It is a Couple Dance

I haven’t been dancing much, but I still go out at least once a week, attend some classes, dance at empty beaches or in a candle lighted living room.

What I have been doing more is writing. I have just created my own writer’s website:

Although I have been really busy there are things I cannot miss: Every forró party in Sydney.

I always feel like a child in a candy shop when I see what is happening there.
The Sydney Bachata Festival should have some great surprises. I was dancing last weekend and I had a great time dancing zouk.

From some of the dances I had, the only pointer I would give all dancers in any kind of couple dancing is : “it is a couple dance!” That means you have to interact somehow with your partner.

The idea is not to be freakish, staring at each other’s eyes all the time, but you must interract, make eye contact sometimes, be there in spirit, not just in body.

Some tips to enjoy couple dances are:

  1. Be present to the dance, to the moment, enjoy every step.
  2. Respect your partner, dance with them, no-one else on the dance floor.
  3. Don’t dance thinking of whom you will ask to dance next.
  4. Stop analysing the other couples on the dance floor.
  5. Allow some eye contact, every now and then.
  6. If the movement is sexy, flirt lightly, with humour.
  7. Interact with her shines or notice that she is interacting with yours. It will make you both have a lot more fun and will increase your sensuality as a dancer ten times!
  8. If something goes wrong laugh or smile.
  9. Never blame your partner, and take responsibility for your mistakes, always be gracious.
  10. Make sure you never do something over your ability so you don’t hurt yourself or your partner.
  11. Be aware of other people so you don’t bump or step on other couples on the dance floor.

Then, you follow your dreams. I am engaged with mine!

22 Orble Votes

Zouk in Rio

On top of Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro / Dancing with the Statue in Copacabana Beach in Rio 

I have been in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I went dancing two nights in a row and it was a blast!

I was a bit anxious as Rio is the land of Zouk, the land of Jaime Aroxa, Carlinhos de Jesus, Alex da Silva, among so many other great dancers. 

I have to thank LDA and say that my technical level was quite good compared to the other dancers on the floor, I was at least on the same general level.

In fact, I was asked to dance non‐stop during the whole night and thankfully almost every partner said good things about my dancing and danced with me more than one song. 

The first night was a mix with Salsa, Forró, Soltinho, Gafieira, Zouk and Samba‐Rock. The salsa level was not as high as in Australia, so my intermediate was enough to have fun.

Soltinho is a sort of Cha‐Cha danced with rock music, very entertaining. I watched and said: ‘I can do this.’ So when asked for a dance, I just did.

At the end of the night, I decided to go home as I was about to puke on my fellow dancers. I did so many spins, hair flicks, dips, and moves that my balance was gone. When I looked at my partner and started seeing two of them with about three hands up, it was time to go.

The second night was amazing, zouk only. I almost killed myself dancing, or was killed… I’m not sure. Both nights I saw people watching me dancing, but I only danced with great dancers, so they were watching the couple, not me specifically.

The great news is that I didn’t have to ask anyone to dance with me! It is such a great feeling to actually be asked to dance… over and over again!

The technical level of the followers were about equivalent to our Australian zouk ladies (including students) but the Brazilians do have a natural “ginga” (specially people with African ascendence). Ginga is what we call the natural ability to dance and swing the hips.

The leaders were above the level I experience generally in Australia, not exactly in terms of steps they know, but more on the capability of leading.

That is because the dancing crowd is probably larger. Leaders are used to leading people they do not do classes with, and therefore do not know what they are trying to do.

The result is the creation of excellent leaders. They do not lead too many dips and tricks, just the perfect balance, and they use the music excellently. 

Seriously I felt like I was in heaven! The other great thing is that no‐one dance with you only one song. Usually they dance at least two, often 3, 4 or 5!!! So you have time to get used to the person’s style and leading and it is extremely enjoyable.

This is an idea that at least in salsa, we should adopt in Australian dance floors, it is a simple idea and it makes the world of difference in the feeling of the dancing. 

It was funny to see a few faces I knew from Australia and meet a few other teachers and instructors that visited our Aussie congresses.

The night was unforgettable and I only stopped once I could not put my feet down on the floor anymore.

122 Orble Votes

Countdown for Sydney Salsa Congress 2010

It is the countdown for the Sydney Salsa Congress. Only a few days to go!

From 28th to 31st Jan 2010 do not call me, actually, pretend I’m off the face of the Earth because this Congress is where I’m gonna be…

It is the most amazing Latin Dance event in Australia, getting big on the Brazilian Dance styles too. It is considered the most successful congress in the world for integrating all the famous and trendy dance styles in the Latin World. 

The Sydney Salsa Congress is on its 6th edition and I have two years of built up energy to spend. Last year I fractured my arm after falling off a horse. This year I’ve been a good girl and saved myself from any misadventures. 

I have attacks of tachycardia when thinking about this event.

It promises 4 nights and 3 days of full‐on FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

Having participated of a few of the past congresses already I know what to expect: 

  • Workshops, so great I will push myself to the point far beyond exhaustion, with a merry, very, happy face…
  • Shows where you get to the point of drooling on the delicious, sometimes incredibly technical, sometimes profoundly passionate, all the times amazing, shows.
  • Parties that go until late, now sporting two rooms: on for the Latin styles and the other to the Brazilian dances. I keep running from one to the other, trying to get a lot of all. 

By Monday‐after‐event all you can hope is to be alive, although unable to be on a vertical state… and so happy, with a sense of accomplishment, full of memories that each part of your sore body will remember forever… Join me!

105 Orble Votes

Brazilian Dance at the Sydney Salsa Congress 2010

Brazilian Dance styles are invading Australia and the Sydney Salsa Congress 2010 will have a Brazilian Room every night of the event.From 28th to 31st January 2010.
Samba, Gafieira, Lambada/Zouk, Forró and Capoeira are spreading and thousands of dance fanatics are getting into their groove.
If you have never been to the congress you are missing out on the biggest event of Latin Dance in Australia, one of the top 3 in the world.
It is an amazing experience, more than 5,000 dancers in the parties, more than 80 shows and 75 workshops.
Three days of dance classes and four nights with shows then parties that will go into the night.
The energy is fantastic and there are different options of tickets. You can choose from one night to the full passes for the whole event.
I’ll see you there!

97 Orble Votes

Sexiest Man on Earth

Juan Juiz & Tania at Sydney International Bachata Festival 2009

August 6, 2009 

 According to Juan’s girlfriend, Josie, this is what he is: “the sexiest man on Earth“. 

This was no longer a secret as we all found this out in a full house at Brisbane City Hall on the Saturday night performances at the Brisbane Salsa & Brazilian Dance Congress in June 2009. The tell-tale was Luda Kroitor from Dancing with the Stars 2008 (Australian edition).

The funny thing was that one of our male friends told me: “If I were a girl I’d do him”   that is the kind of power he exudes.

You want to know how? It is just by loving life! That is what you see in sexy guys. They are in love with life and love being in their own skin. 

The same is valid for dancers, when they love the dancing, more than anything, is when they look “on top of the world”.

There is a thin line here though: narcissist and self absorbed and loving to show off their dance doesn’t make anyone sexier… can you see the difference? 

It is not about how you look. It is how you feel. It’s about people that dance the same way when alone in a room, on a stage, or at a packed dance floor where no one can see anyone.

Sexy dancers are the ones that are totally in connection with their partners when doing a couple dance (Salsa, Bachata, Zouk, Forró), not with themselves. 

They look at their partner’s eyes now and then (no freakish starring, please) and really dance with them even when doing individual steps like styling or shines.

If you do partner dancing, have you ever gone for a whole night of dancing with one person? If not, you have to do it. Find a way! It is one of those “dreams come true” experiences of life. 

I’ve done it a few times and I wasn’t romantically involved with these partners, and it was simply divine. I imagine that if there is a romance it must be even better.

For a night of dancing with just one parter, the rules are:

  1. It doesn’t need to be the best dancer on earth or the prettiest woman or the most amazing guy, or Brad Pitt, or anything of the sort. 
  2. Don’t wait for heaven on Earth to make it happen. Do it now! All you need is a dance partner. Someone that moves like you do. Even if the guy doesn’t know all the moves or the girl is still learning, it doesn’t matter, as long as you like dancing with each other. Don’t wait for all the conditions to line up. [I once danced a whole night with a guy that danced something, God knows what, but it wasn’t salsa. Everyone else was dancing salsa and it was a salsa night, with salsa music. It was the best salsa night of my life even though I never did one “cross-body-lead”!]
  3. You dance with each other the whole night, all dances, all songs, all styles you are keen, and all songs that you like. One or two dances with someone else may be permitted, no more than that. You can rest when necessary or when melting, but not often.
  4. Undivided attention. Put phones away, other people at bay.

The “high profile” people will have to deal with the disappointed crowd. I know that there are more ladies than guys in the dance scene, and because of that, the men start thinking they are god’s emissaries to the dance floor. 

They feel the power, they love having all the ladies asking them to dance. But they will have to get over it, they will have to say no on this special night, find an excuse if needed; and dance with one partner. I promise it will be well worth it.

You know that sensation that we have of reading each other’s minds? For example, when he is thinking of turning his hips that way hers are already on their way? He is still thinking which side he is going to lead her next turn but she already knows his decision? 

This is the goal. This is what you achieve at the end of the night. You lose the anxiety of knowing who you are going to dance with next, what kind of moves they will do, which song, and just enjoy dancing.

You will feel, on this night, that you have turned into the sexiest man or woman on Earth!

Written by – ‘Louca por Bachata’ Tania

NOTE: Juan Juiz did not persuade Tania to write this article, neither he asked to be called the sexiest man on earth, but… He did like it though :0)

Temporary Insanity

Junaid at his competition, with four layers of spray tan and all / Junaid and his Coach in his normal state performing at LDA Ball

When asked why he did it he told us: ‘I was fat and ugly’. These were his words, not mine. I’m pretty sure his mom would strongly disagree.

The fact is that my dance partner and friend Junaid decided to go for a Body Building contest… with all that comes with the package.

It is like when you look a pair of jeans with diamond buttons. It is so unachievable you simply don’t consider it seriously. When people like me, reasonably fit, with a few love handles, my honest share of cellulites and a normal body see a body builder we think “oh cool” and move the conversation to the next topic.

We see what is there but we have no idea of the lunacy behind.

I’m talking here about the competitions with no drugs. Just powders. At least that was what I saw my partner eating in all rehearsals: some powder with water, broccoli and chicken. The kind of actions they take are totally insane, If you want to know details and timetables or the processes get a trainer, here I’m just going to highlight a few of the crazy stuff I witnessed and that he told me about.

Most of it, he told a bunch of friends and me around a table, eating cake, after the competition.

First, I think the whole process takes around 7 months.

That means seven months of very hard work and some kind of crazy diet.

At the beginning there was weight to gain so every time I looked at him, he was eating. We didn’t see each other frequently, only at rehearsals, but even then, if we had 5 min of break, he had to get one of his powdery shakes, eat something from a container before and after the rehearsal.

He had to train everyday, Train is lifting heavy weights for more than an hour if I’m not mistaken. It got worse as the time went by.

Near the competition he was training twice a day on weekends. Hours and hours mornings and nights. Why? I have no idea!

After he gained weight and muscles for a few months, he then had to loose weight again. It was time to start a new diet. No sugar, and no oil at all, no fruits, what I would certainly classify as “no life”.

Our rehearsals suffered a bit, he was all the time hungry and tired. But I had to excuse him, if I was doing what he was I would have either died or killed someone by then.

I imagine a dialogue:

‘Who did she kill?’

‘Some guy on the street’


‘For a bar of chocolate.’


‘The guy refused to give her the chocolate and was doomed!’

And if I was doing what they called dead‐lifting 190kg, I would certainly have had the power to kill someone for the chocolate!

At a certain part of the journey, they give up eating any sodium. It means salt. For a Brazilian like me that would be it. After months of training that would have made me give up for sure. If not that, it would be the water business.

There is a phase they have to drink 10 litters of water per day. Junaid told me that one of his friends was found by his girlfriend sleeping seated at the toilet so he wouldn’t have to wake every twenty minutes bursting to go.

‘How did you deal with the cravings?’ I asked my dance partner.

‘I made a list. An enormous list! Every time I had a craving I put it down on the list to eat after the competition. I got a few things crossed from the list today: cake, cheese, more cake, chocolate, more cake, cheese, ham and of course, more cake.’ He told me the at the brunch we organised for him after the competition.

One of his fellows competitors said the only thing he never craves is ice cream, because he was a recurrent body builder and after one of the competitions he devoured a bucket of four litters of ice cream and could never see the stuff again.

To do something this extreme you have to really embrace it. I’m not very good of hiding what I think so during the talk I ended up confessing that I think that underwear they use are simply atrocious.

He said he knew and since he was embracing the thing he ended up buying 3! The 3 colours they had and spent the next half hour showing us his pictures of him with the blue, the red and the black. He also had to tell us which one he was on the pictures.

You see, they go through four layers of spray tan plus something that is called slap tan and spray on cooking oil. This means you cannot recognise anyone unless you are a dentist and recognise the teeth. They are all so coloured they are completely different from their regular state. 

He told me also that during the spray tan, being his first time, he used the thong back to front or something like that. The girl at the tanning saloon found it very funny. I didn’t get the picture and certainly didn’t ask for more details! 

‘What is this slap tan?’ I asked, curious with the strange name.
‘That is how I call it. It is something that only is absorbed by the skin if it is applied with slaps. That means my friend had a hell of a time slapping me with no retribution from my part.’


From all this, my loony dance partner said he believes he can do anything he wants, anything at all. I bet he can. If all this is not a case of temporary insanity, I don’t know what it is!

Junaid in his normal state performing at LDA Ball

113 Orble Votes

Latin Dance Section at Radar Magazine

Radar Magazine is opening a new Latin Dance Section from the August edition.

I’m very excited as I’m the writer and reporter.
If you don’t know Radar you have to see it.

Radar is a magazine about the Brazilian culture for the Australian market. It is special. It has an amazing quality in all senses, good printing in a glossy paper, with a layout that is almost sexy, the pictures are artistically chosen and distributed, the writing is not only journalistic, it is almost literary, like chronicles of life’s best.

All done in two languages: English and Portuguese. 

I fell in love with the magazine when I first read it, and contacted them saying: I want in.

That is how I ended up writing for them about the Sydney Salsa Congress and a few tourism pieces. 

The Latin Dance Section will have one or two pages full of pictures and information from the scenes in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
The intention is to draw the attention of the Latin scene to the magazine so we are doing this as a trial.

Therefore I would love to receive any information about the Latin dancing that you have, parties, pictures, festivals and any special news that you can share. I intend to make this section so good people will salivate looking at it. 

Write me to talk about your Latin dance experience or invite me to your event, I’ll do my best to be there and include you in my article.

Contact me through this site.

To know more about my writing check my other blog:

105 Orble Votes

Brisbane Salsa & Brazilian Dance Congresses 2009

I am very excited to say that I’m going to the Brisbane Salsa and Brazilian Dance Congress this weekend! Gaspar Ribeiro invited me so I can experience it and write with all my heart of the adventures I’m going to have there.

I was at the event last year and had a lot of fun, this year will be even better as it will be at the Mercury hotel right at the CBD.

I’m going to zouk, salsa, bachata (among other dances) the nights away. And the days too! If you see me, come and say hello, tell me your dance stories so I can write them out! 

You will see my stories here in my blog and at Radar Magazine which is creating an exciting new space for the Latin Dance Scene and for which I’m the writer.

What got me excited about the Brisbane event this weekend is that it has important national and international artists, such as Luda and Luke from Dancing with the Stars, the TV show.

Salsa is the mainstream but my heart goes to the Brazilian Dancing; Zouk and Forró are among my favourite styles. 

I can’t wait to be there… The congress runs from 5th to 8th of June 2009. Hope you can come too! See you there!

92 Orble Votes

Wizard’s Zouk

Ana, Johnny, Tania at Sydney Bachata Festival 2009

One of the highlights of my Sydney International Bachata Festival 2009 was actually a pair of Zouk dances. You would think that I was dancing with Kadu or one of the best zoukers in the house, with a brilliant song and full space to turn, twist and dip, hum?

Well no. With no disrespect, he was one of the worst zoukers in the house. I don’t mean to offend him; it was simply that he wasn’t a zouker at all. He doesn’t dance zouk yet and his intention was to learn there, right in the middle of the Bachata Festival.

The best way to describe Johnny is to say he is the “I‐don’t‐care‐Johnny”. It means he dances like the world is going to end, not tomorrow, but right at the very next minute. He is a great dancer of salsa and bachata, an honest bachata lover, and has been nagging me since last year’s Brisbane festival to teach him zouk.

I was watching people dance when Johnny got me to teach him the basics. I cannot do the leading part for the sake of my life… Imagine teaching it! As a teacher I am an excellent pastry chef, which means: I have no clue.

But we kept trying; enlisting the help of a few leaders on the queue to get drinks. We were dancing on the carpet in front of the bar and we managed to get the basic-step and the eight-step. That was it, and such a victory! We had fun, laughing and trying.

He is a good learner and got the gist of it quickly, with a good body movement and no shame at all, we kept dancing a few zouks in the corridors.

Zouk is one of those styles where well done basics are more than enough… On top of dancing in the middle of people’s way (whole songs of basics) we started doing something else… I call it in my mind “the wizard dancing”.

We broke apart and started dancing one in front of the other and he started guiding me with hands and body movements, no touching. I just started following and it was a new and thrilling experience. It felt like sorcery, an enchanting time…

99 Orble Votes

My Sydney Bachata Festival Experience

Leslie Bachatera & Tania / Bachata 4Ever music troupe / At Sydney Bachata Festival

I had some very special dances and experiences at the Sydney International Bachata Festival.

My Friday night started pretty well when the 4Ever boys asked me (!!!) to take a picture with them, not the other way around!

I asked if I could take a picture of the group for my blog but they insisted on having me with them, I got all fuzzy and happy… maybe it is something they do with lots of girls, I don’t care, it worked, I bought the CD straight away even not knowing which of the bachata songs I have in my head are theirs.

Then I found out about the Brazilian food. That made my weekend, from then on, I almost didn’t eat at home to eat there. It was a booth serving traditional savoury Brazilian pastry, delicious chicken and meat kebabs on fresh buns and a few sweets. One of my friends said during the weekend: you are always eating! I was divided between bachata and “coxinha”(a type of chicken croquete). 

“Delicious Brazil” Catering for Bachateros / Bachata Festival Dance floor

From the festival, a few more flashbacks come to my mind:

“Delicious Brazil” Catering for Bachateros / Bachata Festival Dance floor

One of the great dances I had was a funny gospel song, it was the last of the night in the smaller room and I had Clement for a dance partner. I have to tell you that these DJs are always busy so it is hard to dance with them but when you do, they enjoy it so much that you fell like you are gliding. This dance was great, the song was beautiful although strange.

Another unique moment was the one I danced with Graeme, the floor was packed and we had to contain every move, we had to move in a very small way and got to be close to the point of laughing at it. It was funny doing mini‐cross body leads, mini spins (no space for turns) and extra small basics. All that repeated with DJ Amit… It seems I was in the mood for DJ‐dances!!! 

I had only two dances with the instructors: one was a sensual bachata with Rodney Aquino and to finish the event in style a dance with Juan Bachatero.

Tania dancing with Mahendra, Juan Bachatero and Junaid Jafar (dance partner).

From the festival, a few more flashbacks come to my mind:

I won’t forget the beautiful Leslie, I enjoyed her performances and energy, her skilled, aggressive and quick bachata.

Also the live shows were great.

Dancing a live bachata song with a good dancer is a priceless experience…

I have to thank Mahendra for being my partner while HR King sang for us…

Then I had the privilege to be at the front row to see the 4Ever performance.

Gosh! They can sing… only people really good can sing a capela and these guys did it to make any romantic heart stop. When the instruments kicked in the result was awesome.

All bachateros had these big smiles on their faces, the girls with shinny eyes and a few jumping on stage with them.

Good live music always makes a dancer’s heart sing… we had a ball!

As we all seem to be saying after our extraordinary time at the festival:


115 Orble Votes