I feel utterly blessed to have found my vocation early in life. My home is in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. I live as part of the Findhorn Foundation Community and Eco -Village in Northeast Scotland and combine my great loves of movement and teaching with my life as a parent to Jake and Kezia.
At age 20, the Findhorn Community was the first place I felt “safe to be me”. In the space of 3 months I attended my first workshops in meditation and tai-chi; going into my first sweatlodge as Debbie and coming out as Deborah. I experienced my first men/women’s dialogue through the conference ‘One Earth: A Call to Action’ facilitated by Danaan Parry, and did The Mastery with the Actors Institute. I even learnt how to yield an axe and bow saw – not bad for a middle class fourth generation North London girl!
On the ‘Owning The Dance’ Embodiment Podcast below you can listen to me discuss Gabrielle Roth and 5Rhythms®, stammering, TED talks, Open Floor, lineage, inheritance of authority, Creative Commons, copyright, “movement resources”, “relational hungers”, how much to “teach”, the tension between feeling good and learning, Findhorn Community and “alternative” living.
“When I am empty enough to be a vessel for whatever emotion is alive in me, without judgement, without editing it, the surrender that follows is so sweet. That’s when the ecstasy arrives, whatever the feeling, because it really IS just energy in motion. To be liberated from the fear of feeling can be a wondrous thing.”
– Deborah Jay-Lewin
Professionally, I qualified as a Sesame Movement and Drama Therapist working in special needs environments at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, followed by training as a Holistic Massage practitioner in 1988. That same year I was introduced to 5Rhythms®. I danced with Gabrielle Roth herself for the first time in 1989. Falling in love with her and the 5Rhythms practice instantaneously, I apprenticed with Gabrielle for 4 years before receiving accreditation from the Moving Center®, New York, in 1994 to teach Waves® and in 2007 to teach Heartbeat®.
In October 2012, after the death of Gabrielle Roth (my primary teacher and guide for 25 years) my relationship to teaching 5Rhythms changed. In January 2014 I became a Founding Member of Open Floor International, along with 14 other senior 5Rhythms teachers. I am proud to have introduced Sociocracy/Dynamic Governance to OFI as our governance model and to have contributed to our decision to adopt Creative Commons licensing. In November 2016 I completed the Open Floor Therapy in Motion Training Module taught by Andrea Juhan and Irit Ziv Ron. This was part of my commitment, both to my clients and as a practitioner working in-depth individually with people.
I love to teach! I can be found teaching groups of dedicated dancers or absolute beginners at home in Findhorn, or just as likely in dance studios in Geneva, Barcelona or Dubai. I’ve taught in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Poland, Cyprus, Germany, South Africa, Greece, Israel and other parts of Scotland and the UK. I go where I am invited. I love combining teaching and traveling and to experience the similarities and uniqueness of each place and every person.
I thrive on variety, working with groups and individuals in various contexts. I have used 5Rhythms in both corporate and educational settings, as a tool for creative expression, social activism and managing change, stress, projects – life!
I am the Associate Producer for Dance North for both Open Floor and 5Rhythms events. Dance North is an artist-led organisation that produces and promotes dance and movement activities in Northeast Scotland.
My depth of presence, awareness of group process, consciousness and dynamics infuse my teaching naturally. I am committed to personal development and transformation – In Sweat Your Prayers, Gabrielle Roth’s second book, I was acknowledged for my ‘ferocious introspection’. This embodied understanding within me, of our inherent interconnectedness, feels particularly important and useful at this time on the planet in our climate of dis-ease.
I hold the teaching space with deep attentiveness, clear instruction and an absolute delight and love of movement.