A Healing Art of
Dance in Rhythm – Rhythm in Dance

by Heidrun Hoffmann

Through many years of learning, teaching, and performing dance, rhythm, and drumming, I found two important allies for my life; my body and my drums. They are full with endless gifts, tools for healing myself. Of these, I have discovered that the qualities of listening are the most precious.

By breaking down rhythm into basic elements, rhythm has come to be both a vessel and a mirror for my inner knowledge. Connecting with rhythm by first speaking, then stepping or dancing a pulsation, and then trying to clap or sing something else, lets me play with my borders of doing many things simultaneously.

By falling in and falling out of this, watching how that happens and what I do with it, I become able to observe myself carefully in a safe field. Listening to the pulsation, hearing and feeling how much I am in this pulsation or not, how much I push and how much I slow down, how much I am present with each pulse, is the teaching. Staying with one rhythm over a long time slows me down; it creates a quiet and enjoyable possibility to dive into another place inside, where I just listen and see what I am doing.

This depth of listening flows into other areas of my life, places where I have to listen, or where I should listen better, or where I can see more, when I really listen. Listening means facing the truth. To find my truth the first step is to acknowledge what is hidden and locked in my body and this may include looking at my inner darkness, the sadness and anger in me. Listening is a process of opening up and allowing to express emotions and my body is the carrier of all of this.

I believe that the body's knowledge is a very precious gift for us humans: Its language is very individually different and needs to be found new every day. To feel how I move, and how I hold my body in daily life, helps me to enjoy my movements, and also to find out about the weaker areas in my body. We use a lot of energy for holding body parts in tension, which causes stiffness, very often injuries and sometimes pain. Facing this pain is for many people very challenging; they deny feeling it, they just want to get rid of it. But I can actually only get rid of my pain when I inquire what it is about. The moment of realizing pain can be a deep acknowledgement, bringing me one step closer to the source of it. When I create my pain, finding out about how that happens tells me how to avoid doing it, and how to give it a new direction. This success allows me to transform a rather unpleasant sensation into a powerfully helpful and enjoyable experience.

Dance in Rhythm - Rhythm in Dance is a form of rhythm therapy that evolves many strong abilities for self-healing. It is a possibility to get closer to the body's wisdom and pleasure by moving through rhythm.
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