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Biodanza: Poetry of Human Encounter

Biodanza (biodance) literally means the dance of life. It is a system of personal growth using music and movement to develop one’s instincts, self-awareness, communication, and confidence. Biodanza facilititates the deepening of one’s bond with others and with nature, allowing participants to express their feelings more fluidly.

I was first introduced to Biodanza in 2009 while living in Santiago, Chile. As I began participating in weekly classes, I noticed that I felt more grounded and emotionally open as a result.

Biodanza was created in the 1960s by Chilean psychologist and anthropologist, Rolando Toro who experimented with the effect of music and dance on psychiatric hospital patients. Toro introduced upbeat dances with happy rhythms that stimulated patient’s motor responses. The result was a remarkable increase in patient’s capacity to judge reality. Toro observed that their deliriums and hallucinations began to vanish.

In 1970 the Catholic University of Chile invited Rolando Toro to create the first Biodanza class, which at that time he called “Psychodance.” Biodanza sessions eventually found their way to healthy people in non-clinical settings.

Biodanza has been described as a series of exercises and movements that promote self-esteem, the joy of life, and the expression of emotions. People who participate regularly, say that biodanza enhances their creativity, vitality, and focus on the present moment. Within the dance, participants are invited to connect to their essence until all their senses and cells are awakened to the joy of being alive.

Biodanza uses a variety of international music to bring forth free self-expression, and is not choreographed. Dancing is done alone, in pairs, and in groups. No previous dance experience is required and there are no age requirements.

The Biodanza system is now taught in 54 countries around the world. Perhaps biodanza is available where you live. The magic of biodanza will open you to greater joy.  I invite you to come dance with life.

17 Responses to Biodanza: Poetry of Human Encounter

  • andleeb says:

    Biodanza , I have never heard this before but I am thinking of reading more about it.
    Anything that improves your confidence and awareness means a lot to me.
    I used to enjoy Zumba and it also seems to be movements with music to benefit in many ways. I will check this out soon.
    Thank you for introducing me to something new.

  • Christina says:

    With Zumba hitting the mainstream, maybe we’ll see more of biodanza. It sounds like a blend of dance and yoga. I’d give a try 🙂

  • Biodanza sounds like fun! I think I’d be kind of self-conscience doing it in a group, though. I imagine part of the process is trying to get over that.

    • Biodanza is a great equalizer. It does bring the emotions out of participants, but because it has this effect on everyone who participates, you do get over it quickly if you are participating weekly and it is well worth it. Thanks for your comment, Meredith.

  • Jay says:

    I have never heard of biodanza before but will be hitting youtube to see some more about it. Thanks for the introduction to this dance and all of its great elements.

  • Crystal Ross says:

    Biodanza seems so cool! It reminds of music therapy or art therapy. I am a caretaker for a woman with dementia and this could be something that could help her. You are awesome for living in Chile. Thanks for the great article. =)

  • Paul Graham says:

    Hi Michele. Thanks for the introduction to Biodanza. Intuitively it just sounds right, combining several elements that we know to be helpful in a well considered manner

  • Catarina says:

    Makes sense that Biodanza has a positive influence on your creativity and well-being, Michele. Tai Chi, yoga and simply exercising has that impact on us as well. And music can make wonders when it comes to how we feel.

  • Tuhin says:

    Thank you very much for this information on Biodanza, Michele! I am sure this concept will be a hit in India as we do not have it here! Do post such informative posts on different issues in future.

  • What a wonderfully informative post! I’ve never heard of Biodanza but this sure has me wanting to explore it. Thanks for the heads-up 🙂

  • Susan Cooper says:

    I’ve never heard of Biodanza before. It does sound very interesting. Anything that can combine exercise and movement to promote self-esteem, joy of living, and expressing emotions has my interest. I’ll need to take a closer look. 🙂

    • Well, Susan Cooper, you may be in luck. I am quite sure there are biodanza classes in the Los Angeles area. Biodanza is quite unique. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it, in terms of how it connects us to ourselves and others.

  • Tim says:

    I was just watching a show last night about a woman who uses exercise as a way of preventing seizures. It’s not biodanza but I am wondering if the same principles of movement and heart rate apply. She had seizures until she began running ultra marathons. During that time she would feel clear and light. While running she was filled with joy and relief. She runs 100 plus mile races regularly now as it is her only escape. Kind of amazing.

  • maxwell ivey says:

    Hi Michele; thanks for sharing Biodanza with us. I am a totally blind gentleman from Texas. Since having gastric surgery and losing over 250 pounds I have noticed my sense of direction is off. I bump into things in my home and sometimes my family have to correct my path when moving from room to room. I am wondering if something like this would help with that. I’m also wondering if there are any tapes with audio narration so a blind person could participate. I look forward to your future posts. take care, max

    • Hi Max, biodanza is not something you can do completely alone. You could participate in a group if there is one in your community. In the article, I mention that participants sometimes dance alone, but they are still in the room with a group and a trained teacher. Although there are biodanza groups in some parts of the US, these groups are not yet located everywhere in the country. Biodanza has caught on a bit more slowly here than in some other countries. Wishing you all the best.

  • William Rusho says:

    Biodanza sounds very interesting; I will need to find more out about this.

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