Former Prima Ballerina With Alzheimer’s Beautifully Remembers Choreography While Listening to Swan Lake

If you have ever visited a loved who has Alzheimer’s, you know how sad it can be. As the illness gets worse and worse over time, your loved one may forget who you are and not know where he or she is or what year it is.

It can be difficult to watch a loved one lose his or her memory. In late stages, the person may not be able to have a conversation or interact with the world around them. 

Marta C. González is a Spanish ballerina who used to be a prima ballerina in New York City. That was a long time ago, but even though she has Alzheimer’s, she hasn’t forgotten the choreography to Swan Lake.

In a video shared on social media, González sits in a wheel chair, headphones on her ears. She is listening to Tchaikovsky, and almost immediately, her arms start moving to the music. 

The video intercuts González’s arm movements with footage of her dancing in Swan Lake back in 1967. It is obvious that González is doing the choreography from the famous ballet. All she needed was to hear the iconic music, and she suddenly remembered exactly what to do.

González’s arm movement are fluid and graceful. Her facial expressions mirror those of her younger self. We can tell that this choreography was embedded deep into her memory. Several studies have shown that music is very helpful for dementia patients and can reduce their need for medication. 

Watch González recreate the Swan Lake choreography in the video below.

González has since passed away, but this video of her is truly moving. Arlene Phillips is a choreographer and theatre director. When Phillips saw this video of González, she tweeted, “This has absolutely broken my heart this morning.”

Do you know anyone suffering from Alzheimer’s? Did it surprise you how well González remembered the choreography to Swan Lake?