TASIS Portugal Dance Academy

Erica Amaro Ballet Photo by Ângelo Bártolo
Erica Amaro Ballet

Erica Amaro

Erica has vast dance and performing experience. After graduating from Escola Artística de Dança do Conservatório Nacional de Lisboa in 1999, where she got her training in ballet, modern and contemporary dance, Erica was one of the few lucky finalists offered an internship at Companhia Nacional de Bailado. Later that year she moved to Lyon, where she got the worked with distinguished ballet masters including former étoiles of Opéra de Paris Elisabeth Platel and Monique Loudières.

In 2000, Erica returned to Portugal and worked for a season in the contemporary dance company Dançarte, after which she continued her studies in musical theatre. She was offered a scholarship at London Studio Centre, where she earned a Diploma of Higher Education in musical theatre. That allowed her to work not only as a dancer, but as a singer and an actress too. She was a guest dancer in the company Alexey Fokine, where she performed La Esméralda and La Bayadère, and danced in the Opera-Tango Maria de Buenos Aires in Teatro São Carlos, among others.

Erica’s dance repertoire includes roles in “Review Vai Dar Banho ao Cão” by Óscar Branco (Teatro Villaret, Lisbon), “Opera-tango Maria de Buenos Aires”, choreographed by Amir Hosseinpour (Teatro São Carlos, Lisbon), and “The Sleeping Beauty” with Companhia Nacional de Bailado, Lisbon. She was a resident dancer in the Contemporary Dance Company Dançarte, having performed in many stages throughout Portugal. Erica was a guest dancer in the company Alexey Fokine, where she performed excerpts of well-known ballets like “La Esméralda” and “La Bayadère”.

She moved into teaching after becoming a mother in 2013. For seven years she taught ballet, pointe work, contemporary dance, ballet repertory and musical theatre repertory in Projecto Dançar, at Casa do Artista. Erica also launched Oh my Ballet! (ballet classes for adults) and its homonymous YouTube channel, where she shares ballet tips.

Stephanie Bell 

Stephanie began dancing at a very young age and was an active member of The Madeira Amateur Dramatic Society (MADS) led by Nigel Miles-Thomas. At the age of 18, Stephanie was successful in securing a place at London Studio Centre. This provided her with a broad base of professional training in ballet, contemporary dance, jazz dance, and music theatre. Stephanie graduated with a BA honors degree in theatre dance, specializing in the Jazz Company under the direction of Petra Siniawaski.  

For the next decade, Stephanie enjoyed a successful career working with renowned choreographers Lisa Marie Bertoni, Paul Roberts, and Gareth Walker. Her career highlights include promoting Beyoncé’s UK Tour, dancing at The Royal Albert Hall in the productions “Classical Spectacular” and “The Night of 1000 Voices.” Stephanie performed on cruise liners and theatres and thrived in her role as dance captain/assistant choreographer.  

Stephanie then retrained as a school teacher and has excellent experience and success as both a classroom and a dance teacher. She recently coordinated an afterschool program and taught dance in various settings. Stephanie is very excited to be part of the TASIS Dance Academy and sees it as a wonderful opportunity to share her passion and knowledge for the performing arts with her students. 

Samantha Rizzuto 

Samantha found her love of dancing very young and has been dancing for nearly 20 years. She trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop, and everything in between. Throughout her years of dancing, Samantha completed high-level ballet examinations through the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) in both the graded and vocational syllabi, completed modern examinations through the Association of International Dance Teachers (AIDT) and represented Team Canada at multiple World Dance Championships.   

Through Samantha’s passion for dancing, she found her love for teaching. While studying elementary education at the University of Victoria, Samantha taught ballet, jazz, and her specialty, contemporary, for students aged 3-12 at studios in the area.  

Samantha is also a registered children’s yoga teacher with a focus on trauma-informed practice, as well as a registered yoga teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance.  

Samantha is very excited to share her love of dance and yoga in the TASIS Dance Academy, as well as in her 2nd grade classroom!