Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Dancing Your Way To Freedom

5Rhythms, Evening Advertiser, 3rd Jan 2018

5Rhythms - Evening Advertiser 3rd Jan 2018

Need to exercise but are put off by classes? SARAH SINGLETON looks at
a form of ‘dancing’ which is easy to participate in and requires no specialist
Mindful dancing, a style which requires no lycra clothing or complicated routines, is helping people
free their bodies and so free their minds, according to Julie Nicholls.
Called 5Rhythms, this variety of dance dates back to the 1970s and was created by American
Gabrielle Roth as a type of meditation. Now Julie, who has been a Body Mind Coach for
25 years, has brought the classes to Wiltshire.
She invited instructor Gay Murphy to run a free taster session in October 2017, and has now
organised another class on 21st January 2018 from 2pm to 5pm at Liddington village hall.
A further session will run on 18th March 2018.
"5Rhythms is perfect for people who want or need to exercise but are put off by classes,
perhaps because they can't follow the instructor, or they worry what they look like, or even
because they struggle getting off the floor,"  Julie said.
"With 5Rhythms, people can wear that they like - loose clothing is ideal - and they dance
how they wish, with guidance from the instructor. It suits people of any age and ability.
The beauty of it is that you dance your own dance, within your comfort zone, so there is
no need to do anything that strains your body. There are no steps to learn and you can
never get it wrong. This brings so much freedom to the body that it frees the mind."
She described how 5Rhythms moves through five different types of music or
rhythm - flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness.The aim is to use movement as
meditation, which helps people explore their feelings - she said it can be therapeutic
for the  mind as well as the body. "It is a little like a dance based version of how
I help my clients, by helping heal their mind and their bodies," she said.
Julie, 49, from Swindon, has dedicated her professional life to promoting mental and
physical well being andexploring the connection between them. She was born in Belgium,
of British parents, and after leaving school, trained to be a nurse. But after gaining her
nursing degree in 1989, she was disillusioned by conventional medicine and
disappointed to discover the stresses and strains of her training had negatively
impacted her own well being.
She moved to Britain and studied at the Brockwood Park School as a mature student,
and in 1993 qualified in Remedial Massage from the Northern Institute of Massage.
Julie wanted to take her understanding further, however, and to find ways to deal with
chronic illness and pain, which she believed was not being fully resolved in hospitals.
She studied the Trager technique and qualified as a Trager Practitioner in 1997, which
she says enabled her to do more than relieve pain and discomfort, but to help people
avoid it in the first place.

Her Natural Therapy Centre was a Wiltshire Business of the Year finalist in 1994.
"You have to educate your clients to stop doing stuff that is getting in the way of them
being well," she said. "It is a state of being. You have to take away all the things you
are doing that are creating the pain, tension and disease of the body. Working extra
long hours, lack of sleep and bad food all get in the Way of being Well."
She said her therapy involved psycho-physical integration - becoming aware of exactly
what is going on in your body, and what was creating the pain. "That's the whole package
- helping people to connect with themselves so they can feel free of guilt and shame.
That is what I help people with," she said.
To find out more about the 5Rhythms mindful dancing, or about Julie's work, visit her website, or call 01793 495551.

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