As I lay in bed letting the experience of the terrific tribute last Friday night in Dublin to Gabrielle sink in, I allowed my mind to wander back through the last 20 years of 5 Rhythms for me. I know I had the great privilege of being the first Irish 5 Rhythms teacher trained by Gabrielle and have fronted all my classes, workshops, On Going Groups and Sweat Your Prayer sessions, yet I could never have done any of it without an amazing team of people in the background organising or assisting me on workshops and classes through the whole of this island ……
I named my reflections my dance of gratitude as I mentally hopped, skipped and jumped in good Lyrical fashion around the island and want to write them in “stone” so if ever the story of 5Rhythms in Ireland is written these names will feature as the key structure that made it all happen:
It all began with Dave O’ Brien in Community Action Network (CAN) encouraging me to participate in a course on Women’s lives in Devon, England where I was first introduced to the 5 Rhythms by Dilys Morgan Scott. On my return CAN encouraged me to take seriously this new found practice and to begin my road to teaching it by integrating them into all my community and organisational training courses- a courageous and quirky step back 20 years ago!
So now let’s together take lyrical dance around the country starting in Dublin where I first taught classes and workshops: Aileen Foran fund-raised to get me on my training in 1996 and since then has in one way or another supported me in all my work in Dublin. Barbara Collins ( who introduced me to The Little Flower Centre my 5 Rhythms “home” in Dublin until last December)and Mary Manning were my first two assistants in all the workshops I taught in Dublin- their names will appear in other counties as I tour around…, Eibhlin Ní Dhubháin, Collette Stratford, Jasmine Mcgee and Carla Sinnott took over and have all added their special qualities in workshops since; Bernard Crowley assisted with our one and only venture into a men only workshop which was a great success, Irene Ward introduced me to The Rialto Drugs project and has since then been the organiser for all the visiting 5 Rhythms teachers to Dublin.
Skipping along north to Dundalk and Mary White; to Monaghan and Maria Doody; to Dunderry Park, Co, Meath and Barbara Collins and Mary Manning; a hop and skip further north to Omagh, Portadown and Belfast where Bernie Kirrane, Margaret McCullough, and Gail Ramsey have all organised and assisted introducing the 5 Rhythms north of the border; a big jump now and we land in Donegal with Tim Spalding and Cathy O’ Connor; as we skip along the Western sea bord we stop in Sligo to greet Carmel McNamee and Rita McNulty; into Mayo to say hello to Bill Farrell, Imelda Doyle, Mary Manning (again:)) and Margaret Carroll;
In my home territory of Connemara where many On Going Groups have been ably assisted by yet again Mary Manning, followed by Naula Mc Carthy, Margot Durcan and presently Siobhán Ni Mhurchuú, and a special thanks to Dympna Heanue who has provided absolutely beautiful food for all my workshops and Annie Graham before her- food being a very important part of all the Ongoing Groups….. 🙂 In Galway city hi to Marion Mc Neela and Jenny Fahy ( now a 5 rhythms teacher in her own right).
In Clare on the Summer Holiday in The Boghill Centre Mary Quinlan and Sadhbh O” Neill bring their great skills to make this a memorable event each year; Shirley Butler and Lesley Hamilton in Ennis; On to Limerick and Helen O’ Brien;
Skipping south to Kerry where Elaine Avery organised in different venues many years ago and presently in Cork The Social and Health Education Project have sponsored me to teach and Helen Bohan( also a 5 rhythms teacher in her own right) has helped to make these workshops happen; jumping a great stretch to Tramore in Co. Waterford and to greet Mick Lee ; rounding the bend to Wexford to meet Brigid Dunne and Nuala Ronan; across the border into into Carlow where I was born and to my “oldest” friend Patricia Kearney, who not only organised but provided huge lunches for all attending and who also helped with all my ventures into Kilkenny.
To Paul Doyle who designed all the brochures and cards I have been using to advertise my work to date and Sinead Mannion who designed, updated and kept my “old” website on track over the past 7 years;
For getting me into the 21st Century Liz Glesson and Philip Darling encouraging, assisting and getting me to revamp the website,and Gail Ramsey for getting me to face up to Face Book……..they all have their hands full with my 19th century neocortex…… 🙂
To Dolores (whose full name is Staunton) who has worked truly in the background in all the admin that goes with getting me out and about round this country and will never be seen on floor as she keeps telling me 🙁 , I truly could not manage without her.
Finally to Mary Quinlan and PJ Howell who have over all these years provided me with a home from home in Dublin.
Finally, finally and finally again, to Gráinne my partner who bought into a relationship that has me more often physically absent than present- the change to be more at home this year will be great fun 🙂 🙂 🙂 And I cannot leave out Benji, Milly and Joey the true inspiration for my grounded dance as each of these cats has changed my view of life…..
And most importantly to all of you who have ventured to dance with me, to allow me to be your teacher for 1 workshop or 20 workshops my sincerest gratitude.
I really hope this gives you a full picture of all that has gone on in the shadows of my teaching of the work of Grabielle throught the country over the past 20 years.
THANK YOU 🙂