This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight is brought to you by Europe-based 5Rhythms facilitator Emma Leech, aka Emma Dance!

Dear Dancers, 

Where to begin? For most of us, the impact of COVD is a surreal reality, hitting like a Sci-Fi movie: a mysterious killer pandemic sweeping the Globe, claiming thousands of lives, and testing humanity to its core. It leaves us to grapple with uncertainty, knowing anyone can be claimed by the virus without notice. The dominant emotion sweeping through us is fear, freezing us into submission.

This global human collective experience divides us by how we manage the situation. Some panic; some take refuge in the imposed solitude, reflecting in silence and space; some tap into long-forgotten dreams, giving their passions room to breathe.

I am a dancer and an artist. I was fortunate when the pandemic hit. My 30 years of practice in 5Rhythms moving meditation has helped me transform and free my suffering. And yet, this was not without its own unique challenges. Lockdown came with a sudden thrust into technology. I had to transition my dominant survival instinct, to keep moving, into an online forum.

This really freaked me out! I am not adept at technology and have never tried to take my movement practice into a digital forum. I have always tried to do things within a simple framework, removing complications, and working with what I know—focusing on learning new skills in a familiar setting. This was no longer an option.

The daunting aspects of moving under constraints inspired me to develop my “Silent Waves” practice. Teaching from empty space and silence allows the symphony, the song, and the poetry to rise from within our instinctive inner choreography. It has now become my favorite way to teach the practice of 5 Rhythms. My Soul on fire!

I danced every day, one-on-one, with a dance partner from Italy. Together, we ‘zoomed’ through the fog, thunder, darkness into the sunlit horizon. This gave us both some much-needed human connection. As much as humans like to boast individuality and independence, connectedness is the basis of the human experience. The unified collective experience can strengthen our ability to overcome hardship.

More than anything, what got me through was dance, movement, and meditation. I did not allow myself to be frozen in fear, instead allowing tension and anxiety to move through me. I opened to mother earth and her profound wisdom, discovering the poetry, metaphors, and songs of movement. Though the pandemic has presented immeasurable challenges and changes, I hope we take positive lessons away from the trials. May we learn from this experience, opening ourselves to deeper understanding, compassion, and love for ourselves as individuals and the whole planet.

I will continue to offer the art of 5Rhythms as support, helping movers to release their trauma and mental anxiety. Having relocated to Rome to take refuge within my Italian dance community, I will hold my silent wave classes over Zoom for everyone who needs them. Stay tuned for announced dates and times!

Much love,


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