This week’s Monday Love Insight is from
Cathy Ryan and Open Floor!

At the age of 19, after an intensive and wonderful two year’s actor training at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, Dublin I spent many years working as an actor. I worked with Philippe Gaulier, Theatre De Complicite, Theatre Du Soleil and the Corn Exchange, drawn to the physicality of being present through an awake and receptive body, ready to respond, listen, embody and share different aspects of the human being as an actor.

As a set of tools for exploring what it is to be a human, the stories, the journeys, the connections we have to ourselves, each other and the world around us, theatre and embodied movement practice are a powerful combination. I have collaborated with theatre companies such as Origin in New York City, ( Guna Nua in Dublin ( and Clod Ensemble in London as a movement facilitator and recently worked with the second year acting students at the Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin.

In my late teens and twenties I travelled a lot— in Europe, Africa, Mexico, South America, the USA and Nepal. I read a lot, wrote some, watched a host of cinema and followed my nose, heart, longing and curiosity about what it is to be a human being from the roots of my liberal Catholic Irish background to dancing and teaching the 5 Rhythms®, Shamanic practice and Open Floor embodied movement practice. Along the way, amongst other adventures I have explored time living in community in Findhorn, some time at the Sayme Ling monastery in Dumfries, vision quests and meditations, yoga, tai chi, clubbing and loving.

I came across the 5 Rhythms® in Findhorn, Scotland in 1998 and was pretty much hooked straight away. Here was a place I could dance and move my way into a deeper awareness and exploration of who I am and what I’m connected to as a human, my body, my emotions, my personal history and stories, my creativity, my connections and ways of relating to others, my relationship to Spirit, the land. I apprenticed to Gabrielle Roth and danced and studied the practice extensively and intensively for 6 years, did the teacher training in 2004 followed by the Heartbeat training in 2009.

Over ten years I have also trained and worked in traditional shamanic practices with Chris Luttichau of Northern Drum ( and continue to do so, I have completed a training with Chris to hold Sweat Lodges and Vision Quests. For more or less the same period I have worked with Helen Poynor ( With her I continued to explore the movement of the body and where it leads me to, solo, with others, and in particular the moving body in relationship to the natural environment – sea, sky, rock.
I am a founding member of Open Floor International, a school of embodied movement practice – healing through movement, reflection, exploration, creativity, community.(

I write and occasionally perform poetry, I’ve had a booklet of poems called I Dare You published by Tall Lighthouse ( Work published in Cork Words, 2020 and The Disposable Stories, 2021. I’ve been awarded first prize in Ireland’s Westival Literary festival and am currently completing a Masters in Creative Writing in University College Cork.

The past 20 years have seen me travelling and teaching extensively, running groups and workshops in many countries all over the world and now online. A whole new world of adventure…

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