Board of Directors and Teachers

Pedagogical Director

Ana Paula da Silva e Freitas Couto is the founder and Pedagogical and Artistic Director of Lampadinha since 1984, now called, Lampadinha Academia de Dança e Artes de Palco. (Lampadinha Dance and Stage Arts Academy). Based on her 30 years work experience, Ana introduces now a new programme in London, through the Littlehelper Dance Academy, Arts School London.

She has a degree in Children’s Education by the Escola Normal de Educadores de Infância, with a Bachelor’s degree and Internships integrated in various educational institutions in the District of Oporto. Licensed and specialised in Specialised Superior Studies of School Administration by the Instituto Superior de Ciências Educativas de Lisboa. Post-graduated by the Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Planification by the Universidade Portucalense do Porto and is preparing her Investigational Project for her PhD in School Organisation and Administration at the University of Minho, in Braga.

Ana is a member of the AEPEC – Assossiação de Educação Pluridimensional da Escola Cultural and a Friends Member of the London Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).

She was a Pedagogical Observation, Pedagogical Practice and Investigational Methodology Professor. She was the Internship and Project Guiding Advisor of her pupils in various educational and social institutions and also advised Graduation Theses. 

Promoted and collaborated with various Cultural Activities, Courses, Speeches, being a speaker in some. Participated in Seminars, Congresses, Speeches, Journeys, Meetings, National and International Education and Artistic Forums.

Organised, promoted and produced many Events, Shows, Festivals and national and international Dance Workshops a few Seminars and Speeches, as well as Dance Master Classes with the Companhia Nacional de Dança, of Lisbon. She also collaborated with many national and international artistic organisations, such as the Companhia de Filipe La Féria (Musical Theatre) in the Rivoli Theatre, in Oporto (Premier and 500th Show Anniversary of the musical “The Sound of Music”). She organised field and work trips to London (with Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz and Street Dance classes, at the Pineapple and Work Dance). Established Protocol with the London School of Sound (with recordings in their sound studio) and contact with the reality of the Musical “Phantom of the Opera”, at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Created and wrote various scripts and directed a few shows, among them, “O Tempo da Dança, na Dança dos Tempos”, in the Campo Alegre Theatre, in Oporto; “Maria e as Pontas Mágicas”, in the Vila Flor Auditorium, in Guimarães, “Aurora” and “Minha Doce Mary”, both presented in the Helena Sá e Costa Theatre, in Oporto. She wrote the tales “Maria e as Pontas Mágicas”, “Aurora” to be produced on stage and the Musical “Minha Doce Mary”, an adaptation of the Musical “Mary Poppins”.

In 2009, Ana was awarded the “Golden Merit Medal of the County of Penafiel” for “the valuable cultural contribution to the county of Penafiel (in Portugal)” by the institution she founded, Lampadinha.

She is the costume creator of Lampadinha. She was recently awarded, amongst 82 other schools, with the “Best Costume Award”, in Spain, in the “Stars Dance Galicia” Contest.

In Lampadinha she is responsible for many reforms throughout the years. Throughout her academic career she developed and carried out research based on scientific, educational, organisational, administrational and artistic knowledge in order to better structure and substantiate her artistic and educational institution.

Financial Directora

António do Couto attended the Instituto Industrial do Porto / ISEP – Eletrotecnia e Máquinas Engineering, between and 1970 and 1977.

He is managing partner of a family company, in Portugal. In parallel, he financially manages Lampadinha and has given the biggest contribution in the responsibility of the sustainability of this Artistic Academy.

António Couto has been, throughout the years, the biggest supporter of many project and productions da Lampadinha, as well as the main worker of the Lampadinha headquarters’ construction and the Littlehelper Dance Academy, Arts School London.

Marketing and Human Resources Director

José Pedro Freitas do Couto began his studies in the fields of Dance, Musical Training and Piano at the age of 3, at the Lampadinha Academia de Dança. He is certified by the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), in Ballet, from Pre-Primary to Grade 5. His Ballet and Caracter teachers were Fátima de Jesus, Margarida Valle Peixoto, Aleksander Vorontsov. His Jazz teacher was Master Mário Gonçalves. His Piano teachers were Maria Albertina de Sousa Machado and Maestro and Composer Master Pereira Pinto.

He took part in the LampDance Dance Group, in 1996, where his choreographers were Maria de Fátima Valle da Veiga, Aleksander Vorontsov and Mário Gonçalves, where he performed Solos, Pas-de-Deux and in Groups. He took part in many shows and danced until the age of 26. He took dance courses, in the Escola de Bailado Maria de Fátima Valle da Veiga, Centro de Dança do Porto, Conservatório Nacional de Dança, de Lisboa where he had classes with Lynn Wallis, current president of RAD, in London. Participated in contests (with awards), festivals and dance shows. His Repertoire consists of the Ballets: “The Happy Prince”, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”, “Cinderella”, “O Tempo da Dança, na Dança do Tempo”, the adaptation of the Musical “Cats”, among many others.

He engaged in Fashion and took part many fashion shows in the North of Portugal.

He has a diploma in the Professional Course from the Tourism and Hotel School of the Algarve and attendance in the Tourism Management Course, of the University of Aveiro. He lived for two years where he worked as Shift Leader in a number of hotels of the Shaftesbury’s chain, in London.

He was the creator and founder of the LampLeds Company. Since 2011, he’s the Marketing and Human Resources Director of Lampadinha Academia de Dança e Artes de Palco and, now also of Littlehelper Dance Academy, Arts School London.

CEO - João Couto / John Kooper  

António João Freitas do Couto began his musical studies at Lampadinha at the age of 5. He acquired Piano and Electronic Organ training with Maestro Pereira Pinto. Took part in musical events (Portugal, Spain and England) and he produced many original pieces. He is the founder (2003), and director of LampStudio (a Sound Laboratory where sonorities are researched and developed)

Has a degree in Music from the Escola Superior de Artes Aplicadas de Castelo Branco (2014); Sound Engineering (2010), and Music Business (2015), from the London School of Sound. He has a course in Technical Computing, from the Joaquim de Araújo Secondary School, of Penafiel (2005), and Attendance of the Sound and Image Course at Catholic University of Oporto.

Collaborated in various Projects and Events of Lampadinha: Sound Producer for the show “O Tempo da Dança, na Dança do Tempo” (2006), at the Campo Alegre Theatre; “Coppélia” Ballet; “1st International Dance LampFestival”, of Penafiel; Production, Soundtrack to the Musical “Minha Doce Mary” and Dub and Song Recording, at the Helena Sá e Costa Theatre, in Oporto (2014).

As part of his degree, he took part in the Group Project “Orquestra de Laptop’s”, at the “Serralves em Festa” Festival, in Serralves, in Oporto (2014). In Lisbon, as part of the Música Viva Festival 2014 – Miso Music, at the São Luiz Theatre, he premiered “Digillucination” (Orquestra de Altifalantes). About this, he states: “A journey through space in search of the unknown, in a future ‘non-defined’ where programming and robots rule, surpassing what is humanly possible. This journey is by itself and its own sonority a hyperbole that radicalizes the concept of territorial exploration. The discovery of the unknown is something that musically fascinates and motivates me, allied to the advances of technology and consequently the emerging of new sound possibilities”(2014).

As the final project for his degree, he developed an Interactive Dance Application (the music influences the performers movement, simultaneously, the performers movement influence the composition).

He currently lives in London and develops projects in the field of dance music.

Teacher of the Creative Dance, Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Toddlers and Parents Class - Maria Moura

Maria trained at the Lampadinha Academyof Dance and Arts, where she studied the method of the Royal Academy of Dance, method up to Advanced Vocational level.She attended Modern classes with Ruben Marks; Ballet, by the Vaganova Method (Russian School), with Aleksander Vorontsov; Contemporary, with Cátia Esteves; Jazz, with Mário Gonçalves. She took part in and collaborated in various local, national and international events and represented Lampadinha, dancing in many auditoriums throughout Portugal, being awarded in some of them.

Maria then attended the Escola Superior de Dança obtaining a BA (Hons) in Dance. During her last year at the University, she was awarded a Sócrates/Erasmus scholarship and spent 3 months at Danshogskolan University College of Dance in Stockholm, Sweden. Since graduating, she has worked with various companies including Vortice Dance Company (National and International Tour), Dance Festivals, in Music Vídeos, TV, Modelling and Bricolage Dance Movement. Maria is a fully qualified, Dance Teacher, IDTA Freestyle Associate Dance Teacher, First Aid Trained, DBS checked, Child Protection Course with long experience teaching Ballet and Contemporary to children of all ages.

Littlehelper Dance Academy, Arts School London, is counting on Maria to teach the Creative Dance, Ballet, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, Toddlers and Parents Classes.

Drama Teacher - Sara Paz

Sara Paz began performing professionally in 1996 after finishing her acting training in Oporto, where she was born. Since then, her career has also involved theatre production and facilitation of drama and movement workshops. Parallel to her freelancing, she has founded and co-directed Meta Mortem Fase Theatre Company and has recently created an applied theatre Project Expressão do Ser | insideOut.

Over the years she has continuously invested in the development of her acting and teaching skills, training in institutions like Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute New York, Venice Biennale, University of Oporto, amongst many others. She is now getting her Master’s degree in Applied Theatre - Drama in Community and Drama Education, in the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

She has moved to London in 2013 and is currently working in a secondary school, where she is working closely with the Drama, SEN and EAL departments designing activities exploring the potential of theatre as a tool for inclusion and transformation.

Sara Paz is an Actress, Drama Teacher and Project Director.

In Lampadinha Academia de Dança e Artes de Palco, in Penafiel, Portugal, Sara was the Dramatic Expression and Theatre Initiation teacher between 2007 a 2012. Theatre Teacher, Theatre Director and translated the children’s tale “Pinocchio”, a play for children from various kindergartens and schools of the Penafiel county, in Portugal, with great success (2009); Theatre director of the show (ballet/musical), “Maria e as Pontas Mágicas”, produced for the Lampadinha’s 25th Anniversary Celebration (2009); Teacher and Theatre director, play extract of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” (2010), among other small productions.

Littlehelper Dance Academy, Arts School London, counts on Sara Paz as a Drama Teacher.

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Lampadinha Academia de Dança

Address: Rua Abílio Miranda, 52

P. Code: 4560-501 Penafiel

Phone: +351 255 711 394 / +351 925 204 047


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