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ON A PERSONAL NOTE....LDA TALES

Management Latin Dance - Thursday, November 16, 2017

On a Personal Note...LDA Tales


"I remember when I first stepped at LDA as a dance student 10 years ago (in 2007) thinking I was just coming to learn a new dance. Then I got a casual job as a receptionist and within couple of months I was in charge of promotions and a bit later school manager and then general manager.  
I couldn't imagine at that time that one of my biggest hobbies (I dance since I'm a toddler) would be part of my working life as well.
Isn't funny to think that back in Brazil I never danced Salsa, Bachata or even Brazilian Zouk and then I learned all those styles here in Australia? It's delightful to have a bit of our culture so well represented here by people from all around the world.
It has been my pleasure to work in a company which make people's lives better, happier and healthier.
It's amazing the transformations I witnessed during my journey here.
I saw shy students to meet friends and experience a totally new and busy social life.
I saw first timers to flourish into wonderful dancers or professionals.  
I saw couples to meet and get married.
I saw people from all around the world finding their new passion learning latin dancing.
I could spend hours just writing about a million things that makes LDA to be a place so hard to leave.
Nops, I am not leaving in case you were wondering :-)
On top of all that it's great to be surrounded by my work colleagues/directors that are positive and supportive souls and natural motivators.
And this year was a special celebration for me as I completed 10 years at LDA. I'm pretty much part of the furniture and I hope we only grow more and more so I get to stay here for many years to come!"

LDA General Manager
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SEPTEMBER 2017

This lady simply "wow" everyone when she steps on a stage! We are very happy to have her as part of our team!

"I first step foot into LDA studios in March 2014. Little did I know at the time that LDA would become a permanent part of my life and second home (I actually spend more time at the studio then my house!). 

For me dance has been part of my life since a child. I grew up dancing many styles such as Jazz, contemporary, tap & hiphop and then moving into professional cheerleading.
Latin dance was always a style I loved and saw myself doing but never had the chance. In February 2014, I travelled around the Caribbean, Porto Rico, Miami and Mexico and noticed everywhere I went, people were dancing various styles of Latin; salsa, reggaeton, samba. I promised myself I would learn something new that year so when I returned back home in March, I started my first samba course at LDA. Samba then lead to reggaeton, Zouk, salsa, bachata and now teaching and training every day at LDA. 
Over the past few years I have been fortunate enough to perform and compete with various LDA SWAT teams and be part of the amazing Modus Vivendi Pro teams and Las Reggaetoneras. As a team member, I have been able to achieve multiple Australian titles but more importantly work with like-minded people doing something we all enjoy at such a high level. I always say that one of things that makes LDA amazing is the calibre of teachers. I have learnt from the likes of Debralee, Katrina and Nestor and now get to dance alongside them in these teams.
A huge part of my journey at LDA has been working with my mentor Nestor. We started working together on a bachata pro-am early 2016 for the Australian Latin Dance Championships. Once the Championships were over in July, Nestor had a crazy idea that we go and compete at the World Latin Dance Cup in Miami in the professional bachata division. Representing Australia in something has always been a dream of mine but the thought of doing it at this stage of life in a style that was still new in a pro division seemed ridiculous. Nestor had faith so I decided to have some faith in myself and go for it. I doubted myself everyday about it right up until the night we competed at the Worlds in the Semi-final. We were up against amazing talent from around the world with a total of 20 couples in our division. After our performance, I was so happy that I took on the challenge and performed my heart out. I was more relieved that I could now kick back, relax and enjoy the rest of the competition…. Until a few hours later it was announced that we made the FINAL. WOW. To this day, I still can’t believe we placed 6th in the world. The rest is history and now we are training for the Worlds come December. 
When I walked into LDA 3.5 years ago I never imagined it would become such a big part of my life. Not only do I get to push myself as a dancer, work with amazing professionals and teach new students, I have made so many friends along the way. Being able to share your passion with a diverse group of people is very fulfilling.  My only regret is not starting sooner. Whether you want to learn something new, challenge yourself or really push your dancing, there is a place for you at LDA."

Kylie Clark
LDA Apprentice

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MAY 2017


Isn't amazing when our loved ones come back?

"My LDA journey started way back in 2006. Jaime and Marcia’s (the directors at the time) support was extraordinary and helped me to tick every box I ever wanted in my dancing career as well as in my personal life. These included winning major national and international competitions, travelling intensively (notably: being in a different city every single weekend throughout 2008 – 2009), and headlining major national and international events. I came to LDA wanting to see how far I could take my dancing and, thanks to this dance studio, I took to it heights that many people could only dream of.
 
I went away overseas and came back a few times. My most recent stint being my longest one; I went to London for eight years and returned just last year with husband and children in tow. I had my second baby not long after I moved back, and not long after that I got myself straight back to LDA.
 
My love affair with LDA spans over a decade and this establishment represents so many important things for me then and now. Back then, it represented challenges, proving something to myself and to the industry, striving for more and seeing how far I could push my body. Now, it still represents challenges but more in the form of goals, it represents a little bit of time away from family life and time just for myself. But throughout the years, LDA has always meant forging lifelong friendships, becoming part of a family, having unwavering support, and just a wild abandon for the love of dance."

Mary Grace Brown
LDA Instructor

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OCTOBER 2016


What a nice story to hear from one of our top students....

The music and dance has always been a big part of my family environment growing up in a Greek household. My mother and father were our first dance teachers; they exposed us to theatre and the arts from a very young age, which gave us a deep appreciation for all cultures, genres and creative expressions. Especially Latin music as they were Cha cha dancers, so I grew up listening to a lot of Latin music and fell in love with the culture from a child. As a child I mainly danced Greek, Jazz ballet and tap but always had a burning desire to learn how to Salsa.  
 
I heard about LDA through a work colleague and 4 years later after day of running a market stall at Glebe markets I decided to wonder around the area and stumbled over LDA’s studio. When signing up for my first class I was excited and nervous at the same time, as I hadn’t taken a dance class in years. I remember my first day walking through LDA doors I felt this great energy, with so many happy faces a strong family connection. After I took my first salsa class I was hooked and was taking classes 4-5 days a week as I discovered “Bachata” and fell in love with the music and the dance. 6 months later I decided to take my first performance class for the Sydney International Bachata Festival. It was amazing to perform after so many years and soon became a healthy addiction and way of life. In my time at LDA I have had the privilege to be mentored and taught by the industries best, I love the support and encouragement of all the teachers and staff at LDA give and feel we are quite spoilt with the level of talent and experience we are surrounded by. All teachers have influenced me in my time in LDA in so many different ways on so many levels. I love Katrina’s sensual movement and fluidity, Lidia’s charismatic Salsa styling and choreographies, Ellicia’s feet elegance and grace. The best aspect though is the endless social element of being apart of the Latin dance scene, which gives you endless opportunities to dance and connect with like-minded souls and make great friends on and off the dance floor. 
 
In 2015 I decided I really wanted to accelerate my dancing further, a new challenge and compete in a Bachata Proam Division. I worked with Nestor over a year competing in the Australian Latin Dance Championships and Brisbane Salsa Solo. What I loved and I am grateful to Nestor in the time of working with me, he taught me to love and appreciate all elements of what bachata had to offer whether it was sensual, Dominican or urban, that each element of the genre is to be appreciated and has assisted bachata to evolve today. I didn’t know what to expect when I initially started, I was so inspired by other students growth that had competed in the year prior. Entering the competitive arena was a whole new experience compared to performing at a festival or showcase. Initially I found it quite challenging as it exposed so many things that triggered and challenged me as a dancer. It exposed my strengths but also my weaknesses. Over time I learnt the most rewarding part of a Pro-am journey is having the opportunity to set goals and work towards making your strengths in even stronger and turning your weaknesses into strengths, with hard work and dedication. I’m an eternal optimist I don’t like having limitations or limitations being placed on me, I generally throw myself in the deep end.  I believe only you know what is inside you and what your capable of I like to continue to evolve. My first year in competing was one that taught me hard but very valuable lessons in learning to fall in love with act of what your doing not the outcome. Letting go of expectations and attachments. Every individual has a different purpose and approach in competing and you can never tell what a judge is looking for. This is something Nestor would always stress; that you should never determine your growth in your dancing by placement it’s just an opinion. 
 
With that I walked away from my first year of competing with a new outlook and intentions. I decided to become the dancer I desired and push beyond what I could image without limitation and expectation.
It was time to try a solo so I approached Ellicia McDonald as I knew Ellicia would be able to assist me to improve technically also guide me to achieve my biggest goal and fear of dancing on a stage on my own. At the same time I approached Jaime, as I wanted to grow as a performer and continue to push my partner dancing in bachata. What I have loved most working with Ellicia and Jaime they have taught me how to stay grounded and compete with purpose. They each gave me a questionnaire this really helped me set my intention, every time I doubted myself or felt challenged I remembered why I started. As Ellicia always stresses to me put your energy in your art and your dancing will speak for itself. It really did to my surprise I got over my fear of dancing on stage on my own and qualified for the Nationals at ALDC placing 2nd .  However it was never about getting a placement it was about evolving as performer and dancer.  I recently debut my performance with Jaime at our last I love Bachata and was at such ease performing with him he has really assisted me to grow as a performer and execute difficult turn patterns and re-directions that I would never have imaged being capable to do a year ago. I am so grateful to all my teachers that have assisted me to get this far in my dance journey and my friends and family, whom are so supportive and understanding when I don’t get to see them due to dance commitments. 
 
I love performing and love to dance in general dance has taught me that it’s never to late in life to achieve and experience anything your heart desires when you have pure intent and with persistence and dedication nothing is impossible. 
As dancers we have the power to connect with an audience unlike any other art form the audience can see your intent.
 
The late Wayne Dyer Explained The Power Of Intention best:
 
“ When you’re connected to the power of intention, everywhere you go, and everyone you meet is affected by you and the energy you radiate. As you become the power of intention, you’ll see your dreams being 
fulfilled almost magically, and you’ll see yourself creating huge ripples in the energy fields of others by your presence and nothing more.”

Harrietta Manias
LDA Student and performer (October 2016)

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AUGUST 2016

It's a pleasure to have those two as part of our Latin family. ;-)

"We still remember when we first walked into LDA studio back in 2002 only for a short course.  It made such a memorable impression we have returned back after nearly 10 years. We returned after realising we needed to move our bodies more and to feel healthy and happy again. Initially we wanted to get fit and healthy after working long hours in a sedentary and busy occupation for many years.  Since then we have not looked back. We love every minute of it and spend almost every evening at the studio, at our own free will. 
When walking into LDA studio at Broadway, it is easy to be deceived. Let us explain. The studio is like you would expect: friendly receptionist, tons of trophies of different sizes and shapes on the shelves (many shelves), people smiling and socialising, but do not be fooled, it is not an ordinary studio.  After getting to know staff and students, you start to notice that “Welcome to LDA family” is not just a slogan. You really feel the family atmosphere and sense of belonging which is extremely rewarding.   We have met many beautiful and successful people at LDA.  We have even gone to many dance festivals together (which Maia makes a holiday out of on every occasion). It is impossible to describe the health benefits, happiness and positive energy we feel towards each other, family and work.  Maia has been labelled as “Benjamin Button” of LDA as she has apparently started ageing backwards.
However there is one more warning: LDA does not run on “first come – first served” basis. It rather runs on the energy emitted from enormous hearts of world class instructors such as Jaime, Nestor, Katrina, Lidia, Amy, Debralee, Ulysses and Jasmin, Mitch and Ellicia and so many others to list, who manage to fit every one of us students in their hearts.   The passion LDA instructors have is truly infectious which, not at our own free will, is passed onto us and all other students. Today we can honestly state that it has become an obsession of ours, as we spend time listening to Latin music even when we are not dancing.
And finally, out of our LDA experience this is what we have discovered:  you do not need to have a dancing background, know how to move, or even be a socialite.  All you need to do is to step into LDA studio and return back a tiny portion of emotional energy which we call Happiness!”


Michael and Maia Janjgava are our students since 2002 and currently they attend classes, performances and parties at LDA.

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JUNE 2016

"We started our dancing "careers" elsewhere, but Saki and I both knew that we always wanted to be a part of LDA. We were SO inspired by the Modus Vivendi Project, and joining them was our end goal way back when in 2010.
Since then, we've slowly but surely become pieces of furniture at the studio, from the time we started training for our very first Bachata Championship routine(which was also our wedding dance!), eventually spending more waking hours in the studio than in our own home. We did achieve our initial goal of gaining membership to the Modus Vivendi Project, and have grown to become part of the other top-level performance teams at LDA such as Bachata SWAT, Salsa SWAT, and even the renowned Modus Vivendi.
Over the years, we’ve been privileged to learn under all the amazing talents LDA holds, and we’ve been especially fortunate to work closely with World Champions like Nestor and Katrina. We have been mentored by Nestor in particular for years now; he has encouraged, pushed, and given us so many opportunities and goals that we’d never even DREAMED of,  like competing at the World Latin Dance Cup in Miami, not once but twice! 
Nowadays, we've sort of become the studio's dance-parents, encouraging the up-and-coming students who are performing and entering competitions, to bring their best to the performance dancefloor. We try to lead by example, because we believe that dancing is for everyone, and you aren’t necessarily born with the talent to excel in this art form, but your hard work, diligence, and compassion will take you a long way.
But what does LDA mean to us?
It's for a place of friends and camaraderie and family. A place where we find inspirations and challenges and opportunities on a daily basis. We have the privilege of training under the wings of, and sharing the dance floor with, WORLD-CLASS dancers; they keep pushing us to our limits and beyond, molding us into better dancers ourselves(we hope). All up? Saki and I consider ourselves two of the luckiest people in the Sydney Latin dance scene by being here." 
B&S

Brian & Saki Francisco joined us in 2012 and today they are one of our top performers (June 2016)

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MAY 2016

How special is to watch a person to grow so much as a dancer and as a person...It was our pleasure to be a a part of it.

"This is my absolute favourite quote taken from The Witch of Portobello:
When we dance, we are free. To put it better, our spirit can travel through the universe, while our body follows a rhythm that is not part of the routine.
In this way, we can laugh at our sufferings large or small, and deliver ourselves to a new experience without any fear.
While prayer and meditation take us to the sacred through silence and inner pondering, in dance we celebrate with others a kind of collective trance.
They can write whatever they want about dancing, but it is no use: you have to dance to find out what they are talking about.
Dance to the point of exhaustion, like mountain-climbers scaling some sacred peak. Dance until, out of breath, our organism can receive oxygen in a way that it is not used to, and this ends up making us lose our identity, our relation with space and time. 
Of course we can dance alone, if that helps us to get over our shyness. But whenever possible, it is better to dance in a group, because one stimulates the other and this ends up creating a magic space where all are connected in the same energy.
To dance.. just let our body teach us – because we have danced since the darkest times, and we never forget that."
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"I never understood this quote until I started dancing myself. My dance journey first started just over 5 years ago after randomly being given a flyer to try out a free latin dance class while casually walking on the uni campus. I tried out the class with a group of friends and had an absolute blast and ended up enrolling in my first beginners class at LDA. What started out to be just a casual fun one hour a week escape and break from uni studies as well as a way to destress has now turned into a way of life where I'm either at the studio taking classes, training or social dancing most nights of the week. Dance is now a part of me and I can't live without it.
LDA has been pivotal in helping me grow as a dancer and person. I've made so many close friendships here and its been so much fun learning in such a warm, friendly welcoming supportive environment and I am proud to be considered part of the "LDA family".
My first few years I started out just purely social dancing at different clubs and venues and that is where my love continues to lie. I'd social dance most nights of the week, be the first and last to leave that dance floor. Social dancing makes me so happy. I love being in my own little world, my "happy place", connecting to my partner, to the music, communicating and expressing how I feel through movement what is too deep to find for words through dance as if nothing else matters in that instant. Its a beautiful feeling and I get so much joy from it.
In 2014, I wanted to try something different and expand my dancing in other ways. I'm naturally a shy person and absolutely feared the stage and performing let alone competing! I really wanted to overcome that fear so I contacted Jaime and asked if he'd want to do a ProAm with me. It was the best decision I ever made. He has helped me to grow even further as a dancer and person and  has helped me to come out of my shell. We won the ProAm Salsa division at the Australian Latin Dance Championships that year and Open division the year after and am very thankful and excited to be able to continue my dance journey with him and with LDA.
I'm so grateful to have discovered dancing as it has enriched my life for the better. I never saw it coming that I'd be winning National comps, social comps, performing and social dancing nationally and internationally, helping assist classes and workshops, choreographing my own routines as well  as inspiring others to dance. Thank you Jaime and LDA for providing all these different opportunities to help me grow.

Jessica Lai joined us in 2012 and today she is one of our top performer and student (May 2016)

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DECEMBER 2015

It's always special when we can bring joy not only to students but to our staff as well...

As some of you probably already know, I'll be leaving LDA tonight. I'm moving on with my career (still no idea where exactly it's leading - but that's the fun of it, right?), and taking a break from study to work full-time at Sydney Uni.
It's impossible to put into words what LDA has brought to my life, and continues to each day. But I'm sure as hell going to try.
I landed a receptionist position at LDA as a casual job while studying. I honestly didn't think I would really fit in to a dance school in a myriad of ways - it was just a job, and I was never a dancer. But I'd always loved music. This happened at a time when I was just beginning to get my life back together after a deep depression. I had hit rock bottom after losing the ability to pursue my lifelong dream, to play music (long story short, hand issues that severely affected my ability to play clarinet/saxophone). I had taken a leap of faith and enrolled in uni again, moved out of home and started to be kinder to myself.
Enter Latin Dance Australia. Immediately I was welcomed (literally immediately - when I came in for my interview, everyone in the office was smiling and welcoming me warmly!) into what soon came to be known to me as not just a dance studio, not just a place of work, but a part of my life that was has been one of the most enriching experiences of all. The combined energy of staff and students who truly love what they do, and share that passion so openly and invitingly with the world, is electrifying. I actually felt like I was part of something special again - a feeling I thought I'd only feel when I played music, which I thought was lost to me forever. I say this with a tear in my eye that being a part of this "family" was a big driving force behind overcoming hopelessness and feeling happy again.
I don't want to make this too long, so I'll take the opportunity here to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone for making my time at LDA so special. I can say with great certainty that I haven't got to know most of you nearly as well as I'd like to - something I hope will change in the coming year. You're an amazing group of people who bring so much joy to peoples' lives. I feel like you hear that all the time, but there's a reason for that. You're all simply fantastic. I derive most of my meaning in life from how I can improve and enrich the lives of others, which in turn makes me happy. By this philosophy, the LDA family is rich beyond belief.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be part of something so amazing. Thanks for all being so kind, patient, enthusiastic and just generally awesome. Thanks but no thanks for making sure Justin Bieber is one of my most currently played artists, a fact I would never previously have admitted to anyone, but now say with glee, being hardly unable to wait till I can bachata/reggaeton to his tunes.
Now - very importantly - I'll actually have nights free, I'm so excited to have the chance to take classes and learn to move properly. I can't wait, especially to experience the studio as a student. You won't be rid of me so easily!
Thank you, but not goodbye." 
Erin

Erin joined us in 2014 as our receptionist and currently she is one of our students (Dec 2015)


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NOVEMBER 2015

One talented lady has been discovered...

My name is Stephanie, i am this year' s LDA scholarship winner and now training to become a teacher. LDA has really been pivotal to helping me reignite my passion for Dance and drive to really become someone I can be proud of. I've achieved things I never expected in just two years of really pushing myself in Latin dance. What started off as an alternative fitness regime and escape from stressful work life, has now become a part time job for me. Here is my story.

I discovered Latin dancing one random Tuesday night when I announced to my friend, who was consoling me after a tough day at work, that I needed a change from jogging to keep fit and release some tension. She suggested to go salsa dancing at Establishment. Now here is a summary of my reaction:  "Salsa dancing, who on earth is Australia does salsa dancing out? And I don't have a partner, how can we possibly dance if we haven't rehearsed it yet? and what! it "gets good" at 10pm....what about work tomorrow!" 

Social dancing became my new escape. I was then convinced to come and watch the Saturday performances at the Sydney international bachata festival. It was the first time I saw Latin dance performed as a choreography and a show, and of course, coming from a dance background this appealed to me. I was inspired by the international performers of course, but i was also impressed by the show LDA had put on - their performances were electric - a stand out of technique and showmanship. I booked my first bachata class that week at LDA.

Now, in all honesty, my initial intention was to only take one class a week. Before I knew it, I made some really caring friends in my classes. I was also so impressed by the way every teacher at LDA ran their classes - fun, friendly, informative, very professional and inspiring. Four cycles of 8 week bachata courses later I was hooked, I became a member.

Nine months later of taking classes, the choreographies came up for bachata festival again and I thought, what better way to show my progress than to perform on the very stage that sparked my LDA journey. Performing on stage that night felt amazing. I was finally able to connect to a dance style that brought my personality out on stage. This was something that lay dormant for many years during my life chearleading and commercial dancing. The process of learning the choreography was challenging as I was not use to relying on a partner when performing. I wanted to be challenged one step further so I approached Nestor for a pro-am which we competed and I won that year at the Australian bachata championship. I made it known that I wanted to improve even more and work towards being a professional one day.  Mitch Bilic came up with a crazy idea to compete in a pro-am with him at the World Latin Dance Cup in Miami at the end of the year. The thought scared me but it was a vehicle to help me train hard and excellerate my dancing more quickly. I put my hand up to perform anywhere and every where - that is one of the great things LDA offers - opportunities to perform for those who seek it. I ended up coming second in the world championship last year which was such a great achievement, but I would not have been able to do it if it weren't for the calibre of teachers and various training options I had access to at LDA whether it was through privates, choreography courses or group sessions. 

I have since been given the opportunity to become part of the MV teams and be trained as a teacher for LDA. Both opportunities have been a great honour because it brings about more growth for me both physically and mentally. But I really have learnt so much more than Latin dance at LDA. Every day I am exposed to a caring, generous and positive bunch of people and I think this contributes to the success of the school as a business. For a dance school filled with talent who impress on stage, they are also very impressive offstage through their supportive attitude towards one another and people from different dance schools. That is a hard culture to build, especially in a competitive space, but LDA just expresses this so naturally at every event I've been to so far. At the moment I am dancing pretty much 6 days a week. My life is not the same as it was 3 years ago. I use to think I needed to climb the corporate ladder, but I have found purpose in establishing myself as a Latin dance performer and teacher.  I know that LDA has helped me discover that purpose and I trust it will also continue to help me reach my goals." Stephanie


Stephanie Mackay joined us in 2013 and currently she is one of our trainee instructors and top performers (Nov 2015)

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SEPTEMBER 2015

A story about new friendships and weight loss...

"Hi my name is Janja and I am a Latin dance addict (to be precise salsa and bachata addict)
I attended my first class at LDA three years ago to support a friend who wanted to learn salsa and as an alternative form of exercise to the gym. She lasted 2 weeks. I am still here 3 years later.
Dance has become a passion of mine, and like so many that attend classes at LDA a place to escape day to day life, which for me is IT Projects.  
Since joining LDA I have made some new friends and had the pleasure of meeting artist from around Australia and world -  people from all walks of life with amazing stories and life journeys.  
An added bonus is that dancing has helped me with my weight loss journey which is continuing.
I am forever grateful for Latin Dance as for continually challenging me and helping me conquer fear of performing on stage.  
Anything is possible with the support of the latin dance community and LDA.
See you on the dance Floor
"  Janja 

Janja Jurkovic is one of our beloved students since 2012. (Sep 2015)

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AUGUST 2015

Such a good feeling to know we helped someone becoming happier...

"When I started attending dance classes at LDA more than 4 years ago I had issues with depression.  Dancing, the challenge of learning, the music, the professionalism and humour of the teachers, the regularity, being around people without needing to talk to them, not to mention choosing to learn a choreography and perform! all assisted in my healing and growth.  Today I love going to LDA because I have a sense of belonging to a fun loving, bubbly community, and I have great passion for Latin dancing and music.  For all of this and more I am grateful. Thank you all.
You know, I also highly appreciate Janine’s and other receptionists’ welcoming personality, and the teachers greeting me when they bump into me.:-)
Love"  
Maria Nagy

Maria Nagy is one of our beloved students since 2012. (Aug 2015)





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JULY 2015 

Find out how Chris Magil met his wife Davina...

"We were both attending classes at LDA. Whilst I was a salsa baby with an intense passion to dance and train every waking hour of the day, Davina had a more casual, social connection with the school and the scene and had a quiet love of Zouk due to its sensual flowing nature. I tried to step outside my comfort zone by trying this weird and exotic dance and getting too big for my boots, jumped into the intermediate and advanced classes because I thought I could totally handle it….oops. During the partner rotation cycle our paths crossed for the first time and I was a terrible lead and had absolutely no idea what I was doing yet styled it out with flirtation and peacocking in whatever fashion I could. Davina was not impressed Note: I had just dyed my hair blonde for a private party and so Davina’s first thoughts were: Who is this bleached blonde fool? Ha ha ha Discovering that we shared common interests, dancing clearly being one of them (among others), and out of curiosity, we arranged to meet at a social dancing club one night. Since I was already in full swing of accelerated training with MVP in parallel to 4 other teams at the time, I had to train till later than expected that evening, got too tired and stood her up at the club!!! We still argue to this day on how that went down. Whilst she says I simply stood her up on a date, I had no idea it was actually a date at that point. Honest truth! I thought we were just casually going to be at the same venue to social dance and hang out…..again oops. Still out of good faith or stupidity (lol) she decided to give me another chance. We began dating and slowly things developed. Whilst our relationship got stronger and more steady, my passion for dancing and level of training increased exponentially due to competition & travel with my team, late nights, weekends, parties and festivals etc. This brought great challenges to the relationship for 3 years. Trying to balance life and a serious relationship with the person that was clearly going to be my life partner was very difficult given my progression into MV and being so immersed in the scene. Eventually Davina won my heart, mind and soul and I decided to step down from MV and being in the studio 6 nights a week to just….4 or 5, ha ha, joking. Probably 2 or 3 and then just focusing on shows. I raised the courage to pop the question to her at the Vivid Festival in front of at least a thousand people – LDA had taught me well in the art of trying to own a stage ha ha The MC training for shows came in handy for this. We now live happily married building our future together. We were even able to utilise some of our dance training to assist with our wedding dance, albeit in a completely alien style – West Coast Swing. Whilst I still get my dancing fix by a casual yet steady run of training for shows, still able to utilise the expertise of the school and perform for professional shows, Davina has stepped away from dance yet will occasionally throw on her shoes to boogie when the opportunity arises." Chris Magill

Chris Magill is currently one of the main performers of the LDA Latin Shows Team!  (July 2015)
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