Meet Our Instructors

Tainah

Naby

Nadia

Samara

Elisita

Tainah Damasceno

Tainah Damasceno began dancing at the age of 3 with her mother, BrasArte founder Conceicao Damasceno. From age of 6 to 14 she studied classical ballet including 5 years at the San Francisco School. Reconnecting with her roots she began studying Brazilian folkloric and contemporary dances under various master teachers.

In addition to her role as artistic director of BrasArte, Tainah teaches samba no pe, samba afro and children’s Brazilian dance.

In her 10 years of teaching Tainah’s goal has been to offer an inclusive, safe space for expression, and to help dancers to immerse themselves into the joy and force that permeates Brazilian culture.

Naby Bangoura

Naby Bangoura learned traditional West African dance during village ceremonies and celebrations in his native Guinee. At age fifteen Naby started dancing professionally with Les Merveilles de Guinee. In 1998, Les Merveilles brought him to perform in the USA.

Known for his energetic and fluid dance style and soaring spirit, Naby has been performing and teaching high energy West African dance, Guinee style, at studios, schools and festivals around the world. Naby lives in Berkeley and has been teaching at BrasArte for over 20 years.

Nadia

Nadia began training as a gymnast at the young age of 5, which gave her the confidence to try many sports and pursue dance. She has explored jazz, tap, and hip hop, but she found her calling in Salvador Bahia Brazil in 2008 when she tried Capoeira, Afro-Brazilian dance and Samba for the first time.

She has been training capoeira for over 9 year has been pursuing her passion for Samba since 2012. In 2017 she competed at the USA national Samba King and Queen competition where she came in 3rd place winning the title of Diva Do Samba USA 2017/2018.

She had the honor of Parading in Brazil’s Carnaval in 2018 and looks forward to returning every year that she can!

Samara

Samara was born and raised in Brazil and she has a big passion for strength training as a form of therapy. She has worked with a variety of women all over the Bay Area improving weight loss, muscle gain, and postpartum recovery.

Elisita

A native of the Bay Area, Elisita grew up in the golden era of hip-hop. She began her love affair with Brazilian dance under the tutelage of Conceicao Damasceno, founder of BrasArte. Later she travelled to Brazil to study the dance and folkloric culture of the state of Bahia.

Elisita has danced, taught and performed with BrasArte for over 20 years. She has paraded and performed at numerous San Francisco Carnavals and Yemanja Festivals. She has also taught the children’s dance program at BrasArte. Elista is very much a part of the BrasArte family.

Her classes bring the energy (Axe) of the street dances of Bahia. She invites dancers to “leave your life at the door” and “free your hips and the rest will follow”.

Stephanie Emmanuela Da Silva

Stephanie Emmanuela Da Silva is the director & founder of Agua Doce Dance. A devoted dance artist who pursued an MFA in dance and choreography after becoming captivated with Afro-Brazilian dance and Samba. She immersed herself in the dance culture of Salvador from 2007-2012, living there as a student, a professional dancer, a teacher and a designer. She has been a student of and has danced for Rosangela Silvestre, Vera Passos and Paco Gomes since the early 2000’s, and became a certified Silvestre Technique Instructor in 2010. All of her work as a choreographer is influenced by her extensive cultural dance residency in Bahia. As a choreographer her mission is to share her lived body’s experiences founded in the deep appreciation and discovery of traditional, contemporary, modern, and popular dances of Brazil.

Shaiane Duarte

Shaiane Duarte was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She moved to the United States in 2012. She travels to Brazil every year to continue her education in dance and also, to spend time with her family, making sure that she stays connected to her country’s rich culture and to her heritage. Shaiane has worked as a choreographer for TV Shows and concerts. All of her work as a dance instructor and choreographer is influenced by her background in Jazz, ballroom and belly dancing. She also uses her experience as a Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer to make sure that the students are having a safe and meaningful work out. Her experience as a performer and instructor of Salsa dancing, Bachata, Kizomba, Samba and Forró has helped her create a fun and exciting environment to dance and help others live a healthier and fulfilling life.

Giulia and Giovana Sales

Giulia and Giovana Sales are artists from the Brazilian dance scene. They began their careers in social projects located in the city of São Vicente. Creators of cultural and artistic projects in their country. The guiding source of his work is research on the interculturality of bodies and the search for ancestral movement. In the summer of 2019 they received a scholarship to attend Peridance Center summer program in New York City, and they graduated from the Alonzo King Lines Ballet training program in 2023. Since then, they have worked with various artists/companies in the Bay Area scene, most recently with Robert Moses’ KIN.

Anisah Abdullah

Anisah Abdullah, Bay Area Native and Afro-Indigenous Artist, was raised in Oakland, CA. She is a Professional Dancer, with a foundation in Afro-Brazilian Dance, Classical Ballet, Aerial Dance, and Turf Dance. She has been performing since her youth, and teaching youth throughout the Bay Area, for over 10 years. Anisah now uses these lineages to inform her street dance, visual, and performance art. She’s worked for the past 8 years as a Childbirth Doula and Advocate and holds a certification as Basu (teacher or keeper of Ancient Egyptian Yoga). It is Anisah’s mission to portray movement, spoken word, and illustration as medicine for the heart, soul, and bones.

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BrasArte is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Our mission is to preserve Brazilian culture through dance, music, culture, and connection.

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