By Anastacia Mott Austin

"If a human being reveals through eurhythmy gestures what his being inherently possesses as language, and enables the entire soul experience to become visible, then the mysteries of the world may be artistically expressed."
-Rudolph Steiner


On a basic level, the art of eurhythmy is the visible body expression of words and music. It is seen as a dance-like movement, art form, and therapeutic healing tool. It has been called "visible singing," or "visible speaking."

Eurhythmy can be performed in public with a study of dancers in brightly colored, diaphanous costumes. It is accompanied by music or spoken word, and sometimes performed with no sound. Or it can be done by oneself, as a practice similar to t'ai chi or yoga, for the purpose of healing.

Students at Waldorf schools often take classes in eurhythmy, designed to complement the teaching curriculum developed by Waldorf founder Rudolph Steiner. It completes the balance in the schools' focus on a well-rounded child who has access to arts, learning, and music.

Eurhythmy can help form a deep base of understanding of the parts of speech for a child who has yet to read; for example, how a "t" sound is made, where it comes from in the body, how the body expresses the vowel sound "oh," and "ah," etc. Anthroposophy, the basis of Steiner's educational curriculum, has the concept that sounds correspond to parts of nature, and each word sound resonates with a different part of the natural world.

On a deeper level, eurhythmy is a spiritual practice, giving body movements as expression to both sounds and emotion. Eurhythmy performed alongside the human sound is capable of accessing the deepest meaning of what it is to be human, akin to vibrating to the sound of "Aum."

The movement becomes an extension of the sounds of the words, and the spiritual meaning of the soul beneath the words. If done well, the practitioner should feel the expression of sound in his or her body, and an audience should be able to see what the sound "looks" like. A person watching eurhythmy should be able to visibly see what is unsaid as well as what is spoken, or see what lies between notes, as well as individual pitch, tone, and harmony.

Eurhythmy expresses the idea that sound is powerful, and the human voice emitting sound carries more than the simple meaning of the utterances. Sound has the ability to transmit an inner experience to the outer world, and movements add dimensions to this expression.

As a spiritual healing tool, eurhythmy can help an individual give expression to deep feelings and traumas which haven't been expressed yet. As in other physically grounded spiritual practices, eurhythmy can help in uniting the body, mind, and soul. For some, words are not sufficient to be able to convey deep inner emotions and past life experiences. By repeating certain movements designed to free these wounds, one can finally express them and become whole.

The endeavor of eurhythmy is to reveal the inner experience of the soul and express it in a visible way.

In other words, eurhythmy is speaking and singing with one's whole self, voice, body, and soul; a pure experience which lends itself immensely to spiritual growth and healing.