Personal development through the performing arts

5Rithms: Shame

With Arjan Bouw

Feeling shame can be extremely uncomfortable and vulnerable.

It can also be a way to enter a space of real intimacy with oneself and with the other. If we did not know shame, in other words, if we were shameless, that would mean being senseless, out of touch and excessively self-absorbed; therefore, shamelessness lives only in people who have no relational skills.

Shame grows in secret and creates isolation and loneliness. Shame can be healthy if it is brought into contact in an empathetic relationship. The word shame comes from a variety of European words that literally mean “cover, veil, hide”. In this workshop we will investigate how shame shapes our body to come to recognize its movements. Little by little we will discover and show parts of ourselves in front of each other.

Humor will be very welcome. It will help us take ourselves lightly and show our vulnerabilities and imperfections that make us unique relational beings.


  • Incarnation: We will investigate how shame shapes and moves our body. So we can recognize it when it arises in our day to day and so we recognize it in others.
  • Accepting being seen We will look at shame in a one-on-one relationship and the shame that arises in group situations.
  • Discover the negative and positive sides of shame.
    That gives us the option of how to navigate with this feeling of shame.
  • Moving towards intimacy. Bearing the discomfort of shame takes courage. The objective is to develop our connection skills. If we dare to be real, if we dare to show how we are, that is where we can really meet another person.


  • 5 Rhythms: We will use the map of the 5 Rhythms to explore through our body how to move with shame. The 5 Rhythms – Flowing Staccato Chaos Lyrical Stillness® – are states of being. They are a map of all the places we want to go, on all levels of consciousness: interior and exterior, forward and backward, physical, emotional and intellectual. They are markers on the way back to a real me, a vulnerable, wildly passionate and instinctive me.
  • Wave: All 5 Rhythms together form a wave, a wave of energy. We will dance a wave every day, dancing to all the rhythms.
  • Music: Music is our medicine. There is so much music that there is a song for every state of being. So, music can really invite you to move and explore new areas. The music has been carefully crafted and will follow the 5 Rhythms through the wave.
  • Movement: Music makes you want to move and movement is also our medicine. “Put your body in motion and your psyche will heal itself.” Gabrielle Roth. There is raw stillness in the dance where there is no dogma. Just be in motion.
  • Exercises: There will be exercises alone, in pairs and in groups. Most in movement, some in sharing through spoken language.


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