Q. I'm new to 5Rhythms. What can I expect at my first class?
A. First-off, "welcome!" Classes often start with some time to warm up, with minimal verbal instruction. Just stretch, roll on the floor, walk around the room, or learn from how other dancers are warming up, until there’s enough happening around you to feel comfortable beginning your own warm-up. Please feel welcome to go to Layah and tell her you’re new tonight. It’s totally normal to feel self- conscious! It will pass. You’ll see :-)
In each class, there will probably be people with a wide range of experience in the 5Rhythms - from first-timers to old-timers. You are different every time you walk into the room, so is the group, and so is the teacher, so each class holds completely unique possibilities. Don’t worry about understanding intellectually what’s happening at all times - just keep moving your feet and let the rest follow.
Q. Do you have some tips for newcomers?
1. Go at your own pace.
2. Be responsible for your own body (stay aware of injuries and limitations).
3. Keep your eyes open and stay aware of others.
4. Dance barefoot or in dance shoes only - socks are too slippery.
5. Move how you feel and stay open to this changing moment to moment.
6. Know that everything alive has a dance, and your only task is to find and express yours.
7. Enjoy yourself! This is freedom in motion. Have fun!
Q. What is the difference between classes and workshops?
A. Classes are short-format Waves sessions, the foundational 5Rhythms map, that occur on a regular (generally weekly) schedule and typically last for 2 hours. Classes are open to anyone from newcomers to long-time practitioners of any age or physical condition unless otherwise noted in the class listing. Workshops are longer-format events (from half-day to multiple days) that explore one or more of the 5Rhythms maps (Waves, Heartbeat, Cycles, Mirrors, etc.) providing an opportunity for in-depth study. Attendance at workshops may require prerequisites of a certain number of hours of, or previous attendance at, other 5Rhythms classes or workshops. Layah is trained in the Waves map of the 5Rhythms work, so all workshops with her, are based in the Waves level. Layah produces workshops with visiting 5Rhythms teachers, and some of these workshops are rooted in the other 5Rhythms maps.
Q. Do I need experience or some minimum level of fitness?
A. No experience or level of fitness is required to begin your 5Rhythms practice.
Q. I have/had an injury. Can I still do 5Rhythms?
A. The 5Rhythms is a simple and flexible practice that can be experienced by anyone regardless of their physical limitations. Because there is no specific “routine” to follow, you will be able to participate at your own pace, within your own capacity to move.
Q. What happens in a 5Rhythms class?
A. While every class is different each class will provide basic instruction in the 5Rhythms, whether that is the full Wave (the 5Rhythms in sequence) or focusing on one or another of the rhythms and its energies. There will be a warm-up period (often uninstructed but may include facilitation), a teaching, and exercises for exploring the teaching. Teachers may use a variety of different kinds of music, or no music at all, to support embodying the rhythms. There may be a combination of individual, partnered, and group work. Some classes are more structured than others but all classes provide the opportunity to be moved by and with the 5Rhythms.
Q. What do I need to bring to a 5Rhythms class?
A. Please dress comfortably in clothing that you don’t mind sweating in and that allows you a full range of motion. You may want to bring a cover-up so you don’t get cold, and/or a small towel to dry off with. We dance bare-footed or in light-soled dance shoes (athletic shoes/trainers are not allowed on the dance floor). Bring a bottle of water and your curiosity. That’s all you need.
Q. What if I’m REALLY terrified?
A. First of all, take to heart that the 5Rhythms practice has the room for you to move with however you’re feeling. There’s nothing to get right and you can’t get it wrong so there is nothing for you to “do” except move in whatever way feels right in the moment. You will not be the first person to be so terrified that you just barely made it over the threshold of the door. Once in the room you will be encouraged to move to your full potential and I also give space to move into your potential from wherever you are. Lastly, if it feels like it would help you, I invite you to call or email me and communicate about any of your questions, or concerns.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Most 5Rhythms classes cost what an average yoga class would cost. Check the individual class and workshop listings for the specific cost of the classes/workshops you are interested in attending.