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Vitor Tavares Mendes

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My name is V tor Tavares Mendes and I was born in a poor ghetto Pedreira Dos Hungaros in Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Verdean parents. When I was 22, I have moved to London, where I lived for 8 years. It was there, where I started using my dancing styles as a motivational tool for a very diverse young audience.

In 2002 in London, I completed a course in contemporary dance and began teaching Capoeira and traditional African dances as follow up on my first dancing steps in Portugal. I gradually enriched and implemented my own style with the influence of other dances and rhythms such as Kizomba, Coupe d cal , Kuduro, contemporary, RnB, hip hop and Ghetto Zouk.

In 2010 I moved to Prague, started a family and continued my dancing journey professionally. Some of my public appearances became an eye-opener to many; it wasn t just my dancing, also the cultural background of my style. Some examples of this would include performances at ABC and D21 Theatres. Some TV work at Cesky Lev film awards, on TV Nova or on Slovak Mark za. Similarly, different press publications have covered my work; like the newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes and various magazines like Dieta , Lide a Zeme and Tema .

Whilst doing this I never lost sight of my roots and their influence in my work and as an individual. Because of this, I took the task to promote our Portuguese-Afro-Hispanic culture and organized various cultural events. One of my biggest successes was the multicultural festival Afro-Bailar , which was held in Prague and Bratislava for four consecutive years (2010 2014).

In 2012 I started teaching Kizomba and since then I have traveled to and taught in more than 47 cities.

In 2013 I became a certified Fitness instructor. I provide a unique approach to fitness for women and men of all ages, abilities, and shapes.

Since 2015 I have dedicated a big part of my professional time to the creation and development of Ghetto Zouk Dance. I can say GZD is nowadays a successful dancing method which tries to satisfy the need for a dance that Ghetto Zouk music has implicitly been encouraging and inspiring for years. GZD has been introduced to many countries during 2016.

Sports, fitness, and dance represent who I am and have always accompanied me in life. Alongside with my professional dancing history in teaching and choreographing I ve been working as a personal trainer for 4 years. I still learn from my day to day experience from my students and clients and take pride sharing my knowledge with them. I believe life is an unstoppable learning curve.

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