Dance rehabilitation: Soldiers' physical and mental health rehabilitated, and all because of tango
Society17:53 Oct. 31, 2016

Soldiers' physical and mental health rehabilitated, and all because of tango

UT presents a series of stories about ex-combatants from Donbas who open businesses and initiate volunteer projects after returning to a peaceful life

UT publishes the first story about Oleksiy Havrys, ex-fighter of ATO, he has organized a dance class for all Ukrainian war veterans as a way of psychological and physical rehabilitation.

He started dancing tango six years ago, becoming a professional very quickly. Oleksiy says Argentinian tango is a very good recovery therapy. So, the desire to share his knowledge and practical skills with others seems to be a logical step. Especially with people, who need to socially adapt to the post-war reality.

Oleksiy Havrys, ATO ex-soldier and tango class organizer: Tango strengthens the person's confidence, relaxes the body and expands understanding and awareness of oneself. So I also realized this is what people returning from Donbas needed. They need a social rehabilitation. I can see dance makes them feel better.

Read also Psychological rehabilitation center opens in Poltava to help war veterans

In the dance studio, there are people that have been attending the course since spring when it started, along with those that came along for the first time. Around 30 people train with us and relax their mind and beef up their dancing mastery.

"It's my first class and the most important thing for me is the basics. In tango, it's how to, lead a girl in a dance"

One of Ukraine's ATO fighters, a soldier of the 79th brigade, Serhiy Kolesnyk served in eastern Ukraine through 2014 and 2015. When he returned to Kyiv, his friend told him about the initiative and Serhiy jumped at the chance.

Watch also Obama attempts a sultry Tango on trip to Argentina

Serhiy Kolesnyk, ATO ex-fighter: A friend of mine told me there is this guy Oleksiy returning from the army and there is an opportunity for people who served in armed forces like myself to come to dances. To dance tango. I decided I need to use this opportunity. And it's a huge excitement when I come here, I come twice a week, meeting great people. It's an opportunity for me to practice Tango dance and better understand myself physically.

The dance class organizer says he will be glad to see even more people and invites everyone returning from war to join the club.

Taras Chechko, UT Correspondent

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