Tango in palliative care

Tango Therapy is not a Tango Class

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Tango as an exercise

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The therapeutic force of dance

The therapeutic force of dance “You use the floor as earth, the…

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The therapeutic force of dance

“You use the floor as earth, the pelvis as centre, holding torso and legs together. You work for fluidity, moving like a goddess, undulations like water, like the ocean. High leaps for men. You elongate the muscles, creating a hidden strength”

Katherine Mary Dunham

Dance therapy was developed through the genre of modern dance.

The modern dance pioneers known as Martha Graham, Doris Humphreys, Isadora Duncan and also Katherine Dunham broke away from the traditional ballet repertoire and created movement that encouraged creativity, spontaneity, individuality and personal expression.

The psychoanalytical philosophy movement developed by thinkers such as Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Carl Gustav Jung encouraged using dance for therapeutic purposes. In fact Carl Jung in one of his last books said that the psychotherapy of the future needed to be of the body, needed to have a corporal dimension. The therapeutic benefits of dance that is authentic, free, that encourages opening and interjection from the emotions from the heart is many:

  • – self esteem and confidence in oneself, in ones body
  • – proprioceptive awareness
  • – greater awareness of how our bodies reflect our lives
  • – intense sensation of feeling alive
  • – integration of mind, body and spirit
  • – musical sensibility
  • – a sensitive connection with ourselves, our couple, our world
  • – balancing of the nervous system
  • – boosting of health of the immune system
  • – improved posture
  • – awareness of universal gestures
  • – courage to create

Dance is movement and movement is created by the human body. In order to understand our body we need to move it. Our whole life is encased within our cells, our bodies hold our life, express our life.

We have the gift of a mortal, tangible body that makes our lives on earth a physical experience yet many people spend so much time focusing on their intellectual and emotional needs that they forget to experience life physically.

This is something so ingrained into our culture that people have become so disconnected from others, from themselves, from the mystery of living itself. We have become a culture of consumerism and we need to enter into the culture of the body.

Used throughout time to connect with the inner life force, evoke higher power, lead one back to one’s self and to invoke deep truth and wisdom dance integrates the mind, body and spirit. The physical, emotional and spiritual in a joyous celebration of life.

Through the unity of mind, body and spirit, dance as a therapy provides wholeness, a sense of integration and balance.

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by Karen Woodley & Martin Sotelano
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