Face to Face with Perla Gomes
by Susannah Grant
Sapient samba dancer, Perla tells us how dance has opened numerous doors in her life and those of others in her native Brazil.
How old were you when you first started dancing?
I was 5 years old when my aunt taught me my first Samba steps. By 7 years old I was entering Lambada competitions and by 11 I was choregraphing my own dance routines and I got into traditional folkloric dancing which is huge in Belem, my birth city. At 16 I formed a dance group for lambada, mambo y folk dancing. I am actually self-taught, learning by osmosis from all the influences that surrounded me.
What does dance mean to you?
Dance spells freedom! In order for one to dance you have to shed lots of beliefs, prejudices and fixed mindset. Despite studying IT, in the end dance won me over and took me to Spain aged 22 with 200 euros in my pocket. This is where I really felt fully free to dance.
What is it about teaching dance that you like especially?
I like to emphasise to my students that anyone and everyone is able to dance any kind of dance, as long as you feel liberated. And also teach them to feel free to dance so that they feel that sense of freedom for themselves!
Tell us about your charity, Perlas da Amazonia
Everything I do both professionally and personally is related to the cause of promoting the Amazon and its people. It´s a lifelong passion of mine and involves two-way cultural, touristic and sustainability programmes to promote the Amazon to those outside and help those within. It´s very exciting to watch it thrive and grow.
What sort of events does your company organise?
Prosperity Art Production organises shows and cultural workshops; audiovisual productions including digital marketing, editing and recording as well as event management (both corporate and private fairs etc) We have worked in Tourism Fairs in Madrid, Lisbon and Berlin, put on a Christmas Show for the Prado and a charity event for Circo Price amongst other activities.
What is the history of Samba?
Samba has a long history of amalgamating sounds from Europe, Africa with local indigenous rhythms. The strong drum beat is similar to one´s own heartbeat.
You´re also a trained pilates teacher, is dancing samba helpful for pilates?
It helps as good coordination and body sense is fundamental but it´s not strictly helpful as such.
What advice would you give to anyone who thinks they have 2 left feet?
Shut your eyes, feel the music and let your body flow. Tell yourself you can dance and the power of your positive mind will enable you to do it!
What´s next for Perla Gomes?
To grow my business digitally and to carry on with Perlas da Amazonia until it´s up there as one of the most important charities in the world!
Tel +34 690 38 28 96