5Rhythms dance is a very personal journey and a chance to "sweat your prayers", Melinda Hatherley says.

A teacher of the discipline gives a one-day workshop in Whanganui on September 15, in the Churton School Hall. It's the fourth workshop here, and part of a series that will be completed in November.

In between workshops the informal Whanganui group For the Love of the Dance (FLoTD) has been dancing every Sunday in the Peat St Studio at 92 Peat St, from 9.45am to 11am.

The dance discipline was started in the late 1970s by Gabrielle Roth, and is now international.


Hatherley experienced it in England and Wellington, and asked teacher Alex Rodriguez to come to Whanganui.

The discipline works with the idea that energy and emotions form patterns and work in waves.

Each one-hour session starts with a warm-up and passes through five stages: flowing, stacatto, chaos, lyrical and stillness.

"They are all related to different emotions and different parts of life. It's a way of coming into one's centre. It can be cerebral, or it can just be a wonderful dance," Hatherley said.

5Rhythms teachers have committed to come to Whanganui every two months and focus on one stage at each visit.

They have made three visits already, and this month the teacher will be Croatian woman Romana Soldo and the focus will be the lyrical rhythm - "my soul, my offering".

"It's wonderful that it connects with spring," Hatherley said.

++The September 15 workshop costs $55, or $45 for Community Services Card holders. For payment details email alex@5rhythms.co.nz. Anyone wishing to attend or to go to a Sunday session needs to ring convenor Robin Williamson first, on 021 02333 863.