Bios (life) – Danza (meaningful movement)
Rolando Toro, the founder of Biodanza, had a vision for humanity in which powerful affective links could restore health, vitality and harmony. He believed that evolution happens with Love, and not with suffering. He created Biodanza as:
“a system of affective integration, organic renovation and relearning of the original life functions, based on vivencias induced by dance, singing and encounter situations in a group.”
When asked: “How would you describe Biodanza? Is it a physical therapy, a system of growth, a creative exercise?” he replied…
“Biodanza is more than all of these! It addresses the totality of the human being. It doesn’t separate people into fragments. Biodanza has many therapeutic effects, but these are not the goal.
The word Biodanza has two parts, bios (life) and danza (meaningful movement). So Biodanza is the possibility of dancing our own lives, of bringing music, rhythm, harmony and emotion into our communities and personal lives.
Biodanza is different from conventional dance because it’s a guided discipline that stimulates specific aspects of human potential, such as creativity, affection, vitality, and so forth, through different sets of movement to music exercises.”
Biodanza is a journey
For the full experience of its nature and benefits, its practice is recommended in weekly sessions and over weekends, preferably extending over a number of years. It involves attending regular group classes which may be structured as terms, courses and/or workshops. Weekly classes are 1.5 – 2 hours long and workshops may run over 1-4 days.
The classes are progressive, structured to unleash your full expressive capacity over time. There are Introductory classes, which are recommended to those starting their Biodanza journey, and Deepening classes, as one gradually progresses and becomes more in-depth with their groups.
Each session has a series of exercises and dances to explore and express your potential in a fun, inviting and engaging way, with music, dance and movement exercises.
The sessions are run by facilitators that complete a 3 year international Biodanza certification.
Biodanza enables self-discovery and expansion
Progressively the dances and exercises done in group classes dissolve the effects of stress and disconnection. This enables an opening to experiences of deeper presence and connection with yourself and others. Biodanza can become a space where you evolve new ways of living and being aligned with your inner values and desires.
Biodanza improves your ability to relate
With regular practice Biodanza strengthens your self-confidence and capacity to relate to others with empathy, clarity, presence and depth. In the ongoing Biodanza process the group acts as a container, in which one can experiment and discover new ways of relating.
Biodanza is an integrated co-operation of body, mind and heart
The benefits of regular practice of Biodanza are numerous, from rediscovering the joy of being alive and a zest for life, to proven health & psychological benefits, and an experience of cosmic expansion.
Restores “joy of living”
- Induces feelings of happiness, bliss, peace, love and laughter
- Emotional well-being is created
Improves health and sense of wellbeing
- Reduces stress, anxiety, worry
- Your body heals and regenerates on a cellular level
Powerful tool for personal change
- Restores and renews your self-confidence and self-esteem
- Develops your ability to express yourself
Better communication and relationships
- Friendship and connection develop within your group
- It improves your ability to have harmonious relationships with others, to be open to others, and to be a fuller human being
Awakens the possibility of transpersonal experiences
- Your cosmic consciousness expands
- You experience the love within humanity and the unity of all humankind
One Man’s Vision, a World with Heart
Finding the source of original love
“Faced with the abyss created by human contradictions,
I felt a desire to conquer paradise, a shared paradise.
I could not conceive of a solitary evolution.
I wanted to find the source of original love.
Everyone, for centuries, had heard about “love for our fellow man”.
I believe love must include a corporal, active dimension.
I sometimes felt all the manifestations of ecstasy, eroticism and fraternity,
creative energy and vital impetus in my body.
I felt the possibility of pure contact with living reality,
through movement, fluidity and the transparencies revealed by feelings.
Music was the universal language,
the only thing everyone could understand in the Tower of Babel of the world.
Dance was the ideal form capable of integrating body and soul.
The dance experience offered all participants happiness, tenderness and strength.”
Rolando Toro Araneda
About The Founder
Rolando Toro was born in Chile, in 1924, and lived in Argentina, Brazil & Italy, but returned to his home country in 1998.
A multi-talented man, interested in the human spirit, Rolando Toro was a lecturer in Psychology of Art Expression, and carried out research on the expansion of consciousness, as lecturer, at the Centre for Studies in Medical Anthropology. Also being an artist and painter, he published books on poetry and psychotherapy, and exhibited paintings in Brazil, Italy & France.
In 2001, he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to mankind, through his system of Biodanza.
How Biodanza Came To Be
At the Psychiatric Hospital of Santiago del Chile, Rolando Toro experimented using different types of dances and music with psychiatric patients, to determine the effects of these on his patients’ state of being and wellness.
Based on the remarkable results he witnessed, with these patients, he later expanded his research to groups of healthy individuals, finally developing the Biodanza theoretical model in 1966. He also continued to research the effects of Biodanza, on psychological conditions, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, from 1974 to 1998.
From its humble beginnings in Chile, Biodanza then spread to Brazil and is now represented in more than 60 countries across the world, including Japan, Slovenia, Reunion, Mauritius, South Africa & Zambia, with strong bases in South America and Europe.
Biodanza… healing on a cellular level
Informed by psychology, neurology, psycho-biology and functioning of the immune system, regular Biodanza facilitates healing on all levels.
States of Joy and Happiness
The repeated positive imprinting of affection, love and connection, during classes, leads to states of joy, happiness and a gratitude for being alive.
Healing on a cellular level
Many of the music and exercises proposed evoke deep responses in our autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the immune system, helping to restore hormonal balance and healing on a cellular level.
The antidote to daily stress
As the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is activated, tension in the muscles dissolves, the breath deepens, stress hormones reduce to normal levels, and, ultimately, the immune system is strengthened.
Through this profound state of relaxation, one is left with a feeling of well-being and peace.