Dance for Non-Dancers at the Sydney Salsa Congress 2010


What The Sydney Salsa Congress offers for the Non-Dancers are the Shows and Parties to exceed any expectation! The event is a reunion of Latin Dancers. What started as a Salsa congress is now a place for all types of Latin and Brazilian Dance.
It is well worth to immerse yourself in the energy. You can buy the tickets for only the nights that you choose.
From the 28th to 31st January 2010 at the State Sport Centre, Olympic Park in Sydney.
It gives the watchers the chance to see the best and most passionate Latin dancing in Australia. Among the artists are the best in the country and important international names. As someone that simply enjoy fine arts you will be treated with performances that make you sigh, laugh, scream, cheer and sometimes even cry with emotion.
Usually everyone makes a lot of noise for the performances they like, I remember one performance from last year, Jordan and Tatiana… at the end of it I had tears in my eyes, I was practically drooling with my gapping mouth, and I couldn’t applaud or cheer, I was numbed with the extraordinary beauty of their dancing… I was glad to be able to still breathe.
Even if you don’t dance, you should stay for a while after the shows and have a look at the parties, watch the magic of people that pair up and improvise… I remember, before I started learning Latin dancing, I used to wonder: how does she know what he wants her to do?
Last year I was a watcher because I had a fractured arm, I still went every night, and some days too, because the experience is unique and once you go you always think: I am so glad I came!
(Orble Votes: 98)

RITMO Brazilian Festival 2009

Flyer of Ritmo – Brazilian Festival in Sydney 2009

“Ritmo” means “rhythm” and it is the name for this Brazilian Cultural celebration, an initiative of BraCCA, Brazilian Community Council of Australia. The event has been happening since 2001 and this is its ninth edition, it was created as part of the celebration of Brazil’s 500 years anniversary. Ritmo Brazilian Festival is scheduled for the 20th September 2009 at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour, one of Sydney’s most breathtaking sites. This event is so important that it has a date kept in reserve in Sydney’s calendar every year.
Attendees are entertained with the range of activities, involving music, dance and food. Starting at 11 am RITMO is a major showcase of Brazilian culture in Australia and also the most important event for the Brazilian community in the country. Ritmo is sponsored by several companies such as Sagatiba, LAN, Real Transfer, Sydney Foreshore Authority e o General Consulate of Brazil that believe in the continuous success of the festival.
The expectation is for 27,000 participants this year, seven thousand more than the record number achieved in 2008. BraCCA has plans to have an important event in 2010 to marc it’s 10 years of existance. The big success of this festival is due to the charismatic ways of the Brazilian people and the diversity of presentations such as Capoeira, Samba, Axé, Pagode, other traditional dances from Northeast and Brazilian popular music performances.
Great artists are confirmed with the special participation of Gianne Abbott, Brazilian dancer among the top 10 on “So You Think You Can Dance 2009” TV Series from Channel 10; also Latin Dance Australia; Umbela Brasil and Brazilian Latin Dance Company will shine uppon Ritmo’s stage. The bands Samba Austrália; Pisa na Fulo; Ziggy & Wild Drums and Performing Brazil will bring great music.
This is an opportunity to try the best of the Brazilian food and drinks, like Feijoada, a traditional Brazilian dish made with black beans, pork and sausages and eaten with rice. Brazilian cuisine is a mixture of exotic ingredients with a hint of passion. At Ritmo there will be an array of exquisite flavours to be tasted.
People can learn the true meaning of the word Ginga with the amazing display of acrobatic movements from Capoeira, an African-Brazilian style of martial arts. With Capoeira Brazil; Capoeira Abada and Capoeira Aruanda you will discover why Samba is famous worldwide. During the day you will also see arts and crafts from all over Brazil. It is a place to bring a picnic rug, slather on the sunscreen, sit back, enjoy the show and have a fun day out. The entrance is free!
It is a day to join the nation that introduced Samba to the world for a time filled with its joys and colours, live music and dancing. An occasion to share the tolerant and harmonic atmosphere when the Brazilian people join the Australian multiculturalism, sharing what is their best with all other cultures.


Summary: Ritmo – Brazilian Festival:

20th September 2009
Tumbalong Park – Darling Harbour
Sydney – NSW – Australia
From 11am to 6pm
Free entrance
Food: Try popular foods Feijoada, Pastel e Coxinha, Churros, Churrasco and Popcorn & Guaraná
Caipirinha Bar: Enjoy Brazil’s favourite cocktail and learn how to make it
– Samba Australia
– Pisa na Fulo
– Ziggy and Wild Drums
– Performing Brazil
– Gianne Abbott
– Latin Dance Australia
– Umbela Brasil
– Brazilian Latin Dance Company
– Capoeira Brazil
– Capoeira Abada
– Capoeira Aruanda

Sagatiba, LAN, Real Transfer, Sydney Foreshore Authority e o Consulado Geral do Brasil

Further information:


BraCCA – Brazilian Community Council of Australia

BraCCA is a non-profit organisation located in Sydney, NSW, Australia, with the main purposes of promoting the Brazilian Culture, representing the needs of the Brazilian Community to government both in Brazil and Australia; to further motivate the cultural interchange and relations between Brazil and Australia.

Hut 45A 142 Addison Road, Marrickville NSW 2204
Phone: (02) 9560-6866

(Orble Votes: 75)

The Miracle Girl

This is the nickname the doctors gave Lilian Leiva, this Ossielian (Australian Brazilian) like me. She is only 27 and had a stroke mid July. The miracle: simply her survival, her recovery, her bright star.

She is one that didn’t surrender to the downs of life. Like everyone she feels it but instead of commiserating she puts first gear in her life-car, looks to the top of the hill and heads up full steam ahead. An uncommon response… Most people feel sorry for themselves and give excuses for not living all that they can.
The flowers of this garden, this paradise where we play our lives, are people like Lilian that live all that they can, no matter what has happened to them. That is how she survives, she will recover and live a happy life.
A few years ago her fiancé was killed in a motorbike accident, they were both so young with a promising life ahead. She wrote a book about him, with pictures for his and her family, about the great moments they had together. She then went on to live and live. She studied in the United States then ended up here in Aussieland.
She came to Sydney for post-graduate studies and fell in love with a bloke from these parts and ended up staying. Her mum told me she is about to get her citizenship now.
With the stroke she had to undergo delicate brain surgery. It was a success but she has to be under supervision for a full recovery. Part of the expenses was met by her medical insurance but there is still a large bill of over 40 thousand dollars for anaesthesia, physiotherapy and medicines.
Help her with donations or by participating in the fundraising events, the information is at this website: It is really easy to help people nowadays, donations can be made through PayPal or credit cards in a few minutes online.
She has such a life force that people are moving heaven and earth for her… join us!

(Orble Votes: 66)

Brazilian Music in Sydney’s Radio

“Estação Brasil” is a weekly program at Radio Northern Beaches 88.7 or 90.3 Mhz, 7 to 8pm every Saturday. Josimar plays the best of Brazilian music from the old tunes to recent successes. Brazilians like us have great proud in our art, the music, the dance, the plastic arts. Creativity is a strong characteristic of our culture.

This program is the result of a life time dream, from a boy who used to get all the friends at his house and kept playing music for them, mixing music, doing K7 tapes for anyone that asked, doing amateur radio programs with his friends. He was the DJ on all the parties and instead of dancing in night clubs he would station himself right beside the DJ’s console and watch them all night.
Josimar brings a good sample of what Brazilian music is about, mostly MPB (Música Popular Brasileira = Brazilian Popular Music) with also samba, pagode, pop, rock, among others. It is worth listening and being part of a man’s dream. For the Brazilians it makes you feel a connection to the Motherland, makes your heart beat on the samba drums: TUN-DUM-SHICKU-DUM-DUM-DUM!
They have an e-mail address where you can ask for music:

(Orble Votes: 61)

Beyond all Sane Limits – Part 6

A rare nice part of the trail, wide and flat…

During a nice stretch of flat path I was thinking about the perfect man. Forget flowers and chocolate, smiles, Champaign and even sex. For me, the perfect man (on that night) would be the one that would give me a bath, carry me to bed, massage me all over, feed me pizza, brush my teeth for me, bring me a painkiller and let me sleep 24 hours. That is why it is so hard to find the perfect man, depending on how you feel or what you do he has to be a completely different person!
Then came the dark. We found this nice fire truck track, large, flat, reasonably dry and short. There was only 1.5 km to go and we thought we would make it in 15 min, but soon after we thought it the bush trail was back with all the ups and downs and the night. Fortunately two of the girls had brought their walking lights. If you told me I would have to walk in the middle of the bush at night with just too little lights and four other girls a week ago, I would have told you in a charming phrase: NO F%$#$@$@$%$# WAY!

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Finish Line in the Dark

When it happened I didn’t even feel scared. So tired… so much pain in my knees and legs… there was no space for fear, except when we thought the dogs were coming. We saw the fabled lights at the end of the trail. It was a house from where we heard some mean dogs barking, they sounded like Rottweilers. A minute after something moved in the bushes. We thought the dogs were out and coming to get us. I’m glad to say it was probably some wallaby or something that was running away from us, not toward us.
And just then we found civilization!!! We still had to walk another four blocks to the car. Then smelly bliss…
– I can smell myself!
It was a disgusting smell. An overpowering mixture of sweat, mud, urine and all those bodily smells you get after too much exercise. My own smell was so strong I couldn’t even feel the others so I hoped their own smells were overpowering them so they could not smell mine.
We rode in silence, a blissful, tired, happy, silence. We did it, it seemed to say. We felt brave, powerful, determined and happy. But I felt happier then them… I am sooooo happy I’m not doing the 100km !

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I’ve made it to the end!!!

The dayssss after were pure hell. I could barely walk, although I had energy I had to walk with bent knees. The first day after I was walking like a mammoth, dragging my feet. Used the lifts with all the old ladies, but had to climb stairs in Redfern.
It was an “ouch” per step with me using the handrails as lifelines – without them I wouldn’t have done it.
The second day after was still made of pain, the knees felt a bit better but the muscles… oh my God! It was the old penguin day walking… old and decrepit penguin walk.
On the third day after I had been converted to a new and young penguin. But a penguin none the less.
Only on Friday I was truly recovered. About nature all I can think is: f@#@$ nature I don’t wanna see any for a long long long time!

(Orble Votes: 59)

Beyond all Sane Limits – Part 5

The commune with nature at a bushwalk is something to be … envied. Honestly I didn’t get to commune at all. At the beginning I was aware of nature, this mushroom, that tree, the wonderful sound of birds, the crickets, the rivers and the sound of water. It was doubtfully beautiful. And I did enjoy it. But it was such a hard walk I didn’t manage that special feeling I get sometimes of total and complete wonderment. The real “commune” with nature. I had to push myself the whole time so I couldn’t totally give myself to the moment.
After midway I was living in the future: the arrival, the end, the finish, the car, a nice bath and my bed. Oh, and pizza – very important.

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At some point I was asking:

– How many up hills are there, just tell me the truth, if there is another yet to come leave me here to die…

The leaders didn’t tell me the truth. Obviously. After a while I stopped asking:

– I don’t believe there is a Berowra station anymore. It’s a myth. I don’t care I can walk the whole night.

Really, there is a point of exhaustion you reach and go beyond. You can keep going until you die. My head felt light, my legs heavy but I could continue walking for an eternity. I didn’t care anymore if the trail was flat, going up or down, if there were puddles I would splash right in the middle of them, I could se we stumbled a bit here and there not being able to properly get the legs up to walk.

One of the girls joked with me:

– We have deceived you! We brought you here to kill you ! HA HA HA

– Ok, please do it soon and end the pain! I answered in a wail!

That friend that had been previously looking for the dead body had found another idea to chew on:

– What if we could get home and change to a new pair of legs. Rested ones. Some that would not be this painful.

She found an accomplice for the thought:

– Yeah! Then we could have different sets of legs with the proper muscles developed for each activity… like one pair for running…

– One for dancing!

We all joined in:

– One for walking.

– One for rollerblading.

– One to use mini-skirts with, perfect smooth skin over a nice long muscled leg…

We imagined a few more legs…

 (Orble Votes: 34)

Beyond all Sane Limits – Part 4

A lot of Bush: can you see how green and steep?

It is interesting how a walk like this makes you completely self-aware. You get a new conscience over your body. Things that you take for granted on your day-to-day world are vital then. Like food and drink. A little snack can be felt as a burst of energy so clearly it is not normal. On my normal days I have lunch when it is lunch time, a snack on my breaks, dinner when it is dinner time. In the adventure you don’t eat you control your energy supply. Same thing with water, I was never so aware of the hydration of my body, every time I got slightly dehydrated a mild headache started, it was the sign I was forgetting to drink. As soon as I got a bit of water in me, the headache was instantly gone.
We also tried a yucky thing called Goo, it looks bad but it tastes good. A small pouch with some goo that can only be extraterrestrial technology. An energy compost that gave us energy for a whole mountain climb with half a dose. Some sportist magic stuff, I only know it worked, although I also got a slight headache when it kicked in. The pain was gone in a few minutes and the energy helped a lot.
One of my friends felt that the Goo and one painkiller we each took were like cheating. The other explained: you will still have to walk, and climb, and get out of this bush, how could that be cheating?

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More Bush for you: Rivers and Trees all over the place…

My next delirious phase happened when I heard a highway somewhere… I could hear trucks passing:
– I’m gonna find the highway ( I can hear it) and take off my clothes (there is no way to get a ride looking this disgusting and a much higher chance being naked) and stick the thumb out and get a ride. I better make sure I negotiate the ride from outside the door, cause once the driver feels my smell … I’m not gonna accept a motorbike ride though, imagine being completely naked with a big helmet on your head… too strange.
By then I realised the peeing was another changing behaviour. At the beginning we were all clean prudes, looking for covering bushes to pee on, taking a tissue to dry ourselves and cleaning the hands with sanitary gel afterwards. After falling on a mud ugly stream, being exhausted, soaked wet, with knees that were ready to proclaim revolution on my body and proclaim total stop of all the machines, peeing was not an issue anymore. Anytime needed we just screamed to the others “peeing here” stepped to the side of the trail, undressed, bent, urinated, put the pants back on, all together with the underwear, in one go, and continued walking screaming this time: “done”. We would hold until uncomfortable so there was always someone else to pee with you, making each stop a very strange scene.

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I kept thinking with Nemo’s song in my mind: Just Keep Walking, Just Keep Walking…

The highway was gone, with no sign of ever it getting closer to us… so my next running away thought happened when we got to Berowra waters. I’m not sure why I didn’t beg the few fishermen on the way to take me with them. I guess that again I was deluded thinking we were almost there.
I saw some boats in the bay and decided it was a perfect solution:
– I will swim to that little boat and sleep there. Tomorrow I’ll find a way out of this no-where!

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(Orble Votes: 46)

Beyond all Sane Limits – Part 3

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Can you see the trail? No? This patch full of leaves, water, mud, going hill down, that is the trail!

Saturday had been a day of rain. That made the trails on Sunday rivers and streams, puddles, mud and hell. When we started we would nicely walk around the puddles of water and avoid getting our new trail shoes all soaked. When I fell to the first river all that stopped. I went across first and was helping everyone to cross when the little edge I had my foot on gave way and I fell up to my waist into the stream. Took me a few minutes to come out as all I had under me was mud so I had no support to hail myself up. I ended up like a koala around the tree trunk bridge we had gone over, laughing so much it was difficult to muster the energy to get myself up. Meanwhile my friend was equilibrating on top of the tree trunk, midway trying not to fall. For a few minutes she forgot about the dead bodies.
Not long after I forgot all about dead bodies too and started thinking of a way out. Looking to the vastness of trees, trees and mountains and thinking my only way out was at a helicopter… and I remembered that being rescued in the middle of the bush wasn’t probably going to be cheap. So I was trying to get my phrasing right in my mind: “rescue service? Yes? Well I need rescue… I won’t be able to pay it but I will sell myself for 10 years of slavery to anyone that comes and rescue me now!” I’m still wondering if I would have gotten someone.
– What kind of slavery? They would ask, half interested, I imagine by then I would be in loudspeakers with half a dozen phone operators listening in.
– Any. I can clean, cook and I’m so desperate I wouldn’t refuse even being a sex slave!
– I’m a nun!
– Oh, ok… can I still get rescued?
With that thought I climbed a few more kilometres, fell down another hundred steps trying to decide weather to do it or not. The problem was to get my mobile from my backpack… I couldn’t spend the energy!
On that note I have two things to say: specially designed trail shoes are a gift from heaven. When I heard that it was going to be a hard trail I went and bought new trail shoes in a Mountain sports specialists. It was worth every nickel. All of us had these and on top of feeling safe, not skidding, really feeling the grip they gave us, there was only one of us with a small blister. All the other feet survived unscatered.

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Good Trail Shoes are Essential Items

The second thing I have to say is about the backpack with the camel hydrations system I decided to get. I got the most comfortable one with the hose that brings the water to your mouth, you drink without moving a muscle. If you are walking one hour, it doesn’t matter if you have it, for 30km it is highly recommended. It avoids dehydration.

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It is easy to drink water without taking the backpack out. See the hose coming to the front?

That is why I really didn’t want to get the backpack out of my back to search for the mobile. Too much trouble! At the beginning of the walk I took all these pictures, after Cowan station there is only the one at the end. And that is because the camera was really easy to reach at a side pouch on my waist…

(Orble Votes: 40)

Beyond all Sane Limits – Part 2

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To give you an idea, this is where we started: water level at Hawkesburry River Train Station.

At the beginning you don’t stop, don’t puff, don’t breathe heavily and don’t say a thing. Not because you don’t want to, just to save face. By the end of the walk you don’t give a $#!^ for the face and do all of the above. Your reasoning goes from “I cannot let them down” to “I’m the perfect excuse they need for a stop, they can always blame the outsider that couldn’t take as much as them”… If they really wanted to stop and use me as an excuse I don’t know, but 28km later I didn’t care about the truth or anything else anymore.

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This is the view from one of the high points, see how high we were?

The long walk could be analysed in terms of phases of despair, they were all funny though. At first I was just thinking that when we hit midway I could go back. I knew we were going to pass through some train station. It turned out to be Cowan and we got there by lunch time. Unfortunately, by then, I felt confident, full of myself, I felt in excellent shape and thought that of course I could finish it. The sign said 8 km to Berowra and I could certainly do that. We met an older guy just before that said we could make it by 5pm, in just 3 hours… my mistake was to think Berowra was “The Fabled End” when it was Berowra Waters, still a long way to the train station where the nice car was waiting for us.
The initial phase was “the search for the dead body”. According to common knowledge dead bodies are always found by bushwalkers and early runners, so one of us kept thinking she was going to find the mythical dead body. She didn’t want to, but every time someone made an exclamation she thought there was one. We found blood, one pair of shoes, and some straps hanging from a tree, for her that was solid evidence of a dead body, even though the blood was the red goo one special tree eliminates when cut.

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The Bleeding Tree: doesn’t it look like blood?

Every time we started going up, climbing what was like stairs with steps half a meter high, we would wish we were going downhill. As soon as we started going down and the knees started suffering we would wish we were going uphill where we could use our hands to climb the steps. It didn’t take long for us to get smart and desire flat surfaces, flat long stretches of trails… pity there was none. It took us 8 hours and 45 minutes to complete the walk, in my calculation it would have been about this:
– 15 min at lunch time;
– 20 min total time of small stops throughout the day;
– 1 hour walking in flat trails, either at the top of the mountain or near the water at the ravines;
– 7 hours and 10 minutes climbing up and down.
I cannot say how many times we went up and down those F$##@#$@ mountains but I am sure it was at least seven. But then again, I don’t think you are imagining it right, I bet you are thinking nice steps although high ones. Nooooo, that is not the truth. The trail was rough. On total there were about 13 steps made of cement (steps not stairs). All the rest were rocks, earth, water and mud, and the eventual iron bar step, riddled in the stones, that you have to climb vertically.

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So happy to see Civilization! Cowan Train Station
(Orble Votes: 59)

Beyond all Sane Limits – Part 1

When you go through an adventure you cross the finish line a different person. It doesn’t matter what kind of adventure or how long it takes. Going beyond your limits does something to you, it is good, as soon as the pain goes away!

This is the story of a 30km bush walking at the Great North Walk.
I had a chance to experience that last Sunday. When my friend said she was doing the Oxfam walk with the Informa team I thought it was awesome. A great idea! I even went to the walk’s website to see if there was any team looking for people to join them so I could go too. When I started reading the information I realised it was 100km bush walking. That was when I decided it wasn’t something I wanted to do this year; maybe next year… Anyway I told my friend I would go with her to some of the training sections on weekends.


Informa Walk on the Wild Side Oxfam Team

We have been walking from Mosman to Wynyard some mornings before work to start training. When she asked me: “we are going for a 30k walk on a Sunday, wanna come?” I quickly agreed and we moved on to other topics of conversation. After all we were doing 8km in the morning without breaking a sweat, I thought it would be challenging but nice. Basically, I was completely deluded.
It was only Wednesday last week that I decided to ask a bit more about it.
– Where are we going to walk?
– Oh, it’s a bush walk north of Sydney.
– Ok.
– It’s the hardest part of the Oxfam and we want to know how long it’s going to take us to do it. She said.
– I’m sorry???
If I was a little bit smarter I would have given up then and there. But I didn’t, in my imagination it was a bush walk with a lot of bush and rivers, crates, stones, etc. But in my imagination the world had only two dimensions, I forgot about “mountains Gandalf”…
As soon as it started I realised that there was definitely a higher plane there and was puffing on the first climb, not knowing that was easy as easy goes. I find it hilarious to compare myself at the beginning and the end of the trail in several aspects…
The adventure started full on, we left the car at Berowra station, to catch the train to Hawkesbury River station. We were buying the first ticket when we saw the train coming. We quickly made a system, one of us pressing the buttons: destination, single trip; the other feeding coins to the machine: one, two, three – The Train is Coming! – Four – Quickly! – Five tickets and we started running to catch it – not looking at the face of the girl behind hating us for having to buy five tickets at the last minute. I hope she made it too.
At the train we were chatty and noisy, the ride back home, in the car was on the other hand full of tired silence.

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On our first stop, 5ks down the road. See how happy we still were? I’m taking the picture.
(Orble Votes: 36)