What started as a simple exercise in leadership development for Judy Atkinson some 17-odd years ago immediately turned into a lifelong journey of self-discovery and healing. Soon after, Atkinson organized Circles of Rhythm, an organization that prides itself in harvesting community using co-creative methods aimed to inspire.
Drumming circles provide a needed lift from the hustle and bustle of a busy week and are a good way to unwind in the evening. Circles of Rhythm has community spirit at its core. “It’s not about drumming… it’s about dissolving blocks that stop people,” Atkinson says. “They are non-competitive, coordinated, collaborative and facilitate community healing.”
So why a drum? Why not a guitar, didgeridoo, or a piccolo? Well, the drum has a history of resonating with the heart; the vibrations penetrate deep into the body. ”Drums were traditionally used in ancient civilizations to ritualize the harvest… And establish cultural communities.” Circles of Rhythm has participated in a newer approach though, coming together and using multidisciplinary solutions from all over the world, building tolerance in an increasingly cosmopolitan society.
All are encouraged to jump in and start drumming and you, too, can honour tradition through djembes, the Cuban tubano (similar to a conga drum), buffalo drums and unique drumming patterns from all over the world. People interested in joining a circle can visit circlesofrhythm.com and check the calendar for events, or take part in the weekly Friday evening sessions open to everyone from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Inglewood Community Hall.
This is one of the most established drum circle groups in the city, working regularly with cancer patients, yoga classes and corporate gatherings. They also have a Winter Solstice laser show coming up for which you can purchase tickets in advance.
By Giovanni Carano