Biodanza: what it is and what it is for

Biodanza: what it is and what it is for


Biodance is a set of natural movements, such as walking or jumping, accompanied by music, which aim to promote the harmony between feeling and acting. Biodance makes us grow emotionally and spiritually , bringing us ever closer to the balance of our being, thanks to music and movement. Let’s find out better. 

>   1. What is biodance

>   2. How it works

>   3. What biodance cures

>   4. For whom biodance is meant

>   5. The law in Italy and abroad

>   6. Associations and reference bodies



What is biodance

The concept underlying biodance is that movement is the basis of life, in fact biodanza means precisely “dance of life”, from the Greek bios , life.

This concept was first experimented with around the 1960s, when the Chilean psychologist Rolando Toro worked at the psychiatric hospital of the University of Santiago de Chile and began experimenting with the use of dance with patients in psychiatric care.


How does it work?

According to the premises of this discipline, method and school of movement, also defined as a system of human development, our genetic potential is expressed on the plot five functions , common to all people, whose development is linked to experiences we live in the first childhood and which we forget as we grow up, but which mark our entire life, our behavior and our existential health.

The five functions are summarized in: vitality, sexuality , creativity, affectivity and transcendence .

  • Vitality is linked to the first experiences of movement and sensation of vital energy.
  • Sexuality is linked to caresses and the type of physical contact received.
  • Creativity depends on the freedom you have to explore the world and to innovate your life.
  • Affection depends on the sense of security and nourishment transmitted by those who took care of us.
  • Transcendence depends on having experienced sensations of existential harmony and participation in the environment, together with the ability to transcend one’s ego.

People develop all of these five basic functions throughout their lives. Many, however, reinforce some at the expense of others . Biodance works precisely to stimulate underdeveloped functions, to then integrate and harmonize them with each other.


What biodance cures

Basically, biodanza is an activity that takes place in group sessions in which specific sequences of exercises are proposed aimed at stimulating human qualities such as the joy of life and emotions in general, vital momentum, sensitivity to life, affective and intimate communication, the awakening of pleasure, the connection to one’s instincts, creative and emotional expression through the body.

These are natural movements : walking, jumping, shaking, stroking, hugging, to be done alone and in pairs, often with musical accompaniment.

Biodanza integrates affectivity with motor skills ; that is, it promotes the harmony between feeling and acting. It reactivates the instinctive forces, very important forces because their purpose is to preserve life and allow its evolution.

In the biodanza sessions everyone is, more than ever, himself: the knowledge of oneself deepens, the respect and value of each one is highlighted, with love and respect. The stimuli offered lead to the feeling of the body as a source of pleasure and as a potential for creative expression.


Who is biodance intended for?

A study carried out by psychologist Markus Stück and Alejandra Villegas would show that biodance would have beneficial effects. People who do not believe in themselves, who have problems finding balance in their life, who have psychosomatic disorders and who cannot control their emotions, could greatly benefit from this practice .

In principle, biodanza is designed for all those people, of all ages, adults, the elderly, children, who find it difficult to express their emotions or who do not know how to manage them better, as in the case of anger.

But also to those who have problems of insecurity, difficulties in emotional relationships, to those who are stressed or simply to those who want to discover the joy of living. Biodanza makes the expression of emotions one of its central points, one of its slogans reads “Nourished with emotions!”.


The law in Italy and abroad

In Italy, as with the rest of non-conventional therapies, it is a treatment that is not legally recognized. However , biodance is used in clinics and in many centers .

It seems that the field of public education is also starting to deal with the education of emotions and feelings and emotional intelligence through courses and masters dedicated to these issues.

Rolando Toro has spread biodance in many European countries, such as Ireland, where the association is now based, in Spain, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France, among others.


Associations and reference bodies

Among the associations in Italy we remember the one headed by its “inventor”, Biodanza® and refer to the Rolando Toro system. The operators are different, by region and city, and organize internships, workshops and periodic meetings. Teaching courses are also open.

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