I’m Praying with My Feet (& The Pernicious Scourge of Racism)

I wasn’t sure if would attend today’s Sweat Your Prayers class or if I would practice yoga closer to home instead.  When I learned that the class would be held at Martha Graham studio in the West Village, rather than at its usual home at the Joffrey, and that 5Rhythms...
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Two Arctic Fridays: Community Chaos & Limitless Space

"Community is the next Buddha." -Thich Nhat Hanh I threw up in the car on the way to class while crossing the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn into Manhattan for Tammy Burstein’s Friday Night Waves 5Rhythms class last week.  I think the extreme cold tightened all of my...
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The Last Dance

The outer boundaries of me are not so clear, the other bodies might be my body, too. I dance my friend’s heart, feeling the pain of her heartbreaks, feeling her incredible tenderness, her magic, her power. Chaos and Lyrical dance back and forth with each other as the wave finds its closing expression. In Stillness, cold wind from the window causes a strong sensation on my exposed skin; and I turn to dance with it, beginning with the rocking and bouncing tree branches below the height of the window, then with the wind itself. Turning toward the room again, I move with inner winds that swirl around inside and near my body, especially along the sides of the spine.

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A Range of Reds & The Death of a Spider

Daniela Peltekova, who moved from NYC to Los Angeles a year ago, taught the Sunday Sweat Your Prayers class at the Joffrey in the West Village today.  For her, a homecoming, for me, an occasion of unbridled joy and unflagging engagement.  I asked Henya, the class...
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Journey into Trance

“Moving with the spirit has taught me all I know.”  -Gabrielle Roth I didn’t have much time to contemplate what I might experience when I signed up for “Journey into Trance,” a two-day workshop with Jonathon Horan, who is both an experienced 5Rhythms teacher and the...
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Natural Disasters, Friendly Animals & the Need for Warriorship

We seemed to spend more time in Chaos than in any other rhythm today. Jason spoke directly of the devastating hurricanes and earthquake; and also reflected on the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, which he, like me, personally witnessed. I recalled a class Jason taught in the same room just three days after the election of Donald Trump, when he also kept us in Chaos for song after song after song. I reflected on the words of my yoga teacher, Maria Cutrona, in the days after the election, “As painful as this may be, as hard as it may be to take, this is exactly what we have been practicing for over all of these years. This is it. Right now.”

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The Anatomy of a Wave

“Wave anatomy is very simple.  The highest surface of a wave is called the crest, and the lowest part is called the trough.  The vertical distance between the crest and the trough is called the wave height.  The horizontal distance between two adjacent crests or...
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Fly in Formation

At Riis Park, the solitary birds are my first dance partners this morning.  Before long, however, I join with an entire flock, soaring as they soar, holding my arms out wide, twisting in an arc as they move to the farthest edge of an orbit, sinking deep and looping...
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To Notice Things

“I think we’re here to learn to be calm.  And gentle.  And also to be fast.  And to notice things.” -Simon, age 7 Have I mentioned recently that I adore my son?  Absolutely, totally and completely adore him.  Gabrielle Roth, the creator of the 5Rhythms practice,...
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A Woman’s Place

  “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” –Martin Luther King, Jr. “There is only one of us here.” –Gabrielle Roth, creator of the 5Rhythms practice Packed body-to-body with the many hundred thousand protesters who attended the Women’s March in NYC on...
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Times A Changin’ – Finding Lyrical Even Inside Chaos

“Imagine the conversation we’d be having if we weren’t debating facts.” –Masha Gessen “The impulse to normalize” was the subject of a radio interview I heard in the car on the way to class at the Joffrey in the West Village.   In the interview, Masha Gessen, author of...
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Moving Chaos-The Survival Art of Our Time

“Dancing Chaos is the survival art of our time.”  -Gabrielle Roth, creator of the 5Rhtythms dance and movement meditation practice. “I know this is going to sound a little weird, but the Novocain will work better if you get up and move around a little,” said my...
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Converging Polarities & Internal Fire

The morning was brisk, with nearly violent wind.  The sky was white and opaque, hiding the spacious blue that surely existed behind the low, dense clouds. There is a personal ritual that I go through on stepping into a 5Rhythms class to mark the shift from the space...
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Harsh Reality

“What?  This can’t be.  Oh, my God, this can’t be.  How could this be?  This can’t possibly be.  What are all of these overnight text messages about.  They are no longer celebratory, as they were last night.  This can’t be true.  Let me look at the internet.  Oh, my...
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Light & Shadow

“The intention for this workshop is full, complete and unrelenting self-acceptance,” said highly regarded 5Rhythms teacher Kierra Foster-Ba during the course of the one-day workshop “Light & Shadow” at Martha Graham studios on Saturday.  5Rhythms is a dance and...
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Heart’s Content

I gave a little shudder as I stepped up onto the sprung dance floor at Martha Graham studio this weekend and gently eased my body down onto it, tears coming even in these first few moments. I fell in love at “Heart’s Content,” the 5Rhythms Heartbeat workshop lead by...
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Joyful Patterns

“In short, no pattern is an isolated entity. Each pattern can exist in the world only to the extent that it is supported by other patterns: the larger patterns in which it is embedded, the patterns of the same size that surround it, and the smaller patterns which are...
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“Ouch!”

“Ouch!” one teenager cried out as another slammed her into the hallway wall, smiling not kindly, her arm shooting straight out from her shoulder as she passed, not even looking as she struck.  The teen who got slammed walked not ten paces, then slammed another girl...
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Sacred Places, Otherworldly Fog & Cheerful Good Byes

Otherworldly fog took over the landscape on Monday.  After dropping my six-year-old son, Simon, off at camp in Dunhill, I went to the unmarked beach again.  Suffering from heavy anxiety, I paused to look out over the vast beach from the top of the steep cement stairs,...
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Falling Rocks & Strong Currents

Yesterday we woke to blue skies for the first time since we have been in Ireland.  After dropping my son, Simon, off at camp, I set out to explore the local beach again, hoping to find a place to dance.  Given the fair...
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Things to Climb & Games of Invention

I was overly optimistic in putting on a bathing suit.  During a brief glimpse of blue, we rushed to get to the sea, hoping for at least a few moments of beach fun.  As it was, the blue was enclosed again by white sky long before we made it to the beach, but we decided...
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On Special Intentions, The Cessation of Pain & Partnership

My grandmother used to say that you get a “special intention” every time you enter a new church for the first time, as my mother reminded me recently. A special intention is pretty much guaranteed to travel straight to God’s ear, and has a strong chance of a good...
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Float Like a Butterfly; Sting Like a Bee

On Friday, I spent much of the afternoon listening to the funeral service for Muhammed Ali that took place his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky on June 10.  One reporter said that she was concerned that the driver of the hearse carrying Ali’s body might not be able to...
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You Can’t Crash Into Anyone!

Today’s Sweat Your Prayers class at the Joffrey in the West Village was taught by Kierra Foster-Ba; and I was joined by my 6-year-old son, Simon, our 10-year-old cousin, Maya, and our Uncle Larry. My cousin and uncle had come to town to attend Simon’s recital the day...
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There Is Only One of Us Here

When Jilsarah Moscowitz taught the first Sweat Your Prayers class of the spring season two years ago, for the first time ever I considered the possibility that I might secretly have a lyrical nature.* This came as a great surprise since from the very beginning of my...
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Word Dance (Radical Summons)

The days leading up to the 2016 Word Dance workshop were exceptionally delightful. I went on something of a walkabout with my now-six-year-old son, Simon. He is in a lovely phase at the moment—cooperative, funny, insightful and affectionate—and I thoroughly enjoyed...
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A Notable Blizzard & A Good Bullshit Detector

Today is a rare interlude of Stillness in a typically dynamic city. The windows are impossibly bright. Snow is caked on the screens outside. Still-falling snow makes the air seem opaque. Piles of white obscure Brooklyn’s sharp edges and make everything blur together....
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IN Sight: In Pursuit of Magic

 The first 5Rhythms workshop in NYC to focus on visual, artistic expressions of creativity, 5R Visual, took place at the Joffrey in the West Village on Sunday, January 10th.  The workshop—IN Sight:  In Pursuit of Magic—was lead by Martha Peabody, who worked...
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It Speaks Very Much For Itself

I had an urgent errand this morning, but it cooperated and I was able to make it to this Sunday’s Sweat Your Prayers class, which was taught today by Daniela Peltekova. Stepping into the already vibrant room, I happily greeted many friends, found a spot on the floor,...
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Rhythms in Waves Workshop (The Entire Universe Opens Up)

The first night of Tammy Burstein’s “Rhythms in Waves” 5Rhythms workshop at the Paul Taylor Studio on the Lower East Side followed an extremely unpleasant day in my own small life. I stepped into the high-ceilinged rectangular room, with its clean, metal theatrical...
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Putty in Its Hands

I arrived early to today’s Sweat Your Prayers class at the Joffrey Ballet, and stepped in to an already breathing room. Amber Ryan, who lead the class, played tonal, attenuated music and I langored on the floor close to one of the mirrored walls, moving in great...
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Inverse Operations, Love Songs & The Pain of Living

I have had Amber Ryan’s “Examine Stillness” workshop on my calendar for over a year. When I first spotted the date on Amber’s calendar, I emailed her, thinking it was a typo. She responded, letting me know it would take place in 2015, not 2014, and that the date was...
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Let the Ground Receive It

I was lucky to attend two 5Rhythms classes this weekend, Tammy’s Friday Night Waves class, and Jason Goodman’s The 7th Wave class, which was taught this week by Ray Diaz. I encountered no significant obstacles in arriving to Tammy’s class this Friday, and found...
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Road Rage, Soccer & Playful Antics

Despite the fact that the babysitter arrived right at 7pm and I left promptly, I arrived an hour late to Tammy’s Night Waves class on Friday. The car was literally stationary, embroiled in constipated traffic, on Broome Street just east of Broadway for over half an...
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Good Dances: 0, Bad Dances: 2

Sometimes I am tempted to keep a running tally of “good” dances vs. “bad” dances.   The more “good” dances that I have in a row, the more surprised I am when I have a “bad” dance. In the past three weeks, I am 0 for 2—unless you count the elation of dancing at my...
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Expand Lyrical

I have a confession to make. This is hard for me, but here it is. I have been cheating on Chaos. It all started during the summer, when I spent extended time in Costa Rica playing in the waves with my small son, contemplating rainbows, and dancing for long stretches...
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My Mother’s Hair Turned White That Day

There is a chill in the air as I write, though I refuse to admit that summer is over and close the windows. Lately, I have been rushing to dance, eager to see if Lyrical will show up for me once again, leaning forward like a fifteen year old with a consuming...
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The Body of Joy

When practicing alone, I tend gloss over Lyrical, technically attending to it, but rarely taking it on fully. Which is why I am delighted, in this languorous late summer air, to find Lyrical a persistent partner.In the afternoon before Tammy’s Friday Night Waves class...
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Memento Mori

Lately I have been feeling embodied, creative, productive and inspired; and connecting with others has been unusually available. Sunday was notably different, however. In the Sweat Your Prayers class, which was taught by Amber Ryan, Martha Peabody created a visual...
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Dangerous Currents

August 16, 2015: Yesterday I went to Riis Park beach with my five-year old son, Simon, my sister, and her soon-husband. Right after we parked our belongings on the sand, we played in the water for a long time. Simon was not a swimmer just a short time ago, but he has...
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Dancing From One Low Tide to the Next (Everything is Perfect)

One day during my last week in Nosara, Costa Rica, I danced from low tide at 5:30 in the morning until the next low tide over twelve hours later—from 5:30AM to nearly 5:30PM. This was not 5Rhythms practice, but rather an artwork performance, a ritual, and, indeed, an...
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Being Worn Away in Bits

Pura vida literally means “pure life.” In Costa Rica, you hear it many times a day. I was trying to explain “pura vida” to my five-year-old son, Simon, yesterday. It means “life is extremely beautiful.” It can also mean “you are welcome, I offer this thing to you with...
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High Tide

Despite the often-experienced bliss of being here in Costa Rica, the magnetic pull of my life in New York has been acting on me lately, and it feels like everything is falling apart.Yesterday was a blissful day. After my son, Simon, and I did our morning drawings and...
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Pura Vida, Sunset Waves & Kite Chasing

I managed to injure my neck on the one day I wasn’t doing anything strenuous. I was grateful to put myself in the hands of a highly-skilled new masseuse offering discount massages; and left feeling radically improved. Regardless, I got a late start and I was airy,...
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The Shadows of Gliding Birds

My morning investigations were delayed today because I had to continue to work on a solution for how to access money. When I did get to the sea, it was later in the morning and I wondered if the beach would be overrun.The little artwork I had created the day before,...
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Arms Raised For Balance

Aspects of today were grueling, but in the morning I found a more inspired connection to the 5Rhythms than I have experienced since I arrived in Costa Rica. After I dropped Simon off at camp, I headed to the closest beach, Playa Pelada, parking the golf cart I have...
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What Do You Want?

Hello world. Thank you, as ever, immensely, for your kind attention in reading these words. I love to write in this modality, and knowing that you are there to receive and respond gives it density—it helps me to show up for you (and for me) with all the commitment and...
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Ick! (Insights, Inspirations & Challenges)

This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher. I promised my uncle—who has been kind enough to read this blog, but has no context for the writing—that I would offer...
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Love is Love

This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher.In the last post, I wrote about the intensive Mirrors workshop, Jane Selzer’s 5Rhythms class at my local YMCA, and a...
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More Than This

 May 30, 2015, Brooklyn, NYC  The Mirrors level workshop More Than This, which was lead by Alain Allard April 15-19 in New York City, was exquisite. Remarkably, the feeling of it—of boundless, loving connection—lingered for days. Immediately after, I wrote...
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Dance Is My Religion

This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher. “Kids:  they dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music.” –William Stafford Dance is my religion. I go to...
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Chaos in Tiny Increments

This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher. In Tammy’s class last night, she led us through two long, gentle periods of Chaos.  I noticed that I was already feeling...
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Antique Clothespins, Feathers, Glitter, Pearls, Collected Baby Forks & Paper Lace

This blog consists of my own subjective experiences on the 5Rhythms® dancing path, and is not sanctioned by any 5Rhythms® organization or teacher. Peter Fodera’s one-day Flowing workshop was held at the Paul Taylor Studio on the Lower East Side.  I remember once...
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