Forró for All

[Dialogues from the dancefloor]

‘What is this? Zumba?’ The forró dancer asks me with an expression of indignation on his face.

I laugh heartily. This dance partner complains about all the fastest songs. He likes the slow songs. The heartfelt ones.

“Sofrência” is the appropriate word in Portuguese for this feeling, the literal translation would be “suffering” but the word doesn’t even exist grammatically in the Portuguese language, but it exist in the Brazilian, Old Country soul. Comes from the old, dry, drought-driven, centre of the “Sertão Brasileiro”; images of barefoot dancing on unpaved red earth comes to mind, during a sunset, hot, with dust rising as the couples sweat happily.

It comes from dancing your woes away, such as the hunger, the thirst, the hopelessness…

I am taken out of my reverie by a voice asking me:

‘You’re dying to dance, aren’t you?’

It’s another dancer, one who actually likes the fast songs, the faster the better, I think.

‘How do you know?’

‘You’re dancing on your own.’

I hadn’t noticed, I laugh at myself, I guess I do that, move without noticing. I think I do that in the most inappropriate places; on the ferry, on buses, trains, stations, while walking, roller blading, waiting on queues, or on the street. 

I don’t really care much, I’m usually in a dreamland, inside a story, seeing dragons, priestesses, winged men, or worse, much worse. But at this moment I’m slightly, just a little bit, embarrassed.

Was I so eager to dance that it was visible across the dancefloor? Ah well… I’m always eager to dance. My cells have designs of their own, dancing is in my programming. I’m happy for the chance to share my steps now, rather than ridiculously swaying on my own.

A few days after, when I’m ready to put pen to tablet, I get to register the piece I most want to write about. It’s one about the dancer who doesn’t do the slow ones, “xote” as the slow forró songs are called. Music with “Sofrência”… a word he was the one who generously offered it to me.

He says he only has two more hearts to spare. 

At my “question mark” face he explains:

‘I have lost my heart enough in this lifetime. I don’t have many of those left to give away. Two at most! Xotes, they are heartbreaking, I have to be careful, I give my everything. Truly. I give it all. So I have a policy. No Xotes. Only fast songs. Keep the hearts safe.’

He is one of mine, this one. I get it. I do. Except. I must have hundreds of hearts. I give mine away. ALL the time.

There you are, there is dancing chemistry and connection, and you have this blissful dance, you glide in unison, the music is inspiring, the scent of the partner is alluring, cheek to cheek and the movements are in absolute synchrony.

I tell him:

‘I know! You have this perfect dance, you give everything, then you walk away without your heart, open chest surgery, bleeding, the threads of your veins intertwined with the other person’s, you feel your veins being pulled out of you as the other person walks away. The veins unravelling from your chest, going with them.’

He agrees and he completes my thinking, his voice pitching high in affront:

‘YES! And they walk away as if nothing happened!’ His voice is a falsetto by then.

“You are there, life transformed.” I think to myself and continue:

‘Sometimes you are left without a few other organs too, a liver here, a kidney, lungs, often. And last but not least, some intimate organs are on the line.’ I tell my friend who does not do slow songs. I understand him so well.

‘Yes, very much so! I can’t do that, not anymore, I only have two more hearts to give away in this life.’ He repeats himself. ‘I need to keep them for the right time. So I only do the fast songs now!’

I love the dialogue, the ideal, the sentiment. I meditate on it. I may have several hearts to give away to but each is unforgettable. Each time it happens, it is special and it kills me a bit on the inside.The person does take a piece of me with them forever, without ever realising.

And I am left bereft, pretending I’m still whole, bleeding on the dance floor. I wonder what happens to them… I always wonder. 

Are only the writers, the musicians, the artists, the poets the ones who bleed? Do I take pieces of people with me too, sometimes?

But inside these holes, I’m left with these intense moments, these experiences, these spotlights of magnificence that no-one can ever take away from me. If they didn’t feel it and took my bleeding heart, without ever knowing or realising, they are the poorer it. I’m the richer.

And that is life, right? Living and dying a bit every day? New cels, new thoughts, new patterns, new experiences, new opportunities? The old dies, the new is born.

Within, I carry Zouks, Bachatas, Salsas, Salsarrós, Bachatangos, Forrós, Lambadas, Kizombas, Ruedas, Cha-chas, even a couple of beginner Gafieiras and Tangos, that will never fade.

I forget partners’ names, sometimes even faces, but the dances, the sensations, those are indelible.

If one day, in my old age, I ever have one of those horrible diseases that eat remembrances; it is said that the long term memory becomes sharper. May I have these dances to the end. I hope one of them cause me a hot heart attack and let me die the happiest of old gals!

This same post in Portuguese/Esse texto em português: Forró para Todo Mundo

Read a short story about Forró Dancing: Elemental Forró

#forromates #sydneyforrodance

Painting by Leeorah Hursky

Elemental Forró

[a short story]

The priestess looked at her portal bereft of vital energy and asked all goddesses and gods for a solution.
The last of her Lunar Dancers had departed back to Brazil the month before, to be back to her family; and she was left alone in this distant land.
The priestess was in charge of a secret that protected and energised the world and it was failing, after years of her mystics’ isolation due to the pandemic.
That night, a dream sent her the solution. So simple, so brilliant, and better, she wouldn’t need to initiate anyone. No one would need to know, all she would need to do would be to be present and take her own energy, to recharge the portal.
The dream wouldn’t have been sent to her if the idea wouldn’t have been viable. She did a search online and was quickly rewarded! After years of false stats and unstable attempts, Sydney finally had consistent weekly Forró dancing social encounters.
It was a full moon and her connection with divine energy started pulsating the instant that the song hit her chest while she was still climbing the stairs to the venue. She looked to the medallion on her chest and it sported a black-matted colour.
The “suffering” imbued into the music of the motherland squeezed her chest and dragged her upstairs.

Being a new face on the dance floor, she wasn’t asked to dance straight away. She inhaled deeply and looked at the shadows, the couples breathing each other, bathed in colourful lights.
She put her water bottle filled with water from the Eternal Spring and stood by the circle of people around the space. If people could only imagine the value of that water bottle!
First she looked at the wall. If people looked to where she was facing, they would only see her shadow, as that of a normal woman.
Herself, however, saw the shadow of a dragon, above that of her own shadow, double of her size, spread wings, fiery eyes, even inside the reflexion, and with an expression of someone who promises not to be contained.
The Dragon-King, as she called him, was an ancestral spirit who shared her earthly habitation. At this moment, he kept an expression of naughtiness, desire, thirst.
‘Okay my King, let’s burn this dance floor.’ The priestess told him telepathically.
The Dragon incorporated his wings into her arms, melting himself into her body and letting the excess energy flow into the floor, irradiating the whole environment. The priestess looked to the centre of the venue and followed the streaks of green light, saw that they entered through the soles of the feet of the other dancers, she readied herself to dance.

The next music started and the dancers accelerated, enlivened, a great spell spread around. As if an alignment of the planets had happened.
The first who asked her to dance was like air; with him, her feet barely touched the floor, she felt as if she was walking on clouds. The steps were small and light, a tiny samba, a happiness reminiscent of Brazilian Popular Music style, sort of a calm joy.
He would hold her in breaks of the song and used each wisp of movement. He smiled at her when she reflected his subtle leadership and whims. His dance a delight.
At the end of that first encounter of elements, the medallion was already reflecting an iridescent blue, as clouds in a hurricane.

Like the songs of Gaia, her second partner made her feel earthbound. She could dance with him with closed eyes almost all the time. His dance wasn’t full of twirls, with only a few turns and full of style, it had plenty of body movements. He kept her enchanted, connected with the energy of the centre of the world, of Earth. She felt the vibration coming from the centre of the planet, bearing from the soil, charging through her core until the taste of this energy came to her palate.
She knew what he was going to do at the moment he decided to do it. Never a missed a step. They were like trees dancing under a tempest under strong winds.
At the end of the song, the world rejuvenated. Her medallion flashed in colours of gold and bronze, like Uluru, the rock in the centre of Australia.

When the next dancer approached, her Dragon-King roared in her mind. Fire. Danger. As a child of the water, fire was the element that risked extinguishing her in flames. It was also the one with the highest capacity to recharge the portal’s energies. It was impossible to create a full recharge without all four elements.
Furthermore, there was no way to create a true exchange of energies with barriers, caution, trying to keep oneself safe. The only way was to dance with vulnerability, throwing all fears to the wind and jumping into the abyss.
These dancers, the Universe had chosen and sent them. Her Dragon-King had attracted them, with perfect dance chemistry. Ideal partners to reactivate her portal.
There’s a great variation of how sensual a dance can be. This dancer, the Fire dancer, made the dance become a seduction. A vertical act better practiced on the horizontal. At first he tested the waters, and as he felt that she inclined forward instead of backwards; that when he squeezed her knees between his, she squeezed his between hers, his eyes sparkled.
She didn’t miss a turn, didn’t refuse a hand on the waist, followed all tracings; he smiled with the corner of his mouth, eyes shinning. He locked her hand behind her body and touched the palm of her hand lightly with the tip of his fingers, the naughty man.
After a turn, he left his thumb slide above the collar of her dress, to touch the back of her neck and at the moment she felt the contact the energy between them exploded inside. She felt him against her womb.
He was obliged to lead a series of turns, creating some distance between the two bodies, before finishing, when more in control, cheek to cheek, at the last beat of the song.
She felt the medallion burning on her chest between them. Saw it was read as ember when she went to get some water from the Spring, the only balm capable of making her keep her aplomb. To quench the fire that was consuming her.
She required some songs to wait for the last element until she was recovered and ready for it. Her Dragon-King was shouting on her mind that he wanted more. More! MORE!

She turned her back to the circle of crazied dancers, trying to direct some air inside her clothes from a nearby fan, to see if she could get some equilibrium.
The fate of the world in her hands and she was falling apart because of a dance… And then she remembered that it was the amount of channeled energy that was the issue, not two people, not an earthbound problem. She was asking too much of herself really. With each dance, the energy got potentiated in relation to the previous one.
Her heart started to thump harder with apprehension and anticipation of the dance that was approaching. Her own element of birth: Water. The one who vibrated all elements of her body.
She knew who would be the dancer. She had seen him the moment she had entered the place. When he came to her with his eyes the colour of oceans, extended his hand and held her, it was as falling right into mother Iemanjá’s arms.

The swing of the sea, that, took her legs out of her, and gave her gills. She felt like a mermaid.
The dancer anchored to the water element plunged her in his arms and took her to his world, an underwater world, fluid, with lava veins, with a submerged vulcano.
This dance was glided through the floor, with body and soul waves, in total harmony with the song. His movements being enhanced and for some moments locking her hand under his, over his heart. She felt his heartbeat on the palm of her hand, as her face rested against his.
At another turn, as by magic, her hand ended on his naked neck, hot, wet with sweat. Their eyes met for an instant and got lost in a distant galaxy. She melted on the inside, in a liquid world she didn’t know where hers started and his ended.
Her feet followed his, both following the song until the last beat. When they were finished, they were breathing in synchronism. She felt her medallion was in perfect equilibrium, and the Portal was energised for one more cycle. Mission accomplished.
The Dragon-King rested silently.

She knew she should thank him for the dance as she had done with all the other dancers, to thank and close the experience, framing it by what it was: just a beautiful moment in the world, a perfect conversation, of synchronised energies, a divine gift, in the past.
But this time… she walked away, lost in high seas…

[#forromates / #sydneyforrodance]

[Image: Painting by Leeorah Hursky /]

Fresh “The Dancing Bug”! From Orble to WordPress

Back in 2008 I created a blog at the the Australian Orble Community called THE DANCING BUG.

It was dedicated to writing about dancing and the Dancing scene in Sydney.

The Orble community disappeared suddenly a few years after taking all the posts without notice.

One day it simply went offline.

I decided to move everything across to WordPress.

I was able to transfer the text, finding the images (or as close as I could) inside my old files, noting how many votes I had in Orble, the date and time they were published. I wanted to keep as close as I could from the original for historical data.

I’m keeping the new archive inside the category “The Dancing Bug” in my website.

This is the new blog, ready to receive my new writing thoughts on dancing as well…

Twice the blog was among the most voted in the whole community, once in 9th place for the day, once in 3rd place for the day:

04 Apr 2013 – 3rd Place – Directly from the Bachata Me Dance Floor

06 Apr 2013 – 9th Place – Directly from the Bachata Me Dance Floor

Here is a print-screen of the final statistics of the blog before it went awol:

46 Posts + 16 Comments +. 3,193 Votes

The fellowship of Rainwalkers

Walking in heavy rain is like being part of a tribe.

There’s an instant connection to anyone else braving the elements, holding the umbrella for fear of going Poppins with the wind, a daring to the hurricane to Dorothy you.
I get so many ‘good mornings’ and some belly laughs at the absurdity of the cats and dogs down-pouring. Sometimes I forego the umbrella altogether and let the drops fall to the face, looking up, tongue out, like a frangipani leaf.

Before, most people had to go to the office. Not now. Walking is a deliberate choice, a good one, turns out.

I feel alive. I feel like a knight on a quest. I feel connected to the other brave knights on the road.

Storyteller’s Serenity Prayer

For someone who dislikes the taste of alcohol and has a sort of spirituality that is a mesh of all that is good from several faiths and discards much of all that is structured from these same faiths including most of prayers, finding that, first I have a favourite prayer, and then, that my favourite prayer in the world, The Serenity Prayer, is iconically used by the Alcoholic Anonymous is somewhat ironic.
The original brings me peace and wisdom and joy, but then I adapted it to my own writing mission. The way it came to me, is to help me on the way, and every day it guides me further in my storyteller role.

Storyteller’s Serenity Prayer

[Adapted by Tania Crivellenti]

May Source, give you grace to accept with serenity,
the things that cannot be changed;
Courage, to change the things which should be changed;
And the wisdom, to distinguish one from the other.

Living one day at a time.
Enjoying one moment at a time.
Accepting hardship as a pathway to enlightenment and manuscript.

Taking this sinful world as it is, and being authentic to it,
even when transforming it, making it into written words;
Not as you would have it, but truthful, even in fiction.

Trusting that Source will make all things right;
If you surrender to their will, so that you may be writingly happy in this life;
Find yourself in creative flow often;

And supremely happy, with the legacy you leave, forever in the next.

Walking the Writing Path

I can pinpoint a big change in my life to the day when I was walking through Mosman’s #HeadlandPark and realised that many companies had been stablished in the business spaces I had once seen and wished to work at.

This was many years ago, when I took pictures of all the companies names and sent them my resume, asking for a job. I’m an Office Manager/EA, when I’m not being a writer, and that is a position that exists in many companies.

The Alive Mobile Group had just lost their person in that role and hired me. Alive would later transform and become part of The Mirus Group and move to Pyrmont, and it is where I still work (still a beautiful water-views office!)

At that time, the company was in Mosman, and I lived in the area. The office was phenomenal, with harbour views and my walk to work was incredibly inspiring, meandering through the cozy village and the paths of the Headland Park. I loved the company, the place and the culture (still do). The one thought that distracted me sometimes was that every day I would walk to work and wish I could write on the way, stop at the amazing locations and just sit down on a bench, or at a cafe, and write my heart out.

Alive Co. in Mosman

Alas, I had to get to work on time, and even though I did write before and after work some days, and took to write  during some lunch hours, I had this consistent desire for more time.

Last week I was a bit disappointed because my writing day hadn’t been the most productive and suddenly I had this idea, that now, with my Writing Wednesdays, I could do exactly what I had wanted to do all those days while I was working in Mosman, I could walk the path, and stop for writing along the way… All day long!

It was an incredible experience, I left early with my writing gear, down to Balmoral Beach and all the way alongside it, crossing the Balmoral Park Oval and up the steps (many, many, very steep steps). I stopped at Frenchy’s Cafe for a couple of hours of writing. 

Then I took the track behind the cafe through the Artist Precinct and found the bench with the most beautiful view in the world! Quite predictably, I sat there for another writing sprint… I watched while a guy — who must have a pretty great job — removed weeds from the bush.

When the sky started showing signs that it would fall on me, I continued my walk, and took this picture, bombed by a brisk walker.

By the time I got home, just before the rain really started falling, I had accumulated thousand of steps and, even better, thousands of words!

Valid Writing Related Activities

The concept of flexible discipline, (no idea where I took that from, I’m sure it is out there somewhere) inspires me. 

I have a full day of writing per week to apply such concept and have fun in listing what I feel I should allow me to do or not and still consider myself to have been productive…

  • Writing (obviously)
    • Writing items on my main list of goals is better than just writing anything
    • Writing useless emails are not valid, but writing complaints or anything that will free my mind of some annoying persistant thought is okay
    • Writing about writing
  • Research and preparation
    • Character building
    • Location research
    • Contacting people to be interviewed
    • Preparing Interviews
    • Reading short, specific material (broad reading is for other days)
  • Admin tasks that will organise the writing
    • Writing travel booking
    • Contacting story-related people
    • Keeping up blogs and sites and social media
    • Renewing domain names
    • Clearing email inboxes and organising calendar
  • Ideas building
    • Taking a nap thinking of something (preferable with conscious dreaming)
    • Walking meditation – focusing on something that needs solutions or ideas
    • Swimming, dancing in the living room, or bathing meditations
    • Cooking meditation
    • Catching the ferry or the train for writing while travelling (not travel writing)
    • Day writing adventures
    • Libraries visit writing
    • Toilet breaks – even many of them (they are great for sparking ideas)
  • Freeing your mind
    • Taking notes of ideas for writing
    • Cataloguing ideas for writing (blog posts? books? short stories?)
    • Doing small tasks that take little time and un-clot the mind
    • Organising the space before starting to feel ready to start
    • Writing any messages and booking any appointments early in the day and letting people know its the end of the conversation for the day
    • Regular breaks to refresh and get the blood pumping
    • Bobbing on yoga ball (for the same reason above)
  • Editing and publishing
    • Editing and proofreading
    • Layout creating and cover creation
    • Hiring freelancers
    • Sending material to publishers
  • Coffee…
    • “Coffee glides into one’s stomach and sets all of one’s mental processes in motion” Honoré de Balzac

Delayed Achievements

I have achieved something that has been in my radar for many years. On 1st September 2018, I reduced my day-job journey to four days a week, to give myself one day a week of full time writing.

Right at the beginning I was organising my “Ideas for Writing” folder and found a list of writing goals I had set for 2017 and realised I had accomplished all of them by September 2018, one of them being the weekly author’s day. It was inspiring, even if there was a delay in the completion of the goals and it was a lesson that told me to keep establishing goals and not giving up on them even when they don’t follow my original timeline.

I can’t express how grateful and fulfilled I am feeling. Having one full day of quality time, fresh-brain, undivided attention to dedicate to my passion is unbelievably powerful. I am finding that not only I produce much more efficiently, the inspiration comes more powerfully, and the anxiety I used to feel over not having time to write has lost its grip on me.

I used to feel anxious every time I had an idea, and no energy or time to write it.

Another interesting aspect is that with the writing day in the middle of the week, (I chose Wednesdays for my Writing day) I get more done on weekends too. There is a momentum effect, by the weekend I haven’t forgotten what I have been working on, it just simmers under the surface, boiling new ideas and aspects to focus on…

I will never take this opportunity for granted, I feel grateful to each of the moments and aspects of my life that allowed me to get here.

ANZAC Day Rising My Spirits

The advantage of having been sleepless lately is that waking up before 5am to get to the Dawn Service for Anzac Day was much easier.

I had this strong desire to be there, and I walked through darkness to get to Georges Heights, in Mosman.

If I was in an unsafe place I would have been afraid when I heard running behind me of multiple pairs of legs; but looking back this mother and small boy informed me ‘the alarm didn’t go off’ and ran ahead.

We got there in time, the service was just starting, permeated by the smell of sausage sizzle and the gentle frying sound that my mind kept sending me as images of waterfalls.

The morning singing birds reminded me of the time when I arrived in beautiful Sydney, fourteen years ago, they bring an unnamed tightness to my chest of love, longing, adventure.

The service was beautiful, and the part that I loved the most was a very simple letter from a soldier who wrote it to the father of his fallen friend. I cried, those words that crossed oceans and time made their way to us, to remind us of the sense of loss and love.

The Dogs and the General
The Dogs and the General

I have strong feelings against war, but warm feelings towards people, families, and soldiers who make the ultimate sacrifice for a greater cause.

When the speaker told us of this land that receives so many peoples from over the seas, I felt welcomed and warm in the Australian embrace.

Line in the Sky
Dawn on ANZAC Day

The sunrise wasn’t as spectacular today, but the moment was of beauty and sadness and happiness to be here. I felt my bond to this land deepening, even more.

On my way home I saw a lot of flashing lights, police cars, one of them making a bus reverse out of the main road, as if it was a cowboy herding a stubborn bull.


I was privileged to wave to the diggers coming through in a long motorcade of mini-buses and taxis, all white haired, dressed to impress and the word that came to my mind was that they were beautiful.

I got home under a light shower, filled with the sense of belonging, adventure and safety.