Comfort Zones

19th April 2013

5 rhythmsComfort zones are an interesting one – in January of this year I decided to try something new and started a 5 Rhythms class. This is definitely a good way to experience discomfort and push through it! I remember the first class – I spent the first 15 minutes “warming up” extensively before starting to get into the swing of it; not long after I was lost in the experience.

What is 5 Rhythms? It is a meditation through movement that involves five distinct phases of music, each with a different rhythm. At the start of the session the music is slow, easy, often without rhythm; the rhythm then builds and gets faster, reaching a 15 minute section of “staccato”. The idea is that the dancer explores what they are feeling through movement and can safely express that in a safe environment.

That’s the theory, and it does all make sense. There are some moments that feel a bit emotional or uncomfortable – sometimes you do not want to dance with someone because of the way they move, the way they smell (occasionally a serious issue!), or for some unknown reason. But mainly it is 50 adults going nuts on a Wednesday evening without the use of alcohol or other stimulants. In this day and age that is pretty unusual! And unlike other environments where we meet and dance, there is no overt agenda of “boy meets girl” or of sizing people up. Most dancers are lost in themselves and are not looking at anyone else. The exception is the part of the evening when we dance in pairs or groups. Here again it is about playing with rhythm and movement, rather than any other agenda.

I have told quite a few friends now about the 5 Rhythms experience. Some have got it immediately and jumped in feet first; others want to come but are taking their time building up (I get that – it took me 2 years to get round to coming!); and the rest give it a wide berth. All about the comfort zone.

5 Rhythms is now part of my weekly routine – going nuts at least once a week is cathartic, entertaining, and puts a big smile on my face. The conversations over dinner afterwards are fuelled by an enormous rush of endorphins so are surreal and not the time for life-changing decision. And sleep comes so easily afterwards…..

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