Gabrielle Roth: The Most Badass Teacher of Our Time.

Via on Oct 26, 2012

Gabrielle Roth was the most truthful, determined, vibrant, hilarious, seductively ferocious person I have ever encountered.

She was so piercingly, honestly alive that it feels entirely strange to refer to her in the past tense.

On Monday, she said goodbye to all of us here on the physical plane.In the days leading up to her departure, I witnessed the most beautiful sendoff I think many of us have ever seen. A Facebook page was created for students and friends to write her a last love note and within two days, over 4,000 people had joined and left poems, photos and an endless stream of gratitude.

If you dance to get high (not the other way around), if you have ever been to a Barefoot Boogie, an Ecstatic Dance, a Get Your Dance On, a Yoga Rave, or any other of the countless “conscious” dance jams around the world, if you have ever been swept up by the beat into your body’s own brilliance, Gabrielle has probably touched your life.

Of course, this way of dance is ancient, and was ours as a human race for hundreds of thousands of years before Gabrielle. But somewhere along the way, us tight-assed Westerners forgot about it. And 50 years ago, she brought it back.

Over her first decade of teaching people to let go of their rigid patterns and move with abandon, she identified five basic rhythms that pulse through all of life. She qualified them as flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and stillness. Her teaching became a practice of embodiment: beginning with a grounded flow, rising in intensity with a sharp staccato, exploding in a chaotic, ecstatic peak to shake out lifetimes of conditioning, lightening up and uncovering an effortless lyrical, and finally, released, untethered from all the mind’s hooks, settling into a wide open stillness.

Through the rhythms, she taught us to surrender to that which moves through everything, and tap into the intelligence embedded deep within our cells. To return home to the rhythm of who we really are, and into a place of profound healing. The practice is, quite literally, a technology for finding God:

“We dance because it’s the fastest, most direct route to the truth—not some big truth that belongs to everybody, but the get down and personal kind, the what’s-happening-in-me- right-now kind of truth. This is not always easy for us to access—we have to navigate some very deep past, as well as the probable futures we drum up to feed the fear that drives us round the same circles, day in and day out.

We dance to hook up to the true genius lurking behind all that bullshit—to seek refuge in our originality and our power to reinvent ourselves; to shed the past, forget the future and fall into the moment feet first…

We dance to reclaim our brilliant ability to disappear in something bigger, something safe, a space without a critic or a judge or an analyst. The beat is a lover that never disappoints and, like all lovers, it demands 100 percent surrender. It has the power to seduce moves we couldn’t dream. It grabs us by the belly, turns us inside out and leaves us abruptly begging for more… We dance to fall in love with the spirit in all things.”

Gabrielle brought the healing power of ecstatic movement back into our collective understanding. She worked tirelessly, through her very last days, to bring the practice to underserved communities who wouldn’t otherwise find their way onto a dance floor: to prisons, hospitals, and schools, to the elderly and to children. This was her dream.

Now, we have a chance to harness the collective wave of gratitude swelling out into the world for Gabrielle’s work and do amazing good.

From 5Rhythms teacher Lori Saltzman:

“What if every one of us who has received benefit from the 5Rhythms turned it into generosity for someone else to receive it? What if we each paid it forward to someone we will never meet? Awareness is beautiful but action is where it’s at. If you don’t believe us, ask Gabrielle.”

To expand the reach of this transformative work and ensure that this is not the end, but the very beginning, click here to support the 5Rhythms Reach Out program.

Thank you Gabrielle. Thank you for living out your truth all the way to its edges. Thank you for walking your talk, and for dancing your dance—in all of its wisdom, fabulousness, and unpredictably, heart achingly honest shapes.

Thank you for paving a big path for every single one of us, who considers dance to be our life, to do what we do in the world today.

We bow to you.

 

~

Editor: Brianna Bemel

 

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About Natasha Blank

Natasha Blank is a dancer, dj, integrative healer, and the founder of Get Your Dance On. She creates collective experiences that feed our hunger for life through radical self expression, and plays in the spaces where creativity and healing meet. She is also in the midst of dancing every single day for a year, and invites you to join her. You can find out more about her journey at Get Your Dance On

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17 Responses to “Gabrielle Roth: The Most Badass Teacher of Our Time.”

  1. greateacher says:

    badass? Powerful Soul!

  2. Eliezer Sobel says:

    I DON'T refer to her in the past tense, because I experience her Spirit as Alive and Well and Present!

  3. Natasha Blank Natasha says:

    Amen Eliezer! Seems like leaving her body freed her spirit up to be as big as it really is…. now she can be everywhere at once! I certainly feel it. Big time.

  4. Shauna says:

    Thank you! I would like to have permission to use on my website. Love it!

    • Natasha Blank Natasha says:

      Of course shauna! Thanks for spreading the love and this work! Please just be sure to link back to this article, as well as a writing credit & link to getyourdanceon.net.

      Big love & gratitude ~

  5. [...] Blank írása, megjelent az ElephantJournal-on 2012. október [...]

  6. saschaflavor says:

    Gabrielle's teachings reconnected me to who I am, stress-tested my edges and rekindled my desire to truly explore what it means to have a soulful, human experience. This dance is in all of us, open to the rhythm within and let go!

  7. [...] Gabrielle Roth: The Most Badass Teacher of Our Time (Elephant Journal) [...]

  8. Vision_Quest2 says:

    I have a blog named "Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness", after the 5 Rhythms. Just a few workshops, and I got very interested in the practice.

    Although the blog is more about nutrition/weight-management-oriented fitness than it is about dance/spirituality … still, the idea of dance as embodiment of a dramatic arc of sorts … is so true … true for anyone who blogs or writes.

    I will always remember Gabrielle Roth.

  9. Uma Simon Uma Simon says:

    I knew Gabrielle at Esalen in 1974; she was a wonderful, ecstatic,brilliant person whom I was fortunate to know. She lived and walked her dance if that makes any sense. Thanks for writing this article.

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  13. [...] night of learning how to live with myself and with paying rent as a substitute school teacher. As this obituary blog post relates better than I could here, Gabrielle Roth was a driving inspiration behind all those dance [...]

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