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Rio Rhythmic’s “Tell your dance story” project aims to highlight the accomplishments, transformations and achievements of members in our community.

Christine and Andrew’s dance story

We had a couple of dance lessons in the lead-up to our wedding 23 years ago.

But on the big day, the band played the waltz in 4/4 time … We tapped out, and swore a marital pact: he didn’t have to dance in public again and I didn’t have to camp.

For more than two decades we stayed true to those vows. Then a friend roped us in for a bit of fun at the local bowls club. She’d found a Brazilian dance teacher called Tarcisio who could show us some moves …

Fast forward two years and we’re officially dance tragics. Yes, we’re that couple: no longer trapped at home with young kids; kicking up our heels at West End’s Rio Rhythmics on most days ending in a ‘y’.

Our gorgeous instructors say we’ve come a long way (from an admittedly low base). But we’re not in a hurry, we have the rest of our lives to learn to dance well. And we’re having so much fun along the way, making new friends, listening to great music, and dancing, always dancing. Salsa. Bolero. Samba de Gafiera. Bachata. Forro. Tango.

Our now-adult children have chronicled our adventures, entertaining their friends on snapchat with our dance journey. Hiding round corners to video our faltering beginnings, staggering progress (two steps forward, one step back), and occasional matching outfits.

They pass round photos of us dressed as tropical bananas (for a recent performance at City Hall for the 65 Roses Masquerade Ball).

‘Don’t worry, you’ll just be part of the Carnivale parade,’ Tarcisio had assured us, ‘Cathy will tell you what to do.’ And she did. ‘You bananas, go up on stage and stand in front of the band.’

In front of the band? On stage? In front of 500 people? And do what?

‘Just dance,’ she said. And we did. Salsa. In front of 500 people. On stage at City Hall. Soooo much fun, we just had to do it again.

We joined Rio Rhythmic’s flash mob for International Samba Day at Kangaroo Point cliffs … and the Brazilian Forró group performing at Woodford Folk Festival in late December.

‘Who’s camping?’ asks Cathy. ‘We need to book tent sites for Woodford.’

Camping? No way. Some of us take our vows seriously.

I don’t camp.

But dancing …? Now that’s a whole different story!



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