the group that surprised Got Talent Portugal

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Those who chose RTP and “Got Talent Portugal” as their company for the evening on the last Sunday, May 23rd, were certainly impressed by the various presentations. Among them was We Dance. If you’ve been following the program for a few years, this name may sound like anything, as juror Manuel Moura dos Santos put it.

The group, made up of 22 elements between the ages of eight and 34, recorded an epic song that presented a choreography that could briefly be described as a combination of dance and gymnastics.

The performance appeared to be very good and appealing, but still resembled other numbers in the program, as the jury themselves mentioned. In the middle, however, everything changed more or less when the introduction of an almost circus-like air element surprised the audience.

To get back to the reason why the name We Dance sounds familiar, the explanation is very simple: the group had already participated in the program in 2016. At that point, they won the jury and the audience and reached the end of the competition.

There were only nine between the ages of eight and twelve, and from this group five elements are now participating. This time, in addition to the students, the group includes three teachers, including the headmaster Raquel Prazeres, who accompanied the dancers outside five years ago.

“Taking part in ‘Got Talent Portugal’ is a dream of mine as a teacher because I went with them in 2016 and saw how we managed to involve not just the nine dancers, but all of Porto, deep down People who knew. I thought ‘I’m 34 years old, maybe I don’t have the opportunity to live this with my students anymore, so it will be now’. And now was the best time because after a pandemic that kept me all away, I thought it was the right time to bet on this type of project and I went along with it, ”says NiT.

Preparing for this performance was a good reason for the group to get back together, rehearse, and give new meaning to a year that at first seemed practically lost due to the constraints imposed by the pandemic. Although they had never stopped dancing, even remotely or virtually, the teacher felt that the group’s unity was weakening a little. That is why the experience of stepping onto this great national stage was “gigantic” in his words.

“I think it was unforgettable, especially because we thought we weren’t going to have anything special this year, we got into it that we wouldn’t have anything and suddenly we were thinking about taking risks and going to ‘Got Talent Portugal ‘to go. . It’s a huge risk because it tests all of our qualities and shortcomings, but I think it went well. “

Regarding the judges’ opinions, Raquel Prazeres thought it was good that Cuca Roseta perceived the feminine energy the group wanted to convey, that Sofia Escobar responded well to the choice of epic music that “touches people’s feelings”, and even on Pedro Tochas’ constructive comment on the need to stay focused, especially in such a large group. Even so – and even if the vote was valid for the four elements – there was one opinion that was expected with greater expectation.

“Manuel Moura dos Santos’ opinion was very important to me as a teacher and as a professional, as he said several things in 2016 that made me do more and better. So I went a bit expecting to feel if he even thought we’d moved on and it was good because he thought so and especially in terms of the show, he realized that I had just switched from the dance part to one was already show with, as he said, “a touch that made the difference”. It is a surprise to see a runway suddenly appear. “

Five years on, this group wants to show themselves stronger, with the ability to take risks and do new things. The older students who are now returning to the competition will set an example for the younger ones, and there are other aspects that promise to viewers: “One can expect evolution and the desire to do more and better, not with the desire wanting to be the best in the world – we have the humility to recognize that there are very good people and even better than us – but we want to show that we are a united group, that we are happy in what we do and we want people to feel just as much as we do when they see us ”.

How everything was born

For those who don’t know the group that well, it’s best to discover a little of their history from the start. Its founder, Raquel Prazeres, practiced rhythmic gymnastics at a young age and competed for several years.

“I have been teaching since I was 15 years old. I started working as a dance teacher and taught dance and flexibility courses in some gyms. Then there was a time when I thought I should create a project along the lines of what I thought should be here in Porto. I wanted to create something that didn’t exist in the picture I wanted. I started with a small place and today we are a big group. It was worth it, ”she says proudly.

In 2008 the We Dance Academy was born, a dance school whose main focus is on the show. “The basis and what I like to do is choreographing for the show, for the stage,” explains the teacher, adding that the highlights of the year are always the two shows they do, one for Christmas and the one others at the end of the school year. With an already semi-professional character, they always gather almost a thousand people in large auditoriums in Porto.

“That is important, it is not hungry, our shows are serious, there is a big investment, they are shows that are not only sold to the public because we work with children and always have their image a little reserved for family members and friends. “

All of this is carried out by around 200 students at the academy, ranging from boys and girls from three years to adults, as there are also modalities that bring parents and children together. In addition to those who “have a slightly higher income”, We Dance teaches in schools in the greater Porto area, where children are introduced to different dance modalities and where they include some of the students who sometimes even have lessons in the school and at the academy.

As a kindergarten teacher and elementary school teacher, Raquel combines the educational part with the semi-professional character of the show, sets the students’ age-appropriate goals and works on other aspects such as the development of self-esteem.

“Our other aspect is the production of events. We have been working with the Portuguese Football Association for a number of years. We have opened some UEFA, FIFA, game openings,” he says, adding: “The idea was to show people how that football is. ” sure and we suggested putting kids on the grass to dance so we did a lot of events as long as possible then covid broke our plans. But we did events with children in football on the grass. It was one of the most groundbreaking things We Dance did in my opinion. “

In terms of dance, almost anything works, but what they do the most is show dance that works for the show regardless of the subject. Then they have lyrical dance where the movements and choreography of the contemporary style are combined with the lyrics of the songs. There are also classical ballet classes, “but it is related to gymnastics, working gracefully, arms, it is not for working on points, it is more for the basis of dance”. Other modalities such as urban dance or hip hop also take place in the gym, where work is started on modalities such as aerial aerobics, which surprised the jury of the RTP program.

To get to know the academy better, you can follow your Facebook and Instagram accounts, tour the facilities, or try one of the high school classes. “We usually also do summer camps with activities that give us a glimpse of what we are doing to experience it. The right time to try this is now or in September when we start the season, ”emphasizes Raquel Prazeres.

As for Got Talent Portugal, the public could see that the jury’s approval had been won, but they can’t reveal much about what follows for the time being.

“What I can say is that whatever comes, and when it does, it will be the best we can judge from the jury’s comments. We’re going to risk a lot more and do our best to show other realities that we are doing in two or three minutes of action. Now we can work personally, so we’re going to risk a lot more because we have more time, more hours together, we can already work personally and that makes a big difference. When people can see the program, I appreciate it because they learn a little more about the project and our work. “