Rio Rhythmic’s “Tell your dance story” project aims to highlight the accomplishments, transformations and achievements of members in our community.
Ana’s dance story
Ana, you are Brazilian so I imagine you weren’t new to dance when you came to Rio Rhythmics. – what first brought you to Rio Rhythmics?
When I used to go out social dancing, people would find out that I was Brazilian and would ask me if I’d ever gone to Rio Rhythmics. So I was always curious about going and eventually started coming to the social dances and later enrolled after I met Pablo in the Brazilian community.
How has dancing helped you to understand Australian culture and have you learnt anything new about Latin culture?
Everybody in Australia talks a lot about the “Australian values” and by coming to Rio Rhythmics I better understood what it means. I saw how Australians are respectful, inclusive and really appreciate the sense of community. Latin dance in Australia is very multicultural so there is space for everyone to share their love for Latin dance. Every time I say I am from Brazil everybody asks me so many questions and want to know about my country. I think that’s beautiful!
When I first started, I used to come to Rio Rhythmics even if I didn’t have any classes, just because of the environment. I am very passionate about my culture and miss my country, people and my culture a lot. When I’m at Rio Rhythmics’ I feel THAT energy that we have in Latin America and it really makes me feel like home.
When I first arrived in Australia, I was very stressed studying at University and working. My lecturer told me I was burnt out so I needed to do something for my self-care. I was also missing my family a lot and was always talking about my country, so she told me to try to reconnect with my culture by cooking, making Brazilian friends or going to Brazilian parties. I went to my first Latin dance party at Cloudland and danced so much that my feet were bleeding and swollen. I didn’t even feel it!! Later I met Pablo and I started going to Rio Rhythmics. It was very special so I kept coming. I had some opportunities to move to different cities here in Australia, but it’s funny because I couldn’t even think about living Brisbane mainly because of Rio Rhythmics. I feel so grateful for now being able to be part of this team.
What is the most important thing that dance does for you?
Here in Australia, It makes me feel more connected to my people. But in Brazil dance was already important for me, because it was the main interest that I shared with my Mum and Aunty. Every Sunday we would meet at my Grandmother’s place and we would be dancing while my Grandfather was cooking. My first concert ever was Daniela Mercury, I actually have a video of me when I was 2 years old dancing lambada with my mother.
What has been your greatest achievement so far? – To teach my first Samba class for sure. It was very special for me.
Have you learnt something dancing that has surprised you?
I was actually very surprised when I first arrived in Australia to know that Samba no Pé was such a thing here and people pay to take classes. But after I did my first class I was able to see how many steps we have. I just never thought about it. We dance since from when we are children so we don’t remember how we learn, therefore I thought it was really interesting to learn how to break down the steps.
What would you say to others who are thinking about giving it a go?
Don’t think too much, just give it a go and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Dance is about having fun and at Rio Rhythmics you give one step at a time anyway, so don’t worry too much. Once you give it a go and start coming to classes, you will be able to meet new people, exercise in a fun way and maybe even find a new passion. You’ll learn about connecting to someone through dance in a really respectful and safe way. You will learn more than just Latin dance steps, but also Latin dance culture.
You can start dancing now! Call us on 3844 1824 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.