Educational Programs & Outreach Opportunities:

Whether we are in town for one day or three weeks, Contempo Physical Dance has a broad array of community engagement activities that deepen your audience’s relationship with the company and their understanding of the work performed.

Brazilian Social Dance, Fitness Classes & Events

Taught by Leonardo da Paixão

Leonardo da Paixão is originally from Salvador, Bahia in Brazil. He started dancing the lambada, samba de roda, samba reggae and pagode baiano when he was seven years old. Later in high school, Leo received a scholarship and began to learn ballroom dance. After falling in love with ballroom dance, he began to dance and teach dance professionally. He currently resides in Minneapolis where he teaches regularly.


Brazilian Blast is a fun, cardio workout combining Brazilian and other Latin inspired moves and music.


Brazilian Social Dance will introduce students to Brazilian social dance forms including samba and forró.


Brazilian Dance Celebration welcomes all to celebrate with Contempo Physical Dance with an unforgettable evening of fun, beginning with a lesson in Brazilian social dance. Come meet new people or dance with a partner you love.

Afro-Brazilian, Capoeira and Brazilian Contemporary Dance Master Classes and Workshops

Taught by Marciano Silva dos Santos and members of the company

Introduction to Afro-Brazilian Dance will introduce participants to the African dance that was transplanted, preserved and developed in Brazil. A variety of Brazilian rhythms will be explored as they relate to different movements. Participants will learn beginning body isolations, polyrhythmic movements, and traveling actions including jumps and turns.


Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art form that combines fighting, dance, rhythm, and music. It is sometimes referred to as a game and partners exchange movement in a dialogue, which can have many shades of meaning. Participants will learn the ginga step, several kicks, escapes and dodges, basic acrobatics, as well as practice the interplay between partners. It will also be a fun and exciting workout.


Brazilian Contemporary Dance is a class for intermediate, advanced, pre-professional and professional dancers. Based on Contempo Physical Dance’s dynamic fusion of Afro-Brazilian dance, capoeira and contemporary dance, this class explores the company’s unique movement style and body-based research of artistic director and choreographer, Marciano Silva dos Santos. Participants will become more fluent in the technique, both in their ability to demonstrate the movement and discover the movement in their own unique bodies. A harmonious relationship between the body and percussive sounds will allow participants to note constantly evolving dynamics in relationship to principles such as polyrhythm, force, coordination, undulation, relaxation and breath.


Pre and Post Performance Talks

With Artistic Marciano Silva dos Santos and Managing Director Jenny Pennaz

Your audience will get background knowledge about the Contempo Physical Dance’s ‘original’ dance language, Brazilian culture and an inside glimpse at the creative process. Audience members will be given the opportunity to ask questions and deepen their understanding of the work. Often the company members join onstage for post performance talks.

Special Offerings

Taught by Marciano Silva dos Santos and members of the company

Choreography Workshop Series will explore Contempo Physical Dance’s dynamic fusion of Afro-Brazilian dance, capoeira and contemporary dance in choreography. Participants will take on complex movement phrases and be will be challenged to master rhythmic and spatial sensibilities and body expression. Recommended for intermediate, advanced or professional level dancers.


Contempo Physical Dance seeks to engage dancers of all ages, including those who are 50 and over. Brazilian social dance and contemporary dance technique classes can be adapted and specifically geared to meet the needs of older participants. In addition, the company can create new works for older adults and seniors in your community. See the production Seca as an example of this work.


K-12 School Programs

Taught by Marciano Silva dos Santos and members of the company

K-12 Residency
Often used in conjunction with a student matinee performance, this comprehensive residency follows a respond, create and perform model. Cooperating teachers are provided with a study guide to prepare students to watch a Contempo Physical Dance performance. Students then meet the dancers, who guide them in responding to the work using the Critical Response protocol. After participating in several Brazilian contemporary dance technique classes, students learn sections of the repertoire, and create movement phrases in response to the work. These phrases are then joined and modified by members of the company to create a final performance piece, which can be presented to the school, families, friends and members of the community. Residencies include professional development workshops with teaching artists and cooperating teachers.


Residencies are typically 10-15 school days with 2-4 classes taught per day (often covering all classes of a particular grade).

Please note that this is a basic outline of the residency. Managing Director, Jenny Pennaz, will work closely with the cooperating teacher to customize a plan to meet the individual needs of the students and school.

College Dance Programs

Taught by Marciano Silva dos Santos and members of the company

Company Repertoire & Commissioning a New Work for Students
Excerpts of the company repertoire are available for performing and professional training opportunities. Alternatively, a new work by Marciano Silva dos Santos may be commissioned for college dance programs. Technique classes are often provided in conjunction with the staging to enhance and inspire the dancers’ knowledge of the work.

If you are interested in licensing or commissioning a Contempo Physical Dance work, please contact Managing Director, Jenny Pennaz, at 

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