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About Virmalised

The foundation for “Virmalised” was laid in folk dance performances dating back to 1934, with the name “Virmalised (Northern Lights)” being adopted by the Group in 1969, representing our connection to our Estonian roots in the Northern Hemisphere and the extraordinary visual spectacle the aurora borealis display as they dance across the night sky.

The group is led by Rhys Maidla and currently comprises approximately 20 participants. Sydney Virmalised continue to carry on the cultural traditions and dances of Estonia with a contemporary twist, contributing to the diversity of multicultural artistic expression within Australia.

The repertoire of the Group includes traditional dances, but also incorporates newer dances as they are developed in Estonia. Musicians “Salmiakki Pelimannit” (Finnish for Salty Liquorice Folk Musicians) provide occasional live musical accompaniment at performances. The Group performs in our traditional Estonian National Costumes known as Rahvariided, which are strikingly colourful, many and varied depending on regional origin and period in history when they were developed.

Dancers and interested individuals of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to join Virmalised and help contribute to our rich and varied history that continues to grow and develop.


Esmaspäeviti, kell 19:30 – 21:00 / Mondays, 7:30 – 9:00 pm – Following the school term, taking breaks during school holidays

COVID-19 Update

Virmalised will be resuming in-person physically distanced dancing scheduled for our regular time betweem 7.30-9.00pm. Only current members of Virmalised will be allowed to participate currently (if you wish to become a member please email sydney.virmalised@gmail.com).

To ensure we are minimising risk, please make sure you have read through the following:

  • Strictly BYO water bottle – there will be no use of the glassware
  • Please bring a towel along for personal use
  • If you have a personal hand sanitiser, please also bring it along so we are not using up the Eesti Maja stock
  • We highly recommend dancers wearing a face mask as an added precaution

If you intend to attend, please contact us beforehand and note that attendance is only allowed if you:

  • Are a current member of Sydney Virmalised
  • Have signed up to an available spot on the sign-in sheet which a link will be provided
  • Have notified you are coming before 4pm on the day of rehearsal (Monday)
  • Have checked the hot spot list to ensure you have not been exposed to any recent known cases
  • Are staying home if you are feeling unwell
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