Wellington Figueiredo is a forró teacher who has hugely contributed to the growth of Forró Ireland in the recent years. He has shared his passion for forró with many students and is now involved in organising the Forró Dublin Festival.
Wellington is originally from São Paulo, Brazil but has been living in Europe for over three years. He spent the last three years in Dublin, Ireland and has now moved to Greece where he will continue spreading his love for forró.
We have asked him some questions about his adventure with forró.
Question: When did your journey with forró start? What made you fall in love with it?
Wellington: I don’t remember my first contact with forró. I am sure it was in Brazil where I come from, more specifically in São Paulo. I know that I was with my family but I can’t remember how old I was as I was only a kid.
I started learning how to dance forró with steps when I was sixteen. Realising that there were so many different forró styles and slowly learning a little bit about each one made me fall in love with it and I have not stopped dancing ever since.
Question : Were you a forró teacher in Brazil? Did it ever cross your mind that you would end up teaching forró in Ireland when you decided to move to Dublin?
Wellington: I was a teacher in Brazil, but not a known teacher. I had this idea to teach forró in Dublin before moving there. I didn’t know where to start because I couldn’t speak English at the time. However, I knew that my trip was a great opportunity for me to grow as a forró teacher.
Question: Is forró in Europe different to forró in Brazil?
Wellington: Yes, it is. In Brazil when we think about forró we think about the music. Of course, we dance to it as well but the main focus is the music. We can dance to forró and most peoples’ movements are quite natural. That’s because music and dance run in the Brazilian blood. I think that despite the differences, forró in both Brazil and Europe is moving in a great direction.
Question: What do you enjoy most about teaching forró in Ireland?
Wellington: The atmosphere in the forró group in Dublin is unique. In Ireland I had great experiences teaching. I am proud of those who learnt how to dance in my classes. They were not only my students but my friends as well and I will carry them with me for the rest of my life.
Question: Many students in Dublin have improved their dancing after attending your classes. What is the secret that makes your teaching successful?
Wellington: When you show something with love, people get your message. Forró is not a hobby for me when I say that I am a forrózeiro, I mean that I live for forró.
Question: Do you have your favourite forró steps/moves?
Wellington: What I would like to say is that forró is not about steps. Forró is about hugs. When you know how to give a good hug, your steps will also be good. The basic steps are my favourite because they allow you to do pretty much anything on the dance floor.
Question: What are your plans for the coming months in the world of forró?
Wellington: I’m organising the Forró Dublin Festival with the Irish forró community and now I have a new mission, to grow forró in Greece.
Question: What should forrózeiros from around the world expect of the Forró Dublin Festival? What does the Festival mean to you and what will make the Forró Dublin Festival a unique experience?
Wellington: I would like to mention the great atmosphere created by the forrózeiros in Dublin. The festival is the best gift that I could ever give to Ireland as a thank you for being my host for the past three years. I dedicate this event to each and every person that I encountered on my path during my time in Ireland. This will be the friendliest festival ever.