BRAZILIAN ZOUK DIRECTOR
Inspired by the movie "Shall We Dance?", Mr. Prada started dancing in 2004. However, it was only in 2006 that he really began to dive deep into dance as a work-study trainee of the Jaime Aroxa Dance School in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most prestigious dance schools in Brazil; which trained some of the most renowned dancers in the country. During his 6 years as a member of the school's team, he learned all Brazilian partner dances (Forró, Samba de Gafieira, Soltinho, Bolero and Zouk) and Argentine Tango.
As he matured more as a dancer, he found he preferred to focus less on the steps and more on turning partner dancing into a relaxing experience for the mind and body. In 2009, on his first visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was introduced to the authentic tango hug - the close embrace - and all of its complexity and power to create the ultimate feeling of “conforto, cuidado e entrega” - comfort, care and surrender. After that, he continued learning from other remarkable instructors in Brazil, including Fabiano Vivas, Kelly Reis, Érico Rodrigo, Guilherme Pimentel, Lídio Freitas and many others; and went on to research the close embrace and its application to all partner dances, with the purpose of conveying a sense of well-being and relaxation between dance partners.
Apart from dance, Mr. Prada also studied and worked as a tantric massage therapist. This work helped him to create a unique perspective of human nature, as well as gain a deep understanding of the capabilities of the human body. His investigation of the close embrace continued over the years, and through many sources both inside and outside of the dance world. These studies guided him to form a multidisciplinary understanding of dancing and connecting in close embrace as a healing and therapeutic experience. Due to its versatility in movement, music, speed and approach, Brazilian Zouk became the perfect dance to apply this concept and explore the possibilities, which he has been doing since 2016, when he attended the first Zouk Retreat in Valencia, led by Xandy Liberato, Brenda Carvalho and Anderson Mendes. After that, his research on partner dancing took a new direction, as he continued working with Brenda and Anderson to seek for the application of the concepts explored at the retreat in different ways by using the references of the other Brazilian partner dances and tantra. Currently, he continues to develop the idea of partner dancing as a true therapeutic experience, having the close embrace as the focus point.