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Pierina’s Dance Story

In 2016 we started a project called “Tell Your Dance Story” to share just some of the transformations, achievements and accomplishments of our Rio Rhythmics members.

What first brought you to the dance floor?

I first was attracted to Rio Rhythmics after taking Zumba classes for about six months.  My Zumba instructors were Latin dancers before they got into Zumba and I thought “I’d like to give that a try”.  My first time dancing was at Rio Rhythmics’ Saturday night, Latin Mix party class, which I attended with a male friend.  He decided not to pursue it further (at that stage) and I thought – ” I really want to give this a go”.  It also helped that I was newly single and keen to find something new to focus on.

How did you feel after your first lesson, compared to how you feel now when you learn something new?

My first class was encouraging.  I had Bruno and Elise as teachers and they were lovely.  But as part of a funny coincidence, I turned up to my first class and a guy I had met the day before, through a mutual friend, was in the class.  He had done classes before and he was very enthusiastic.  

I have also learnt something about myself and how I learn.  In the beginning, I’m very enthusiastic.  When it gets hard, I start to doubt myself and consider quitting.  Now I know that if I just stick at it and work through the doubts, I can achieve very pleasing results.

One thing that I’ve also noticed at Rio Rhythmics is that everyone seems to accept the learning process and to support each other through it.  Everyone seems to have days when it’s just not working.  But someone says something encouraging or shares their experience and you work through it and turn up another day to try again.

Was dance ever part of your life before?

Yes. I learnt ballet, tap and jazz until I was inYear 10.  I also took some Swing classes to prepare for my wedding dance.  Though people who have known me for a long time say now “Oh yes, dance was always a part of your life”.  It seems that somewhere along the way, I’d forgotten that

Has dancing impacted or benefited your life in any way?

Through dance, I have really started to experience the concept of joy.  My performance at the Masquerade Ball with Pablo – was one of the most joyous experiences I have had in a long time.  Some people have commented on my smile during that dance.  I was genuinely so happy, proud of myself and joyous in the dance, the smile reflected just how amazing I felt.

Again, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed performing.  And maybe I hadn’t really realised how much I enjoyed it.  The first time that thought re-emerged for me was when I did the technical rehearsal of the Salsa Rueda performance at White Magic in 2015.  I felt so amazing.  And I realised that performing was something I loved and that I’d not done it for almost 30 years.

What advice would you give to someone who is still tentative about starting?

Just give it a go.  It’s much easier than you think.  And be kind to yourself.  We all learn differently. And Rio Rhythmics provides a very supportive learning community – everyone has enjoyed the tough times as well as the good times.  Everyone will help you – because they all know how it feels.

How would you compare the feeling you get when you dance like this (parading Samba at Kurilpa Derby) in public?

I love being able to spread joy and smiles to the audience.  I love seeing them enjoy my performance.  At QSM, I love seeing kids want to dance too.  I love seeing older people smiling and hopefully remembering their love of dance.  I love seeing people groove to the music.  I love seeing people enjoy themselves because I’m sharing my joy of dance.

If you would like to give dancing a go, register your interest by emailing

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