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A former ballerina with Alzheimer's hears 'Swan Lake' and bursts into dance in her wheelchair

Sometimes a video comes along that yanks us right us out of the frustrating fray or mundane monotony of the moment and reminds us of the miraculous gift that life truly is. This is one of those.

Marta Cinta González Saldaña was an accomplished ballerina when she was young. Now, in her waning years, she suffers from Alzheimer's. A viral video of González Saldaña shows how she reacts to hearing the music from Swan Lake—a ballet she had performed decades ago. Alternating scenes show her dancing from her wheelchair and a ballerina performing the dance on stage. (Some versions of the video have stated or implied that the young ballerina is González Saldaña herself. It's not.)

The contrast of the stage performance and her memories clearly bursting forth in her face and body movements is incredibly moving. It's amazing how music, dance, art—the universal language of humanity—can remain, even when other memories fade or get locked away.

Just watch, sound up:


Seriously though. Break out the tissues.

The video came about as part of a study being done by the Spanish organization "Music to Awaken," which studies how music impacts patients with dementia. Pepe Olmedo, a psychologist and director of the organization, told Brut that she was selected for the study because of her background as a dancer. "We searched for the songs she'd danced on when she was young," he said, "even songs where she was the prima ballerina. Luckily, we had writings of hers from the past where she recounted several songs. In the end, the day when we met her, she appeared sad, nervous at times, and we didn't know how effective this would be. But as she listened to 'Swan Lake'—that was the first song she listened to—she completely transformed, and it seems like part of her mind traveled to another moment of her life."

Olmedo pointed out that science has proven that some areas of the brain related to musical memory are less damaged by diseases such as Alzheimer's than other parts of the brain. "Our brain is wired to be receptive to music," he says, and "music is totally linked to emotions." It's the emotion that Olmedo says is important for people with dementia to feel to help connect them with the moments in their lives.

Ballerina with Alzheimer's Gets Back Memory of Her Swan Lake Dance Routinewww.youtube.com

Absolutely amazing. What a beautiful reminder of the magic of music and a hopeful study for people with loved ones who feel like they are slipping away. No matter how crazy our political chaos gets or how tedious our daily tasks feel, these examples of raw human beauty can help bring us back to what truly matters.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

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This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

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This article originally appeared on 01.22.19


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn't have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women's rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn't something we'd choose—and we'd hope others wouldn't choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

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