Christian de Sousa, 5Rhythms and Movement Medicine teacher
& curator/facilitator of the dancingTao project. - www.luminousworlds.net
Christian started dancing clandestinely in his bedroom as a teenager, before discovering the twin pathways of raving and Tai Chi. Coming across 5Rhythms dance in 1998, he felt he had come home. He learned the practice with Gabrielle Roth, Alain Allard, Ya'Acov & Susannah Darling Khan, amongst others, eventually training with Gabrielle in 2004-05. He studied Movement Medicine from its inception and became one of the first three 'Pathfinder' teachers accreditted by Ya'Acov and Susannah in 2011 and is now core faculty for the School of Movement Medicine. His experience also spans Taoism, Amerta movement (the work of Suprapto Suyodarmo, aka Prapto) and shamanic practice (with Chris Luttichau, Malidoma Somé and others) as well as Butoh, meditation and DJing. Born in Switzerland and having lived in England most of his life, he is also an artist, dad and occasional activist.
"My intention is to hold spaces where people can dance to experience a wholeness of body, heart & mind in connection with all life. We've got a direct line to soul on the dancefloor. For me that comes from being present, receiving the rhythm, and risking being open to existence, change and the possibility of the sacred."
Nikki Ashley, 5Rhythms teacher - www.5rhythms.com/nikkiashley
Nikki discovered the 5Rhythms in 1994 when she came across a book called ‘Maps to Ecstasy’ by Gabrielle Roth (creator of the practice). She immediately felt that she had found her teacher - someone who understood the body’s need to move, explore and express all the myriad of feelings held within it, and to seek to find ways to embody and ground this in an authentic and alive presence. A decade on, after working as a Theatre Practitioner, she stepped onto the teaching path and finally at the end of 2014 became a teacher. She has danced with, organised and assisted Christian de Sousa since June 2010 and now is a co-facilitator in the emerging dancingTao collective. She has taught Elders and is devising work bridging Theatre and 5Rhythms. She currently works with women and holds drop in classes for ‘every body.’
"I am passionately devoted to sharing this on-going inquiry I have into what it means to be here now, in all our tender, raw and ecstatic moments. Exploring ways and giving permission to be an authentic soulful presence, on and off the dancefloor."
Cyrill Chanterau, Movement Medicine teacher - www.justdancewithlife.com
Cyrill's first connection with dance was at the age of 11, in a cinema watching West Side Story. During the screening he secretly said to himself: "That's what I want to do in life!"... Years passed... Then in 2008, he discovered 5Rhythms practice, and the following year was marked by the decisive meeting with Movement Medicine. Cyrill apprenticed with Ya'Acov and Susannah Darling Khan, becoming the first French fully qualified Movement Medicine Teacher in 2015. He has long experience of space-holding and healing through many years of being a leader in the Mankind Project, and is also a coach. He believes strongly in the healing power of dancing ceremony to support people, communities and a healthy connection with the ancestors. He lives life inspired by Seneca: ‘Life is not about waiting for a storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance with the rain’.
"To liberate, disclose, release, develop and live my many potentialities, known and unsuspected, through the intelligence of the body in order to become the artist of my own life... This is how I have been living this practice since 2009 and this is how I wish to share it with you, to transmit it to you in the sacred fire of the Great Dance of Life"
Morag Donnelly, Lifelines teacher - lifelinearts.wordpress.com
While studying for her fine art degree in Farnham, Morag met Meriel Gold (Hoare), a former pupil of Cecil Collins; ‘The Vision of the Fool’ and had the privilege to assist and collaborate with her in giving the life-drawing courses ‘drawnhome’ in the U.K and New York. This was the pivotal phase in her 20 years experience in the fields of movement, art and bodywork, that inspired the development of Lifelines. This approach combines art, movement and the senses to emphasises the importance of seeing and a deepening empathy, intimacy with ourself and life.
Morag is a rare combination of both life model and teacher, giving her a unique vision and insight into the importance of the Muse as conduit. She enables and encourages others with her relaxed, tender, open manner and intuitive nature, creating a loving space of safety and freedom. She has been sharing the Lifelines workshops with 6th form schools for the last 4 years and travelling the UK and Europe giving weekends and longer courses, taking with her a fabulous team of models, unusual and intriguing drawing materials, live musicians and a great music set!
Her background of study and exploration in movement and healing arts includes Reiki, shamanism, meditation, shiatsu and cranial work, all of which have influenced and deepened her own experience and relationship to touch.
"Can we give the touch we yearn for and see with the gaze we wish to be seen by? Drawing from life can become an agent of compassion and empathy, drawing begins by being drawn in and drawn to. To me everything is felt here in the body the skin of us speaks of what we see. The more we rest and engage in our own stillness, our own movements, our senses , the more acutely aware we become to another; the tilt of a face, the bow of branches, a half opened mouth is felt here in our own, we have become it, we are intimate .When I go to draw, my seeing changes, relationship of life arises and contemplation becomes communion, this way of drawing is no less than prayer."
The dancing yumans mentioned above are those currently active in dancingTao projects.
Several other long-time members of the dancingTao community are also movment teachers, notably Ajay Rajani, Jane Belshaw and Kat Pugowska. There are also several members of the dancingTao collective, aka dTc, who are in training or on the path to become 5Rhythms or Movement Medicine teachers. Stay tuned!