Biography

I'm a dance practitioner since 1995. My mission is to broaden cultural leadership skills and help raise standards in dance of the African diaspora through advocacy, education and performance.

I'd like to share my knowledge through my work and hopefully add a valuable contribution to Dance whilst inspiring others".

Trained at The Conservatory for music & dance in Lisbon and at The London Studio Centre. Iris also worked on an apprenticeship program with the late William Louther. She has performed with "Badejo Arts" and "Kokuma Dance Company" amongst others.

Iris was a co-choreographer for Strictly Dance Fever with Graham Norton, a dancer at Evita - the film, with Madonna, the Mobo Awards with Jay Z and worked with artists such as Cher, Henrique Iglesias and Robin Wiliams.

In 2006 Iris created, directed and produced “El Barrio - The musical” - performed at Jackson’s Lane Theatre to a packed audience. Since then, she’s been a steady advocate of Afro - Latin dance styles in the global festival circuit, created her own dance academy and performance project - Batuke Project & Dance academy.

In the last 10 years organized and programmed BATUKE! -  a yearly international dance festival with receipt of Arts Council support. In 2017/2018 Iris was recipient of One Dance UK Trailblazer fellowship award and Lisa Ulmman’s travelling scholarship which allowed her to travel to Angola and create a documentary on local artistic development and opportunities. In 2018 she presented her solo work in progress “Uprooted” as part of her fellowship and research. Iris is currently studying for her MA in Dance pedagogy and creating collaborative projects with different artists.

BATUKE DANCE COMPANY

Batuke Performance Project 2010-2019

(Diaspora Songs, Musseke, Luanda Social Club)

 

Choreographed/Directed

Created / Directed "El Barrio-the real salsa musical" at Jackson's Lane theatre 2006  - www.elbarriothemusical.com

Arts & Business awards (05/06)

MJ 2 Salsa tribute Solo- toured the International festival circuit for 4 years

"Muxima" solo, opened at Paris Salsa Congress.

ADAD "Open Stage" - Pavillion dance Southwest / Bournemouth. Feb 2015 "Quitandeira" is a solo piece interpreted with live percussion. 

Tiggs Da Author music video - "Georgia"(2015) Kuduro dancers

Programmer

BATUKE! Afro-Luso festival 2010- 2015 ( AC Funded in 2015) - Creative Director

One Dance UK: Re:Generations 2014 - ADAD // Project Cc-ordinator

Film and other credits include:

Co-choreographer for "Strictly Dance Fever -BBC with Graham Norton"

"Evita" -the film- with Madonna,choreographed by Vincent Patterson

Piccadilly Jim -film-,choreographed by Litza Bixler

Kylie Minogue "Chocolate" videochoreographed by Michael Rooney

Rachel Stevens "Some girls" video

Robin Williams - "An audience with.."

Henrique Iglesias - "TOP" - "CD-UK""GMTV" - "The Des O'Connor show"

"The Mobo Awards" - with Jay Z

Cher "I Believe" video

Kiss FM awards & Video with Roll Deep "Shake a leg"

Presenter

Iris is a confident presenter, having been a guest presenter at several festivals, regularly presenting her monthly event in London - the largest Salsa & Kizomba night in the UK- as well as having presented and to camera her own instructional DVDs.

 

Dance School

In 2005 Iris created Studio Afro Latino dance school which focuses on Afro-Luso culture. She has brough new awareness to the UK over the dances from Angola, and Cape Verde. She has trained and manages a team of 9 instructors who teach regularly in London and abroad. She also has a school franchise in Lille - France.

 

AWARDS

One Dance UK Trailblazer award 2017 /2018

Lisa Ullman Travelling scholarship 2017

LUKAS Awards - Kizomba Teacher of the year 2013

Lifetime achievement award for Kizomba in the UK

Lifetime achievement award for UK contribution to Salsa - Salsa UK

UK and Open World Salsa Champion (99/03)

 

Iris is also a ITEC qualified Massage Therapist