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Ballet heals in Cuba

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 01:22

July 18 - In Cuba, the art of dance is part of the healing process for mental and physical ailments. Kilmeny Duchardt reports.

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Patients at this dance studio in Havana, Cuba are discovering the healing power of ballet. People with mental and physical disabilities are gaining confidence and moving more gracefully, thanks to a ballet method created by Georgina Farinas. The program which combines music and pantomime has treated thousands over the past four decades. (SOUNDBITE) Georgina Farinas, developer, The Psicoballet Methodology, saying (Spanish): "This makes them feel important and gives them better self-esteem and makes them feel valued by their parents, their teachers and their communities." Classes of 20 include students with epilepsy, autism and anxiety Liudmila Torres Diaz, a down syndrome patient, says she's found her footing with the program. (SOUNDBITE) Liudmila Torres Diaz, student with down syndrome, saying (Spanish): "Ballet is a dream for me. I like it a lot and I feel really happy and proud and I've fallen in love with ballet." The method, which includes salsa and other popular rhythms besides ballet, is also being used to help elderly patients, proving that human expression might be the best modern medicine. Kilmeny Duchardt, Reuters.

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Ballet heals in Cuba

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 01:22