Born and raised in Mozambique (South East Africa), Pynksy Shell also known as Tania Amaral is an African dancer, choreographer, teacher, pharmacist, traveller and enthusiastic person.
Her first contact with dance was at the age of 6 years old in a local dance school in the capital of Mozambique, Maputo. Ballet and Mozambican Traditional Dance where the studies. At that time rhythm was already in her soul. Dancing with friends at home, small parties, weddings, even at school, was a major part of her childhood. Growing in Mozambique is forever an everyday blessing. It’s a place where there’s always time to dance, regardless of where you are, it´s contagious!
At 18 years old she discovered Raqs Sharqi. That impact of hip movements, the glamour of the arms and all the aspects regarding the postures just hypnotized her. But the most remarkable moment was when she found out about the Fusion Belly Dance (which she prefers to refer as Fusion Sharqi Dance to avoid perpetuating the misnomer “Belly” dance).
In 2007 she moved to Portugal to make her MA in Pharmacy. She lived there for almost 6 years. Being a Pharmacist was always very good because give her a deep understanding of the body in terms of anatomy (bones, muscles, tendons, nerves and articulations) and physiology (systems and organs). This change of countries was also very important because give her the opportunity to study dance more professionally deepening her knowledge. We are talking about modalities like Ballet, Contemporary dance, Barre floor, Jazz, Modern dance, Raqs Sharqi, Tribal Fusion (which is no longer called that because of the misconceptions towards the word Tribal), Hip-Hop, Flamenco/ Sevilhanas and Bharat Anatyam. She even took an intensive course in Ballet for Teachers based on RAD at APAM in Porto.
After that, she moved to Cape Verd (land of her parents) for about one and a half years. In Cape Verd she experienced one of her greatest dreams, she organized and produced her first dance show in partnership with other local dancers and sponsors, “The 5 Elements” was her first achievement. She also could participate in MidelAct (one of the greatest theatrical event in Africa) representing Mozambique in two performances. Another great opportunity was to work on a project called “Corpos em Acção” with a Portuguese theatrical company which combines dance and theatrical performance.
Then she moved back to Mozambique where she stood for almost 3 years. In Mozambique a new concept called Ghawazi Worldwide – Dance Convention & Festival was created with another partnership.
After this period she moved again, this time to North America (Canada) where she now resides with her husband. In Canada, she established a new base to explore, create, investigate and teach. Her main goal is to reach other people with her culture.
Back in Mozambique between 2014 and 2015, she started to create a new dance concept, first called Afro Fusion Tribal Dance, then she changed to Afro Fusion Belly Dance and in 2020 she changed again to Afro Fusion Sharqi Dance which first was Patent Pending and now is a Trade Mark. Since she was born and raised in Africa, she believes that is more than a duty to take Africa culture, value, heritage, meaning, History, and much more beyond borders.
Since she moved into Canada she has been teaching Afro Fusion Sharqi Dance in many different places, but also she has been giving workshops (Canada and USA) and performing (Canada, USA and Mozambique) as well.
She completed with success an Introduction to Laban Movement Studies with Helen Walkley. Currently, she is also concluding the studies to become a Dance Certify Teacher by IDTS (International Dance Teaching Standard’s Program) and she studied the 8 Elements Program at Datura Dance School in Portland by Rachel Brice and became the first Mozambican and African Certified Datura Teacher. At this moment she is also studying, as self-didactic, the vocabulary of African Dances by Alphonse Tiérou and Afro Contemporary Dance by Germaine Acogny using their books as guides. She also dedicates a lot of her time doing research in the field of African studies.
She has already studied with so many remarkable names in so many different field such as: Karina Leiro (Flamenco & Sevilhanas), Miguel Vilhena (ballet, barre floor, contemporary, jazz), Tarika Valli (Bharata Natyam), Vasco Lopes (hip-hop, popping, locking, b-boying) and Helen Walkley (Laban Technique and contemporary dance), Osvaldo Passiviro and Mauro Sigauque (Mozambican dances and principles for Traditional dances from African).
Until now, in the field of Raqs Sharqi, Fusion Sharqi, FCBD, Cabaret, she had already the opportunity to study with amazing international teachers such as: April Rose, Abigail Keyes, Ariellah, Ashely Lopez, Bindu Bolar, Catherine De Sève, Carolena Nerichio, Donna Mejia, Hossam & Serena Ramzy, Jill Parker, Judith Dilshad, Kemi Lidle, Kristine Adams, Lady Fred, Mat Jacob, Moria Chappell, Morgana, Olivia Kissel, Patricia Zarnovican, Rachel Brice, Samantha Emanuel, Sharon Kihara, Valenteena Ianni, Violet Scrap and Zoe Jake.