“To dance is to create, no to reproduce.”
Riikka started dancing Brazilian Zouk in 2011 and has been a member of the Rio Zouk Style dance school of Freddy Marinho & Andressa Castelhano since it was opened in Helsinki in 2012. The versatile and sensual movement of the dance felt natural to her since the beginning. Soon she was dedicating all her time to her dance studies. She also started to travel regularly to Zouk events around the world to deepen her knowledge, draw inspiration and – most importantly – to dance her heart out.
Riikka is one of the founder members of the Rio Zouk Style Team and she has been performing with the team since 2013. She has also taught several workshops and classes in Helsinki as well as abroad, including Japan, Norway, Holland, Poland, Malaysia and Australia. Riikka has participated and placed in top three in Helsinki Zouk Competition (2nd), Brisbane Zouk Competition (1st), West Zouk Time competition (2nd) and ZoukSea competition (1st).
Riikka moved to Melbourne in the beginning of 2018 and further deepened her zouk knowledge with Alisson Sandi. She is currently an active member of the Melbourne zouk community and has been teaching zouk in Melbourne since her arrival.
Riikka is known for her 100-per cent attitude and consisted way of improving her dancing skills and knowledge. What fascinates Riikka the most in Zouk is the deep way of connecting to her partner through movement and music, and creating something unique from that conversation. A constant search for moments of connection has made Riikka a true social dancer – she will be the one arriving first and staying until the end of the party.
Prior to Brazilian Zouk, Riikka has studied both competition and traditional Finnish ballroom dancing. In addition to dancing, she has strong background in different kind of sports such as weight training and fitness boxing.
In 2013 she started studying West Coast Swing in Raw Connection dance school in Brisbane, Australia and placed soon after 1st in newcomer division in Australian Jack and Jill competitions (WSDC registry event). She continued her studies in Comets dance school in Helsinki and has later on placed well in smaller scale competitions in Finland and Europe.
Riikka has studied Tango Argentino since 2013 in different tango schools in Helsinki, including Tangokoulu and Pasional Dance Company. In 2016 she joined Pasional Choreography Team and partnered her tango maestro Hernan Ohaco.
Riikka has made several trips to Brazil to study Samba de Gafieira and Samba Funkeado as well as the Brazilian ballroom dances (dança de salão) at the Jimmy’s dance school in Rio de Janeiro. In 2017 she was also part of the school’s performance team.
Riikka has drawn inspiration to her movement from variety of street dance styles, such as voguing, popping and toprock. Jazz dance has been an important part of her regular solo dance training since 2015. Also yoga and functional training are present in her weekly trainings.