Leo da Paixao started dance, theater and music at an early age in Salvador, Brazil. By age fourteen, he was dancing and performing in community events. Leo has had the opportunity to study a wide range of dances with master teachers including Jonathas Firmato and Ilmar Santos for Brazilian ballroom dances. Leo studied samba da gafieira with Sandro Guedes, a student of one the best known instructors in Brazil, Jimmy de Oliveira. He studied forró with Edj Braga and salsa with Alexei Ramos, a disciple of the famous Shaka Brown. In 2005, Leo began dancing the style of zouk with Adilio Porto. In the United States, Leo has taught workshops and performed at the O'Shaughnessy, University of Minnesota, Concordia College and Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa). Leo enjoys teaching and sharing his passion with people who want to learn how to dance. He currently teaches in Minneapolis at Four Seasons Dance Studio and Jawaahir Dance Studio.
Giselle Mejia has been dancing zouk with Leo Paixao for less than a year, though their chemistry on stage is nothing short of miraculous. Giselle is a professional dancer who earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from SUNY Purchase College in New York which brought her dancing around the world; including Spain, South America, China, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Egypt, and across the United States to perform at principal theaters and study with national dance companies including Luna Negra Dance Theater of Chicago and world-renown technology-driven dance company iLuminate who were finalists on America’s Got Talent. She has performed with national dance companies, Broadway shows, television, film and full-length productions in the fine arts and commercial dance industries including IBM, BMW, Lenovo, Roche, Simon Malls, and many local businesses. Giselle has a Master’s degree from Peck School of the Arts at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, with a concentration on contemporary dance, somatic studies, improvisation and dances of the African Diaspora.