Rolando Toro Araneda

Psychologist and anthropologist, is the Creator of the Biodanza System, he was born on April 19, 1924 in Chile. He held the Chair of Art and Expression Psychology at the Institute of Aesthetics of the Pontifical University of Chile.

He was a Lecturer in the Center for Medical Anthropology Studies at the University of Chile School of Medicine and has done research on "Expressions of the Unconscious", "Art of Origins", and on the states of "Expansion of Consciousness".

In 1982 Rolando Toro founded the world's first School of Biodanza, in Fortaleza (Brazil). Later many more schools are created and the World Biodanza Movement expands around the world.

In 1990 he opened the first School of Biodanza in Italy. From 1989 to 1998, during his stay in Europe, he devoted himself to a widespread programme of dissemination of his system and publications.

Rolando Toro draws his inspiration from anthropological and ethological sources. He has researched the expansion of consciousness and creativity Rolando Toro was also a poet and painter.

Rolando Toro was the president of the International Biocentric Foundation, the body that owns the Rolando Toro System Biodanza brand until 2013.

He lived in Italy for more than 10 years disclosing the Biodanza method throughout Europe.

Returning to Chile, he directed and coordinated Biodanza's activities around the world.

A poet and painter, he has published books of poetry and exhibited his artistic works in both Europe and South America.

He was appointed Professor Emeritus of the Inter-American Open University of Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Beloved all over the world, Rolando Toro Araneda "went to Dance with the Stars" on February 16, 2010.

Rolando Toro Araneda last updated the definition of Biodanza in 2009, before leaving us the following year, in February.

"Biodanza is a system of acceleration of integration processes at the cellular, immune, metabolic, neuro-endocrine, cortical and existential level through the induced living in an environment enriched by music, dance, contact, caress and the presence of the group." Rolando Toro Araneda

La Biodanza

According to Rolando Toro Araneda, Biodanza is a set of Art, Science and Love.

And so he said:

"It is the possibility of pure contact with living reality through movement, gestures and the expression of feelings. Music was the universal language, the only one that everyone could understand in the Tower of Babel of the world; dance was the ideal form to integrate body and soul, and could communicate happiness, tenderness and strength to all participants. And I wanted to share all that with a great number of people."

Origin of Biodanza

The first experiences that gave rise to Biodanza were carried out by Professor Toro in the 1950s, following research on the joint effects of music and movement on well-being and lifestyle.

For more than sixty years, starting from his research in the field of medical anthropology, he carried out studies in different areas of knowledge in order to give this "discipline" a practical coherence that supports solid theoretical foundations also drawn from biology in general and, in particular, from ethology and neurophysiology. Biodanza was born in 1960, starting from the research and personal experience of Rolando Toro Araneda, a Chilean psychologist and anthropologist.

Biodanza in the Psychiatric Hospital of the Catholic University of Santiago, Chile, thanks to the creator, becomes a real subject of a university course in the Department of Aesthetics of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

The message it carries is mainly emotional through movement, music and dance, in the human encounter develops the connection with life while respecting to be valued as human beings.

The origin of the name Biodanza

In 1970, it was proposed to Professor. Rolando Toro Araneda created a chair of Psychodanza, the first denomination he had given to his system, at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, where he was a professor of Psychology of Expression. Speaking of the name, he stated that

"A discipline with unpublished characteristics was born, for which the appropriate term did not exist."

He had employed the concept of Psychodanza at first, but later found that it was not an interdisciplinary approach that would a priori tie dance to psychological, anthropological or philosophical content.  In addition, the term Psychodanza had the serious defect of resulting in a split between body and soul. The prefix 'psycho' comes in fact from the Greek psyche, which means soul, so Psychodanza would be the 'dance of the soul'. Instead, it was necessary "to re-establish the original concept of dance in its broadest sense: as a movement of life, which could not, however, be assimilated neither to ballet nor to another form of structured dance, as well as to a particular form of psychotherapy. "

Starting from this reflection, in 1976, Rolando Toro decided to call Biodanza the system he had created: the prefix 'bio' comes from the Greek bios, which means 'life'. The primordial meaning of the word 'dance' is 'natural movement', connected to emotion and full of meaning.

The metaphor was formulated Biodanza: The Dance of Life!