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Local dance artists set to show off moves

Laura Peppas

From samba, salsa, chacha to raggaeton, some of Canberra’s most seasoned dance artists have come together for this year’s Canberra Latin Dance Festival.

Event founders and organisers Raquel Paez Riccardo and Andrea Paez Warner are working with local dance artists Becky Fleming of Kokoloco, Kate Ticehurst of Subsdance, and Karen Rutherford of K’motion, who will all run workshops and perform at the festival.

Raquel says the women not only bring a diverse flavour to the festival, but offer the chance to show off homegrown talent.

“We each have different things we’re really good at, so we all bring something very different to the table and it means Canberra is well-represented amongst the international performers,” she says.

“In Canberra I’ve noticed the dance community has always been really good at helping each other out. So I think it’s been such a great platform for us to show the support we have for each other and it means the Canberra community gets to see what we can do. We’ve always had a mutual respect for one another.”

With two days and three nights of back-to-back first class workshops, performances and parties, the Canberra Latin Dance Festival will be held under the one roof at the Australian National University Sports and Recreational Centre from Friday, 16 October to Sunday, 18 October.


Some of the best international and Australian artists will perform and teach workshops at the festival, including four world champion dancers.

Raquel says she’s noticed a “huge increase” in the amount of people signing up for dance lessons in Canberra.

“Particularly in the last few years there’s been an increase, we’ve got people of every age from very young to people in their 50s wanting to start dancing, you’re really never to old to start – there’s no barriers,” she says.

Raquel says people are often surprised at the wealth of talent involved in the festival.

“We find people visiting the festival for the first time absolutely love us because we’re a bit different and they really get a sense of community here, a lot of the feedback we get every year is how friendly we are,” she says.

“I think people are in awe of what we have here, we have people who come for the first time who have no idea this existed in Canberra, they’re just blown away by the quality and the size of the festival. It always really surprises people – and we like surprising people.”

the essentials 
What: Canberra Latin Dance Festival
When: 16 – 18 October
Where: Australian National University Sports and Recreational Centre
How much: From $35 – $290
Web: www.canberralatindancefestival.com.au or view full schedule www.canberralatindancefestival.com.au/event-schedule/

Feature image: Raquel Paez Ricciardo, Kate Ticehurst, Andrea Paez-Warner, Karen Rutherford and Becky Fleming. 


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author