View of Biodanza
 by Philippa Kennan

Six years ago Biodanza came as a revelation to me. "Biodanza" literally means, "dance of life" and for someone like me who barely skimmed the surface of life it was a lifeline. Biodanza through a series of exercises progressively brings one back to inhabit the body in today's head-driven society. You do not have to be a good dancer, or young, male, female, as anyone can benefit.

Biodanza is not a course, but to benefit fully, a weekly class begins a process of gradual opening of the body, and release of physical and emotional tensions. Over time Biodanza can strengthen one' s own personal identity , create new effective ways of communication, Bring love and health into our lives and enable every moment to be Lived fully. Research has scientifically proven biological, hormonal changes in the body producing a healthy balance in the body and mind. I have changed from a person who mingled with the crowd, unwilling to be seen, to leading a Biodanza class, a system I love and want to share with others.

Music is the heart of Biodanza. It is a universal language, which overrides the confines of the mind, penetrating straight to the heart. The music is very carefully chosen to fit certain criteria. It ranges from vibrant Brazilian rhythms, to the atmospheric sounds of Enya, old, classical, modern pop and more. It has rhythm and melody and is not discordant. The music dances us, resonating within the body, producing emotions such as joy, elation, and affection.

The "Vivencia" is the name given to the fully lived moment. There are 5 types of Vivencia that we work with within each class; Vitality, Creativity, Affectivity, Transcendance and Sexuality. These cover the fundamental aspects of each human being in life, in and outside a Biodanza class. We do not speak in class to enable the mind to rest, and the body to instinctively live each moment or " Vivencia" intensely. Each moment is unique, never the same in the past or the future. Unlike other disciplines, there is no analysis of experience or feelings within the class, although we invite spoken sharing at the beginning. The emphasis is on evoking happiness in the body and within the group. The Minotaur project is the only Biodanza Workshop which looks at our fears with specific exercises to work through them.

Each Biodanza class is a process, an entity on its own, a series of simple exercises designed to bring each person fully into life by working with oneself, with another and with the group. It is a system of human integration, no longer working in the isolation of the mind, but with non verbal effective communication within the group and into our everyday lives. It is therefore beneficial to remain with one group as we grow together.

My group has become an extended family; anyone missing is missed by the group. I met my partner John through Biodanza; his help and loving support is invaluable in running the class. He is also a member of the Rolando Toro School of Biodanza in the U.K. Biodanza was introduced to the U .K. by my former teacher, Patricia Martello, an amazing pioneer from Argentina.

The vision of Rolando Toro, the founder of Biodanza in the 1960's, was to have the whole world dancing. This has amazingly come true throughout Europe, South America and South Africa. Rolando was born in Chile and lived through a regime of death, and envisaged a world where people are unable to kill each other. Biodanza has risen like a Phoenix from these ashes. Rolando Toro was still teaching and dancing in his eighties, an embodiment of his system.

I am now realising my dream by providing weekly classes in Harpenden.

"Biodanza has given me life, love,
friendship and a new family."