Biodanza means dance of life. It may be a system for personal growth and increased well-being through music and movements. The dance form was created 1965 in Chile by Roland Toro Araneda, professor in psychology and medical anthropology. His intention was to give life to all which matters and where all is connected. The dance may allow cells to work in harmony within every individual.
Rachel Oberdorf teaches Biodanza in a large studio in Portslade, South Sussex, her Biodanza aims to be about vitality, creativity and sensuality. Rachel refers to it as a fun and social happening, creating a deeper sense of community and ability to connect better with other people and with oneself .
The dance seems to start by the participants holding hands in a circle, while slowly moving around to the rhythm of the music. During a three hour long session every part of the body is being moved. Rachel Oberdorf guides the participants by explaining the main thought behind every exercise; thereafter she leaves it up to every participant to interpret it as they wish.The dance varies from being interpreted in a group dancing together to taking form on individual basis, where the participant may be suggested to dance freely to the rhythm. Most of the participants at the events have been dancing Biodanza for a while and they believe Biodanza has helped them to improve their health. Most of them mention the dance makes them feel more connected to other people.
Rachel Oberdorf considers Biodanza having health benefits. Besides being a social event which connects people, it may bring balance to the nervous system. Firstly, it may regulate the sympathetic nervous system, which stimulates organs and blood flow. Secondly, it might productively affect the parasympathetic nervous system, which may be responsible for the activities which occur when the body is at rest. Rachel states Biodanza may help to manage medical conditions, improve sleep habits, mood and energy levels.
Studies of the productive affects of Biodanza and similar types of expressive dances are being undertaken at the University of Örebro in Sweden . The head of the research group is Mattias Johansson. The study starts the 3rd of April and the aim of the study is to follow a group of people participating in the dance continuously during 10 weeks and report how their health may improve. This is performed by interviews and by the participants writing diaries.
Mattias Johansson thinks results may show the participants might benefit from the dancing. Similar to Rachel Oberdorf, Mattias Johansson states “Biodanza is a way of feeling relieved, improving medical conditions and feeling more relaxed. I also believe the participants of the study become more self-aware about their body image. The dance might be a way of connecting body and mind and feeling more confident”.
Mattias Johansson believes the popularity of Biodanza aims to increase and there may be a general need for new ways to relax and calm down. This may be a new way of dancing without alcohol at anytime. Individuals may feel energized and alert. Since the popularity of mindfulness may be increasing, Biodanza might also become widely discovered. Rachel Oberdorf’s next Biodanza session takes place at Portslade Community Centre on Sunday 23rd of April at 2pm. For further information: www.sunnyheart.co.uk
How might Biodanza be the next healthy trend coming up?