DJ Theory: Non-Stop Dancing

A DJ, disk jockey, is defined as someone who plays music for the entertainment of others. This entails a number of things, the most important of which is to entertain. The best DJs can play music for hours and keep people dancing for every minute of their set. There is a theory to help accomplish this feat called 5 Rhythms.

Developed from numerous philosophies, 5 Rhythms was created in the 70s by dance/musician Gabrielle Roth. It consists of a journey through 5 gradually intensifying “waves”: flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and stillness.


Flowing is the start of the journey, with a slow soft rhythms.


Staccato is the second wave with a reviving low-tempo energy.


Chaos, as you can guess, is where the intensity cranks up and the music becomes more aggressive.


The lyrical wave is allows for a conversation with the DJ and the listener, less aggressive than chaos it allows for dancers to interpret the music better.


Lastly, the stillness wave is the music that allows people to chill.

The experience is said to be a dance therapy and has a certified school for the practice. Ean Golden of DJ Techtools compares each wave to the stages of someone’s day, from waking up to going to bed. Check out his article  here or the 5Rhythms website for more details.

Did you find the waves of rhythm interesting? Do you know how you can use it yourself? Let us know in the comments!!

Sources: wiki, djtechtools,

(Editor’s Notes: This post was originally published in July 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.)


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