Tonight I Danced and Came Alive

by Julie on October 18, 2012 · 10 comments



I am feeling a bit shaky, or perhaps a better way to describe it is tender, open, and feeling a multitude of things. There is a shaky quality to it, a quality of hovering in the moment where things feel raw and shaken up.

I began dancing ten years ago this month. I found the 5Rhythms and my life began to change. It was something that was difficult for me…difficult to stay on the dance floor when so much inside of me screamed, “Get me the hell out of here.” For months this battle went on inside. I don’t think anyone I shared the dance floor with could see the battle being waged on my insides. We’re pretty good at hiding our internal battles. Or, maybe that’s not true. Maybe on the dance floor (and in life) these battles show up in how our bodies move: tightness, rigidity, disconnection…all signs that there is something moving inside of us that wants to fight reality, wants to fight the dance.

When I heard that Gabrielle (the creator of 5Rhythms) was moving toward her death, I felt such fullness in my heart. I was walking down the sidewalk late at night, last night, as my friend told me, and the feeling in my heart was so strong. It wasn’t really sadness in a way I might feel for a family member or close friend for I don’t really know Gabrielle closely, having only danced with her a handful of times. What it was, and continues to be, is this immense gratitude and acknowledgment of the gifts my soul has received from her and her artistry; from the courage she has shown to bring something so new into a world where many still don’t understand what this work is about.

Doing this, deep birthing work of things that are new and counter-culture, can be frightening. I am not saying it was for her. I don’t know what it was for her. For me, though, birthing my work has been frightening. Living unabashedly female is a challenge to the status quo. Living the truth of what we are in a world (both external and internal) that is doing everything it can to keep that truth down is an act of courage in and of itself. There are so many quotes that seem to stay in constant social media orbit that speak to this very thing – it’s obviously the human journey to wake up to what we truly are. And this is where I treasure the dance…that in emptying out on the dance floor, what I truly am makes itself known… stillness, emptiness, rhythm, sweat, pure existence, bones, flesh, muscle and heart.

Tonight I Danced

[audio:|titles=Tonight I Danced]

I honor the dance because it has been such an avenue to healing, to trusting something vast and eternal and infinite, to trusting that the very same vastness and eternity is what moves this body and all our earthly, heavenly bodies.

Gabrielle sent this message out just a short bit ago:

‘i’m still here connected to all of you. the channel is open — send me your love and energy.’

May we send her this love and energy.

May we send the earth this love and energy.

May we send each other and all beings this love and energy.

Om Namah Shivaya


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jane October 18, 2012 at 11:07 am

arohanui my huge spirited sister.. and i send love to Gabrielle as she moves on <3

Julie October 18, 2012 at 8:47 pm

love you

Jennifer Louden October 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm

breathing and listening and feeling with you

Julie October 18, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I can feel you here, Jenny Bee…

alexia October 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Tonight I danced the 5rhythms, for only the second time. Gabrielle, thank you fir leading me to myself on the dancefloor. I hope you are at peace x

Julie October 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm

How wonderful you have danced for two times…and have been lead to yourself. Love to you, Alexia!

Marianne October 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Sending gratitude to you and to Gabrielle for the brave new work you both bring to the world – and for the dance.

katana leigh October 21, 2012 at 10:59 am

I know that feeling!! I first danced at 18 in Rwanda, where everyone the little children to the oldest hunched grannies, were dancing, and that made it so inclusive that I did, awkwardly, and it was fun. Now I love dancing whenever I get the chance.

Peace to your mentor and a happy rebirth.

Tosh October 21, 2012 at 11:01 am

Sending love and energy for her dance.

As a Shamanic Trance Dance facilitator, I really enjoy the stories of people’s dance experiences. It is so freeing.

Alexandra Telluselle, October 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Dance is both liberating and grounding, a tool for diagnosing where our tensions are that hold us back and the healing instrument to release and remake ourselves again in an infinite flow. And it is a language everyone in the world speaks and understands. I never danced for Gabrielle personally but have tried 5rhytms with other instructors both in Sweden and Hawaii. I’m sure her spirit keeps on dancing…

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