October 20, 2010

5Rhythms Spiritual Dance Practice

The 5Rhythms is a dance practice called movement as spiritual practice and a healing journey for the untamed spirit.


Created by Gabrielle Roth several decades ago, it has an international following and thrives in New York City. Introduced to this through the grace of meeting someone training to teach the 5Rhythms, it has brought remarkable awareness into my life. Initially, sweating like never before was astonishing and fun and felt good. Then the real experiences started. Moving so much started to "unstick" things inside me. I am amazed to witness this. It's fun but can lead to some difficult places too. For anyone who is a seeker, the places are where we want to go, scary as they might sometimes be. It might sound a little nuts that a dance practice could do this but life is full of things that are nuts, including us, right.

November 7, 2009


When you pause to appreciate it, New York city hosts more amazing opportunities for fun than a person can take in in a lifetime. I had a fantastic time dancing for hours with a great guy one recent Saturday at the Edison Ballroom in midtown. The sounds of Joe Battaglia's Big Band that we danced to were smoooooooth. 

Food at the Edison Ballroom is amazing and the service solicitous. It was a stormy night when I went, traffic was horrendous and all the garages were full. The contrast of a great time, once landed, was that much better.

July 18, 2008

In a Funk

Getting down in a Funk? If so, come take a Funky turn this Friday at Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing festival that runs for three weeks, Tuesday through Saturday, in July.

Funk Dancing at Midsummer Night Swing

They call it midsummer but to me, summer has just begun and it is time to move to the grooves. You can go just to listen to the music if you're not a dancing body but I hope you are — it's nice to be out in the summer music-filled evening in that part of the city. This year, they've moved the event around the corner to Damrosch Park because of construction in the main courtyard.

Muscially, I see an emphasis on Latin music in this festival — Salsa, Samba and more — with a few other nights of Funk, Jazz, Swing and Tango. My personal dancing favorite is Funk. Tonight (Friday), you can experience what they call Afro-Soul, Funk, Afro-Latin Electro, Garage-House with three different bands. Next Tuesday is a program featuring the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, with classic jazz played by a large band.

A dance lesson in the style of the evening's music is given at 6:30 for no extra charge. Dancing is its own art form and a great way to get exercise. Plus, it's social; you get to mingle with just the right amount of people interaction.

May 1, 2008

Sultry Salsa in Brooklyn

Unexpectedly last night, I took a Salsa dance class in Brooklyn.

Salsa in Brooklyn So no one was wearing outfits like these nippers in class, which was a fun and motley crew of grownups. But still, the vibe is there. The teacher is spunky and awesome. My friend was taking the class and I drove him there. He said I was welcome to watch and I LOVE dancing so I thought I would. One thing led to another. The teacher, who is great at pulling people in, said I was welcome to take part. It would never have occurred to me otherwise, especially since my footwear of the moment was platform slides — so I took them off and did the class barefoot.

it's funny because I just read an article about the benefits of going barefoot yesterday. I think you can spin better with thin dance soles but having read this article definitely helped me not feel so weird taking a dance class in bare feet. All in all a great night's fun.

Go spin for yourself:

For Salsa Dance Classes call: 347-628-5883

Location: 259 Smith Street in Brooklyn

Private classes are also available. By the way, there are dozens of amazing! restaurants on this strip of Smith Street too. Savoia is one of them.

November 6, 2005

The Color of Salsa

Salsa is a colorful Latin dance style that came into its own in my native New York City. It's a fiery but orderly dance that lets you cut loose and shine on the dance floor.

Eddie Torres is often considered the father of modern Salsa. Much of the order is thanks to him, since he formally documented steps (known as shines) and turns. He danced with the famous Latin musician, Tito Puente, who, incidentally, has a restaurant here on City Island. Eddie‘s dancers were at one time called the Tito Puente dancers.

It is my good fortune to be taking Salsa lessons with my boyfriend, David, at Morocco‘s Dance Studio with Danny Ramirez and Cindy Osorio (contact Danny or Cindy for info), amazingly great teachers. They take you through steps at a pace that allows you to learn without confusion. You also switch partners frequently, a technique that enhances the learning process. Their method is called “On 2.” “On 2” refers to the beat on which you step in this Eddie Torres-influenced system. You emphasize the second beat and this is key to proper technique and style.

Artwork, l to r, by Constructivists Lissitzky and Malevich

What color do you think Salsa is? You'll see lots of red and black in Salsa imagery and clothing. But I see it as a fiery orange or fuchsia. Interestingly, David has instinctively worn an orange shirt to class a couple of times. He must be seeing the same colors in this art form. I feel the orange impulse because it's definitely hot and red means many other things to me. Despite much great use of red in design, for instance, with Constructivist artwork, to me, red doesn't have the passion of either orange or fuchsia. Those colors talk to me more. Whatever color this dance conjurs up for you, I recommend giving it a whirl. It'll open your spirit, is good for your body, a ton of fun and is a civilized way to meet people.