Gabrielle Roth was a dancer, a spiritual explorer, and a visionary leader whose life’s work eventually culminated in the creation of the dynamic movement practice known as 5Rhythms. But in the decades that preceded that moment, Roth was one of Esalen’s most popular workshop leaders, having arrived at Esalen as a young dancer in the mid-1960s and staying for many years as the leader of the Esalen massage program.
5Rhythms is still practiced widely today, both at Roth’s time-honored Movement Center in New York City and also at studios worldwide thanks to a global community comprised of the hundreds of dance teachers who’ve been certified in Roth’s approach.
One such teacher is Lucia Horan, who was born and raised at Esalen Institute and grew up dancing with Roth, and has taught the 5Rhythms method since 1998. In a conversation with Voices of Esalen last year, Lucia discussed how she has maintained a feeling of connection during the COVID-19 crisis. “It’s been really challenging to feel so close and yet so far away, and I think that’s the same for many people who live close to their families but have chosen to remain in the safety of isolation,” she shared. “The only other way I’m staying connected beyond the virtual world is just through the dance and through the prayer, which I feel connects me to the larger network that we’re a part of.”
“We’re in a shared experience in this reality,” she concluded. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what your education level is, we are all facing the same situation.”
Have you also experienced loss and the natural emotions of sadness, anger, fear, and love this past year, and are you interested in finding safe, positive ways to heal mind, body, and spirit?
Listen to the the full episode featuring Lucia on the Voices of Esalen podcast, or join Lucia and her collaborator Peter Selwyn at Esalen for their upcoming workshop, Grief Dancer. The workshop will take place in-person at our retreat center in Big Sur, and participants will take part in experiential movement sessions focused on natural and distorted emotional responses to grief, caregiving vs. caretaking, and more.