Renata Peçanha is world renowned Latin Dance professional. Her Latin Dance academy was founded in 2000, of which she is the principle dancer, choreographer and director. It has become one of the most reputable and well known dança de salão academies in Rio de Janeiro and world-wide.
Dubbed the “Queen of Brazilian Zouk”, Renata is the most well known female Brazilian Zouk dancer in Brazil and needless to say, her academy specialises in Brazilian Zouk. Renata worked with Jaime Arôxa’s Company for 6 years, Brazil’s premier dance academy. She is a highly sought after instructor at Zouk congresses throughout Brazil and Europe, such as the International Congress of Brazilian Zouk in Porto Seguro and Zouk Lovers in Holland. As well as organising Zouk Lambada events such as Zouk’n Rio, and the International Congress of Brazilian Zouk in Rio de Janeiro, Renata has choreographed and danced for many reputable television shows and soap operas in Brazil.
K-yo has a very versatile background in dance. Before he was introduced to zouk, he was a dedicated participant in the salsa, bolero, forro, and samba dance scenes. K-yo fell into zouk in 2003 while in search for a new hobby before starting to solely focus on zouk three years later. After 6 months of immersing himself in the zouk life, he started to share his love for the dance with followers through music and teaching. As one of the main promoters of zouk worldwide, K-yo has taught several workshops in a vast array of cities: Miami, Toronto, Quebec, London, Zurich, Lisbon, and many more. Particularly in Brazil, K-yo has participated in workshops and conferences in Florianópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Uberiândia, Salvador, and Porto Seguro. Aside from his role as an instructor, K-yo also DJs. As a DJ, he has had the opportunity to play in major Zouk events in both Brazil and internationally. Because of his talents as a DJ, in 2012, he received the award for best DJ of the Swiss Zouk Zouk Festival in Zurich, Switzerland. K-yo is well recognized for his Soulzouk methodology of teaching moves in zouk. Soulzouk is centralized by 4 abstract concepts that bring dancers together for the best zouk experience: Connection, Contact, Comfort, and Fun. Currently, K-yo promotes 3 internationally known zouk projects in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia- DF: Ghetto do Zouk, Ghetto Premier, and International Festival of Latin Entertainment (F.I.E.L).
Aline Cleto & Charles Espinoza
Charles Espinoza was introduced to dance by his cousin in Brazil at the age of 15. Fascinated by the art form, Charles signed up for a Hip-Hop class at a local gym and hasn’t stopped dancing since. He has had the pleasure to train under such renowned industry names as Alicia Keys choreographer Luam, and other choreographers such as Tanisha Scott, Rhapsody, and Brian Nicholson. He has performed nationally and internationally in some of the most popular live and recorded shows, including “NBA All Star Game” with Ariana Grande, “EPura Commercial” with the latin artist Thalia, “Saturday Night Live” Cuban Christmas episode, and “Latino Night Celebration” at Madison Square Garden. He is currently teaching and choreographing in the New York area and training at Broadway Dance Center and several other studios. Charles’ Brazilian heritage continues to influence his dancing as his passion drives him to pursue his professional dance career in New York City and Los Angeles.
A professional dancer and choreographer since 2005, Aline (pronouced: “Ah lee nee”) participated in several Salsa, Zouk and Samba World Congresses held in São Paulo. In 2008, Aline won the National Championship of Ballroom Dancing in Florianópolis, “Baila Floripa”. In 2009, she became the first national tournament salsa champion, the “Salsa y Sabor” held by the Salsa World Congress in Brazil. Aline joined the Club Company “Latin Dance”, participating in shows “Nuances Latinas” (2008) and “Desires” (2009). Since then, she also worked in renowned institutions like the SESC, giving classes and performing shows. She has traveled last year with her former partner Jefferson Dadinho, teaching classes at the main zouk congresses in the world, among them, “Brazil Central” (2013-Australia), “Dutch Zouk” (2013, Netherlands), “Prague Zouk Congress” (2014-Czech Republic), and the “Carioca Brazilian International Dance Congress “(2013-2014 Russia), as well as teaching in the UAE, North America and the major Brazilian capital cities. Aline currently lives in New York City perfecting her English, and teaching classes for both Zouk and Samba de Gafieira.
Rachel Ramalho, Brazilian – is a Choreographer, Dancer, Teacher and Owner of Brazilian Ballroom Dance – Ramalho’s Dance Academy – RJ Ministering all rhythms. Aside from her specialty in Latin dancing, she also dedicated 11 years to ballroom dancing. Rachel is the director of two world dance congresses of Zouk, salsa and samba in Rio de Janeiro. Among many styles she teaches primarily Brazilian Zouk, Lambazouk, Samba de Gafieira, Forró, Argentine Tango and Brazilian Bolero. Rachel travels around the world teaching and doing performances in dance congresses and workshops.
After returning to his native California from the Marine Corps Atoro immersed himself in dance and has now been dancing for over 12 years. He has worked with multiple latin dance companies on the east and west coasts, is a trained ballroom instructor (Fred Astaire), and spent years studying with numerous American, European, and South American Zouk teachers, domestically and abroad. Over his career he has taught, performed, and DJ’d at Zouk and Latin congresses throughout the US. He has introduced a wide-range of danceable EDM to the American Zouk community and is a strong proponent of music that innovates and challenges. His personal style is an amalgam of elements from a number of dance schools, and falls within the greater umbrella of ‘Neo’. During his time in Washington D.C. he founded Zoukalma dance company (with his partners Amy ‘Rocores’ White and Ox) – the first home for Zouk in the city and the forerunner to the wonderful community there now. After moving to Atlanta to finish his egree, Atoro co-founded Zouk Atlanta (along with Eddie Bonnel, Matthew Krivanek, and Derek Merriweather), which would go on to become a thriving Zouk tribe and a source of great personal pride.
Atoro’s main focus in Zouk is the Suwai – the flow state achieved through silent mind, deep connection, and present-moment improvisation. His teaching emphasizes going beyond the repetition of patterns, to understanding the flow and soul of the movements.
Flavia De Marta
Flavia was born in a city on the coast of Venezuela. While she was living in Venezuela, she studied jazz and flamenco at Voil’s Dance School for 5 years until she emigrated to Spain. While in Mallorca, she studied modern dance. Flavia studied with the Salsa y Control group in Boston where she learned more technical skills of salsa on-one. In Italy, she studied salsa on 2 and Latin hustle. In 2012, she joined the Spiral Dance school of Barcelona and she obtained the Mzouk instructor certificate. Since then she has been teaching several regular and intensive Mzouk courses and sharing her passion with everyone in the dance floor.