Bella Diva World Dance & Escola de Samba Denver’s Road to Rio 2023

Carnaval is known worldwide as the world’s largest party. Every year hundreds of thousands of people gather in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate Carnaval with blocos, pagodes, parades, and of course lots of Samba. Residents and tourists all come together to watch the culminating event, Carnaval Carioca. Escolas from all over Rio come to compete and perform. Each school has one chance to wow the audience and judges. But behind each show is months and months worth of hard work and dedication.

This year,  10 of the performing company members of Escola de Samba Denver at Bella Diva World Dance will be traveling to Rio in only a couple weeks to be immersed in Brazilian culture during this Carnaval season!

The ESD dancers will join three different Samba Schools in Rio and parade down Sapucaí as members of the Escolas, organized by Sashya Jay and Nubia Santos as part of Samba Internacional. 

The process for earning their place in each escola started in June of 2022 when each of the ESD dancers had to audition. A video submission to each school was required for every dancer to be selected to join various “Alas” (a wing or group of each parade).

Passista Ala with União de Jacarepaguá:

Escola Diretora Caitlin, Addi, and Grace auditioned to be a part of the passista ala at União de Jacarepaguá. Uniao is part of the Series Ouro Grupo (Gold series group).The passista ala includes some of the best dancers in each school. Many people auditioned and only 10 dancers were selected. In order to participate in the Passista Ala, Caitlin, Addi and Grace will spend 5 weeks prior to carnaval in Rio training with the Escola. During this time, they will become a part of the community, train with the resident dancers, take part in the Technical Rehearsal in the Sambódromo (Ensaio Técnico), ensaios de ruas, and perform at other community events. União will perform on Saturday February 18th at 9:00 PM (BRT).

Sambista Ala with Unidos de Bangu:

7 of the ESD dancers will join Unidos de Bangu as part of their Sambista Ala. Bangu is part of the Series Ouro Grupo (Gold series group). Chelsi, Anna, Andréia, Ali, Alina, Candice and Luki will head to Rio two weeks prior to carnaval in order to train with their Escola. The sambistas also had to submit a video recording in order to audition for their place in the Ala. 

During their time in Rio they will train with their Ala directors, participate in Ensaio de Ruas (street rehearsals) and dance with their Escola in the big show. Bangu will parade on Saturday February 18th at 10:30 PM (BRT)

Float Ala with Império Serrano:

Coming off of their win in the Series Ouro Grupo in 2022, Imperio Serrano will move up to Grupo Especial this year. Three of the ESD dancers will join Imperio as members of their Float Ala. Caitlin, Chelsi and Luki will help Império open the grand competition as they perform on one of the floats as part of the Escola. Imperio Serrano will parade on February 19, 2023 at 10:00 PM (BRT).

While in Brazil the ten ESD dancers will also participate in multiple workshops with some of the best samba dancers in Brazil. It is an immense honor and privilege to participate in Carnaval with the local comunidades. They hope to bring their new knowledge and commitment of samba back to Denver to help continue to grow the samba community locally! 

Want to check out the parades live? Tune into Globo at: for a live streaming of all of the parades!

  • União de Jacarepaguá will perform on Saturday February 18th at 9:00 PM (BRT)
  • Unidos de Bangu will parade on Saturday February 18th at 10:30 PM (BRT)
  • Império Serrano will parade on February 19, 2023 at 10:00 PM (BRT)

Follow ESD on IG & TikTok to keep up with their Carnaval journey and travel blog. @EscoladeSambaDenver 

Breaking Down Belly Dance Myths 101

Dancing during pregnancy

Let’s Break Down Some Belly Dance Myths

Belly Dance has always been a victim on several misconceptions. What better time that this week to join in all the celebration and the raising our voice that comes with Woman’s Day in March and the upcoming performances we have, we decided to give you some Myth-Busting Reassurances if you’re wanting to own your womanhood and give belly dance a whirl.

So let’s clear some things up!

Five Most Common Belly Dance Myths

MYTH #1: Belly-Dance originated in harems, performed by women to entertain men.

Belly Dance was not invented to entertain men. In the past and in its countries of origin, men were not even allowed to watch. Women danced, and still, as a form of worshipping the sacred feminine.

Real belly dancing is family entertainment. It is a dance that children can do as well as older women.

Belly Dance

MYTH #2: Belly dancers must wear jewels in their navels.

The usage of belly rings (or navels) is not a Middle Eastern tradition but started in Hollywood during the 30’s as a form of censorship. Navels were too risque to show at the cinema back then!

MYTH #3: Only women can belly dance.

Contrary to what you may think, there are several male belly dancers, who are magnificent. Also, in its countries of origin, men still dance socially using movements that are reminiscent of belly dancing such as fluid arm movements and hip movements.

MYTH #4: Belly dancing is easy.

Belly dancing takes a lot of practice and discipline to learn. To become professional, it requires learning steps from Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, among others. You will also need to learn the rhythms, the musicality, and cultural nuances, as well as a higher level of technique and presentation.

Don’t let myths dampen your plans to belly dance. 

Rediscover your body’s natural movement at Bella Diva World Dance Studio.

Belly Dance



TOMORROW, March 19th we’ll be performing at the Athena Project Pop-Up Entertainment along the RTD Light Rail

Come see Bella Diva Dance at 1:00 pm outside Union Station as we present a Bollywood flash mob celebrating the new light rail line that will open in April. This will be one of the many pop-up art happenings along the W-Line for the 2016 Athena Project Arts Festival.

Anthena Project Arts Festival 2016



Vote us as Best Dance Studio on Denver’s A-List 2016



Bella Diva Dance has been nominated for Best Dance Studio on the 2016 Denver A-List, which strives to recognize small businesses.

Voting takes only 2 minutes (we actually timed it! We know how busy everyone’s lives are!)

Over the past four years, Bella Diva has always been a finalist in the top 4, one year winning Runner Up. Help make us #1 in 2016!! Our team & dance family had been growing from the roots up over the past five years from when Caitlin gave private lessons to her few students in the communal gym space at her apartments, to now having an incredible staff of 8 teachers teaching over 100 students in their own studio space and performing all over Colorado! This fact represents more than we could have hoped for, and we want to continue reaching out to Denver to let them know we offer a truly unique, fun, & empowering world dance experience that is hard to find!


1. Follow this link:

2. Click on the “VOTE NOW” icon and enter your email and password (it takes a second to create a profile, and you won’t receive any emails other than the ones regarding your particular voting selection.)

3. Vote and cast your ‘ballot’! Ta-Da!

DenverAListThe 2016 Denver A-List polls are OPEN. Voting ends March 6th.


If you haven’t voted yet, what are you waiting for?#VoteToday‬

Bella Diva Dance vote as Best Dance Studio in Denver

Who we are

Founded six years ago, in 2010, Bella Diva is a world dance company in Denver that offers both instructional dance classes and professional themed shows centered around Belly Dance, Brazilian Samba & Bollywood dance forms. Our mission is to empower women by instilling in them a greater sense of self-confidence and positive body image through the expression and study of world dance & movement!


In addition to being considered the best dance studio in Denver, we seek to elevate Belly Dance, Samba, and Bollywood as a performance art and to create a community for local belly & samba dancers. Moreover, Bella Diva Dance also produces several professional theatrical shows as well as offering unique performance opportunities in the form of Semi-Annual Student Showcases held at popular Denver venues including Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret! Whether a seasoned dancer or one with no dance experience, Bella Diva Dance has something for you! We are located at their new in the heart of booming Glendale.


We believe that dance is for EVERY age, body, and background!

Join the Bella Diva Movement now!

Student/Teacher Dance Showcase November 2015

Student/Teacher Showcase at Lannie’s

Wednesday Nov 11th, 2015

You are invited to attend our intimate Student/Teacher Showcase that will feature our beautiful & talented students, many of whom will be dancing side by side with their teachers. This event will feature solos, duets, small groups, and company numbers, preparing and celebrating for our Semi-Annual Student Showcase that will be held Saturday November 28th at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre.

We will be joined by Naughty Pierre Jean Pierre as our master of ceremonies co-hosting with Caitlin as they introduce the student performers, as well as company performances.

Please get your tickets ahead of time so everyone’s friends and family can attend.


Introducing our November Student of the Month:
Debbie Olivier

Debbie has been a dedicated student at Bella Diva Dance since October 2014. Growing up in New Hampshire she studied ballet, tap, and jazz for 10 years while gaining a background in musical theater. Debbie has also studied exercise science, strength training, and pilates, becoming a certified personal trainer. Currently at Bella Diva Dance, she participates in 7 classes weekly studying Samba, Belly Dance, Afro-Caribe, and Bollywood.

 Announcing our cast:

Debbie Olivier – Samba


Mounika – Bollywood

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Addie Seader – Belly Dance

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Katherine Welling – Belly Dance

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Jennifer Fay – Belly Dance

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Hot Hula with Instructor April

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Yamilet Tascon – Colombian Salsa

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Nishita Laliwala (Instructor) – Bharat Natyam

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Don’t miss out on our next

Student/Teacher Showcase at Lannie’s

Wednesday Nov 11th, 2015