within easy daily travel;
    (b) book early – Bristol is popular at holiday times, places will book up;
    (c) if you are staying elsewhere, you can join the rest of the group for meals at the venue – lunch-only or lunch+dinner options are available (see below).


Residential: Onsite accommodation includes all meals.
Non-residential: There is a ‘meals only’ option at the venue.

Local options are somewhat limited, but there are cafés and a deli about 8 minutes walk away.

Meals will be served in the onsite refectory. The standard is high, and we have discussed with the chef to ensure suitability of the menu for dancers.

If you’re staying onsite, all meals are included; if you are staying offsite, we also hope you’ll join us, at least for lunches. See the ‘drop-down’ under ‘Prices, Booking & Payment’ for details.

Specific dietary requirements can usually be catered for by prior arrangement (see booking form).

Travel & local info/resources

Click on a heading for info and links:

There are flights direct to Bristol and Cardiff airports from many European cities and farther afield. (If you have to fly to one of the London airports, Heathrow is only a 2 hour bus ride to Bristol – quicker than to many parts of London!)

There are direct trains to Bristol from London and many other cities across the UK.
National Rail website

Similarly there are low-cost bus links to either the rail station or the city centre bus station.
National Express website
(other operators are available and often cheaper, e.g. Megabus).

Bristol is close to the junction of  the M4 and M5.
[Google map to approx location (in new tab)]
The Car Park has limited space – please share with other dancers if you can.

For those looking for accommodation, please check the Google Map under ‘Venue‘ above for the approximate location of our venue. If you can’t find suitable accommodation very close by, the easiest local buses are the numbers 1, 2 and 3 (and 4 isn’t bad, but not very different from 3 anyway), so if you find somewhere near one of those routes, your journey in and out will be easy. You can download route maps (look for ‘Henleaze’) and timetables here:
Bristol bus routes 1 & 2
Bristol bus routes 3 & 4
(And if they change their website and those break, go to the First Bus regional home page here.)

[More will be added nearer the time]

Local shops – food:
There are a couple of cafes, a deli and some local shops in Henleaze – ~7-8 minutes walk.
There is also a Waitrose supermarket – ~10-12 mins walk.

Local shops – clothing:
To add to your ‘dressing up’, for the party or generally for the workshop, there are great charity/thrift shops in Clifton (higher quality) and in Gloucester Road (cheaper). There are also great ‘vintage shops’ in various parts of town with some fabulous clothes and accessories, but at higher prices.

Green spaces:
We are a less than 10 minutes walk from the top end of The Downs (open grass).
For woodland, Blaise Castle Estate (a wooded gorge and arboretum) and, across the famous suspension bridge, Leigh Woods – both popular for early morning walks (though you might want to hook up with somebody with a car).

Exploring Bristol:
We are about a 20-30 minute bus ride to ‘The Centre’ (near Bristol Harbourside).
You might also like to visit Gloucester Road, for lots of independent shops, cafes, bars etc. 


  • At present there are no specific requirements in place, but should this change you will be advised, and may be required to comply with any regulations in force.
  • At a minimum, we may request that you self test (‘lateral flow’, aka ‘rapid antigen’) the day before or the first morning of the workshop.
  • You must not attend if you are experiencing symptoms characteristic of covid, including body aches, extreme fatigue or difficulty breathing. We request that you seriously consider whether you should attend if you have significant other cold/flu-like symptoms that could be either covid or flu.

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    Further details

    Here’s some general information applicable to In-Rhythm classes and workshops – it’s included here because most of it is relevant here too. Some further information specific to this workshop is shown in ‘variations’ below, but please read the emails you will be sent before the start of the workshop!
    (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.

    Note: Some Variations from above ‘standard’ info (see also pre-workshop emails):

    • We have exclusive use of the venue, with use of an additional room for changing etc. This also means things can be left at the venue overnight.
    • If you are unavoidably going to be late, please contact the mobile number provided in your welcome letter, as we shall be locking the door once we start.

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