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Testimonies

Spiros Plessas

«My Capoeira Angola teacher, Contra Mestre Dudu, is my reference in Capoeira. He is the source of what I know and what I continue to learn about Capoeira. He is agua da fonte, meaning water from the spring, every time we meet. His knowledge is broad and multi-faceted, since it covers the entire spectrum of Capoeira Angola: kinesiology, music (instruments and singing) and history. And all these rich - admittedly - facts, he is always willing to pass on to us his students. And he does it the right way, with prudence and respect for the old masters, and thus for the tradition itself. Muito obrigado Mestre, be well!

 

Also, the place is warm, with clean energy and made with love. Gislene and Dudu, have given and continue to give their passion for what they do, and this is something that the visitor receives immediately upon walking up the steps of Arte Brasileira Atenas. The respect that exists in the tradition of Capoeira Angola and Samba is also evident in the space and in the way Gislene and Dudu teach. Therefore, the Arte Brasileira Atenas space is a genuine "home" of Afro-Brazilian culture in Athens. So Vida longa to its founders! »

Christina Morali

«Gislene is the name of the girl who teaches me samba lessons, a friend told me when I was looking for a samba dance studio.

Gislene is a sweet, smily, full of life person. She has empathy, she encourage you with patience and knowledge, having an open arms for everyone.

She got me !

What is the greatest ? The love for what she teaches. You want to be there, to continue, to try, to participate.

She goes further. She make us to love and embrace brazilian culture through dancing. She teach us brazilian traditional dances and she create a group of students for performances.

I've known her for years. She teaches with the same quality and vitality as I first met her years ago!

I wish her to continue with the same love and strength, to convey to us the beauty of Brazilian culture.»

A. K.

«Dudu and Gislene welcome their students with warmth and smiles every day. They welcome visitors who want to learn about capoeira, samba and forrò as well as passers-by. Passers-by who listen to the music outside and want to see where is coming from!

At Arte Brasileira Atenas, the soul of Brazil comes alive!

How about dancing with your soul, clearing your mind? Guess what, you can do it! At the Arte Brasileira Atenas you can go and dance Forrò. Relax and have fun with the teachers and students. Laugh that you didn't make the turn on the first try. Dancing forrò and feel that you are at a party!»

A. P.

«My experience doing capoeira with Contra Mestre Dudu is excellent. The combination of music with dance and gymnastics are based on the traditional way of learning Capoeira Angola" and many times in training I find myself automatically doing movements that I once thought impossible to do. Stretches that contribute to the absence of injuries are an integral part of training and are given the necessary attention by Contra Mestre Dudu. The space is full of objects and images thus reinforcing my interest in the Afro-Brazilian tradition»

Hary Pontida

«The fact that I start Samba became one of the happiest time in my life of the last 20 years.

 

A real revelation for me. And this is not (of course) because I feel ready to apply to Alvin Ailey, but because of movement is in my daily life. And also joy. I want more, and more, and more. As i beacame older this willing is eliminated that's why i appreciate it and honor it by and try my best.

 

I also appreciate (because I know how rare they are) people who put the "flame" for me, the flame of desire: To go further, to persist, to achieve something that is not easy for me – because Samba is not just movement. Gislene is a great teacher. Her methods and techniques are great and she inspires you with the emotions, the spirituality, the history of this dance - which means a lot for her culture. I learned to dream of Brazil, to want to learn about it, I want to visit it, to get drunk with its rhythms. I love and appreciate Gislene, and I feel lucky that i met her. Last but not the least my body is much better!!»

Ang. P.

«I feel comfortable and pleasant in the space. For Contra Mestre Dudu, I feel that he is the one who made me love Capoeira.»

Maria Vourgana

«The course started from a personal desire to learn this particular type of dance, and end up in a beautiful experience, in a very friendly place, with a very patient and generous teacher and a wonderful time!

The lesson with Gislene, her methods and techniques are implemented in body needs with respect to each one student. As a student you take the time you to respond. She has the philosophy that everyone is special and that impacts you.As a result the lessons are beyond your expectations and you will be surprised!

 

Every step you learn in samba is a step of self-improvement and self-awareness.

When you start dancing to the colorful and joyful samba music, you feel happy free and relieved. 

 

And everything becomes more beautiful!

 

Gislene thank you so much!!»

Angeliki Argiriou

«I went to Arte Brasileira because I was looking for a link with Brazil, a country I hold in my heart.

 

At Arte Brasileira Atenas cultural center, I encountered much more than I expected. The space is very clean on a physical and energetic level.

Gislene is a person who loves what she does and you feel it from the first moment you go. He observes each student and knows very well how to direct according to the needs of each one. I was originally looking to take Samba lessons and it turned out that I went there for much more. In a difficult time for me, every meeting felt like psychotherapy, every time I left the class I felt like I had thrown away things that were holding me down. But most importantly, I learned to express myself freely and without fear and that was a great gift for me.

So my passage through Gislene and Dudu's school was a significant transformation for me, I was able and came closer to who I really am. Thank you Gislene, you are the teacher of my heart!»

Nnenna

«I call my Samba classes with Gislene therapy. I am a therapist and I’ve exercised for the best part of my life, but never felt so close to my body as I do now.

Gislene’s approach and fresh curiosity on your body unlocks things you didn’t know were there! She’s such a skilled teacher with long and diverse experience. Samba taps into your strengths whilst transforming your weaknesses. It’s an amazing process! Gislene has a natural gift when teaching Samba. Her way welcomes you to let go of your limitations and preconceived ideas of yourself and your physical body, gradually helping you to integrate the two.

Samba is a true gift; the movement, the music, the joy and healing!

I would strongly recommend this class to anyone! But especially to those interested in rediscovering and strengthening their bodies, to all self healers and inner work lovers, to those looking to relax and have fun, as well as, those looking to be a part of a lovely community.

I am deeply grateful for this gift and I adore the Sambadeira I’m discovering in me

Milto Miltiadou

«I met Gislene in August 2017 and from the very first moment I realised she was special.

 

At her Forro and samba classes I was always impressed of how much energy not only she contained but was also able to transfer to us. The Arte Brasileira Atenas was building a warm, welcoming community and I was happy to be part of it.

 

In May 2018, I moved abroad. But while pandemic was making some things difficult, it managed to break the barriers and I was lucky enough to return to Arte Brasileira Atenas virtually. J This time, I started Pilates and samba. I felt that Gislene was not only my instructor and my friend, but also my “guardian angel” who look after my body in the best possible way. I started gaining strength and I was able to do movements that I was not able to do before. My knee and back pain slowly disappeared. Her classes are very well structured.

 

She always warms us up and makes sure, we cool down and stretch before finishing. It never hurts the next day. She works with every single muscle of the body, and I know she does it deliberately to help us gain flexibility and strength. And it works, I am stronger and more flexible than I was a year ago. To be honest, I started Pilates planning to do it for a few months but seeing the result and my progress I doubt I will ever stop now. I highly recommend Gislene, she is probably the most positive, good willing and knowledgeable - in respect to body movement - dancer I know.»

Stavroula O.

«I have been at war with my body since I can remember myself. When I met Gi, I thought I was exploring a new type of movement or just doing another workout thing. How wrong I was. 

 

We started weekly with what I called body work: work on my awareness, posture, breath and rhythm, as well as strength and cardio conditioning with a whole lot of Brazilian Samba. I started having fun, my body was gradually unlocking and responding to Gi’s carefully designed program. After a few months, we started working twice a week. Now, I feel, move and look like a different person. I have gained confidence, flow, stamina, flexibility, musicality and joy. Toning (yes, your butt will get a lift) and weight loss were just bi-products. 

 

This incredible woman has given me back my joy for movement and is showing me how to connect with my body again. She has a gift for seeing and understanding the human body like no other person I have ever met. Her training is insane, but she also has an instinct that cannot be taught. I still can’t believe that through zoom, I was initiated into Samba. 

 

It is widely accepted that Yoga is a tool one can apply to life –healing and spiritual. I can tell you that the same applies to Samba. It’s a rich, grounding, body-spirit tool. Like yoga on fire. It has been life-changing and I’m so grateful to you, Gislene»

Fabienne N.

«I met Gislene online through a friend who does capoeira. She told me he tried samba and thinks that I'll like it. She was right!! I started in March of this year and I have been steadily going. I had never done samba before and other dances in general I have nothing to do with dances.

 

Gislene is a very good teacher and seems to have many years of experience. She understands our concerns and tries her best for us. She encourages us, she has patience and perseverance. She loves what she does and teach us culture also. I have understood in this short time, that samba is a way of life and I like the idea of it.

 

In the first lesson I did, I had a lot of fun and I continue to enjoy it. Moreover now I notice that every time it goes better. My body is responding, I'm listening to the music more carefully and maybe I'll even feel the beat for one day. I am optimistic. I hope that I will dance samba spontaneously, because I believe that when I reach this point I will set myself (body and mind) free.

 

 I always look forward to the next lesson and I enjoy it. My classmates all seem to be wonderful and interesting personalities. I hope one day we can all meet together and get to know each other personally. When I am in Athens I will definitely visit the school!

If it wasn't for the pandemic, I don't think I would have ever done something like this. This proves that out of every bad thing, you can make something good.


I'm really glad to meet you!»

Ina Koutsoukou

«Attending private Brazilian samba lessons with Gislene Antonucci Ausech, I feel it is a great experience that I want to continue.

 

Gislene is insightful, communicative and shares in-depth knowledge in both practice and theory, applying a holistic approach to Brazilian culture. Cheerful and kind, she inspires you to explore and love the culture of samba, authentically and respectfully connecting past, present and future. With the lessons I am constantly improving my body, feeling healthier and greatly developing my samba dancing skills.

 

There is professionalism in the conduct of the Arte Brasileira Atenas Dance school's classes and events, which makes me want to try other courses such as Capoeira, Forro, Pilates. The big plus is also that the dance studio is clean and easily accessible (Metro & ISAP). Finally, I was very satisfied even in the covid era since the courses continued in online format effectively! I strongly and without a second thought recommend you to live this experience!»

Mania Androulaki

«It is my great pleasure to be near to Gislene and to the magical Samba.
It is a new world that fills me with joy, play, movement, expression.
Gislene I wish you the best and let's continue this wonderful dance journey!
Many kisses
»

Alexandra Tsakona

«When I met Gislene the things I liked about her teaching is that she supports freedom of expression and to "listen to the story of our bodies", as she says. To respect our bodies its needs and our sole. All these made me to attend her courses.

When I started the group lessons with her I learned much more, and that's why i continue samba with her. Because she teach us much further than "just" dancing. It conveys to us a strong, deep culture, crossing two continents, with great respect for the roots. A culture full of emotions, which are expressed through samba. Feelings of great pain, which with samba bring out joy»

Anthi Kiritsi

«A real journey to “arte brasileira” teaching us samba in a way that, through gratitude and joy for life itself, offers a feeling of fulfillment, combined with special music and a lovely, caring, unique tutor, Gislene!»

Vasiliki Saranti

«Samba – a dance to the heartbeat!

I started samba with Gislene two years ago. Samba not salsa, as many people confuse. And indeed, the samba is unlike any other Latin American dance, neither in rhythm nor in steps.

The samba follows the heartbeat and to dance you have to surrender to the mystery of the coupling of three cultures: the African, the Indian and the mixed, what today we call very simply: Brazil.

The class with Gislene is an experience, getting to know the body and testing endurance. It's truly magical to discover that unique rhythm and match your steps and mood to the music. Gislene guides you, takes you out of your comfort zone, but without imposing on you.

 

And if the rhythm seems strange at the beginning, Gislene with her smile and generosity, will slowly make it familiar to you. Just let yourself to her hands and it is certain that after each lesson you will feel reborn..»

Xenia Giannakerh

«My experience in samba lessons with my teacher Gislene.

First meeting. During the spring of 2020, I was looking for city activities and I saw a post in social media about samba dance lessons. I was mainly impressed by the authentic content of the social page and by the fact that the dance studio (Arte Brasileira Atenas) offered the choice of online courses, in the pandemic era. I made the decision and I called the phone number. So, I met Gislene. Firtly I was Impressed that she ansered me all my questions kindly and by her questions also, considering that we were not expected to get to know each other in person in the near future due to the pandemic era.

 

She asked my previous experience in dance and about my physical condition so as to give me some initial instructions for the lessons but also organize and adapt the lessons to the needs of each participant and the group as a whole.

My impression about her and my instinct led me to start samba lessons at the Arte Brasileira Atenas Dance school.

Online courses. From that moment until today I attend the online courses twice a week with a short period of abstinence due to personal limitations. The courses are conducted through an online platform and relevant course entry details (invitation) are shared well in advance of each course. There is also time before each meeting to sort out any technical issues that may arise. The familiarization of both our teacher and the rest of my classmates, after the relevant guidance, took place within the first lessons and since then we have not encountered any substantial problems in connectivity or using the platform. Apart from the technical details of how the course was conducted, another point that was a challenge for me was that I did not have the opportunity, due to the conditions of the pandemic, to come into direct contact with both my teacher and the rest of the group, except a course in which, according to the applicable guidelines/regulations, we were allowed to attend on the physical premises of the faculty. Nevertheless, Gislene, as the coordinator as well as the connecting link of the group, used every means to overcome the difficulty of distance teaching and to achieve unity of the group. Its main characteristic that contributed to the above purpose is the immediacy in the way it communicates both the relevant exercises of the lesson and the messages about the approach to dance and its extensions, but also the organization of the lesson itself, with the last stage being the most important the exchange of opinions about the experience of each of our meetings.

At the beginning of each lesson, we take the necessary time to warm up our body to avoid injuries, followed by exercises of graduated intensity to strengthen and learn the correct body positioning during the dance. Gislene's instructions are always detailed with illustrative examples and attention to detail and the team is always given time to absorb them. Whenever questions are asked, the answers are accompanied by demonstration examples for better understanding. The lessons as time goes by have a graded difficulty at different levels such as purely physical-motor but also dealing with dance and the ways of expression through it and thus facing different challenges each time, the group's interest is undiminished.

 

The whole process is accompanied by appropriate music always with the care of our teacher to include changes in style and rhythm causing our interest but also our corresponding familiarity with the different aspects of the samba culture and by extension the Brazilian culture. Each lesson ends in group improvisation with an encouragement to incorporate both the new elements and what we have already learned in the previous lessons. The last part of the course is always dedicated to the recovery of the body with carefully planned combinations of exercises. Throughout the course, our teacher takes care to avoid injuries and provide alternative forms of performing the exercises according to the special needs of the participants. By extension, we receive a continuous education in how to understand and respect the needs and limitations of our body not only during the class.»

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