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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Deep-sea jiving: Meet the woman who has learned to dance with the dolphins

By Lucy Buckland

This is the woman who dances with dolphins in perfect symmetry in their natural habitat.

And these amazing images capture the dazzling movements between Leina Sato and her mammal partners.

Free diver Ms Sato began dancing with dolphins off the coast of Hawaii and built up an amazing understanding of these graceful sea creatures.

Scroll down for the video

Unique connection: Through Leina Sato's dance movements she is able to discover more about dolphins and form a closer relationship with the mammals

Perfect partners: Because Leina Sato dances with dolphins everyday off the coast of Hawaii their movements become synchronised to create identical movements

She started swimming with them seven years ago and instead of her original intention of studying marine biology, she then set up her own charter boat company.

This allowed her to dive with them practically everyday for the last four years and to form a close relationship with the mammals, so the dolphins began to mirror her movements.

Ms Sato, 25, was born in Tokyo, but moved to France when she was one and again to Hawaii when she was 15.

She said: 'We really are blessed here in Hawaii to have had this strong, ongoing relationship between human and wild dolphins.

'When you swim with them you lose all sense of time and you immerse yourself in the pod. Rather than just looking at them it is very much like going to meet another culture or civilization.

Capturing the moment: A film, starring Leina Sato and others dancing with dolphins, won an award for Best Experimental Film at the Big Apple Film Festival for its beautiful cinematography

Follow me: Leina Sato shows sometimes her dolphin dance partners take the lead

Roll with it: Eye contact between human and dolphin can help contribute to the perfect mirror movements

'What really fascinates me is the fact that they have a neocortex as evolved as ours although wired quite differently but we move in such a different reality.'

And Ms Sato is part of a group called the Dolphin Dance Project which captured the movements of humans and dolphins dancing on film.

Their creation Together: Dancing with Spinner Dolphins won Best Experimental Film at the Big Apple Film Festival in 2010.



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