Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Looking for the world's best beach

My search for the world's best beach is endless... In my travels I keep looking for and stumbling upon amazing beaches but I just can't get enough!

CNN recently came out with their list of 100 best beaches. I love their introduction by the way:
Is it possible to rank the world's best beaches?
- Of course it is. This is the Internet.
Will everyone agree with our ranking, murmuring respectfully among themselves about how perfectly accurate every placement is?
- Maybe not. This is the Internet.
You'd think people love the same things about such a simple thing as beaches but probably not... Some like it hot, some shady. Some love to people watch, some want utmost privacy. Some like that it's isolated and hard to reach, some like the convenience & the amenities. Some want pristine sand or lounge chairs, some want playgrounds and beach volley fields. Some want to snorkel, some surf, some swim, some won't put their toes in the water.

I've been to beaches in as north as Iceland, as south as Tierra del Fuego and traveled to world famous beaches in Brazil and Australia... and still looking for my favourite one! But I put together some of my favourites, only for you my friend! ;) I've tried to be "fair" and list lots of different types of beaches to make it interesting...!

* By the way: if you're looking for the ultimate beach to dance zouk then you definitely need to head to Porto Seguro, Brazil!

My top ten beaches (so far)

10. Kata Yai, Phuket island, Thailand. There are surely many many more beautiful, quiet, idyllic, beaches in Thailand and South-East Asia but as I'm a freak for sunsets I have to say I've enjoyed some of the most beautiful ones here. Lots of snorkeling places right off the beach and some more secluded beaches can be found closeby. Rent a motorcycle and tour the island!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wake up! It's time to zouk!

This week one enthusiastic zouker, Markus, organised a morning zouk session in our summer dance venue in Helsinki, the stage behind the Opera house at Töölönlahti. What way to wake up to a Thursday morning!! It was super sunny & very warm already at 8 am when we started. The ten dancers that made it to this pretty spontaneous event danced in the morning sun for one hour... and for sure started their days more energized than usual :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

How I became a zouk dancer - and how can others too?

In the spring of 2011 I walked into a club in Helsinki through a recommendation by a friend of mine "to check out some Brazilian couples dance". I wasn't so sure why I'd be interested but I thought why not. What I walked into was the closing party of the first Helsinki Zouk Festival. I fell in love with the music instantly. I got to learn my first zouk steps and even had one dance, with one of the teachers. To me zouk looked something out of this world, out of my reach and out of my elements. But it got me curious. The next week I went to my first zouk class with a friend of mine. Two years later I'm still on this road of no return. And I couldn't be happier! (But, hey.. What is zouk? )

Dance like everybody is watching!
In other words, how to get rid of those first mental hurdles in partner dancing?

Dancing seems to be a daunting idea for some. How many times have I seen the "Dance like nobody is watching" poster, as if dancing would be something you would need to hide or be ashamed of!?! Many people say they simply can't dance or that they have no rhythm. But everybody can dance: find music you like and move to it! In essence you're just walking to the beat of the music or to the changes in the melody - it can be as simple as that. People seem to always worry most about stepping out of their comfort zone and forget all the positive things that come with it. Dancing is good for your health, it improves your memory (it's a fact!), builds your confidence and it's a great way to meet new people!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Vappu is a fun time of the year to be in Finland - especially in Helsinki. If you're ever around on the first of May here's what you need to do:
1) Pack your picnic brunch
2) Pray for decent weather
3) Head to the nearest park

The most popular park for Vappu brunch is Kaivopuisto, on the south tip of Helsinki (bottom pictures). It can get a little crazy there!