Is 5Rhythms ecstatic dance?

Not quite. 5Rhythms and ecstatic dance are two separate practices, although there are some similarities between the two. Ecstatic dance is a broad term encompassing any form of dance or body movement in which the dancers do not follow formal steps and seek a sort of abandon in the music.

5Rhythms, while unstructured and there are no set ‘steps’, does involve a framework of five distinct rhythms. When combined one after the other, these rhythms form what’s called a Wave.

Like ecstatic dance, dancing 5Rhythms offers a way for people to step outside the mind and focus wholly on the body. In this regard, the two practices are related.

They differ in that 5Rhythms is designed to help dancers tap into any feelings and energy states through the different rhythms and is considered a philosophy, as much as a meditation and healing art form. More broadly, 5Rhythms has its theoretical roots in a range of practices and belief systems including shamanism, transpersonal psychology, and Gestalt therapy.