This weekend will mark my first 5Rhythms class without one of my favorite props: my hair.

To clarify, I still have hair, just 8 inches less of it. I went from this:

to this:

Although I was rockin’ the Lady Godiva look by the end (and its pure weight was what finally drove me to get it cut), I truly loved my My-Little-Pony-tail-on-steroids head. My untamed hair was like a dance partner in 5Rhythms classes: It flowed when I flowed, bounced when I staccatoed, and clung to my sweaty face, neck, and arms during chaos.

Sometimes during 5Rhythms I’ll pull at my hair like I’m a psychiatric patient. Or I’ll very deliberately unravel it from a braid during Stillness, very aware of each individual strand.

During one particular Chaos set, I remember releasing the braid from my hair and using my wild-woman locks as a fifth limb. I felt very Alanis Morissette at the time, and moving like that wanted me to keep my hair growing longer and longer, even though I kept talking about needing to get it cut. But that night it felt like part of me, like energy and blood and prana and all that good stuff was running through it as much as in my arms or legs.

It’s kind of funny that I allow my hair to be so wild during dance these days. Back in high school and college, I hated the feel of loose hair on me as I danced. I was constantly on a quest for a rubber band strong enough to turn this:

into something more like this:

By my senior year of college, I had had enough of constantly readjusting my hair after each pirouette and chaine turn. I only knew of one way to keep my hair in place:

Chop it all off!

The old dancer me was about neatly packaged buns (That’s what she said!), meticulous French braids, and slick ponytails. My hair was to be unmoving, proper.

Now I understand that my hair needs to dance the 5Rhythms as much as the rest of my body. After all, isn’t 5Rhythms about “letting your hair down,” so to speak? 🙂