Flowing:  Rebekah Zhuraw–Certified 5Rhythms® Teacher, Member of 5RTA, & Philadelphia Producer

RZ Headshot croppedAs the local 5Rhythms teacher & producer, my job is to hold the vision of the tribe with the integrity the 5Rhythms require.   Some of  my hats include: overseeing our schedule of events from physical operations to the ephemeral details; communicating with 5Rhythms Global and other 5Rhythms teachers, producers, and dancers; developing and overseeing all of our promotion and advertising; gathering the Traveling Tribe to visit other 5Rhythms communities; & of course teaching!  In short, I create our opportunities to dance and foster an empowered, supportive, co-operative community.

I am also a poet, a full-time+ university professor, and a single mom. And I really love what I do.

My endless gratitude and deepest surrender goes to Lady G, the Raven whose spirit mapped this dancing path so beautifully.  May you know you are remembered as you lead us in the great dance towards the One.

Staccato: Mariama O’Brien

MariamaAs a tribe-holder, I am primarily responsible for the sound system.  I set-up the sound system for classes and workshops and assist Rebekah in selecting new equipment when we need it.  I also enjoy hosting potlucks during our weekend workshops.

I was born in Liberia, West Africa, but have lived most of my life in the United States.  I am a mother of a toddler, a percussionist in a local Philadelphia band, an experienced long-distance runner, and a pre-school teacher.  I teach school during the mornings, play in my band at night, and run marathons in season.

The 5Rhythms has been my medicine for living a balanced life and has invited many wonderful people into my life, as well.  Being a tribe-holder I get to witness how the 5Rhythms can transform lives in healthy, joyful ways.  No matter where we come from or what background we have, we all need to show compassion and genuine love to each other.  We need to help each other to be happy in life.

Chaos:  Kaitlynn Stupak

Kaitlynn Tribe-holderMy primary role as tribe-holder is assisting in advertising, especially through electronic and social media outlets.  I load our calendar and events to multiple sites, support development of this website, and seek out print advertising opportunities.

Incorporating 5Rhythms into my life has helped me to flourish in myriad ways.  Stepping outside of my comfort zone (I hadn’t danced since elementary school – let alone with strangers) and being challenged physically and spiritually, has deepened my capacity to heal, providing me with another avenue for breaking through stuck energy.  My interests have long been consciousness studies, transpersonal psychology and energetic healing so finding a practice that explores these realms through movement seemed like finding the missing piece.  I welcome anything that nourishes my soul and 5Rhythms does so in a most profound and fulfilling way!

When I am not on the dance floor, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children, romping in nature and writing.  I also offer Reiki in Bucks County, PA.  For more information, please visit

Lyrical: Michelle Mahan


Someone told me about 5 Rhythms while I was in NYC attending an event for the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. Upon returning to Philly, I went to my first class and for me it was like coming home.  I found my breath, my feet and my heart.  I lovingly continue this practice as it offers me insight, release and surrender, joy and a connection to others that needs no words. It’s on the dance floor that I can allow my body and heart to take the lead.  This is truly healing for me, and its exciting to see how it informs my day to day life.  The dance becomes continuous.

As a tribe-holder, my primary role is to support Rebekah with her own classes.  I help prepare the space, especially the dance floor for the exploration of prayerful feet, and I attend the door.  We also have many teachers coming to Philly from out of town, and I help with their timely arrivals.  In general, I jump in to help however I can to hold a sacred space for the hearts of all our dancers.

I retired a year and half ago as a paraprofessional communication facilitator for non-verbal autistic children.   I am now a grateful grandmother of joyful granddaughters.  And through The Earth Center at Chestnut Hill College and Still Rising at Philadelphia Fight, I offer occasional programs for women in transitions using art, movement and meditation. 

Stillness: Keshia Mahan

Keshia Tribe holder pictureI’m a creator. That’s who I am. Jumping in and finding out what I can come up with feels like second nature to me. I’ve spent my life learning to love this attribute. After finishing college with an Art degree, I admit I tried to run from it…only to find myself creating things I would have never thought to create if I had given up creating. Yes, that’s a circular message, but that has been my journey.

One form of creative expression that has found its way to me has been to offer visual altars or ‘alterations’ that set a tone or energy for the 5Rhythms tribe during our movement meditation. As a tribe-holder, that is my primary responsibility.  After that I assist in any other way I can.
Much of life is about duality and balancing. Being an artist and artisan, being a mother, a newly found lover of nature, and what I think is a free spirit, all need balance and expression. And that is what the 5Rhythms are for me:  that part of my life that helps me find that balance, on and off of the dance floor.  At some point, I was looking for something, unsure of what it was exactly.  Since I found the 5Rhythms it’s something that I can’t fathom not being a part of my life. So many lessons learned on my feet. So many found things. So much gratitude and appreciation.