Cathy Ryan
About / Bio
At the age of 19 after an intensive and wonderful two years actors training at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, Dublin I spent many years working as an actor. Time included work with the Royal Court Theatre London, the Library Theatre Manchester and the Riverside Studios London. I continued to do workshops and further trainings 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.

In my late teens and twenties I travelled a lot in Europe, Africa, Mexico, South America 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.

I came across the 5 Rhythms® up in Findhorn 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 the past 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 recently completed a training with Chris to hold Sweat Lodges and Vision Quests.

For more or less the same period I have been working with Helen Poynor ( her I continue 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 am currently on a masters programme in creative writing in Cork University, Ireland . I've had a booklet of poems called I Dare You published by Tall Lighthouse ( and am a poetry prize winner( Westival Arts Festival 2020, Ireland)
Teaching online now and loving it - the intimacy, authenticity and creativity turning up, moving and unfolding in each human being is heart warming, vital and alive. Beacons of community for the times we live in.