Open Floor International
And The Beat Goes On
With Sue Rickards
'I have found so many pieces of myself through the direct experience of being in 'and the beat goes on…' I never even knew how precious I was, or how much I needed to hear the word Welcome, over and over and over again, until my cells and bones believed the truth of it…'
And The Beat Goes On is an ongoing group intended to accompany us through our lives, creating the possibility of spacious dancing support over a period of time. We’re building a community of dancers who are willing to practice dancing deeply, playfully and seriously, seeking to expand our ability to be spontaneous, honest, responsible and real – alive in our bodies, courageous and true in our hearts and generous and receptive in our minds. We move and dance and we also use words and other means of expression to explore and share more about ourselves.
We’re creating a place to try things out, to play and work together, to make mistakes and discoveries. We mess up – and mess in, dancing with our fears and fantasies, simplicities and shames, strengths and weaknesses as we find ways to be more responsible and free. We can learn, sometimes exhilaratingly quickly, sometimes painfully slowly, to accept ourselves more and to see ourselves and one another with increasing respect and pleasure. Many of us were born into a group, most were in school in a group, and we often work or live in a group. Many of us sometimes feel isolated from and in groups – so in ATBGO we get myriad opportunities to practice dancing in a group with all our ordinariness and extraordinariness, being challenged and supported by the tribe we create.
Each term we begin with a weekend together, followed by five evenings. Spaces are limited but do come up regularly. New people are invited to join at the beginning of each term. A commitment of two terms is required to begin, which may be extended, term by term, indefinitely. My intention is for this to be a group that can change and continue, available as an ongoing presence in our lives, enabling us to explore our relationship with ourselves, in one to one and in tribe, using the movement as our bedrock.
Please email us to get more information or register your interest to join. Please send an email (subject: “ATBGO”) with your name and phone number(s) to
The Bridge School, Hungerford Road, London, N7 9LD.
Summer 2018: 12th-13th May; 17th, 31st May, 14th, 28th June & 5th July
Aut/Winter 2018: 6th -7th Oct; 11th, 25th Oct; 8th, 29th Nov & 6th Dec
Spring 2019: 12th-13th Jan; 24th Jan; 7th, 21st Feb; 7th, 21st March
Summer 2019: 11th-12th May; 16th, 30th May; 6th, 20th June; 4th July
Aut/Winter 2019 12th-13th Oct; 17th, 31st Oct; 14th, 28th Nov; 12th Dec
Weekend dates: 11am - 6pm
Thursday evenings: 6.45pm - 10pm
£320 per term / £265 low income / £210 concessions per term
(minimum commitment: 2 terms)
The Extraordinary Intelligence of Not Knowing
Antwerp, Belgium 2018: 10 - 11 March
with Sue Rickards - Open Floor Group
There is a lot of power in knowing things and it's useful and necessary. I like my doctor to know the symptoms of measles when she sees them. I like knowing where I live; it saves time searching for my flat every time I want to go home. I'm glad my friends know how to cook. I'd like to know how to speak Spanish... And -
There is a whole other Intelligence that involves Not Knowing. We each have available a vast playful expansive Intelligence that can be missed in the everyday world of needing to know things. This wonderful wild Intelligence is what we're going to attend to, practice and play with. It's simple and subtle and can help us live so much more freely and fully.
With Sue Rickards supports by Frie Lavelli
'Let go of certainty. The opposite isn't uncertainty. It's openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox.' Tony Schwartz
Dates: 10-11 Mar, 2018
Days & Times:
Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm
Fri evening extra 7.30pm-10pm
160 EUR / 5% discount if paid in full by 8 Jan
To book or for more information:
Contact Luc De Cuyper - / +32 61 32 99 20 /
Orval, Belgium, 2018: 5th - 10th August
with Sue Rickards
Already Alright is a summer retreat and gathering. It is very personal for each of us and yet we are supported by our coming together. It is offered as an annual resource to find what's already ready to be explored, healed, expressed, let go, welcomed and enjoyed. And therefore we can rest into not trying to hurry a plant to grow, an acorn to be an oak, an egg to be a chicken. Instead we have space and support to be curious, relaxed, excited, surprised by what is ready to emerge and be included.
And we can include ourselves and each other however we are ‚– a radical view that can change everything. Feeling broken or scared, worthless or worthy, excited or lost or hopelessly happy ‚– what if it can all be welcomed, danced and explored? What if we don't need to know in advance what we need or what might happen?
In this way, connected to ourselves and each other, we can undermine the cultural currency that says there is something wrong with us. The advertising and self improvement that can subtly suggests we are not quite enough. Together and with perhaps with ease we question the underlying fear that we are somehow, somewhere, in some way wrong or not ok.
Together we build a growing confidence
- In what's ready to be seen, what's ready to emerge
- In the value of our unique contributions to our
- In our spirit of curiosity and feeling of alrightness
- In ourselves and what we create, fresh each year
- In the wonder of life happening through us
We create for ourselves and offer one another this
annual retreat and resource in our wild and precious
lives. Oldtimers as welcome as ever, and newcomers
very welcome too.
Assistance: Frie Lavelli
Venue: Bois-le-Comte, Orval, Belgium
Price: €660 includes food & accommodation
Times: Starts with dinner 7pm Sun 5th August, ends Fri 10th August at 2pm.
Info & booking:
In Good Company- Past
Kings Cross, London 2017: 25-26 Nov, 13-14 Jan, 3-4 March
with Sue Rickards - Winter Open Floor Group
Let’s spend the winter together, in each other’s company, for the fun and connection and aliveness of it. Don’t we all know that it’s challenging and delightful and healthy to hang loose together and see what we create? Our collective creativity, which none of us can do alone. Don’t we need each other? Don’t we benefit from taking this leap, again and again?
What if we really are all connected? From the sweet butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-our-mouth-ness to the knifewielding desperado-ness of us all. The good the bad the ugly, all connected. The wonderful the terrible the terrorist the timid the taken, all connected. The human the inhuman the non human: the frogs the birds the trees the water, all connected.
Dancing and expanding our capacity to be relational; to ourselves, to one another, to the world – and to our souls (our personal mischievous Pan and winged messenger; our receiver and interpreter of the transpersonal; the brilliance beyond our brains).
Dropping into a congregation of dancers, not knowing where we will take each other. And listening, somehow, through our time bound mortal selves to something more timeless.
Dates: 25-26 Nov, 13-14 Jan, 3-4 March
Kings Cross, London
Price: £525 full price, £480 low income £450 early bird by 25th October.
Payments can be made in three instalments across the weekends.
A - Non refundable deposit of £75 secures your place.
To register please email Becca and Rachel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Already Alright - Past
Orval, Belgium, 2017: 30th July - 4th August
with Sue Rickards - A residential right beside the forest.
I invite you to come with the assumption that we will find out together what needs to happen. I will bring, of course, all the experience of my ripe old age; all the trainings and learnings, interests and enthusiasm. I’ll bring material to work with and explore.
We’ll dance and dance and rest and play. And rather than try to fix anything or improve ourselves, let’s
assume that whatever state we are in, we are Already Alright. That’s a Big Radical Assumption. It can change everything. We see our situation, ourselves and each other from a different perspective.
So that feeling broken or scared or excited or lost or wild or hopelessly happy is all already alright, it’s part of everything. Feeling worthless and worthy and willing or unwilling – anything really – can be welcomed, danced, explored and investigated without worrying about the outcome.
Then healing might happen but maybe not the healing we have on our lists, and instead whatever’s ready to heal. And we might grow, with whatever is already ready to flourish. And even, maybe, what needs shaking will get it’s shake. Shall we not bother trying to know in advance?
We will be in good company. We congregate, dance and explore. Not exploring with an aim to increase our power or improve our communication, find our inner child or mend our broken heart. That’s like exploring along a particular path. Let’s unfold the whole map. Lets show up just as we are, from moment to moment, dance to dance and see what’s ready to emerge of it’s own accord and what to appreciate and value about ourselves and each other, just as we are.
Venue: Bois-le-Comte, Orval, Belgium
Price: €660 includes food & accommodation
Times: Starts with dinner 7pm Sun 30th July, ends with lunch 2pm Fri 4th August.
Info & booking: http://owc.be/all-courses/already-alright-1244/
Hanging Loose - Past
Antwerp, 2017: 11th - 12th March
with Sue Rickards & Frie Lavelli
Two days to hang loose in our dance and discover ourselves afresh.
To hang loose together and discover each other afresh.
Who knows what this weekend will bring?
We’ll rest into dance, into our bodies, and let our minds rest somewhat.
And we'll lean into what’s interesting, what makes our hearts sing.
We’ll tend to our Relational Hungers – to be alone, with another, with others and in Spirit,
and as we include all this, shaking and waking up as we go, we’ll see what we discover.
And all in excellent company.
Venue: Antwerp East West Centre
Times: Sat 11.00-18.00, Sun 11.00-18.00
Info & booking:
Fire - Past
2016 / 2017: 12th & 13th Nov (London); 11th Dec (London); 13th - 15th Jan (residential Somerset);
5th Feb (London); 4th - 5th Mar (London)
Winter closed group with Sue Rickards - Come on baby, light your FIRE
When did you last dance or sit by a fire long into the night?
Come congregate through the dark winter months,
as our ancestors once did in longhouses and caves;
we'll dance and shelter together in kinship and feed
our imaginations around the hearth.
A Call to ...
...trade in the weak glow of the TV and devices for the heat and blaze of a real fire, shared stories, wild dances.
...dance with the passion of hearts fired from the feet up. Feed our dance and fire with breath and wind - call ourselves awake to the crackle and burn of our untamed creative nature.
...settle in the comfort of good company enriching our lives. Curl up and dream by the glowing logs. Listening, sensing, catching sparks of inspiration, tending the embers.
Three weekends and two single days. The January weekend is residential and we will build and tend a blazing fire and create ceremony.
London venue: Redmond Community Centre, Kayani Ave, N4 2HF
Residential venue: Earth Spirit, Somerset, with fire ceremony, and includes food and accomodation
Full price £700; Low income 650; Early bird 600 if booked by 31st August 2016
For more information email:
Bring On The Wonder
Orval, Bois Le Comte, Belgium 31st July - 5th August 2016 - Past
Residential 5 days with Sue Rickards, assisted by Frie Lavelli and Luc de Cuyper
We all know the feeling of finding something wonderful. It's a universal pleasure to look in wonder at a sunset or listen in wonder to an amazing piece of music. Yet in daily life our sense of wonder might go unnoticed or overlooked and our lives might seem duller or smaller because of it. This summer we can give this very simple thing - this sensation of wonder - some space. Of course we won't force anything or pretend anything. And yet if we can give some attention to this simple thing, make space for it, our relationships with ourselves and with each other can become more wonderful.
It maybe even simpler than that - perhaps we and each other are already wonderful - and this summer we might be able to strengthen our ability to notice and appreciate what is already true.
And though it might be simple, and sound simple, that doesn't mean it's nesecarily easy. It can take courage and a willingness to be messy, to see things afresh and respond afresh. To loosen some habits and to allow ourselves to be surprising to ourselves and to each other, for the wonder to come through more easily.
We know we will be in good company as we gather to explore, each of us bringing something unique to the dance floor. For more info and booking please visit: http://owc.be/137/en?courseid=743
Please email for further info
Attending a Ground Floor Lab is the the first step for those interested in applying for Open Floor Teacher Training. These labs offer a chance to take an open house tour of our evolving work in Open Floor Movement Practice. The curriculum will include:
the Universal Movement Principles that underlie all healing dance practices
experiencing Open Floor Movement Practice and curriculum
looking behind the curtain of each movement exercise: what's the intention and purpose? What's the result?
a tour of the Open Floor International core values that inform us on and off the dance floor
a chance to learn about Dynamic Governance -- our creative collaboration model
While there are no formal prerequisites, Ground Floor Lab is geared towards movement teachers, and people who have been ignited by their own movement practice and might like to pursue the teaching path.
These labs are for you if:
You're a working movement teacher looking for new inspiration and skills.
You're an aspiring teacher interested in applying for Open Floor Teacher Training beginning May 2015, and already have extensive personal experience in one or more movement modalities. You may not have enough prerequisite study to apply for training just yet, but can see if it's something you'd like to study towards in the future.
You're a licensed psychology professional interested in adding movement to your work with clients, and attending future training in Open Floor Movement Therapy. Extensive experience in body-based modalities required.
You work in education, social work, hospice or other service professions and would like to integrate embodied movement into your work with students and/or clients.
Since the beginning of time human beings have gathered to dance. Mindful movement is surging all over the planet because it's good for us. People who dance regularly often have keener minds, greater emotional intelligence, and a calmer presence. Connection, compassion, and communities grow. In this challenging world, common sense tells us to spend time dancing.
Click here to hear a conversation with Kathy Altman and Lori Saltzman, two of the main leaders behind Open Floor Movement and Open Floor International on the Conscious Dancer Magazine online.