It Starts with Baby Steps...

"All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act without benefit of experience." 
Henry Miller


I love this quote above because it reminds me that just like a baby learning to walk, we only can learn something by doing it. By trial and error. By taking a chance!

I don't know if you saw my website update and instagram post this week about the exciting news about Samba in Paris (France), Monte Carlo (Monte Carlo), Solstice Parade (Santa Barbara), California Brazil Camp (Santa Rosa) and other amazing chances that are coming my way to share what I love Internationally. Last year I was delighted to teach in Los Angeles at the International Samba Congress, Paris (2019 is my third year back) and Brussels (Belgium). Wow. I am saying this not to brag but because I feel humbled by all invitations. And you know me, I have been on a mission to make Samba more respected around the world.... Obstacles, failure and then..... It has been such a long journey and I want to celebrate all my artistic opportunities with YOU.

It makes me think.... we can't create the life we want by sitting on the sidelines (or anything in this world for that matter). We have to just go for it. We have a life to live! And sometimes we must start small. For me, the last few years have been one-tiny-baby-step at a time. Starting small....


"Starting small puts 100 percent of our energy on actually solving real problems for real people,"  wrote Derek Sivers. 

My motto (I read it somewhere years ago): If you want to be successful or you think you're on to something, you can start now with just 1 percent of what your ultimate vision is. Sure, it will be a humble version of the go-big-or-go-home project you have in mind, but at least you will be in the game. You will be in the game because you will have actually started and be DOING something - while the rest of the world quits before they are ahead (or never even begin in the first place).

It's like Samba really.... it is in the doing of it that we become better.

♥  My inspiration for you today is this one: Do you remember that dream of yours that you have been carrying for a while in your heart? I dare you: Start today! 

Baby steps.... Go AHEAD... make it happen!

Celebrating Yemanjá and The Ocean Interview Series: The Water Element in Chinese Medicine

In this Sexy Samba Soul Show interview below I talk with my friend Kaita Mrazek.

Kaita is a dancer, yoga teacher and Co-Founder of the Ghost Flower Brand.

Ghost Flower is an activewear line of clothes that draws inspiration from Chinese Medicine and its Elements. Here Kaita gives us some tips about how to balance the water energy in our body. I loved interviewing and playing with her by the Ocean, with Yemanjá!

From the Afro Brazilian traditions: Yemanjá is beautiful, strong and will protect until the very end, yet she is soft, subtle and nurturing. The Ocean is the great mother, abundance and life! Yemanjá is feminine principle of creation, being the ocean itself. Yemanja gives us vision, inspiration and the ability to flow smoothly through life’s torrential times.

The water element so important to all of us.... We know, we are mostly water (after space, of course). Water holds our memory. Water also relates to our sacral chakra and is associated with movement, emotions and our creativity and sensuality in the yogic Chakra system. In Chinese Medicine the water element restores and rules the Kidney and Bladder organs

Let me know what you think about this interview and if you are in the American Riviera on the Feb. 2, please join us Yemanjá Dance Workshop with Vanessa "Celebrating The Ocean and the Water Element" with live music. In this workshop we will dance honoring Yemanjá and also Oxum (sweet waters/rivers) while allowing our bodies to renew and heal. Dancing moves will based on a series of original movements of Vanessa’s Contemporary Afro Brazilian Fusion Style. Registrations for the workshop click here

More information on Kaita’s work and Ghost Flower Brand please go to please click here and stay tuned for some exclusive discount I wil be sharing or their awesome active wear.

Music on this interview: Turquesa by Vanessa Isaac, arranged by Randy Tico on the Hip Brazil Grooves album available here

Samba and Girl Power

"I can't understand why men make all this fuss about Everest...
It's only a mountain" 

 ~ Junko Tabei

The first time I read this quote, it truly made me laugh. I like Tabei's sense of humor. And of course, she can brag about it too... she was not only the first woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest but the first woman to have achieved the summits of the highest peaks on all seven continents!

I don't know much about her, but by this quote and by what she has achieved in life, I think of her as confident, strong, determined, and an empowered woman.


A woman that can kick it, if you know what I mean. The kind of woman I want to be when I grow up. 

Empowerment is something we all hold within. Many times it lies hidden until we realize just how to claim it and let it guide us to climb our own mountains.

They say that to women, empowerment may not feel as natural as it does to men. I doubt this statement to be accurate. I know many men who also struggle with self-confidence. But women have many times been portrayed in the media as weak and submissive.

I confess, I have been in situations where I felt powerless, but I knew I was worth it. One of the biggest teachers of empowerment has been my dance, active lifestyle and fitness. That's why I think it is so important for all women to live an active lifestyle.

By being active, I have learned just how strong my female body is. Strength training actually shows us that our body is strong and can fight back when called upon.

Through my Samba and dance practice I have learned about the beauty of confidence. Lifting, twisting and holding my body in the most complex positions shows me that by believing, I can try anything and have the confidence to do it. It may take a few tries, but I never let myself give up.

When walking and running, I have learned just how much endurance and mental toughness I have. When our body requires us to keep pushing through more miles, it takes a lot of inner strength to keep telling ourselves that we can do it. 

And that's why I believe in this active, dance and Samba lifestyle so much.  Not only being active is great for the body physically, but it is just as important for our sense of self-worth and our mental wellness.

photo by Gary Cartzdanfer

photo by Gary Cartzdanfer

Ps. Girl power is a fantastic thing but then so is boy power. The sweet kind of power I am talking about here...The power to believe in ourselves and to go for our dreams!

My End of Year Rituals for 2018!

Vanessa’s First Chakra work. Making the Foundation Solid for a New year!

Vanessa’s First Chakra work. Making the Foundation Solid for a New year!

Please take a deep breath!

Before the end of the year, before goals, and New Years resolutions….

You did great!

Appreciate yourself, balance your energies.

Next year there is so much to accomplish, so many dances to dance, so much to share but for now breathe deeply and give yourself some love.

It’s so important to stop and give yourself some gratitude.


In this video above I talk why I am working with the chakra system and the beautiful energy of Afro Brazilian Orixas, to balance my energies before the year ends. I share a few personal rituals I am working with now before 2019 arrives to create some structure for the new year. 

I hope you are having a great end of year!

Warm Brazilian hugs,


Samba to a Classic Samba Song!

This is a super classic Samba song titled "Não deixe o Samba Morrer", in the voice of famous Brazilian singer Alcione.  The words "Não deixe o Samba Morrer" translates to English as "Don't let the Samba Die!" and is a mantra to us sambistas, you also see this slogan on t-shirts in Brasil. 

I created this little routine for this song last year. This is such a slower, soulful, hypnotic song and gives a lot of room for us to work on our Samba style and footwork.



Enjoy, and if you didn't sign up for our upcoming ONLINE Samba Dance Academy, join the list soon at



Sexy Samba Soul Show with Vanessa: Hollywood Director Paula Walker

Gorgeous Dancers,

Please have a tea with us!!!

This is an interview with Hollywood Commercial/Film Director and friend Paula Walker in one more episode of our Sexy Samba Soul Show.  This interview is a great one for those who want to understand more the business in Hollywood, but there are some reflections for all of us who love DANCE.

"Samba Dance is the dance of Liberation"  Paula says

 Award-winning Director Paula Walker has worked extensively, aboard and in the US, putting her unique signature on numerous media ventures including commercials, documentary and short films. Her countless television campaigns include BMW, Mazda, Revlon, CoverGirl, Macy's, Bacardi, Maybelline, and L'Oreal. Partnering with award-winner director of photography Rolf Kestermann, Paula founded Strato Films, a commercial and music video production company.

Paula has also directed music videos for famous music artists such as Tracy Chapman, Tina Turner, Babyface, Dolly Parton, Lou Reed, Marc Anthony, Queen Latifah, Leonard Cohen and Carlos Santana. Paula received an International Monitor Award for Tina Turner’s video “Way of the world”

This is a very down to Earth interview with many insights and tips. I think you will love it!




I would love to hear how you like this Sexy Samba Soul Episode! Please share....

Sending love,


Sexy Samba Soul Show with Vanessa: Brazilian Dance Teacher Dill Costa Interview

I want to invite you today to watch my interview with Brazilian Dancer and Teacher Dill Costa as part of our Sexy Samba Soul Show. Dill is a native of Brazil, an actress, singer and dancer. I am amazed by her energy and her spirit. During the International Congress we became friends and I noticed that she deeply cares about her students, both as dancers and human beings, and I am in love with her!

"Dance is not just about movement. It's about emotion too.... You cannot be just teachers and count 1, 2, 3 ,4..... It's not about that!"

I am honored to have her in the show. Please click on the video below to watch the entire interview. You will love her too! This is a special edition of the Sexy Samba Soul Show: The International Samba Congress Series.



"Never Quit on your Dreams!" Interview with Dancer Rodrigo Marques!

Hello beauties,

On this episode of our Sexy samba Soul Show, I have a Samba and Gafieira conversation with dancer and choreographer Rodrigo Marques. You gotta meet him, he is truly an inspiration! Marques is a dance teacher, dancer and choreographer. He is also the co-creator of the International Samba Congress in Los Angeles and Gafieira Brasil in Rio de Janeiro

Rodrigo Marques is the Artistic and Stage director for the Carlinhos de Jesus Dance Company (Cia Carlinhos de Jesus) Marques has also danced for Seu Jorge, Diogo Nogueira and More! This was truly a fabulous time and interview and I got to take my first steps in Gafieira with him right at beautiful Venice Beach.... I am a lucky girl! 


You will see also a special appearance by great musician Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro (He was there and his interview is coming soon too!)

I love that this show features music by the fabulous musical group "Grupo Falso Baiano". Featured Music: "Bunda Ginga" by Brian Moran with "Grupo Falso Baiano"Group's website: Composer's website:                                  

Other tracks by 

Join our upcoming Online Samba Dance Academy:

Please watch and let me know what you think!

Samba on....



* With the "Sexy Samba Soul™ Show with Vanessa Isaac", I invite you to take a journey with me. This is a show to inspire you to live all the colors of a passionate lifestyle. Every episode brings you exclusive interviews and tips in Samba dancing, fitness, fashion & costumes, nutrition, beauty and lifestyle. "Samba is more than a dance style. It's a lifestyle!"

Fashion, Samba Costumes and Shoes, Vanessa Interview with Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn

On a beautiful but cold morning I went to Napa Valley not to talk wine but, ironically, to talk Samba fashion, culture and of course Samba costumes....Ok, I confess, I happily had a "few" glasses of wine too.

My guest, Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn and her beautiful daughter Maria Luiza received me for an interview in their home. They were both very gracious and welcoming hosts as we filmed this episode of Sexy Samba Soul™. Luiza even modeled a pair of shoes for us. Thank you beautiful Luiza!

Maria Cristina is a very dynamic woman and the founder of Brazil Carnival Shop Online ( She brings to the table, besides her "Brazilianness", a background in marketing and fashion (Yes, I mean she worked with Oscar de La Renta)!

As an artist I love the historic context of things and I truly appreciate when someone can give me cultural insights. As the interview progressed it was obvious that she shares this passion for culture with me. We talked about Brazil, Carnaval and Samba and she would always refer to the traditional framework of the styles and pieces. Even when we talked shoes she referenced it back to one of my idols- the great Carmen Miranda, since the professional Sambista shoes today are based on Miranda's famous platform style.

On this interview she shows us beautiful dresses and passistas (Samba dancers) pieces, Samba shoes to die for and Brazilian active wear to inspire us to hit the gym and the dance studio for classes.



I am delighted to share this episode of the Sexy Samba Soul™ show.  

Please enjoy, share and let me know how you like this latest episode of our show. I love hearing from you!


Interview with Aninha Malandro. The Sexy Samba Show First Episode is Here!

As I promised here is my interview with dancer, choreographer and educator Ana Laidley (aka Aninha Malandro) and the first episode of the Sexy Samba Soul Show. 

I should say that Aninha and I "sat down" for a interview in Los Angeles, but since both of us are dancers, the interview happened just before Aninha's weekly Sunday class and "standing up" in the parking lot behind the studio where she teaches her weekly Sunday class. We even danced together for a few seconds for my joy.

It was a hot Sunday afternoon in LA and I was so happy to see Aninha and talk with her about Samba, about her Mangueira Samba School roots (the most traditional Samba School in Rio) and to have the opportunity to hear her advice for all dancers, Sambistas and lovers of dance.

I first met Aninha fifteen years ago. Her energy and dedication to Samba is contagious. Aninha is also a psychologist. You can see how she understands dance from a very healing perspective. The healing effect of dance (As the integration of body, mind and soul) have been one of my lifelong interests and passions and one of the reasons that I teach and why I dance. 

So it was a joy to interview Aninha and have her as my first guest! Please watch below...


* Aninha teaches Samba in Los Angeles. Tuesdays 8pm and Sundays 3:00pm at the Brasil Brasil Cultural Center.


                     Come and Dance with us at the International Samba Congress! 

Aninha Malandro is also the co-founder of the first International Samba Congress that will happen in Los Angeles this coming May 19-21. I am delighted to let you know that I am part of this amazing faculty she has put together! (Read below about the samba discount for my dancers here).

I am truly honored to be among so many dancers from Brazil and all over the world teaching in the Congress. So many dancers and teachers I admire including Rosangela Silvestre, Rodrigo Marques and Aninha herself.


"The International Samba Congress will bring together over 30 Brazilian dance, music, cultural and history experts for a presentation unlike any other outside of Brazil. Join us as you expand your current knowledge, grow a deeper sense of connection to Brazilian culture, and experience the healing power of Samba!"

Classes in Samba-no-pé (Rio Style), Samba Choreography, Samba de Roda (Bahia), Samba de Gafieira (partner dance), for beginners to advanced levels, will be taught by an amazing group of instructors. Performances, lectures on the history of Samba, and Carnival in Brazil are scheduled... plus so much more. You don't want miss this world Samba event! 

NOTE: My Samba class is scheduled for Friday, May 19 at 5pm. I am just so excited to teach and I would love to have you there in the studio with me. If you are interested in going to the Samba Congress and to take my class, I am getting a group discount for my students for the full pass. But hurry up because we only have until the end of this coming week to apply for group discounts, and I only have 10 spots. E-mail me back so I can send you a link and info ASAP if you are interested. 

For those who just want to buy their individual passes please click here to use my link. I can't wait to dance with you!

Warm Brazilian Hugs,


Sexy Samba Soul™ Show First Season Coming Soon!


Today, I am thrilled to announce the first season of my new show Sexy, Samba, Soul™ . Soulful conversations with a Brazilian sensibility and style: dance inspiration, food, beauty & fashion tips for dancers and non-dancers.

Coming soon: Exclusive interviews with movers and shakers and creative minds. The first season comes exuding soulful sexiness:                                 

Makeup tips and a blog interview with celebrity makeup artist Agostina Lombardo (Vogue Magazine, celebrity stars such as Angelina Jolie and Hale Berry)   

An in-depth Samba dance conversation with Aninha Malandro (teacher, dancer, choreographer, co-creator of the International Samba Congress)                                      

Samba and gafieira fun with Rodrigo Marques (Seu Jorge, Diogo Nogueira, Carlinhos de Jesus choreographer and stage director. Creator of Gafieira Brasil and co-founder of the International Samba Congress)

Hollywood business tips for dancers and performers with film director Paula Walker (Los Angeles/Hollywood)

A special appearance by Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro (Royalty Samba musician. Mangueira Samba School)

Brazilian Style and Samba costumes with Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn (Owner of Brazil Carnival Shop) and much more.....

Calling all dancers, Sambistas, lovers of beauty, health, art and culture!!!  You don't want to miss this show. Let's get our gold Samba shoes on.....

Please watch the video below to see preview!

Get on our Sexy Samba list and don't miss an episode.

Your body is smart. Your SOUL IS SEXY!

Warm Brazilian hugs!