Ebonie Lee (aka Firefly), is an Atlanta-based Brazilian Zouk instructor and part of Zouk Atlanta. Ebonie has trained extensively in a diverse range of dance modalities. Growing up in NYC influenced her eclectic worldview. Pursuing a B.A. in Japanese, she lived abroad in Kyoto in 2005-06 and studied classical Japanese dance. Upon her return to Williams College, Ebonie pursued African, Latin, contemporary Indian and Modern dance. She moved to Washington, DC to immerse herself in an evolving arts community, interning and dancing at the Dance Exchange and the DC Dance Collective. Eventually, Ebonie added Contemporary, Jazz and Blues to her repertoire. Ebonie joined Tanya Kianda Fiske’s all-female YemaShun Dance Company, studying and performing Mambo and Afro-Latin dance with Fiske and Psyon D. Scott. Introduced to Brazilian Zouk in 2010 by Atoro on a Mambo dance floor, Firefly immersed herself in the form, studying under Atoro. Upon her return to NYC in 2012, Ebonie continued to study as teaching assistant to Kim Rottier (ZoukNY) and currently Henri Velandia and Jessica Lamdon (ZenZouk). Ebonie studied Contact Improvisation with Jesse Johnson (Dancing with Gravity). She now teaches as part of Zouk Atlanta with Atoro, Eddie Bonnell and Matthew David Krivanek.
In 2013, Ebonie completed Advanced Zouk Teacher Training under Kim Rottier of ZoukNY.
Ebonie is always interested in improvisational dance and conscious movement techniques, and incorporates a variety of dance styles into her movement. She believes in the power of dance to connect and communicate, and the nourishment that creativity brings to life.
Atoro is a professional Brazilian Zouk instructor, DJ, and movement teacher based in Atlanta. Atoro has been immersed in the dance world for over 12 years. He has worked with multiple latin dance companies on the east and west coasts, as a trained ballroom instructor (Fred Astaire), and spent years studying with numerous American, European, and South American Zouk teachers both domestically and abroad. Over his career he has taught, performed, and DJ’d at Zouk and Latin congresses throughout the US. His personal style is an amalgam of elements from a number of established dance schools, and falls within the greater umbrella of ‘Neo’. He founded Zoukalma dance company (with his partners Amy ‘Rocores’ White and Ox) in Washington D.C. – the first home for Zouk in the city and the forerunner to the wonderful community there now and is a co-founder of Zouk Atlanta (along with Eddie Bonnel, Matthew Krivanek, and Derek Merriweather), which would go on to become a thriving Zouk tribe and a source of great personal pride.
Atoro’s main focus in Zouk is the Suwai – the flow state achieved through silent mind, deep connection, and present-moment improvisation. His teaching emphasizes going beyond the repetition of patterns, to
understanding the flow and soul of the movements. He is currently based in Atlanta and teaches with his wonderful dance partner, Firefly.