Goodbye Gabrielle Roth, Hello Motherhood

New Momma

My son’s hands in mine.

My posting to Unreasonable Joy took a 4-month hiatus…a hiatus better termed Maternity Leave!

The last months since October have been filled with getting to know the incredible being that is my new son, and first child. Now it’s February and I’ve been back to teaching dance for 1.5 months, and I am now back to blogging!

Gabrielle Roth

The day of my son’s birth also saw the passing of an inspiring dance icon–Gabrielle Roth–a cosmic coincidence that drew me back to blogging.

Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves.      ~Gabrielle Roth

Who is Gabrielle Roth? Her name, her work, quietly slid alongside SweatYourPrayersCovermy own growth as a dancer, curious spirit, and later dance teacher. As a preteen dancer I was given a copy of Roth’s seminal book, Sweat Your Prayers, when I was yet too inexperienced at life to understand her explanation of The 5Rhythms™ that cycle through everything, but just experienced enough to know that this book on my shelf held some powerful truth just beyond my reach. When I first moved out on my own after college, I bought a few of Roth’s cds (Bones, Bardo, & Refuge) and let her tribal beats hold me through many a long night of learning how to live with myself and with paying rent as a substitute school teacher. As this obituary blog post relates better than I could here, Gabrielle Roth was a driving inspiration behind all those dance jams such as Ecstatic Dance Oakland where I EcstaticDanceOaklandfound myself (unknowingly) preparing to step into my own as a dance teacher by first finding out how it might feel to move as an adult human grounded in her own body. Now here I am…a new momma with an acute body knowing of the truth of Gabrielle Roth’s teachings that I had again stumbled upon in a bookstore during my quest to heal my body from the lingering poisons of cancer…teachings explained in her book Maps to Ecstasy that everything in our lives, including the birthing of a child, moves through waves, through five rhythms of energy in motion.

The 5Rhythms are my offering to a world in crisis to help us find our voice and become a vehicle for change and renewal. […] In dancing them our body becomes the spiritual path.

~Gabrielle Roth            (from

Intrigued? Here is more on Roth and her work…

  • The 5Rhythms are best experienced, practiced, DANCED…but here is the best brief explanation I’ve found:

The 5 Rhythms…as explained by the folks at Moving Ground.

  • Listen to the music. I use this song – “Snake” – from her Bones album for a follow the leader game with my little ones. This music usually brings out first some confused faces and variations on “this music is weird”….followed by some really interesting movements!

Thank you, Gabrielle Roth, for your contributions to the world, including the world of dance.

~ Linda

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