This dancing heart ❤

I always loved to dance.

In the 70’s it started with ballet. A good girl with a straight back, big smile and a pink tutu. In the 80’s I rocked the school disco with a side bunch, and a puff ball skirt. In the 90’s I would queue with blue-cold legs on Manchester’s icy streets to get into the iconic Hacienda nightclub and dance my student heart out. I was a shameless show off and loved a podium, preferably all to myself: ‘I’m paid to dance here, sorry you’ll have to get off!’… I would entertain my housemates by performing dance routines to ‘Wannabe’. The noughties took me to the dance floors of Cuba and Argentina where I flirted with salsa and got breathless with tango.

Cruising into adulthood I frequently intoxicated to numb those feelings I knew not how to confront. Dancing became something done at the end of a boozy night: graceless and unremembered: it had lost it’s magic.

After a decade in a high stress, high power, high paid career in advertising I reached a point where it was time to drop out of my head and dive deeply into my body. I didn’t have a clue how to do it, but I had no choice: I was to start listening to my body.

I dedicated the past 5 years to exploring the realms of the body and seeking the truth which resides there. Finding new ways to move, releasing stuck tension, stretching through old traumas, express feelings and starting to unravel the layers that life had built around me. I found new ways to connect to myself, to others, and to nature, I was getting to know myself again.

I did all this largely through yoga, and trained to become a yoga teacher, yoga therapist and a massage therapist. I started listening not only to mine, but to other people’s bodies and found an abundance of healing, health and happiness along the way. Perhaps most importantly of all, yoga helped me to start listening to my heart. And in listening to my heart, after a few years I realised that it was calling me to dance. Loud and clear.

Last year, through a series of synchronistic events, I discovered the dance practice of 5 Rhythms, developed by the late Gabrielle Roth. She calls it ‘a dynamic movement practice — a practice of being in your body — that ignites creativity, connection, and community’. My heart started to sing, the relief and the joy at finding an expressive and free flowing form of movement which seemed to be the practice that my body had been longing for. It felt significant to be freeing myself from the alignment, precision, and symmetry I had appreciated in yoga. It was time to to dance again.

The essence of the 5 Rhythms practice is a magical mix of mindful movement, creative expression, human connection and heartfelt community. A completely sober and silent practice where there’s no talking, just the sound of music and heartbeats. The point is to move without judgement, and to accept it all. All the joy, sadness, love, frustration, patterns and stories come flooding out of the body without words: the glorious dance of life being fascinatingly reflected on every corner of the dance floor.

Today is the beginning of a new adventure. With the magical practice of 5 Rhythms, I’m dancing my way across America. New York, San Francisco & Hawaii: sweating my prayers to the beat of my heart.

I’m going to record my experiences here. I look forward to sharing the journey.

With love x

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