Daniel always loved to dance and, at age 11, commenced his formal training at the prestigious Carlinhos de Jesus Dance School, in Rio de Janeiro. Daniel’s talent and enthusiasm was relentless. He became proficient in a wide variety of styles such as, Samba, Afro, hip-hop, Reggaeton, ballet and jazz. At 16, Daniel started working as a professional dancer. His credits include; multiple appearances at the world-famous Rio Carnival; live shows at The Palms-Crown Casino; Moomba; The Melbourne Latin festival; The Copacabana and hundreds of corporate gigs.
From a young age Daniel felt a strong desire to teach,
‘I always wanted people to feel how I feel when I’m dancing – passionate, energetic, free and healthy.’
By age 14, Daniel was teaching his own dance classes in styles popular in Brazil, such as Lambada.
In 2009 Daniel moved to Melbourne, Australia. With little English and a passion for dance, Daniel started teaching cardio-based dance fitness classes in gyms. Daniel broke down the steps of his favorite Latin styles and designed a class that allowed anyone to learn genuine dance moves and get fit. He called his classes BaiLa, pronounced (By-La), which means ‘dance’ in Spanish. The classes were a huge hit. People traveled from all over Melbourne to get their weekly BaiLa fix, and Daniel soon found himself teaching seven days a week.
To help with communication, Daniel numbered the steps used in his classes. As he called out each number, he noticed how quickly students recalled the associated move. What was initially a communication bridge was fast becoming a successful and effective teaching technique.
By 2012 Daniel had developed ‘10 basic steps’ for each of the Latin genres he taught and an extensive library of pre-choreographed routines.
Daniel is extremely passionate about music selection and his class playlists are highly sort after.
‘I find passion in every song I choose, I have to feel it and connect to it. It must energise me.’
With demand for classes constantly increasing, Daniel created a training course and commenced recruiting. By 2013 BaiLa classes were being offered in gyms all over Melbourne.
In 2016 it was time to bring BaiLa to the world. Daniel contracted a professional camera crew and, with his team of teachers, filmed a series of instructional videos. The videos, available online, mean people can BaiLa anytime and anywhere.
Daniel sees endless possibilities for the future. His vision is to get everyone up and dancing and sharing his passion for health and fitness.
‘Dancing makes people happy, it’s a form of physical and mental therapy. You have so much fun, that without realising it, you become healthy and fit.’