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 Routine www.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.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

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Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


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