How Eurythmy Began

Eurythmy was conceived and brought into being by the Austrian scientist and philosopher Dr. Rudolf Steiner in the beginning of the 20 Century. He had a keen interest in the arts as well as working tirelessly to bring a Western approach to spirituality and human development to the world at a time where most spiritual streams where coming to the west from the east. He named his philosophy Anthroposophy, which means wisdom of the human being. In 1912 he had a conversation with the mother of an 18-year old girl who loved movement and was needing to find a career for herself. Her mother spoke of gymnastics, but Rudolf Steiner advised against this and offered to give the girl, Lori Smits, instructions in a new form of movement, which was later to be named Eurythmy.

Lori Maier-Smits

In the beginning Lori was given lots of homework to do that involved study and research and not much movement. This gradually changed as she and her mother travelled to join Steiner in different locations and receive new instructions to practice. Gradually others joined her and she was soon training others in this new art form. From this time eurythmy developed rapidly with lessons, demonstrations and performances. New indications and instructions were given for people to practice and eurythmy developed into an art form, striving to make music and speech visible in movement. In 1914 a school for Eurythmy was started in Dornach, Switzerland, which was to become the home of Anthroposophy.

Eurythmy in Education came about when the first Steiner/Waldorf school started in Stuttgart in 1919 and Eurythmy as a Therapy was developed in 1921 at the request of Doctors and eurythmists working in schools, who observed the beneficial effects eurythmy had on the children.

In the 1980’s Eurythmy in Organisations was developed by the Dutch eurythmist Annemarie Ehrlich as a response to requests from business leaders who wanted eurythmy to benefit their business and staff.

People are still working with Eurythmy in all these areas today – as an art form, in education, as a therapy and as a social tool. In addition to this eurythmy is strong proponent in the field of stress management and general well-being and who knows what developments will arise in the future?