An Interview with William Teixeira
William Teixeira is one of the most sought-after leads and instructors internationally, and is known for thorough explanations of movements and for being creative and intensely musical on the dancefloor.
William started dancing at the Centro de Dança Alex de Carvalho in 2006 doing Ballroom, Samba, Brazilian Zouk and more!
He now lives in Madrid, but spends most of his time travelling the world with his dance partner Paloma Alves. William and Paloma are passionate about music, and are directors of the #1 Brazilian Zouk DJ group Diboa DJ Company , as well as run William Teixeira Company.
William also organises Madrid Zouk & Bachata Congress annually, and co-organises Zouk Sensation - Singapore's Brazilian Zouk Festival.
10 Questions with William
Q: Being incredibly famous all over the world, what is your favorite part about travelling to different countries on a weekly basis?
William: For me, the best part about travelling, having visited many different cities and countries, is to learn about the different cultures and values around the world- To learn more about the world. There's nothing better than living in a different city for at least a week to immerse myself entirely in the culture, surrounding myself around the people there - Spending time in the US, Singapore, Dubai, Brazil etc, has helped me understand how they think and when I experienced their daily lives.
Q: What is your least favorite aspect about the constant travelling?
What I don't like is leaving family and loved ones behind, and those who truly care about me. It's the most difficult part of the constant travelling. Additionally, seeing the negative parts about people sometimes isn't that great. You get to see both the good and the bad especially when visiting different countries. Seeing the world so divided sometimes makes me sad, especially when seeing some countries having so much, and some countries having nothing.
Q: What do you think of the Asian & Australian Brazilian Zouk scene? How has the 2 scenes progressed in the past few years? W: You guys are really lucky. Kadu & Larissa moved to Australia 11 years ago and built a good and strong community in Australia. They are very good teachers and dancers, so they became very important in Australasia as inspiration and role models. Asia has connected to that, being geographically close this community. Many other dancers like Leo & Becky, Arthur & Layssa, Alisson & Audrey etc moved down under too, and this built a strong evolution of the dance community. People started working very hard from the beginning, so now they start to enjoy the fruits of their labour. I am very impressed with the community recently. I learn a lot from the people here, and aways get good dances when I am around. Australia, Asia, USA, Russia and Poland are the top 5 countries I love to dance in right now.
Q: Advice would you give to aspiring professional dancers, dance teachers and DJs.
This advice is for the newcomers - The new DJs and teachers. Firstly, listen to what the people have to say to you. Learn, listen, and study. Never think you are a somebody. If you think you are a superstar, you have limited yourself from growth. Do not put limits on your evolution. I do not put borders on myself, so that I can push myself to keep growing.
As a teacher, you need to understand what people really need. Don't do it to get famous, try to teach real techniques, be realistic and honest with your students, and they will understand and follow your example. As a DJ, listen to the crowd. You cannot call yourself a DJ if you do not study. Search for good music, know what style of songs the crowd wants. Technically, learn to mix songs with smooth transitions, and practise this skill before playing at parties.
Attend teachers' courses, such as Alex de Carvalho's MAC Program and DJ courses if you can, such as DJ Kakah's DJ course. She has a very strong syllabus.
Q: What is the most important value to have as a teacher?
W: To me, it's humility, honesty and positivity. Sometimes, it's difficult to teach, but you need to rise above the negativity and push on. Students want to learn how to dance, from you, because they see the value in your work. In you. Provide real value to your students, and they will appreciate you a lot more.
Q: What do you think is the most important in Brazilian Zouk? How does performing, attending workshops and social dancing help a dancer?
W: I see it like steps. Do everything one step at a time. The first step is to attend classes, then applying your skills on the dance floor, then focus on leading and following better. Follow that with teaching or performing. Everything has a progression. There is so much to study in each step. For example, you learn different levels of movements in classes as a student. You learn to improve your execution and stamina on the social floor. You learn the lines of your hands and legs when you perform shows, and learning to build choreographies as a performer. When you teach, you learn to explain movements concisely, which makes you focus on each technicality of moves. All these experiences will make you a more complete and better dancer, by levelling up at each stage. To be a better dancer, you might have to pass through all these stages.
Q: *Cheeky question* Would you have baby Chloe learn to dance with you as well?
W: Yes, of course, 100%! I will be training her, her mother (Irene Silvia) will be training her, we will all be training her. =) She will be dancing a lot. I want to dance with her in the future, or do a family choreography next time. I will not force her to dance, it is her choice. But of course I will do my part to show her the amazing aspects of dancing. She can join as a professional, a fan, or a hobby, but I will be very happy to see her dancing =)
Q: How do you constantly innovate and be creative with your dancing?
You have to know that it is complicated to find "something new". You should train yourself as much as possible. I train myself on the social dance floor doing new things. I take other dance lessons such as Salsa, Jazz and Afro as it teaches one to move in a different way from Zouk. When you start learning to move differently, you can bring that into Zouk. I do other dances to be a more complete dancer. I study videos with my partner, not to copy the movements, but to understand how they achieve different skills such as head movements, spins or acrobats.
Q: What kind of advice would you give to dance event organizers and dance school principals? W: To organisers, you need to treat teachers well. You should treat artistes who work with you like a friend. Give artistes good living conditions during their visit, be attentive to their needs and respect the artistes as human beings. If your teachers are happy, your students will be happy. Give ample time to the artistes to eat and rest between activities. For dance school principals, try to cooperate with other schools as well. It's better to work together than to fight. For example, you can plan parties to be on different days and support each other. It's better when schools cooperate, as this way, both parties will succeed.
Q: What are you most excited for at Zouk Sensation 2020 in Singapore?
W: I liked 2019's festival a lot, especially with the good energy and good music at the parties. I know we are going to have nice massages (hahaha) in Singapore. The organisation was good for everyone. I know the organiser is a little crazy excited, so she might change some things to have new activities. I am looking forward to see how the event will turn out in 2020!
This interview has been edited down for clarity.