Incredible video of Alzheimer's patient remembering the dance to 'Swan Lake' goes viral: 'Brought me to tears'

Katie Mather
·2-min read

Música para Despertar (Music to Wake Up To), an advocacy group for music therapy, recently released a video of a former dancer who was battling Alzheimer’s disease during filming. Now, the clip is capturing plenty of positive attention on social media.

Marta C. González, who reportedly passed away in 2019, had been a professional ballerina throughout adulthood until Alzheimer’s took over. Alzheimer’s is a disease that destroys memory, among other important mental functions.

In the video, González is seen seated in a wheelchair while listening to music from the iconic ballet, “Swan Lake.” She starts to move her hands along with the music and, when compared to footage of “Swan Lake,” it’s clear that she’s remembering the moves and performing them just with her upper body.

Pepe Olmedo, the founder of Música para Despertar, said in an interview that he didn’t know much about González’s past. He said he knew she’d been studying ballet for years and allegedly had been a prima ballerina at the New York City Ballet (although that fact is unverified as of Nov. 12, according to the New York Post).

Music and art therapy have been studied for years in regards to treating Alzheimer’s patients.

“In [Alzheimer’s disease], the ability to recognize music remains relatively preserved, and patients’ musical memory can be spared,” a 2018 study reported. “The authors found that musical memory seems to be partially independent of other memory systems, and in [Alzheimer’s disease], musical memory may be partially preserved.”

Felipe Tristan, the associate conductor of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, shared the clip on Twitter with the caption, “The most beautiful video you’ll see today!” It was viewed more than 7 million times.

“This is beautiful,” someone replied to Tristan’s tweet. “My dad is now non-verbal due to Alzheimer’s but the last time I was able to visit him he still lit up and mouthed the words to any Beatles song I played.”

“This clip brought me to tears,” another added.

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If you liked this story, check out this article about deaf TikTok star Chrissy Marshall.

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