About the Venue
Our Brisbane Samba Encontro workshops on Saturday/Sunday will be held at CUPO Dance Studios – 17 McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley.
The Australasian Samba Queen Competition will be held just around the corner at Cloudland – 641 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley from 6-8pm on Sunday July 7th.
About your Hosts
Sasha is a Brazilian culture lover who, over the last 10 years, has dedicated a lot of her life to travelling and studying in Brazil and its endless array of dance and music.
For Sasha, Brazil is a second home. Originally focusing on Samba No Pe, Brazilian Zouk and Samba de Gafieira, and training extensively in Rio de Janeiro under world famous masters, Sasha’s eyes were BLOWN open when she lived in Pernambuco and trained in Frevo, Maracatu, Ciranda and Coco! Here she gained insight into the depths of the history of Brazilian dance, and how it crosses over and entangles itself with other dance styles, many of which she now integrates into her Samba to create her very unique style.
Sasha believes Dance Culture is a holistic conversation and is constantly intrigued by where dance came from and what shapes its evolution. Her passion is performing to live music, educating her students on the roots of Samba and how to find their own unique way of expressing dance.
Residing on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Sasha is one of the directors and head dance instructor of Let’s Dance Latin Dance Academy in Maroochydore – the coasts’ premier Latin dance school, where students are not just exposed to dance, but the culture and history behind each style. She is also the proud of mum of 2 beautiful Aussie-Brazilian boys, who share her love of Brazilian music and dance too!
In 2017 Sasha was crowned first place at the very first International Samba Queen Competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sasha has recently returned from Salvador, Bahia where she participated in a month full time (Yes 9-5pm everyday!) summer course, furthering her studies of Afro Brazilian dance. Forever a student, with a never ending thirst to study more!
“Through studying dance culture, I understand myself and the world better.”
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Mishel grew up surrounded by dance, with her parents passing on their love of ballet and ballroom, however it wasn’t until her first trip to Rio de Janeiro in 2003 that she developed her passion for Brazilian dance.
Mishel has spent the past 15 years travelling back and forth to Rio, studying extensively under the guidance of Brazilian Samba Queens, developing exclusive business contacts with the Carnival industry and becoming fluent in Brazilian Portuguese. For the past 7 years she has conducted her Sambaliscious Rio Tours, which introduce foreigners to the magnificent city of Samba, culminating in a performance on a float as part of a samba school in the Rio Carnival parade.
In 2014, Mishel represented Australia as its very first Samba Queen of a float in the Rio Carnival, performing with Caprichosos de Pilares samba school, and followed with the role of Principal Destaque of the opening float for Paraiso do Tuitui in 2016. In 2017, Mishel performed as the very first Australian Muse in the history of Rio Carnival, performing on the Samba avenue in front of the first float of Rio’s oldest samba school, Estacio de Sa.
Mishel is the founder and producer of the Australasian Samba Queen Competition (Australia), the World Samba Congress and World Samba Queen Competition (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
Mishel has also studied other dance styles as Zouk Lambada, Samba de Gafieira, Flamenco, Salsa, Stiletto dance, Egyptian Belly dance and Hawaiian Hula, all of which have contributed to her very unique style. She has travelled the world and taught thousands of women to dance whilst inspiring them to be fit, healthy and confident. She is also a qualified Yoga instructor.
Mishel has a Bachelor of Languages and Linguistics, with a major in Japanese and minors in Spanish and French. She is a qualified English language instructor, and credits her university teacher training to helping her become an efficient, inspiring and vibrant dance instructor.