Former Prima Ballerina With Alzheimer’s Dances Again Upon Hearing ‘Swan Lake’

A former prima ballerina who suffers from Alzheimer’s was encouraged to begin dancing again after listening to the music from Swan Lake. Marta C. Gonzalez danced with the New York Ballet in the 1960s but in recent years has suffered from the illness which causes memory loss and dementia. However, prior to her death in 2019, she was able to relive some of her happiest days simply by listening to Tchaikovsky’s infamous ballet.

  1. The video was shared by Asociacion Musica para Despertar. The Spanish charity, which uses music to improve the quality of life of Alzheimer’s sufferers, filmed Marta before her death and recently shared the clip online. It immediately went viral, with viewers around the world deeply touched by Marta’s reaction to the classical soundtrack.
  2. It’s incredible the effect music can have. As soon as Marta began to hear the music, it’s as if her entire face lit up and she remembered who and where she was all those years ago, dancing on one of the world’s most elite stages. While she may have been in a wheelchair at the time the clip was filmed, that didn’t keep her from acting out much of the choreography.
  3. Marta’s ballerina days never left her. As the organization wrote along with the clip, “A ballerina will always be a ballerina… the excitement to blossom; listening, feeling and flying along with one of the songs of her life.” Those who watched Marta perform gave her applause after her moving performance, as well they should have!
  4. These precious moments are so important. Knowing and caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be so heartbreaking, but moments like this are so precious and a small bright spot on what can be a very dark experience. Rest in peace, Marta.

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