Kathy Altman

We are begining our exploration of  5Rhythms – a moving meditation, a dance without steps; a practice introduced in the early 1970s by Gabrielle Roth. We invite you for an insightful conversation with a long-time 5Rhythms practitioner and an elder of the tradition, Kathy Altman.

As Co-Director of The Moving Center School, Kathy was the first person asked to help Gabrielle bring her work out into the world. Over the past 20 years Kathy’s teaching has brought thousands of people back to the joy of their own, original movement. Using dance as the medium, Kathy illuminates for her students “as on the dance floor, so in life”. She is devoted to inspiring people to live the teachings of presence, patience and practice long after the music ends.

In this episode, we touch upon the following topics:

  • Kathy’s story – how she met Gabrielle Roth and started 5Rhythms
  • What is 5Rhythms? Wave-like patterns.
    • Completely organic, nothing imposed. Practice of recognition.
    • Everything in nature moves in wave-like patterns. 5Rhythms is a map of wave-like patterns.
    • Whole life as a wave.
    • Fractal – wave inside a wave
  • Arman’s perspective
    • The goal of “normal” dance classes is to teach you how to move “right”
    • The goal of 5Rhythms class is exactly the opposite. You come with your own patterns, and the goal is to let them go.
  • A dance without steps
    • It’s a training of listening, not responding
    • Dementia and dance
    • 2 things help: crossword puzzles and dancing without steps
    • 5Rhythms for seniors
    • It’s not about how you are physically fit. It’s not about how you move, it’s whether you move.
  • Music in 5Rhythms
    • Music is a crutch, a seduction into the dance
    • This is a moving meditation practice, where the pillow is the music
    • Responding to music we don’t like – breaking away from the comfort zone
    • How can I respond to what is not comfortable?
  • Dance no matter what
    • No matter how bad I feel, can I dance that?