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Rolando Toro Araneda was born on the 19 April 1924 in Chile. He is the Founder of Biodanza and he died on the 16 February 2010.
I never got the chance to meet Rolando, but I am grateful and acknowledge his contribution to Humanity in every class that I facilitate. Rolando was a highly intelligent man who was an avid researcher and teacher, who embodied the qualities “vivencia” in the way he lived his life. Vivencia is a term in Biodanza used to describe “the intense perception of being alive”. From stories I have heard, from all the people who encountered him and Biodanza , Rolando was a unique individual and their stories echo of him not living a “normal” life but embracing every moment of life with such vigor.In listening to the stories, I also hear that he was just another man, like all men, who could be described as a “genius” and who lived a life dedicated to Biodanza.
A story that touched my heart, was the story of him not doing too well in school as a child and the School Teachers calling his mother in for a meeting. When his mother got back home and he asked what the teachers said, his mother consciously chose to answer, “You are a genius”. This story will stay with me forever. It reminds me of the power a mother has to hold the vision for their child. In todays world of “special needs”, ADHD, Autism, where children are constantly criticized for not fitting into “a box” and being a “problem child” or “naughty” child, I wonder how many geniuses were never allowed to reach their full potential in life.
Rolando’s support from his mother allowed him to grow into his “genius” and to give us all the “Gift of Biodanza”.
I am alive today because I dance. Biodanza saved my life, as it has done for many others. If Rolando’s life as a child was resigned to be one of a “misfit of society” and not the “genius” that he was, I might not be alive today…
So, today, on the anniversary of his birthday and with deep gratitude, I wish to celebrate the “genius” of a man called Rolando Toro Araneda and to remember the contribution his mother made in instilling in him the belief that he was a “genius”.
With my love,