School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

Back to contents

Issue: July 2007
Dancing Across Borders : the birth of a 5 Rhythms non profit

By Lucy Nerot
The moment that Dancing Across Borders was born in my mind will forever remain a secret. I can’t remember when or how the name came to me, but the moment it was there, it was obvious : this is my work. I was born dancing across borders, from a French father and an English mother, and when, 30 something years later, I started listening, feeling for the flow of my dancing and teaching path, it took me to a village in Mesang, the poorest rural district of Cambodia.

For a month I danced the Rhythms with 30 Khmer teenagers every day. They were so amazing in their commitment, their dances and their diving into the heart of the rhythms, that I felt called to make this part of my teaching life.


One of the secrets they revealed to me is that, whatever the level of survival we have achieved, however wounded we are, our soul is there, intact, waiting for an opportunity to shine. I offered them a space to dance, to experience the Rhythms, and watched in amazement as their little souls started shining on our hard clay dance floor under the mango trees. The memories of these blessed moments gave me the energy I needed to turn this one time experience into a long term project.


I realised I needed support : these kids come from families that seriously struggle to survive and the only way for them to experience the 5 Rhythms is for us to offer it to them. I was not born as Bill Gates’ daughter, so I had to dive into the unknown world of fundraising. I created a non profit and started looking for financial support. It turned out that it’s much easier to find “official” support – at least in France- when you help people survive, than when your project is to help them live fully through the dance. With no grants from the government, I turned to people who know what it is like to let their soul shine in the dance, to people like you.


My second trip was largely financed by members of the 5 Rhythms teaching community who organised benefit dances. It was amazing to bring the energy of dancers from England, France, the USA, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium to a bunch of teenagers out in the sticks in Cambodia. The funds also enabled me to bring art supplies, which was like bringing water to the desert. They made hundreds of beautiful drawings during our month together. I am planning to go back to that village for a month in January and then work in southern Cambodia for a week with deaf children, and a week in Phnom Penh with orphan teenagers living with AIDS.


I need all the support I can find. If you feel called to help, please write a cheque in € to Dancing Across Borders, or or a cheque in £ to Lucie Nerot and send cheques to:


Dancing Across Borders 1 rue Francis Picabia 75020 Paris FRANCE.

If you would rather transfer money, contact us at


If you want to organise a benefit dance in your community, write to me at and I will provide you with pictures of dance, drawings, and 5 Rhythms poetry written by the Khmer children.


For more information, go to or write to

Back to contents

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.