By day Becca Doram has a conventional office job as an account manager for a marketing agency...
But after hours Becca enters a glamorous world of feathers and sequins – as she steps out as a star in the world of Samba.
Becca, aged 31, who lives in Sheffield city centre, took up her showstopping hobby when she was living in Liverpool and discovered there was a dance class going on up the road.
“The class was run by a woman I’d seen dance before and thought was brilliant – she’s called Simone Reeves and she’s a fantastic teacher and friend,” said Becca.
“After a couple of months she asked me to dance for her company, Viva Brasil, and four years later Samba is an enormous part of my life, even though I now live and work in Sheffield!”
People may think they know Samba because of shows like Strictly Come Dancing, but there’s a world of difference between the Latin and Ballroom Samba and Becca’s Brazilian Samba, the real Rio Carnival kind, which is much more vibrant and expressive.
“You dance solo, with women dancing on their toes and men on their heels, but when you see a group together all dancing with passion, there is nothing more uplifting – especially when it is to the beat of a bateria!” said Becca.
One of the highlights of Becca’s performing year is Brazilica in Liverpool, the biggest celebration of Brazilian culture outside Brazil, a carnival dedicated to all things Brazilian and South American.
“It’s a fantastic party atmosphere, which spreads across the city and attracts Samba groups from all over the world,” said Becca.
Viva Brasil have also danced on BBC Breakfast and the Question of Sport Super Saturday show, and they do lots of weddings, private and corporate parties and events.
“We’ve even danced in the aisles at Asda as part of a World Cup promotion!” Becca laughs.
“The great thing is once you get into the costume it’s like discovering a complete alter ego – nobody knows it’s you.
“Of course there does come a point when you might have to admit you’re too old, but my real aim is to go and dance Samba in Brazil with Simone – exploring the country with a guide who can show you the real Brazil would be a dream come true!”