The Full Story
About Gato - Eu, Gato
Gato de Salto (Felipe) is a Brazilian Samba performer, choreographer and instructor based in Vienna, Austria.
Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Gato has achieved international success by teaching his distinctive style and interpretation of Samba. He combines a mastery of elegance, femininity, high heels skills, and traditional samba technique.
Growing up a victim of homophobia and bullying, Gato chose to express his creativity through dance. He started his professional Samba career in 2016, after a dark period of depression, homesickness and difficulty to adapt to the European ways. Through samba, he was able to reconnect with his roots and flourish. Today, he is a "passista diversidade" and an LGBTQIA+ advocate and fights to open doors to diversity within the carnival world.
"Samba saved me and helped me love and accept myself the way I am. It gave me strength to step out of my comfort zone and live."
Gato has danced for several years for Salgueiro and Tuiuti, both samba schools of the Professional Liga (Grupo Especial) of Rio's Carnival.
He mastered the high heels in order to teach his students how to become more feminine and sensual, without being vulgar. He teaches Samba as a lifestyle: a fun way of staying fit or getting in shape, that boosts your confidence through performances and unleashes your inner Goddess!
Felipe holds a title of Bachelor of Arts in "Transcultural Communication" and also works as a Conference Interpreter. Languages, travelling and other cultures are further passions. This combination of skills has resulted in international success and Gato has taught workshops in over 20 countries, performed in several festivals and touched the hearts of thousands of people.
My Mission is to spread genuine Samba culture and dance to people of all ages, races, genders and nationalities, as well as making the cultural and historical backgrounds of it available to non-Portuguese speakers. I strive to keep the knowledge accessible and, in this way, contribute to the perpetuation of Samba.
Ideally, I would like to see gender-non-conforming dancers within the elite Samba dancers (Passistas) in the carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro. Furthermore, I strive to disassociate the objectification of women and female Samba Dancers from Samba itself, as well as make samba be more valued as an art form.