Marta Ribeiro Scott
If you want an impassioned and authentic glimpse into the backstreets of Rio and the euphoria of carnival then just talk to Chris Bicourt, aka “Chris do Funk”. A specialist in samba culture and history, Chris’s unique background (which includes 9 years of Capoeira, and 4 years leading tour groups around Brazil) has seen him work as a ‘samba expert’ for companies such as Nucleus Films and Red Bull, including being a commentator on the first ever live English broadcast of the Rio Carnival. With over 12 years as one of the few professional male samba dancers in the UK, he has performed at various high profile gigs including for the Royal Family of Qatar, and on the BBC, ITV and Channel 5. Chris has been heavily involved with London School of Samba since 2004 and has proposed and helped develop several carnival themes. He’s also been a trustee, director of Harmonia, head of the comms committee, a member of the design review panel for carnival and artistic director (‘carnavalesco’) in 2010. He brings an element of theatre and improvisation to his classes which will transport you away from the grey London days and help you develop your own style and personality, as well as confidence, in samba dance.
Contemporary, B-Girl, dancing Salsa and Samba since 2000, her dream is to put real high-level Latin Dance in the Theatre. Performance experiences include Russell Maliphant Company, Guarini Dance Company, Southpaw Company, Olympics Opening Ceremony, Breakin’ Convention, Adidas, Wendy Houston’s ‘Stupid Women’ & Austin Shaw Productions. Ella was selected as Passista for Rio Carnival (Algeria Da Zona Sul) in 2006 & was Rainha da Bateria for London School of Samba in 2008. She established Element Arts in 2007 and Ella Mesma Company in 2011. She also produces Roots of Rumba an annual Festival at Richmix, London. Recent work ‘Ladylike’ was created in November 2015 with the support of Arts Council and Yorkshire Dance and Casa Festival International. In 2016 Ella Mesma was a Bench fellow (Tamsin Fitzgerald-2Faced Dance Company) and is Associate Choreographer at Dance City in Newcastle. Other works include Ajé, created in 2014, Ecdysis 2012 and Evol 2011
Winner of the Best Brazilian Dance Teacher Award at the 2015 Lukas Awards
Founder and Artistic Director of Beleza Brighton Samba Social Enterprise, Brazilian Samba dance instructor and Choreographer.
Please note we schedule workshops at least 3 months ahead.
Michela Di Felice (Baile Funk)
Michela is a professional artist from Italy with more than 10 years of experience in
the scene. She is known for her wide versatility in many styles (jazz,
contemporary, street dances, dancehall, commercial, salsa, samba, afro styles,
Her training started in Italy, then Paris and Bruxelles influenced by Europe’s top
choreographers; she also studied in NY, L.A. and finally London where she joined
one of the most influential street dance companies in the UK, Boy Blue
Entertainment. She stepped into the UK samba scene where she trained and
gained a lot of experience working in London and abroad, she also trained with
Brazil’s finest teachers and experienced training BAILE FUNK in Rio’s favela. She
also developed her own style fusion of samba and house which she teaches
Her work experiences vary from music videos, live shows, TV, movies, theatre
productions, modelling and corporate events as a dancer, assistant choreographer
Some Credits: MOBO AWARDS Fuse ODG, Tinie Tempah, Deborah Cox, BBC
Radio 1 Teen Awards, MTV’s Plain Jane, Channel 4 Comedy Gala Show, Jaxx
Jones “SNACKS” Tour, MTV “Plain Jane”, “Doctor Strange 2”
She started to teach early in her career and her vast teaching experience reflects
the vibe of her classes: fun, knowledge and quality.
Recently she has been working closely to communities, as she believes this is
where her heart and purpose with dance lies – to help, empower and educate people, while giving them a great time.
The Performance Bateria are the group of drummers who are chosen (by invite only) to perform at most of live audience events our organisation encounters as the London School of Samba (LSS).
This group is an invite only group. At the LSS we generally look towards recruiting from developing guests and members attending our open workshops on Sundays at Waterloo Action Centre (WAC) or people we've encountered elsewhere in the world playing samba and have relocated to London. But if you are new to the LSS but have some previous samba experience you'd like to join the gigging bateria, simply come and meet us at WAC on a Sunday and either let a bateria director or the mestre de bateria know you're interested and we'll have a look at your skills there and your community spirit and let you know when we reach a decision.
Either before or after you see us at WAC, email us you intention at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the performance bateria known as the 'gigging bateria' you will be expected to learn more about swing, groove,bossas (breaks) and their relation to various LSS acoustic sets, to learn sambas from the school of past and present as well as some chosen samba from schools from Brazil (in Portuguese) and choreography to aid the performance (something we pride ourselves on). In addition to this we encourage you to increase you general samba knowledge, keep up to date with current samba news and learn about samba's history (although that will be taught school wide) and learn portuguese (even if it's only a little bit).
If you're not initially selected it generally because we feel you have to work on technique, memory or something else there are still opportunities to perform with the samba school in front of a live audience. We hold 3 or 4 performances a year where we invite any member of the samba school to join us for these public performances at events such as the 'London Marathon' or the 'Vitality 10k' and is a great way to bring everyone in the school and other samba friends together. The aim is for each individual to be able to handle the pace of gigging bateria rehearsals and not feel overwhelmed or muddy the collective sound of the bateria.
From no samba experience to fully fledged gigging bateria percussionist may take time, it may not, so a 'no' from entry to the group from us is not personal or a complete rejection, it's simply stating that for some reason at this time either from us, yourself or circumstances like covid numbers, that it's just not possible at this moment in time.
But don't give up, keep trying. You'll still get to play at school wide gigs and we'll eagerly await the time when the circumstances are right to welcome you in our gigging crew.