Updated: May 22
Vinicius (IG: @Vn_Dancarinobrabo) is a 24 year old dancer from Rio de Janeiro, residing in the Wona community. He dances Passinho Foda and fuses effortlessly other styles like Afrohouse Angola into his Passinho.
We had the opportunity to learn more about Vinicius and his experiences as a dancer from Rio de Janeiro
AFROCONEX: Vinicius, we love your energy and passion for dance. Can you tell us how long you have been dancing?
VINICIUS: Thank you. I started dancing at 10 years old in urban dances. At 16, I started in Passinho and at 18 years old in African dances. I danced with the company Passinho Carioca for 4 years and I have been in the Passinho movement for 8 years now.
AFROCONEX: 8 Years in Passinho?! wow. Tell us, what would you say is required to be a good Passinho dancer ?
VINICIUS: To be a great Passinho dancer, it requires lots of training. It requires learning the basics of how to cross the feet, and also having good posture in the dance.
AFROCONEX: I often see Passinho dance being done barefoot. Does it hurt ? Do you ever get blisters or cuts on the bottom of your feet dancing on the concrete ?
VINICIUS: hahaha Yes, at the beginning you get many bubbles (blisters), but after a while, the foot gets used to it. It gets used to the floor becoming your friend. hahahaha
AFROCONEX: Passinho dance has been around for almost two decades now. Is there a difference in how Passinho dance is done today and how it was done in the past ?
VINICIUS: Yes, there is a lot of difference from in the past. In the past Passinho dancers danced on a slower beat. Today each beat that the dancer catches is more updated and the dancer is able to be more amazing.
AFROCONEX: How would you describe your personal style of Passinho ? What would you say are the characteristics of your dance that makes you standout from other Passinho dancers ?
VINICIUS: I'm a dancer who doesn't like to stay the same. I like to innovate, so I always mix other dances into my Passinho style. Andre (IG @andreoliveiradb) and I started to put other styles in the Passinho movement, at first it was not accepted, they criticized us a lot, now everyone wants to dance Afro House hahahaha
I also didn't start in Passinho, so as I have loads of other dances in my body that I put into my Passinho. I am able to mix the different styles very well. But I researched a lot, and I studied the different styles a lot in order to have the correct knowledge and history of the dances.
AFROCONEX: What are your thoughts on the Afro dances coming out of Europe and Africa ? Do you feel a connection to these styles ?
VINICIUS: hahahah In the past I was inspired by the Afro House in Europe; my inspirations came from there. But today my inspirations ask to make videos with me. I started to see that they are very repetitive. I have an Angolan friend Zeca Pita (IG: @zecapita) who helped to show me that everything (Afrohouse) comes out of Angola not from Europe. Together, we created our own style of dancing AfroHouse, a Brazilian AfroHouse style. I love AfroHouse because it is part of my ancestry, as Brazil has a very strong connection with Angola. I want to continue with this connection between Brazil and Angola.
AFROCONEX: The favelas of Rio/Brazil have an infamous reputation which is constantly being reinforced through the news/media. What would you like to share about life in the favela?
VINICIUS: The biggest problem in the favela is police oppression over those who are just there to live. There is also no culture in the favela: there are no theaters, no places for dance, no sports or places for sports. Life in the favela ends the childhood of a child.
AFROCONEX: Those are very strong sentiments. With that said, what are some of the things you would like to change about how dance is perceived in Rio/Brazil?
VINICIUS: I would like to show that everyone is capable of being great dancers. I once heard the Les Twins say something like that. It is not because you are Brazilians that you will not be able to, just trust that you will. Today at the age of 24 I have traveled to more than 10 countries and I will not stop here.
AFROCONEX: Yes, we have seen that have toured the world dancing. Can you tell us more about that experience?
VINICIUS: I traveled with the dance company @suaveoficialrj We had two pieces, two dance shows, so we have traveled to Europe since 2015 to do the shows at European festivals. Within all of this, I made contact with the people there so I can teach in the cities I will be in. There are many blacks in Europe, many Afro descendants. In Portugal there are many Afro Africans and African American descendants; i really liked.
AFROCONEX: If someone visited Rio and wanted to see Passinho live, what should they do?
VINICIUS: They should get in touch with some dancers and take trainings if want to learn.
AFROCONEX: Can you share with us, what are your dreams for your dance career ?
VINICIUS: Take over the world hahaha
AFROCONEX: Can you tell us two videos you have recently watched that have inspired you ?
VINICIUS: I watch a lot of AfroHouse videos from Angola, they inspire me. AfroHouse is something that I feel in my soul, it is something that is in my blood.
AFROCONEX: What are the 5 songs you are constantly playing on repeat right now?
VINICIUS: They are:
Vo te Daa: Scro Que Cuia
2. Me Chuparam: DJ Denon
3. Xucalho: Titica
4. Cossa: Preto Show
5. Hit Different: Sza