JAMILDO ALENCAR (Dancer) was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in 1983 where he began his dance career with the study of capoeira. In 1996, he worked with the Projeto Axé, in 1999, he joined the Gicá Young Dance Company directed by Marcelo Moacyr and in 2001, he joined the Balé Teatro Castro Alves. He has been with DanceBrazil since 2008.

JUNIOR COSTA (Capoeirista – aka Frajola) was born in São Paulo, SP, Brazil and began his Capoeira training in 1996 with a neighborhood group where he eventually became an assistant instructor. He later studied with Contra Mestre Guerreiro, Mestre Apache and most recently with Mestre Jelon. He has much experience teaching children capoeira, has participated in many capoeira competitions, winning the championship of the Goias Cup in 2007 and 2008.

WILLIANS FERREIRA (Dancer) began studying dance in public school where he learned the basics of jazz and ballet. He then was accepted into FUNDAC (High School for Performing Arts) where he studied Afro-dance and contemporary dance for four years, while continuing his ballet training. While he was at FUNDAC, he had the opportunity to travel to the US. His dancing has also taken him to Turkey, Greece and Austria.

JORLAN GAMA (Dancer) was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and began his study of dance at Project Living with Art Foundation Cultural Institute (ICEIA). He continued his dance training at the FUNCEB, a high school for performing arts. In 2011, he danced with Sarau do Brown (Carlinhos Brown) and also participated in the selective Grand Prix in Santos, Sao Paulo and the American Grand Prix in New York with Lúmina Dance Company.

JADSON NASCIMENTO (Capoeirista – aaka Sorriso) is twenty-six years old and started studying Capoeira when he was ten. He joined Balé Folclórico da Bahia in 2007 and performed with the company until 2010. This is his second year with DanceBrazil.

JOELY SILVA’s (Dancer) dancing career started in 2004 with her studies at the Liceu de Artes e Ofícios da Bahia and the Escola de Dança da Fundação Cultural. She has danced with Folkloric Show Coliseum, Ballet Folclórico of Bahia, Jorge Silva Dance Company, Ballet of the Teatro Castro Alves, Robson Correia Dance Company and Interart. She toured with Brazilian music star Ivete Sangalo for two years and also appears on one of her CDs. This is her first year with DanceBrazil.

ALISSON AUGUSTO SILVEIRA (Capoeirista – aka Pião) was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, where he started his Capoeira training at the age of four with Mestre Jelon. As well, as performing with DanceBrazil, Mr. Silveira has toured internationally throughout Europe and Africa with popular performing group Magic Life as a Capoeira solo performer, a special guest at Project Exchange in Bahamas and has appeared on the Miami TV program, South Beach Towing. This is Mr. Silveira’s third year with DanceBrazil.

LUÍZ ALBERTO SANTANA (Capoeirista – aka Vagalume) was born in Encarnaçào de Salinas, Bahia, Brazil, where he studied Capoeira with Mestre Jelon in a special program created by the Instituto de Artes Urbana da Bahia and DanceBrazil. Mr. Santana holds the rank of Instructor and today he is the leader of Instituto de Artes Urbana da Bahia under the supervision of Mestre Jelon. In 2005, he began working with DanceBrazil as an understudy and participated in a conference for young people organized by UNICEF in Trinidad. He was a special guest at Project Exchange in Bahamas and has also danced with Balé Folclórico da Bahia. This makes Mr. Santana’s seventh year with DanceBrazil.

ARISMAR SOUZA JUNIOR (Dancer) is from Salvador, Bahia. His dance training includes four years of study with Bale Folclórico da Bahia in Salvador. He has also toured internationally with the company for two years. For the last three years, he has toured with pop singer Daniela Mercury.

KAMILAH SHAWNTÉ TURNER (Dancer) was born in Oxford, England but grew up in Virginia where she began her dance training at Diggs School of Dance. She attended college at the North Carolina School of the Arts but received her BFA from Alvin Ailey/Fordham University. She apprenticed with Urban Bush Women and performed with the national tour of Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida” and danced with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble for five years. She has also studied capoeira for five years with Capoeira Luanda with Instructor Gaviao and Graduado Vampiro.

Photo by Sharen Bradford – The Dancing Image