NOTE: The dancing in the following videos are NON-CHOREOGRAPHED, lead and follow demos.



Bruno and Raiza are considered 2 of the most adored Brazilian zouk dancers and teachers the world has had since the inception of the dance form.

In 2012, Bruno and Raiza met when Raiza started Bruno’s zouk classes. Together they developed a way to adapt Classical Ballet into social dance in the form of Brazilian Zouk. In 2018 they decided to start a partnership, mixing influences from different dance styles and seeking to format a solid teaching structure to enable not only dancers but also teachers to spread their methodology. Up until this day they have taught in more than 20 countries where they left their mark with shows, classes, choreography and professionals training. Bruno and Raiza love dance but more than this they love people. Their aim is to teach people the ability to enjoy a better quality of life and an appreciation of the present time.

Bruno Galhardo

Known worldwide as arguably the GOAT of Brazilian zouk leads, his videos sometimes garner more than a million views. Bruno has taught in over 30 countries, across the four corners of the globe, sharing his love for dance partnership at the biggest world events. Always offering the best of himself and seeking to give everyone a little taste of the Brazilian culture, he was taken by the affection of others in the worldwide zouk scene as well as the learning he obtained through the different cultures that he discovered, providing him with great professional and personal growth.

His dedication to Brazilian zouk is based on solid a 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

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

As a member of the “Foundation of Arts” and “Cia Solum Zouk” , Raiza 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”. Here,  she also focused on dance as rehabilitation for the disabled, working beside the best Brazilian wheelchair dancers.

In 2020, Raiza traveled to more than 20 countries, teaching at the biggest events alongside Bruno. She continues to believe that dance is for everyone, regardless of the different hurdles we each have, and focusses on well-being, making social dance even more pleasurable.



Lui and Larissa are two young Brazilian Zouk instructors from São Paulo who are recognized worldwide for their incredible skills and effortless flow in both dancing and teaching Brazilian zouk. With an organic and innovative approach, they promote studies that contribute to Brazilian Zouk reaching new levels.

Their mission is to contribute to a happier and more empathetic society through art. They work to spread what they learn with lightness and love.

Focusing on non-choreographic methods, our classes follow a constructivist model, where learning takes place through individual discovery. In our classes, we prioritize the sharing of tools, which allow dancers to express their individuality, while connecting to their partner and the culture of Brazilian Zouk.

Among our various theoretical studies are topics such as counterbalance, frame and connection, head movements and time distribution of the steps, resulting in technical discoveries that are shared with joy and passion.

Who are our classes for?

People who wish to expand their relationship with zouk through:

-Efficiency: Achieving the desired results in a smart and cohesive way.

-Comfort: Providing you and your partner with warm and pleasant movements.

-Esthetics: Materialize on your body the esthetics, plasticity, and form that you wish.

-Structure dominance: Understand and explore the communication structure of zouk and from there develop the freedom to express yourself.

– Culture: Connect deeply with the Brazilian zouk culture.

– Flow: Constantly find that magical moment when you disconnect from the world outside and maintain such concentration that time seems to disappear.



Walter and Lari are celebrated Brazilian zouk artists, touring all over the world and representing some of the best Brazilian zouk has to offer.

Walter and Larissa’s partnership started in january 2021 when they discovered a common purpose in their dance. They believe that dance is an instrument of transformation in the lives of many people, far beyond techniques, movements, conduction’s and embellishments; “this art associates intelligence and body expression in non-verbal communication between two people, and only then do we go from being mere performers of movements to dancers who feel not only themselves, but also empathize with each other.”

Walter Fernandes

Dance educated by the Jaime Aroxa dance school, Walter started his dance studies at 15 years old in the social project directed by Escola de Dança Jaime Aroxa called “Well from the head to the feet” in Rio de Janeiro. In 2012 he joined as a dancer at CIA Dom, a samba de gafieira dance group directed by Patrick Carvalho, winning in 2015 the Gafieira Brazil – group category. Walter dedicated himself simultaneously to samba de gafieira and to Brazilian zouk, which made him a stunning professional with excellence in both areas. He taught classes in both dance styles on an 8-month tour around Russia, Israel, Siberia, Finland and Belarus. The first of many tours that came in sequence, accounting for more than 16 countries where he has shared his dance. Walter is responsible for the introduction of Brazilian zouk in the community of Israel, which today is known as “Zouko”. Currently he travels the world teaching classes, performing shows and participating in competitions.

Larissa Secco

Larissa earned a bachelor degree in physical education from the Federal University of Santa Catarina. She has dedicated 16 years to technical training in ballet, jazz and contemporary classical dances and in 2014 she started her studies in ballroom dancing. Since then Larissa has dedicated herself to being a Brazilian zouk dance teacher and dancer. In Florianópolis / SC, she taught Brazilian ballroom dance classes to the university student population as an extension project at UFSC. Lari developed and coordinated research in dance pedagogy, students psychological factors, and using results to optimize students learning and experience the Brazilian zouk dance. She currently travels nationally and internationally, giving workshops and performing in partnership with Walter Fernandes.



Leo and Becky are world renowned Brazilian Zouk artists based in Christchurch New Zealand. They are the owners and directors of Brazilian Beatz Dance Academy and regularly teach at congress’s and events all over the world and around New Zealand, helping zouk communities grow and flourish.


Leonardo Neves is one of the Directors & owners of Brazilian Beatz Dance Academy. He started dancing at 8 years old as an after school activity and this is where his passion for Dance began. From here 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 and Forro.

When he was 12 years old, Leo began learning from the Zouk creators; Renata and Adilio, in their Dance Company. Here he studied Brazilian Zouk, and other Brazilian and Latin Dance styles for 7 Years. Over this time Leo 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, and at 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, The Netherlands, 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 organizers to help the local communities and teachers grow with their dance. Leo also travels with Becky Crystal 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, specialising in Salsa, Bachata, Brazilian Zouk, Forró, Samba No Pé, Kizomba, Boléro, Soltinho, Samba De Gafieira, Merengue, Funk, Axé, Lambada and other dance styles.

He studied 3 years of Tap dance, Ballet, Contemporary, contact & Improvisation, Capoeira and other styles.

At Brazilian Beatz we have an incredible team of dance instructors, come along and meet them at our next beginners dance class!


Becky Crystal is one of the Directors & owners of Brazilian Beatz Dance Academy.

She began dancing in High School where she studied Dance as a Subject, learning to Choreograph, Document and Videograph different styles of dance. Becky then went into Latin American Dancing at Colleen Murray Dance Studio and during this time she studied a little of Samba, Jive, Cha Cha Cha, and Rumba in the Latin American Genre. She competed in local Dancesport competitions in her level and made a placing in every competition. Within 10 months of training Becky competed in one of the biggest dance competitions in New Zealand in 30 years the ISDF. The same day she was selected to go to Australia to dance on a television program called ‘Strictly Dancing’. After a few competitions over a number of years Becky started dancing more of the Street Latin Styles, studying Salsa, Street Cha, Merengue and Bachata and performing and competing for some years in these styles. In this time she entered into the South Islands (Teachers Level), the Nationals (Professional level) and even started a Bachata Team which she trained and took to the New Zealand Pacific Salsa Congress. Her team was selected to Perform in Australia at the Sydney Salsa Congress.

Becky then became interested in Brazilian dance styles and traveled to Brazil to expand her knowledge in these styles of dance. During this time she taught on a Cruise ship event organized by ‘World Salsa Tours’.

At the beginning of 2013 Becky started her partnership with Leonardo Neves. They travel 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, Denmark, Croatia and many others. They are invited by local teachers and organizers to help the local communities and teachers to grow with their dance. Becky also travels with Leo to give teachers courses internationally so the local teachers in their countries can grow their communities with quality.

Becky Teaches Brazilian and Latin Dance Classes as an instructor in Christchurch, New Zealand. she specializes in Salsa – Bachata – Brazilian Zouk – Forró -Samba No Pé – Kizomba – Boléro – Soltinho – Samba De Gafieira – Merengue – Lambada and other dance styles.



Kat and Yuri are adored by the Australasian zouk scenes as beautiful dancers and highly skilled teachers. Having developed their skills under the mentorship of world renowned zouk instructors Leo and Becky, they are about to take the zouk world by storm!


Yuri started his dance journey in Christchurch, New Zealand, dancing Ballroom at the age of 8. Over the course of 2 years, he qualified for silver medals in both Latin and New Vogue with high commendations for the NZ federation of dance teachers inc., along with many first, second, and third placings. Over the next 10 years he danced Ballroom intermittently while focusing on his schoolwork.

Yuri then went to the University of Canterbury, and it was there in 2015 that he discovered the University Dance Club, UCanDance, which reignited his passion for dance – this time in Street Latin styles such as Salsa, Bachata, and Rueda. This eventually led to his discovery of Brazilian Zouk 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 zouk – including participation in Christchurch’s contingent of the Worldwide International Zouk Day Choreography. During this time, he also joined Latin Fire – a Latin dance school in Christchurch, to further pursue Salsa, Bachata, and Cha Cha, 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 Team, and then the Teachers Team in 2017. Being a part of this Team at Brazilian Beatz gave Yuri the opportunity to not only study the Brazilian styles of dance such as Brazilian Zouk, Samba de Gafieira, Samba no Pe, Bolero, Forro, Soltinho and Funk, but also the opportunity to grow and develop his skills as a teacher. As well as this, Yuri has also been developing his skills as a DJ over the past few years – learning both how to mix and play music to any crowd, as well as 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. In 2018, he was awarded third place in the Novice category of the international competition Jack & Jill, from which he progressed to Intermediate. He then placed first in the team’s 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. 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 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. She has since added Cha Cha and Contemporary as an addition to her repertoire.

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 taught at Leo and Becky’s Brazilian Zouk Intensive Training Event; RioBeatz in 2019 and 2021, and is looking forward to teaching there again in 2022, along with other events throughout NZ and Australia.

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 and Becky, teaching, attending classes, and training every week.  As she believes that being a teacher means being a student for a lifetime.



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 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 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!



Emily and Augusto are well known and loved across the New Zealand zouk scene as professional instructors and amazing dancers.

Emily and Augusto started their partnership in 2019. They teach and compete together all-around New Zealand, and recently won 1st place at the Salsa Open Freestyle during the South Island Latin Championship. They also organized the Dunedin Zouk Intensive and the Dunedin Latin Fest, which are big dance events gathering artists and participants from the whole country.

Emily started dancing at a very young age, training and competing in Ballet and Jazz for many years. She started dancing Salsa and Bachata about 13 years ago, and over time trained in a wide variety of other styles. Emily has been teaching many of these styles at her busy dance school, Salsa Club Dunedin, for 6 years now, and also owns and runs a dance school for children. 
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 teaches many styles at Salsa Club Dunedin and enjoys teaching at festivals around New Zealand.



Phoebe is a highly accomplished Brazilian zouk dancer and instructor. Having danced and taught for over 10 years all over the world and learnt from some of the worlds top zouk artists, she has a wealth of knowledge to share.

Phoebe has been dancing since she was 3 years old and teaching Brazilian Zouk for 8 years. She has travelled extensively, learning from the best in the industry so that she can help to grow the quality of dance in New Zealand. Phoebe is an integral part of the zouk community in New Zealand and is passionate about sharing this beautiful Brazilian dance with others.

Phoebe has over 10 years-experience in event organization. Originally from New Zealand, she spent 6 years in London at Warner Music, known as one of the “big three” recording companies in the world. While there, she was involved in producing events with artists such as Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Oasis, Dua Lipa, and many others. Phoebe was also part of a team organizing the annual Brit Awards and subsequent Warner Music after party, attended by the best in the music and film industry. Zouk Central is her biggest focus in recent years, and she is determined to deliver an event to the same standard and quality that she has produced in the past.



Dance Physiotherapist  BHSc (Phty), NZRP, Cred. MDT, Nat. Dip. Dance

Sophie Ryan is a dance physiotherapist, dance conditioning tutor and dance educator located in Wellington, NZ.

As a dance physiotherapist, Sophie works with all dancers, from recreational and pre-professional dance students through to dance teachers, and has treated professional dancers who have performed with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Ballet Collective Aotearoa, Opera Australia, Footnote, Java Dance and the New Zealand Dance Company, as well as freelance artists.

Sophie is a graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) and an ex-professional dancer. As well as completing her physiotherapy degree, she undertook an apprenticeship with Dance Pilates (creators of Movitae) where she worked for four years.

After moving to Wellington, Sophie became a part of the Health Team at NZSD, and over a five year period, she held the position of Dance Conditioning tutor, delivered workshops and in services to students and staff, conducted NZQA level assessments and provided individualised clinical rehabilitation of complex injuries. Sophie continues to teach Dance Conditioning, Pre Pointe and Pointe Foundations classes at Wellington Dance Academy.

Sophie has dedicated much of her career to working in dance performance, dance health and dance education. Sophie is continually undertaking ongoing professional development, and is very grateful for Lisa’s educational courses due to their attention to detail, relevance and functionality, and for their direct real world application to her dance physio clients and dance conditioning students.



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.



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.



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.