2024 ARTIST’S

MATHILDE & LEO – FRANCE/BRAZIL

MATHILDE & LEO – FRANCE/BRAZIL

 
Mathilde and Leo are well loved worldwide for their elegance, creativity and expression in Brazilian zouk. They have each spent years touring the world and sharing their beautiful techniques with so many zoukers. We cannot wait for them to share with us here too!
 

Teacher and choreographer, Mathilde, is an artist, foremost renowned as a
ballerina, modern and contemporary dances. She studied at the Conservatoire à
rayonnement régional de Paris; and at the famous Conservatoire National Supérieur
de Musique et de Danse de Paris. There she trained to attain intensive training in
dance during morning hours; and then completing extensive lessons in afternoon
whilst studying at school.

After graduation, she lived in Germany to continue to train further in her formation
at the Palucca Schule Dresden, international dance university. There she continued
to train in Ballet, Modern and several techniques of Contemporary styles (Horton,
Graham, Limon) and Pilates.

When she returned back to Paris, Mathilde extend her dance training in Latin
dances styles of Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba and being part several teams; before
focusing on Brazilian Zouk dance.

As a dedicated artist, she has been dancing for past 15 years in several styles. She
trained with the maestro Alex de Carvalho as his dance partner in the styles of
Brazilian Zouk and Samba de Gafieira since 2013/2014. She has worked as an
international artist performing and teaching at several international dance events
across the world. She is currently working with Léo Chaffe.
She also like to teach Zouk Lady Style & Technique and femininity-heels classes she
calls “Femininity Dance” to help women develop their expression in dance &
sensuality as well as their self-confidence.

In parallel, she continued to study further, to attain her Masters II Diploma in
Communication and Advertising from the ISCOM school. With her experience leading
to successfully host the first ever exclusive Brazilian Zouk Congress in Paris, at the
Disneyland resort, in Paris, France.

She strives to share her experience and knowledge of an accomplished artist in
dance, with new generation of students to achieve greater ambitions as a
dedicated dancer and role model for dancers worldwide that share her passions.

 

Leo Chaffe is 31 years old from Porto Alegre, Brazil. He started his career in dance at  his seventeen years old in the  South of Brazil with Tango, Bachata and Brazilian rhythms like Bolero Forró and samba, after taking the first step he followed his dancing journey in another dance school in the south of Brazil. ºCadica Danças e Ritmos and Space Dance Alexandre Santos º which began to improve a little of his samba, until he met his first teacher of Zouk Brasileiro ºSteeve Pierre º. After this first contact with the dance, he began to fall so in love with this art that began to look for other dances like the ballet and Hip hop to increase his level and to begin a professional race. In 2014 he decided to move from his city to live in Rio de Janeiro, because he knew that the opportunities would be greater, he began to study at the Alex de Carvalho School of Dance for a few months until he met his first partner Thayná Trovick. The partnership began in February 2015 and finished in 2020. They travel and teach classes in various places in Brazil and in the world. They participated together in congresses such as Prague Zouk congress, London Zouk Fest, Acapulco Salsa congress, among many others. They had a great experience together in Mexico City where they spent 5 months teaching and training new dancers and teachers. In addition to working with dances, the two studied together circus arts and acrobatics to increase their strength and endurance during performances. Right now Leo is working with Mathilde dos Santos . The partnership began in 2021 and they travel and teach in many places together. They participated in big events like Fuji Fuji in Dubai , Brazuka Dance Festival Moscow,Dutch Zouk Congress , DCBX Washington DC, Miami Dance Fusion Festival and many others events.

YASMIM & SAULO – BRAZIL

YASMIM & SAULO – BRAZIL

Saulo and Yasmim are international Brazilian Zouk teachers, teaching Zouk for over 10 years. Currently, these are World champions winning the World Championship in Phoenix (USA). Together they develop a unique methodology and style of dancing, working on the versatility of movement, types of communication, respecting the tradition but adding modern elements from the urban dances, contemporary dance and other elements that only the duo has. They currently work traveling around the world teaching Brazilian zouk.

BRUNO & RAIZA – BRAZIL

BRUNO & RAIZA – BRAZIL

2 of the worlds most iconic zouk artists!

In 2012, Bruno and Raiza met each other when Raiza started her journey and knowledge in Brazilian Zouk and Bruno was her teacher sharing the ideas and his experiences in that time. Together they started the development and updating of the contents, combining the knowledge of Classical Ballet adapted to social dance. In 2018 they decided to start a partnership, mixing influences from diferent dance styles and seeking to format a solid teaching structure to enable not only dancers but also teachers who can spread the methodology created. Today there went to more than 20 countries where they left their mark with shows, classes, choreography and professionals training. Both loves dance but mainly love people, aim to offer a little attention to human beings, a better quality of life and an appreciation of the present time.

Bruno Galhardo

Known worldwide, his videos on the internet have great prestige, sometimes more than millions of views. Bruno has taught in over 30 countries, across the four corners of the globe, sharing his love in the biggest world events. Always offering the best of himself and seeking to take everyone a little of the Brazilian dance, he was surprised by the affection and learning that he obtained through the different cultures that he had contact, with a great professional and personal growth.

His dedication is based on solid contribution to the growth of being, narrowing the distance between daily life and pleasure, promoted by art associated with interpersonal contact.

Today he seeks through his experience to spread a technique focused on connection as a tool for the expression of the body.

 

Raiza Galhardo

Classical dancer since she was 3 years old, she developed her passion for dance during a long journey, finding the possibility of applying classic techniques in the lines of social dance..

As a member of the “Foundation of Arts” and “Cia Solum Zouk” expanded her knowledge and worked as a volunteer teacher of Classical Ballet and Jazz for 10 years in the “Associação Solidariedança de Arte e Cultura”, where she also focused on dance as rehabilitation for the disabled, working beside the best Brazilian wheelchair dancers.

In 2020, she has traveled to more than 20 countries, going to the biggest events. She keep believing that dance is for everyone, without differences and showing that we’re all capable. Focusing in the well-being, making the social dance even more generous and pleasurable.

XANDINHO & MIRELLA – BRAZIL

XANDINHO & MIRELLA – BRAZIL

Dance professionals, lovers of movement and human body students, Xandinho and Mirella see consciousness and all its forms as a portal to communicate and express themselves in dance.
Fluidity, creativity, autonomy and presence are points explored both in the social dance and in the professional methodology of these teachers from the South of Brazil.
Xandinho and Mirella started working together in January 2023. Before this Xandinho was already a dancer and teacher specializing in zouk, an event producer and ballroom dance student since 2014. Mirella has a degree in physiotherapy and has studied the body and development since 2014. She began her dance studies through urban dances and since 2017 she has been teaching a range of different styles.
 
Now, with a beautiful partnership, Xandinho and Mirella are teaching ZOUK around Brazil and the world and will be with us in Zouk Central 2024!

SARAH & BRUNO – BRAZIL/AUSTRALIA

SARAH & BRUNO – BRAZIL/AUSTRALIA

Sarah and Bruno are 2 of the most loved and respected zouk instructors in Australia.

In 2017 Sarah & Bruno founded the latin dance school Bossa Latina,in Brisbane & started their dance partnership together. Since starting their partners, they have performed and instructed at Zouk Sensation – Singapore, Casa do Zouk, Sydney Latin Dance Festival, Sydney Spring Zouk Festival,the Sunshine Coast Latin Festival, Brisbane Zouk Festival, Brisbane Latin Festival,  Brazouky, Australian Dance Cup, Doudoule, New Zealand Salsa Congress, and regular local functions and events around Australia.

SARAH EVANS

Sarah is a professional choreographer, stage performer and dance instructor, with over 23 years of experience in dance and performing arts.

Sarah has lived with dance in her life for the past 23 years. She started ballet classes when she was just 2 years old at Sayers Dance Centre in Kenmore, Brisbane. For the next 17 years she completed her Royal Academy of Dance Examinations in Ballet.  As well as ballet, Sarah also studied and performed contemporary and Jazz styles.

For the last nine years Sarah has  been an instructor and  choreographer for ballet and jazz to students as young as 3 to the senior dancers.

With a strong interest in the academic study of health and movement, Sarah completed her Bachelor of Clinic Exercise Physiology at QUT, becoming an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA). 

During her studies she completed units focusing on areas such as Functional Anatomy, Exercise Psychology, Exercise Physiology, Exercise and Sports Nutrition’s, Motor Control, Biomechanics, Resistance Training and Sports Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation. She now runs strength and flexibility classes for ballet dancers.

After 17 years of ballet, Sarah discovered a new love in the world of dance! She was introduced to a starter Latin dance class at Rio Rythmics, in the wonderful West End area of Brisbane. Discovering the range of Latin Dance styles and distinctive music captivated Sarah, who immersed herself in learning a variety of styles including Brazilian Zouk, Salsa, Bachata, Samba de Gafieira, Samba no Pe, Bolero, Tango, Forró and Merengue.

In 2017 Sarah & Bruno founded the latin dance school Bossa Latina,in Brisbane & started their dance partnership together. Since starting their partners, they have performed and instructed at Zouk Sensation – Singapore, Casa do Zouk, Sydney Latin Dance Festival, Sydney Spring Zouk Festival,the Sunshine Coast Latin Festival, Brisbane Zouk Festival, Brisbane Latin Festival,  Brazouky, Australian Dance Cup, Doudoule, New Zealand Salsa Congress, and regular local functions and events around Australia.




BRUNO FERREIRA

Bruno is a professional choreographer, stage performer and dance instructor, with over 29 years of experience in dance and performing arts.

Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and immersed in the colourful, rhythmic culture, Bruno grew up with a keen interest in dance. At the age of 14 he joined Mimulus Dance School. Having a natural talent for dance, Bruno very quickly fell in love with it and knew that he wanted to pursue it professionally.

Mimulus Dance Company is one of the most renowned Latin Dance companies in Brazil. Within, a year of being a student with Mimulus, Bruno was performing in the Mimulus Dance Company amateur group and by the age of 18 was teaching a wide variety of dance styles. A few years later Bruno received his professional registration and began teaching, performing, choreographing, and directing in a professional capacity.

Over the 20 years dancing for Mimulus Dance Company, Bruno acquired distinguished talent in all popular Brazilian and Latin dance styles including: Samba no pe, Samba de Gafieira, Bolero, Soltinho, Tango, Cuban Salsa, Forro, Brazilian Zouk, Milonga, Lindy Hop, Waltz, Tango Waltz, Bachata and Merengue. He also had the opportunity to travel the world and perform with the company in numerous theatres, festivals, congresses and workshops across South America, The United States, Canada, and Europe. During this time, Bruno was awarded best male dancer of 2004 and 2010 by SESC-SATED/MG (The Syndicate of Artists and Technicians in Minas Gerais), best male dancer of 2004 by USIMINAS- SINPARC/MG (Syndicate of Producers of Performing Arts in Minas Gerais), and Nominated as one of the ‘Top 3 most influential dancers of the decade’ by SESC-SATED/MG in 2007.  

During this time, Bruno also completed a Bachelor of Physical Education and a Masters(POS GRADUATION) in Dance Pedagogy. This enabled him to further develop his knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. This in-depth understanding of how the body works differentiates Bruno from other dance teachers who may have only danced socially but may have little understanding of movement. Rather than just teaching a sequence of moves, it allows Bruno to have a deep understanding of co-ordination, transference of weight, and connection with the floor and your partner- all essential for learning correct technique. Most importantly it helps Bruno to teach in the safest way possible, helping his students look after their body’s individual needs and limitations.

 In addition, Bruno has complimented his latin dance training and education with  extended classes in circus skills, acting, acrobats, classical ballet, contemporary dance, contact and improvisation. All of which give him a better understanding of balance, coordination, flexibility, strength and connection .This extensive and eclectic mix of studies assisted Bruno in forming his own unique funky style.

He has completed his Latin Dance Judges Seminar and Certification with Billy Fajardo in 2018.

In 2017 Sarah & Bruno founded the latin dance school Bossa Latina,in Brisbane & started their dance partnership together. Since starting their partners, they have performed and instructed at Zouk Sensation – Singapore, Casa do Zouk, Sydney Latin Dance Festival, Sydney Spring Zouk Festival,the Sunshine Coast Latin Festival, Brisbane Zouk Festival, Brisbane Latin Festival,  Brazouky, Australian Dance Cup, Doudoule, New Zealand Salsa Congress, and regular local functions and events around Australia.

LEO – BRAZIL/CHRISTCHURCH

LEO – BRAZIL/CHRISTCHURCH

Leonardo Neves is one of the most well known Brazilian zouk instructors in the world, having been part of the first generation. He is the director & owner of Brazilian Beatz Dance Academy.

Leo began dancing at 8 years old as an after school program which is where his passion for Dance began. From this, Leo spent the next 6 years attending various dance schools in Rio de Janeiro, studying Bolero, Soltinho, Samba De Gafieira, Samba no pé, Lindy hop, Salsa, Forró, Capoeira, Tap dance, Contemporary, Ballet…

When he was 12 years old, Leo began learning from one of the Zouk creators; Renata Peçanha and Adilio Porto, in their Dance Company. Here Leo studied Brazilian Zouk, and other Brazilian and Latin Dance styles for 7 Years. Over this time he performed with the company at different events including Congresses and Theatres. He competed with various dance partners and won 1st Place in the “Onda Zouk“ Competition with his dance partner at the time; Vanessa Ferreira, Which was the first Brazilian Zouk Competition in Rio de Janeiro. After some time he became the dance partner of Renata Pecanha, travelling, teaching regular classes, Workshops, Congresses and performing with her across Brazil at the age of 15. 

From 2009 to 2012 Leo traveled both Nationally (in Brazil) and Internationally teaching and performing from small events to some of the biggest Congresses in the World With His dance partner at the time; Layssa Liebscher. 

At the beginning of 2013 Leonardo started his new partnership with Becky Crystal. They traveled all around the world teaching in many countries such as Czech Republic, Brazil, Ukraine, Netherland, Switzerland, Cyprus, USA, Australia, Bali, Singapore, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, Belgium, Austria, Croatia and many others, where they were invited by local teachers and organisers to help the local communities and teachers to grow with their dance. Leo also travels to give teachers courses around the world so the local teachers can grow their communities with quality . 

Leo is an instructor in Christchurch, New Zealand, teaching Brazilian and Latin Dance Classes at @brazilianbeatznz

DIEGO – BRAZIL/TAIWAN

DIEGO – BRAZIL/TAIWAN

Introducing Diego!!  With over a decade of experience in Zouk and Brazilian ballroom dance, Diego brings the electrifying rhythms of Rio to the dance floor. Trained at the prestigious Jaime Aroxa School in Rio de Janeiro, he’s now lighting up Taiwan with his passion and expertise and he now can’t wait to share this with our NZ community at Zouk Central!

SARA & JEFF – SYDNEY

sara and jeff

SARA & JEFF – SYDNEY

Sara and Jeff are zouk instructors for Zouk Unity in Sydney. They are adored in the Australasian zouk scene and have taught accros Australia at major events as well as Zouk Central in 2022.

Sara

Sara has been a regular instructor since 2013. She has performed and conducted workshops in several International dance festivals, namely Singapore International Latin Festival 2015-2017, Boracay International Dance Festival, Salsa Bangkok Fiesta 2016-2017, World Bachata Festival 2016, Afro Latin Festival 2017 & Zouk South East Asia Festival 2015-2017, 2019, Brisbane Zouk Festival 2018, Sydney Zouk Festival 2017, Casa do Zouk, Brisbane Zouk Festival, Zouk Central New Zealand.

She’s also focused on choreographing and training several Zouk teams ranging from beginners to advanced, where these team performances were selected to be the opening number of dance congresses and many other concert events.

Jeff

Jeff is an experienced zouk dancer of 10 years starting in 2010 and has been tutored and inspired by various international dance artist such as Arthur & Layssa, Kadu & Larissa, and Carlos & Fernanda throughout the years. He is an avid freestyle competitor and social dancer winning or placing in 6 intermediate finals and is keen to further share his love of the dance.

Jeff and Sara have won 2nd place in Strictly Jack and Jills together in Singapore Zouk Sensation. Together, Jeff and Sara are active community leaders in the Sydney Zouk scene, building social events, workshops, and choreographies, cultivating dance friendships under Zouk Unity Sydney Dance School. Their regular zouk team named “Balao Brothers Boneca Babes” has continued for over 5 exciting seasons and performed in multiple festivals and events around Australia, also winning 2nd place in the zouk team division in Brazouky Melbourne, Australia. 

 

JIMMY – BRISBANE

JIMMY – BRISBANE

Jimmy comes from Brisbane, the Zouk capital of Australia and has been a pillar of the Zouk community for the last 10 years. He has been a familiar face all across Australia and South East Asia with his role as a professional artist and DJ and finally has made his way across the ditch to NZ!

RHI – MELBOURNE

RHI – MELBOURNE

Rhi is known for her high energy and playful nature. She’s been dancing Brazilian Zouk since 2014 and is a dedicated dancer, lifelong learner and part of the wider Zouk community.
@DanceIM, Melbourne Australia. 
 
Rhi believes that Brazilian Zouk creates a feeling of being completely present in the moment – like meditation in movement, and loves to bring this energy into her teaching.

SHANNON AND TRAJANO – AUCKLAND/ARGENTINA

SHANNON & TRAJANO – AUCKLAND/ARGENTINA

Shannon and Trajano, are the Directors of Brazilian Dance Art, and their brand ZoukArt and this is their 10 year anniversary of running the dance school here in Auckland. They are well revered in the scene for their depth of dance knowledge, their ability to teach, their emotional performances and their ability to work with everyone.

As a dance partnership they started their dancing, performing and competing in Salsa, 12 years ago – until they then fell in love with Brazilian Zouk. They have since developed a strong brand for being highly competent and sought after Zouk and Gafieira teachers, choreographers, performers and judges, both nationally and internationally. They have trained with many of Brazilians finest Mestres (teachers) in Brazil, Europe and Australia. They have taught across many continents and continually strive to bring the most recent and up to date information to our workshops/classroom for the NZ students to benefit from! 
 
TRAJANO LEYDET
Trajano from Argentina has a strong background in acting, martial arts and trained in Capoeira for 4 years. Prior to moving to New Zealand he danced Cuban Salsa and Ballroom and he has since trained in contemporary, circus, acro, animal movement yet his main focus for the past 11 years has been in the Brazilian dances Brazilian Zouk and Samba de Gafieira.
 
SHANNON RING
Shannon from New Zealand, has a back ground training in her youth in American Jazz Ballet (for 8+ years) and is one of the Salsa dancers from the original NZ Salsa scene when she started in 1998 and has performed and competed in Salsa since. She has also developed in other styles: Contemporary, Latin Dancesport, Hip Hop – yet her main focus for the past 11 years has been in the Brazilian dances Brazilian Zouk, Samba de Gafieira and Samba no Pe.
 
We cant wait to be teaching you all across the weekend!

AUGUSTO & BEKAH – BRAZIL/NZ

augusto and bekah

AUGUSTO & BEKAH – BRAZIL/NZ

Augusto and Rebekah have joined forces for this years Zouk Central! These two are well known and loved across the New Zealand and Australian zouk scene as professional instructors and beautiful dancers.

Augusto
 
Augusto is from Brazil, has been social dancing for 11 years, and has been teaching a wide range of dance styles for 5 years now. He has attended congresses and festivals all over Brazil, and now lives in Dunedin. He runs Danca Latina in Dunedin and enjoys teaching at festivals around New Zealand and Australia.
 
Rebekah
 
Rebekah is based in Marlborough NZ and has been dancing Brazilian zouk for 7 years and teaching for 5. She has taught in Australia several times at major zouk congress’s and has run her own zouk school Zouk Fix for a number of years. She is also the co-producer of Zouk Central. Rebekah enjoys teaching how to unlock the enjoyment and beauty in Brazilian zouk through stability and creative expression.

KAT & YURI – CHRISTCHURCH

KAT & YURI – CHRISTCHURCH

Kat and Yuri are zouk powerhouses teaching for Brazilian Beatz in Christchurch. We can’t wait to have them at Zouk Central this year!

Yuri
 
Yuri started his dance journey in Christchurch, New Zealand, dancing Ballroom at the age of 8. Over the course of 2 years, he earned several first, second, and third placings in various competitions, as well as a variety of medals endorsed by the NZ Federation of dance teachers inc. Over the next 10 years he danced Ballroom intermittently while focusing on his schoolwork. 
 
Yuri then went to the University of Canterbury and in 2015 discovered the University Dance Club, UCanDance, which reignited his passion for dance. Through this club, he eventually discovered Brazilian Zouk, of which was taught as a 5-week specialty course. Seeing the artists’ final demo, he was immediately hooked and took on any opportunity to learn it – including participating in Christchurch’s contingent of the Worldwide International Zouk Day Choreography in 2015. During this time, he also joined Latin Fire – a Latin dance school in Christchurch, to further pursue other Latin dance styles, as well as perform and compete with their team. 
 
Soon after, with the opening of their new school Brazilian Beatz Dance Academy, Yuri joined Leo and Becky to study Brazilian Zouk, where he was eventually invited to join the Brazilian Beatz Teachers Team in 2017. Being a part of this team gave Yuri the opportunity to not only study Brazilian Zouk and the Latin dance styles in more depth, but also the opportunity to learn a myriad of other Brazilian styles of dance. It also gave him the opportunity to grow and develop his skills as a teacher, of which he continues to do to this day. As well as this, Yuri has also been developing his skills as a DJ – learning how to mix and play music to any crowd, and studying the theory behind the rhythms of different dance styles. 
 
Yuri has competed in Brazilian Zouk both nationally in NZ, and internationally in Australia and the USA. Over the years, he has gained many placings in Jack & Jill competitions, with the most recent being a first place at the 2023 One Zouk Congress in Adelaide, in the intermediate category. He has also placed first in the teams category with Brazilian Beatz, as well as first in the Brazilian Zouk open freestyle section with Kat Maxwell, both at the 2019 South Island Latin competition in NZ. 
 
Yuri has an extreme eye for detail, logic, and problem solving, as well as a strong ear for music. This, along with his many years of training with Leo and Becky, has given him a great passion in teaching dance – often giving emphasis to technique, musicality, and making any dance feel as natural and comfortable as possible.
 
 
 
Kat

Kat Maxwell ignited her passion for dancing in 2013 when she first discovered Brazilian Zouk. Already dancing Latin styles such as Salsa, Bachata and the Brazilian dance Samba De Gafieira since 2012 in Christchurch, she soon started training in Forro, Bolero, Soltinho, Funk, and Samba no Pe with Leo and Becky at Brazilian Beatz Dance Academy in Christchurch, NZ.

Kat is trained in education, she studied at the University of Canterbury in a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in Primary Education. This coupled with her training with Leo and Becky at Brazilian Beatz as their student since 2015, part of their team from 2016, and then as one of their teachers since 2017, Kat has extensive experience in teaching holistically, incorporating various learning styles into her pedagogy.

Training with Leo and Becky as part of their team at Brazilian Beatz has inspired her to take the skills and techniques she has learnt to competitions in New Zealand, Australia and Brazil. She has taught at Leo and Becky’s events; RioBeatz and Bachaotearoa along with other events throughout NZ, Australia and Bali.

At the beginning of 2020 Kat travelled to Brazil for 6 weeks of intensive training in Brazilian Zouk, to progress her own dancing and to bring back the information, flavour, and passion for her students. This trip saw her competing in the Rio Zouk Congress Intermediate Jack and Jill and completing her certificate in Renata Peçanha’s 2020 week-long Teachers Course. Since then, she has completed Kadu and Larissa’s Teachers and Judges training, and continues her mentorship with Leo Neves, teaching, attending classes, and training every week.  As she believes that being a teacher means being a student for a lifetime.

PETER & EMMA – AUCKLAND

PETER & EMMA – AUCKLAND

Emma and Peter are a well established teaching duo from Zouk Art, Auckland, and they are excited to be coming to join you all!

Emma started Salsa and Zouk over ten years ago, later adopted Samba de Gafieira into her life, and has loved dance ever since. She grew as a Zouk dancer performing in team choreographies, then developed her teaching skills at Zouk Art – celebrating a decade with ZoukArt in 2021. Emma further developed her performance skills with her dance partner Peter, wowing audiences with their connection, and debuted her first ladies team in 2022. She has a background in music, having played piano all her life, and now uses that expertise in her local DJing and helping students understand musicality.

Peter has an extensive background in various forms of martial arts; including Muay Thai Kickboxing, MMA, Brazilian Capoeira (which is a form of fight training and dance combined) and also has experience teaching kickboxing classes. Beyond this, he has been dancing Zouk for over 8 years with Zouk Art (and later Samba de Gafieira) and developing his dance teaching alongside Emma as well as his performance skills – in teams and in duets.

GWEN & ARKADI – AUCKLAND/FRANCE/ISRAEL

GWEN & ARKADI – AUCKLAND/FRANCE/ISRAEL

Gwen (France) and Arkadi (Israel) are a duo well known in New Zealand for their dedication to dance, their lighthearted demeanor, and humorous approach.

 

Brazilian Zouk Instructors at ZoukArt (Auckland) and eternal students, they have been training hard both as dancers and as teachers since partnering up 3+ years ago, which has been rewarded with high placements in recent Jack & Jill competitions in NZ as well as Australia.

 

With some years of Brazilian Zouk training under their sleeves, as well as background in other styles; Arkadi (Salsa, Ballroom, Latin Ballroom), Gwen (Kizomba, Salsa, Bachata, Gymnastics), they are very excited to further develop the Zouk Community with their experience, knowledge and dedication to Brazilian Zouk.

JACKSON & INGA – BRAZIL/TAURANGA

JACKSON & INGA – BRAZIL/AUCKLAND

Jackson has 11 years dance experience beginning in Brazil learning and teaching all Brazilian SALAO dance styles. Including Samba de Gafiera, Forro, Bolero, Soltinho and ZOUK as well as the popular international styles Salsa and Bachata. He moved to New Zealand just over 5 years ago and made he’s entry into the NZ dance scene where he studied and taught at Brazilian Beatz Dance Academy, Christchurch under Leo & Becky. Since then he has taught in a number of cities around NZ. With such a rich background and devotion to his culture he developed an authentic teaching style that showcases not only his love for dance but the people and community that he gets to extend his passion too. Inga has a background in Ballroom & Latin dancing whilst growing up. In 2018 she began her journey through Brazilian dance styles also under Leo & Becky at Brazilian Beatz studying Samba de Gafieira & ZOUK. She has also been privileged to dance under Gabriela Guimaraes at NZ’s Samba Passion studying and performing Samba no pe. Born in South Africa, Inga brings a unique appreciation of music, rhythm and movement. A true expression of her culture. Today Jack and Inga are committed to growing the ZOUK community in Tauranga NZ. Teaching and training together at their school 7&8 dance.

ADAM & GABRIELLE – WELLINGTON

ADAM & GABRIELLE – WELLINGTON

Adam began dancing Salsa and Bachata in 2007, and discovered Brazilian Zouk in 2010. Since then, he has learnt from the world’s top Zouk teachers, both in New Zealand and abroad. He has been teaching regular classes in Salsa, Bachata and Zouk with Salsa Therapy since 2012, and more recently under the WeZouk brand. He has extensive experience in dancing, teaching, choreographing, and performing these styles, as well as familiarity with Merengue, Bolero, Forro, Samba de Gafieira and even Polish folk dancing. His diverse experience gives Adam an excellent understanding of the fundamentals of partner dance and the techniques specific to each style.

With an extensive background in Ballet (18 years) and Jazz (5 years), Gabrielle discovered Zouk in 2018 after a 6-year break from dance. She attended regular classes with WeZouk and soon began travelling regularly to domestic and trans-Tasman festivals to further her development and training. Gabrielle joined the WeZouk teaching team in 2020 as a supporting teacher – assisting with fundamentals classes and teaching intermittent workshops – and is passionate about further fostering the kind and inclusive WeZouk community in Wellington. Gabrielle is also a talented pole dancer, competing regularly and teaching a variety of classes at Wellington’s Body Electric pole studio.

MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!