Rashmi Becker, Founder & Director 

I was born in London and started out as a competitive ice skater and began dancing to help my skating. As the younger sister of a brother with Autism and learning disabilities, I became aware of the benefits of dance from an early age as music and movement were a fantastic way for us to connect and for my brother to communicate, mange his anxiety, to develop coordination and to just feel free.

As an adult I began working with people with learning disabilities and continued to see the benefits of dance as well as recognise hidden talent. I became involved in various advocacy activities to support disabled people to have a voice and to have the same opportunities to participate in society as everyone else. I continued to dance socially throughout my adult life, developing a love of Latin and Ballroom dance. In 2012 I performed in the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games which was an amazing experience that drew a diverse community together in celebration.

In 2013 I became a Board Member of the English Federation for Disability Sport and in 2016 a Patron for a wheelchair dance charity. Both roles reaffirmed my commitment to improving opportunities for disabled people to be active, included and to be able to dance, compete and perform alongside their non-disabled peers. I also began performing at community and charity events and saw how much people enjoyed dancing or wanted to dance but had few opportunities to do so. The turning point came when I enabled two ladies with disabilities to realise their dream to dance by performing at a black-tie ball and I knew this needed to be the norm not the exception.

 

Dance Practitioners: Ballroom & Latin

 

Anna Alvarez
A dancer, teacher and choreographer I have been dancing since I was three years old, studying The Royal Ballet method. I developed my education in the performing arts through youth theatre groups and then continued my dance education with D.N.I Tango in Buenos Aires. I went onto study contemporary dance at The Faculatade de Dança Angel Vianna in Rio de Janeiro, followed by an apprentice with Cia de Dança Deborah Colker.

I specialise in Latin Dance, and Argentine Tango. I have extensive international experience and have performed in musical theatre and was part of the teaching team for the BBC Strictly dance professionals. I accredit all I love about dance to Tango and Samba, my “first loves”. I have supported people with different needs and abilities to dance and have set up a Tango-Autism project which uses the communication and connection qualities of Tango to engage people with Autism.

 

Sergio Brilhante
I am a Ballroom and Latin professional with over 20 years’ experience. I am qualified at Licentiate level with the ISTD and Associate level with the IDTA. Originally from Portugal, I began dancing at the age of 11 and soon fell in love with the many rhythms that Ballroom and Latin have to offer. I began my competitive career at the age of 15 and was three-time Portuguese amateur champion and professional Latin vice champion. 
 

In 2008, after graduating in Clinical Psychology, I moved to London as a competitor and full time dance teacher. I love teaching people of all levels and abilities from social dancers and wedding couples to people wanting to take exams and compete. I am passionate about inclusive dance and made history by becoming the first ever same sex partnership to dance in a professional UK competition. 
 

Nuno Sabroso
Born in Lisbon, I began ballroom and Latin dancing at the age of 9 when I also entered my first competition. I continued to train and compete until the age of 18 when I became interested in the broader performing arts and completed a BA in Dance. For my final year project I created a performance with disabled dancers which included wheelchair users and people with learning disabilities.


In 2009 I was approached by Daniele Oliveira, a wheelchair dancer who wanted to compete. I had not had any experience of competitive wheelchair dancing, however after just a few years of dedicated training, we were in the world top three rankings, competing and performing all over the world. In 2013 I was ready for a new challenge and moved to London as a teacher performer and choreographer. In 2015 I was invited to be a judge and choreographer for the TV show Dancing with the Stars in Panama. This was an amazing experience and allowed me to experiment with different styles and ideas. When the season ended I returned to London, committed to enabling people of all abilities to enjoy Latin and Ballroom dance.

 

Roswitha Wetschka
Originally from Vienna, Austria I am a Latin and Ballroom teacher and choreographer with more than 20 years’ experience supporting children and adults to dance. I am committed to inclusive dance having supported people with different needs to enjoy dance whatever their goal – whether social, to perform, pass exams and compete. I love interacting with people and my knowledge of dance technique, body, mind and movement informs my creative and fun-focused teaching approach.
 

 

I have a Master degree in Psychology and am a Licentiate member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, UK. I am also former European Champion in Latin American Dances, Women Seniors.

 

Dance Practitioners: Beyond Ballroom
We know people enjoy learning a range of styles and different dances compliment each other. We have talented professionals in other dance forms including contemporary, street, jazz and musical theatre.

 

Shakti Gomez

I am a performance and visual artist working across different disciplines including dance, performance, film, and photography. In 2008 I graduated with a Professional Dance Diploma from the Laban Institute of Contemporary Dance, followed by accreditation as a Community Dance Practitioner with East London Dance. I also have a Masters in Performance Making from Goldsmiths University.

 

I have extensive experience delivering inclusive dance for disabled and disadvantaged people in education and community settings  and teach a variety of styles including contemporary, jazz, flamenco, African, and physical theatre. I have worked with a number of respected dance companies in the UK and internationally. For example I was awarded a choreographer’s residency with the Seoul Dance Centre, South Korea and an artist’s residency with Hospitalfield in Scotland.
 

Ellen Hunter
I have been dancing since I was 3 years old in a wide range of styles, from ballet and tap to hip hop and musical theatre. I teach in all these styles and have worked extensively both with children and with young adults with learning difficulties in a performing arts context.

 

As a dancer, I have performed at the World of Dance in Los Angeles, Lake Garda in Italy, and at a variety of London venues including Sadler's Wells, the Barbican, Stratford Circus, Rich Mix and the Olympic Stadium. I have also acted regularly at the South London Theatre, and have sung in the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican and in many other venues across London and the South East. I am also part of the all-female hip-hop group Myself UK Dance Company.

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