Jessica Howie, 5 Rhythms Dance Teacher
What a weekend! When life does its twists and turns and leads you to places you normally wouldn’t go, be prepared for surprises! That’s what happened as to how I found myself at the 5Rhythms weekend workshop with Jessica Howie. My friend Helen Burns saw a post on facebook asking for a translator for the weekend and recommended me – thanks Helen, so appreciate the synchronicity! Tracy Courtney, organiser of the weekend and a very good one too, arranged it all and even though I was going to be late for joining, show up I did and just in time.
I arrived and immediately felt a deep connection to teacher, mother, instructor, inspiration – Jessica Howie. What a presence, what a woman and what a connection between us, it was immediate and intense and so began this journey to a place I now wonder why I’ve never been there before!
5Rhythms is a dynamic movement developed by the late, great Gabrielle Roth and is an invitation to anyone, regardless of age, to join in, and if you have a beating heart and a willingness to move, then this is a practise for you. So what did I expect? Well, I was nervous about translating as that is not a talent I associate with myself and I busied myself with finding out new vocabulary (apologies for mistakes) and to be honest, I really didn’t give much thought to 5Rhythms itself but I was open and willing to share myself to the experience.
My first impressions were liberating which I believe is the whole experience of 5Rhythms – there are no mistakes, there is no right or wrong and how wonderful is that? I loved the fact that the floor forms part of the experience of dance as strange as that may sound. It gave me such freedom to feel that space needn’t be the air around us but what we can touch too.
The five rhythms are flow, stacatto, chaos, lyrical and stillness and during the weekend, participants explored all of them. Apparently joining them together is a wave (lots to learn still). The experience is full on participatory and everyone spent the weekend moving, sometimes slowly, sometimes fast, sometimes pausing, sometimes connecting with another. It was a powerful connection to self and to the tribe. The music chosen and put together by Jessica touched every cell in me – she has hundreds of songs and sounds so getting a song list from the weekend is not going to be easy! Each rhythm has it’s choice of sound from dance music, to drums, to piano, to voice and all the sounds uplifted, stirred something, connected, moved – it was a feast of the senses.
Jessica’s presence as maestro during the weekend was central to the experience. She was soft, caring, present and instilled a sense of security right from the start. Everyone there was safe to explore, secure in themselves to be, experience, connect, discover and how beautiful was it to witness. I was the observer and I felt at times a deep longing to join and lose myself in the dance and I was fortunate to have moments in which to do so, and none so precious as the moment of flying with Jessica inside the sacred circle of the group.
When we ended the day after 13 hours of intensity, the group (22 participants) had moved into a close space together. They had worked on incredible heart connection over the weekend, especially the second day and by the end were ready to be physically close to each other. Time to finish meant that Jessica felt that she could share words with the group and as we walked towards them, she and I, I saw a mother walking towards her children to share her appreciation and her love with them – touching, beautiful and so powerful. And in the sharing at this time, Jessica’s real mother, allowed for the first time to participate on one of her workshops, shared how she felt as a mother, having her daughter be her teacher. I agree – there is a teacher in all of us and sometimes the teacher remains hidden. In the case of Jessica Howie, the teacher is very much alive and I know that she is there for this lifetime. Jessica and to all the participants – Tracy, Lynne, Helen, Debbie, Alice, Ana, Chique, Maria José, Alex, Habiba, David – too many to name or even remember right now – thank you for the connection, the true and sincere connection for our hearts, it was a pleasure to dance the 5rhythms with you.
For more about 5Rhythms with Jessica Howie – http://www.jessica5rhythms.com
For more about 5Rhythms Dance Mallorca – firstname.lastname@example.org