Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Fábio lived in Atlantic City, NJ just before moving to Memphis to join Collage Dance in 2017.
In addition to touring and performing with Collage as a professional dancer, Fábio is passionate about teaching the next generation of ballet dancers through the Collage Dance Conservatory and using his experiences in ballet to inspire others.
As one of the co-founders of Blacks in Ballet, Fábio often uses this growing platform to highlight, celebrate and collaborate with black ballet dancers around the world.
When did you begin dancing and how did you get started?
When I was 14 years old a ballerina named Ana Botafogo was on a TV show in my country. That was the first time I saw ballet and I could not get it out of my head after that. I decided I wanted to dance so I went to ask my father first because I was scared of his reaction, once I had my parents support nothing else mattered.
For the new dancer and even the young trainee, what advice would you give?
Nothing worthy comes easy, and believe me, it feels so much better when you achieve something because of your own hard work. On another note, young dancers really have to give attention to emotion and artistry. Everybody is dedicating all of their training time to the technique and no time to their artistry as dancers. Never forget that more important than showing the audience that you can turn 6 pirouettes is to make them feel something. You’ll see It feels better to see tears, or joy, in the audience’s eyes than to see them snapping their fingers saying “YAS!”.
What’s your favorite quote and why?
“Work hard in silence, let your success be the noise.”
If you are making too much “noise” it is because you care too much about what other people think and if you only do things based on other people’s opinion you lose authenticity, which is one of the biggest ingredients to success.
What’s your favorite part of being a professional dancer and why?
My favorite is to perform. I think it’s so rewarding to present the finished piece after so much work that we put into it.
Why should people experience a ballet performance at least once in their life?
The Ballet is a kind of art form like no other. It has a mix of extremely hard technique and intense artistry which you don’t see anywhere else. We usually see athleticism and artistry separate in dance, when we bring them together the result is magical!
What’s one thing people might be surprised to know about you?
My age! Many people think that I look very young.
If you weren’t a professional ballet dancer what would you be doing?
I spent a long time trying to answer that question for myself when I was about to graduate from high school. I had to decide what I was going to do with my life and my love for dance was so big that I could not see me doing any of the other things that I thought about. But I believe that I would still be doing something art related.
What are some people, places or things that make Memphis home for you?
Moving out of the country you were born in is not easy and a lot has to be sacrificed, being away from your family and friends and places you are so used to going. Having Brazilian friends here really helped make things a little easier since we can relate on many things.
When you’re not training long days or touring with the company, where can we find you in Memphis?
You will find me having brunch or dinner at places like Café Eclectic, Huey’s, Boscos, Cheffie’s or Frost. Hanging out with friends in one of my favorite restaurants, crocheting in the park or you can find me at a movie theater.
Who’s your biggest fan?
Well, moms (of my students) are always a fan, but there are many people that are always cheering me on and showing me love.
Must have item in your dance bags and dressing room?
My crochet yarns and hooks to create more designs for Fabiolous Crochet!
How are you staying busy, sane and in shape, at home these days?
I have been teaching ballet classes online. I have contacted my family and friends more often, watch TV, and crochet. I try to keep myself busy, so I don’t get bored and it has worked for me. I haven’t found myself bored yet! Honestly, I haven’t danced much at home, just because my body was already stressed so I am taking advantage of this time to let my body rest and recover from injuries, but I take walks and do crunches and push-ups, nothing too heavy.
What music artists are you listening to right now?
Billie Eilish, Doja Cat and Lizzo are some of the new artists I can’t stop listening to!
Best movie you’ve seen this year?
Parasite! This movie is absolutely AMAZING. It takes you on a roller coaster of emotions.
What TV shows are you binge watching to make it through the quarantine?
Money Heist, Little Fires Everywhere, Tiger King and the last season of How to Get Away With Murder.
First place you plan to go to when we can go “out” again?
To a concert or any kind of live art. I’m tired of the screen barrier!