Former Ballerina With Alzheimer's Remembers Dance After Hearing The Music

Former Ballerina With Alzheimer's Remembers Dance After Hearing The Music

A former ballerina with Alzheimer's remembers dance after hearing the music to Swan Lake.

Music is very healing, especially to those who have dementia and Alzheimer’s. It is actually used as a tool to help them remember very special memories and events.

In this video that went viral after it was uploaded to YouTube, this former ballerina remembered the dancer that she once was. You can see her face light up as the very first chords of the music begins to play.

Marta C Gonzalez was a prima ballerina in the 1960s. And she danced to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake hundreds of times during her career.

But later in life, Alzheimer’s disease stole these beautiful memories from her.
Marta passed away in 2019. But not before cameras captured an emotional moment when the choreography from the long-forgotten ballet came flooding back to her.

Her hands move gracefully to the choreography of the song, and you can see her go into her happy place. As a person with Alzheimer's Marta really struggled with short term memory, and needed assistance with daily life. But through music therapy, she was transported, if even for a brief moment, to a happier time.

As the song continued to play, the man who sat by her side held her hand, and kissed it gently smiling lovingly at her. As the video goes on, Marta’s engagement grows from just gentle hand movements, to the wheelchair-bound woman doing the full upper body portion of the choreography.

A Spanish music therapy group called Música para Despertar (Music to Wake Up To) filmed Marta before her death but didn’t share the footage until recently. And the incredible video quickly took off!

The video intercuts between Marta and a ballerina’s performance on stage so that you can see just how well Marta remembers the choreography. After all the hours upon hours she had rehearsed it, just hearing the music brought back what was once second nature!

The video ended with a photo of Marta in 1967 wearing her ballerina costume. It’s touching to watch and by the end of Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky, the whole room is clapping for Marta. She tells the caretaker by her side she’s emotional.

The incredibly moving video circulated all across the globe after Música para Despertar shared it online.

Award-winning actor Antonio Bandera shared the video, and was blown away by “the emotional power of music.” Jennifer Garner was also awed by the ballerina’s reaction, saying, “Our innate connection to music, to movement, to the arts, is beautiful.”

Music truly is a gift from God. It’s so deeply linked to our emotions and personal experiences. What a blessing to see its impact on those battling Alzheimer’s!

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