Founder of Radiance 5Rhythms Dance
Pioneer of Conscious Dance in Australia
Embodiment Coach & Mentor
5Rhythms Dance Teacher
Dance Movement Therapist
Feminine Power Facilitator
Michelle Mahrer is a pioneer, a visionary, a global citizen, a film-maker, a best selling author passionate about the power of dance to help heal our trauma and disconnection, to come back into alignment with our true nature and power, and equally passionate about creating community, bringing diverse groups of people together to experience our common humanity, belonging, connection and love through dance.
She is a pioneer of Conscious Dance in Australia and founded Radiance 5Rhythms Dance in Sydney 2009, which was a significant community hub that nurtured and mentored many facilitators and healers. It has blossomed into a vibrant inclusive dance community of 4000 members offering classes, workshops, and community events that welcomes people of all ages, and abilities to experience the healing power of movement that comes from within.
She creates safe welcoming spaces for you to relax the mind and open to your own creative movement, bringing into wholeness parts of yourself that have been disconnected, supporting the healing of trauma, and opening pathways to deeper authenticity, self empowerment, and self expression.
She offers in person and online programs, encompassing weekly 5Rhythms community classes for enjoyment and well being, as well as intimate containers for deep transformation including 1:1 sessions, retreats and women’s work.
She has brought the healing power of movement to countless festivals and conferences around the globe, including workshops in Poland and Hungary, One Dance Tribe in Hawaii, Luminate Festival in New Zealand, Australasian Family Constellation Conference, Australian Integrative Medicine Conference, Community festivals such as Love Fest and Sydney Spirit Festival, and Nyari Nyari Indigenous Festival.
Michelle is also passionate about offering the healing art of dance to community and corporate communities. For over 15 years she worked part time as a dance movement therapist with seniors and frail elderly with dementia at the Montefiore Home in Sydney and Emmy Monash Home in Melbourne helping residents to reconnect with their inner aliveness and spirit to experience joy and greater wellbeing.
Before moving into dance facilitation 20 years ago, she was an accomplished international film maker and created numerous award-winning films about dance including the cult classic “Dances of Ecstasy” which led her on a journey all over the globe documenting how different cultures connect with a spiritual dimension through dance, as well as Gabrielle Roth’s signature teaching videos - The Wave Series, and “A Quest to Heal Beyond the Physical about the healing power within us.
She is a best selling author of "Warriors of the Light Leaders of the Great Awakening", where she contributed a chapter called "We Are The Light We Seek" sharing her life journey working with dance as a vehicle to connect with our light and essence.
Feminine Power Transformational Facilitator
Certified 5Rhythms teacher, trained with Gabrielle Roth.
International Dance Therapy Institute of Australia – Diploma of Dance Therapy
Diploma in Film & TV AFTRS
IDTIA Dance Therapy Association of Australia – Professional Member
5Rhythms Teachers Association
Institute for Women Centred Coaching, Leadership & Facilitation
"I have danced all my life...
As a child I studied ballet for many years, and wanted to become a professional dancer. At 18 despite my passion for dance I realized this was not my path. I changed direction and became a filmmaker specializing in dance films. I moved to New York in the late 80’s where I fell in love with the lifeforce of this city, its ecstasy and despair. New York became my home for 8 years. I became a successful director of music videos working with many well known artists including Joe Cocker, Michelle Shocked Grace Jones and Sara McLaughlin.
I returned to my love for dance and took advantage of studying with outstanding teachers in the dance capital of the world, including post-modern dance teachers Nancy Topff and Eva Karczag, trance dance with Sufi master Adnan Sarhan and some years later Gabrielle Roth, the founder of 5Rhythms practise. I began to discover a whole new way of moving that was not about following steps, but moving from the inside out. It was a new orientation as I learnt how to let go the structure and form of choreographed steps, to relax the mind and connect with my inner dance, discovering the dance of my soul.
While I continued to work as a film maker, I poured myself into the practise of this new form of movement. Over many years, I learnt to soften my body and lose myself in the dance, where I felt I was no longer dancing but being danced. In peak states, I felt spirit or God moving through me and moving me. I was no longer dancing but being danced. I felt flooded with pure source energy that felt like it was bubbling up from within. The more I surrendered to the dance and simply followed the movement, the more this energy opened. It was an expanded state of awareness an experience of ecstasy, bliss and oneness, where I experienced no mind or thought. My presence expanded to infinite dimensions, yet I was completely grounded and centred. I experienced unbounded vitality, extraordinary power, and ease in my movement. On reflection, these peak experiences felt like a spiritual awakening.
All religions and spiritual traditions believe we all have aspects of the divine with us. When we can connect with that divine presence through the dance, it brings us into a unified field of energy, which has the power to heal. I came to experience that this boundless energy was actually universal energy or divine energy that became available once the limitations of the mind and ego had dissolved. I also came to experience that this powerful energy could heal many blocks within the body, mind, spirit and soul.
After 8 years of living in New York I met pioneer of 5Rhythms Dance Gabrielle Roth and discovered 5rhythms. Gabrielle hired me to create her teaching videos and I had the pleasure of working very closely with her and experiencing her direct transmission. What I loved about 5Rhythms dance practise was that it provided a very clear and accessible movement map to lead others into these powerful healing states accessed through movement.
I became passionate about communicating these dance experiences to a wider audience and then began a 10 year journey to create my signature documentary film “Dances of Ecstasy” which took me all over the globe exploring how different cultures connect with a spiritual dimension through dance. From the whirling dervishes in Turkey, to the trance healing dances of the San Bushmen in the Kalahari, to a shaman ritual in Korea, to spirit possession rituals in Nigeria and Brazil, a rave festival in Melbourne this film was an immersion in the world of ecstatic energy and the incredible power of our own life force to heal, that many cultures have learned to harness with great care and respect. The film was a big success and has become a cult classic in the dance world. After completing this film, I felt the deeper calling to now share the gift of the healing power of dance to others and became a dance facilitator of 5rhythms Dance teacher and a dance movement therapist.
We acknowledge First Australians, the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia. We recognise their continuing culture, their contribution and connection to land, waters and community, and we pay our respect to elders past, present and emerging.
Photography of Michelle Mahrer: Vanessa Forbes | Website Design: Honor Morningstar | Website Build: Rachelle Deem | Dance photos: Vanessa Forbes, Ella Dreyfus & Hayley Melrose