Brazilian Latin dance professionals Kadu Pires and Larissa Thayane settled in Australia in 2007. They spend up to half of each year travelling – teaching, performing, choreographing and judging at the world’s most important Latin dance events and competitions.
Since 2007, they have toured extensively throughout Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Europe, North and South America. They have been instrumental in boosting the popularity of Brazilian zouk and samba de gafieira internationally. Their credits include competition wins and television appearances in Brazil and in Australia, including choreography for So You Think You Can Dance Australia.
During his 20-year dance career, Kadu built a reputation as one of the best young dancers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, before being recognised as a samba de gafieira and samba no pe dancer and instructor of reference for Brazil’s new dance generation. He has worked as a dancer, instructor and choreographer for high profile dance companies in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, including the Jimmy de Oliveira Dance Academy and Company and the Alex de Carvalho Dance Academy and Company.
Today they are based in Los Angeles – USA, where they began the K&L Teachers Training Certificate (K<T) and are working to improve the growth of Zouk in North America. They have also been dedicating time studying and competing West Coast Swing, their new passion. Kadu and Larissa placed on Showcase division at the US Open Swing in the last 3 years.
Larissa was born in Campo Mourao, Parana. At 14 years old she moved to Curitiba where she graduated at Escola de Danças Classicas Teatro Guaira in ballet and contemporary. She also joined the University of Dance (Faculdade de Artes do Parana). 4 years later Larissa got hired to work at the Youth Company of Rio de Janeiro Theatre where they performed all over Brazil. One of the highlights of her career was to perform at the Kennedy Centre with the National Symphonic Orquestra in Washington DC, USA.
Since 2007, they spend up to 46 weekends in the year travelling to teach, perform, choreograph and judge at the world’s most important dance events and competitions. They have been instrumental in boosting the popularity of Brazilian Zouk and Samba de Gafieira internationally. Their credits include competition wins and television appearances in Brazil and in Australia where they lived for 10 years, including choreographing for So You Think You Can Dance Australia and judging at the World Latin Dance Cup.
In 2013 they founded the K&L Dance School in Brisbane which taught over 200 students and Casa do Zouk congress in the Gold Coast, Australia which attracts over 500 participants every year!
In 2014 Larissa founded the Brazilian Zouk Dance Council (BZDC). The Brazilian Zouk Dance Council serves, supports, and promotes all aspects of Brazilian Zouk. BZDC encourages the growth of Zouk throughout the world. The Council is supported by its board of directors – Gilson Damasco, Renata Peçanha, Alex de Carvalho, Rodrigo Delano, Kadu Pires, Larissa Thayane, Rafael Oliveira, Jaime Aroxa, Phillip Miha and Freddy Marinho. In 2014 the first BZDC oficial Brazilian Zouk Jack and Jill took place at Casa do Zouk in Australia, since then registered competitions are gaining popularity all over the world.