An interesting thing happened in 5Rhythms class last weekend: The stereo crapped out.

5Rhythms is movement meditation practice guided by—you got it—music, so you can imagine how this threw a wrench in the instructor’s plans. We were 20 minutes into a 2.5-hour long class, and now, instead of a thumping, bass-filled surround-sound, we had only the tinny whisper of music straining from the instructor’s laptop, such a small sound in comparison to the huge room we were dancing in.

Luckily, the teacher was pretty quick on his feet and miraculously found a way to teach the 5Rhythms through sound rather than music. Either he’s just really good at extemporaneous instruction or there’s a component of 5Rhythms training titled “Music Crises 101.” Either way, it worked.

For a portion of the class, we became the music, vocalizing “Flowing” sounds, so that the room became a chorus of oooohs and aaahs and sing-song laughter. We made sound together; we sang alone. I see these people dance all the time with my eyes but never before had the chance to hear their dance with my ears. Where did that deep, throaty sound come from? Was that inside you all this time?

We used clapping and stomping for Staccato, a gong to facilitate the release of Chaos, flew around the room like birds for Lyrical, and gathered close to the laptop as the subtle sounds from the speakers settled us into Stillness. At that point, the lack of music wasn’t even a factor, as sometimes silence can produce the loudest of Stillnesses for me, especially when the energy I’ve amassed from everyone else in the room is making my cells vibrate like a subwoofer cranked full volume, my pulse the underlying melody to the song that resides within.

Sometimes the energetic music we make with each other is just as powerful as the most stirring ballad. Thanks for turning a moment of Chaos into just another beautiful Wave, Richard!

“Those who dance are thought to be quite insane by those who cannot hear the music.”
~ Angela Monet