My Dance of Gratitude- a hop, skip and jump around Ireland

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.


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