Tropicaleiza by Julie Simon

Please support Julie Simon in realizing her vision to create a full-length, interactive concert: She | Her | Us.

Tropicaleiza, founded in 2006 and directed by Julie Simon is a multi-dimensional, dynamic, magnanimous group of powerful diverse women fully expressing themselves through the joyful acts of dancing and drumming. We exist to impart strength vigor and joy into women’s lives empowering them through compelling storytelling, movement workshops, and audience interaction. Our repertoire honors the complex and vital art of the feminine incorporating grounded uninhibited African influenced expression, fluid voluminous contemporary movement and the playfulness and joy of Brazilian dance and music.  We create a vibrant energetic connection between dancers / musicians and audience members. We believe we should live and breathe to our fullest expression always in all ways. 

Our invocation

We drum we dance we empower. 

We are words demonstrated. 

We get to joyfully and boldly move our beautiful bodies fullest expression always in all ways

We inspire to fully express all that you are and were created to be.

Don’t mute.

Current Project: She | Her | Us
Currently we are working on a full length interactive concert She | Her | Us. It is our goal that through our latest endeavor, a full length production, She | Her | Us we are able to provide and facilitate interactive dance/drum workshops to young women and teens of all backgrounds. 

About the Director

Dance Artist Julie Simon, has been a professional dancer for 30 years performing in styles ranging from Brazilian, Caribbean and Latin Dances, to  and Afro-Contemporary Dance Styles. She was based in Northern Ca. for 7 years, Africa for 4 months, Europe for 7 years training and performing internationally in 14 different countries before returning to her native Southern California. She began teaching in  2003 through the urging of her mentor Eneida Castro. Some of her highlights include: 2010-Present Curator / Producer of “World Dance Intensives” Featuring Master Instructors specializing in Afro-Brazilian Dance, Afro-Cuban Dance and West African Dance, 2011 Invited speaker for a TedX event speaking onThe Transformative Power of Dance, 2020 International Teaching Tour Including France, Belgium, and Holland, and more! Read her artist statement below:

“I am a dance artist/musician who believes in honoring the complex and vital art of the divine feminine. My practice, teaching and repertoire impart joy, vigor, vitality and abundant courage. Utilizing dance and music. I incite women to pursue the impossible, to break free of suffocating limitations for fullest expression.
I have always been self-funded, self-sufficient, resilient. I close my eyes and see young dancers, young meaning younger than my 51 almost 52 years, fully expressing themselves and using dance and music as a tool to do so. I would like to be able to do the thing, for real. I mean really do it without resource limitation. I am in the process of creating another self-funded full length show She| Her| Us. Through compelling stories (autobiographical) the dancers and musicians will become words manifested. We will explore breaking free from various forms of limitations both imposed and self-imposed, un-muting ourselves, universal dialogues and intersections in conversations between women of different backgrounds and cultures all invoking fullest expression, and deep courage.This is what I live daily. I see this concert leading to dance and music workshops, scholarships for dancers, mentorships and training. I want to be able to really do it and do it right. Being supported in this way (financially) is something I’ve never experienced yet despite this, my impact as been great. I imagine how much larger the impact would be with that kind of support. My vision is so expansive and as an artist who has lived and performed in many countries this would be the professional and artistic achievement that would truly allow me to invoke hope, joy, strong sense of self and courage into other dancers.
I am 51 staring straight at 52. I still dance full out, full time. I hear women tell me they are too old, too fat, too young to matter, too this too that. I am a standing living breathing testimony to women that life doesn’t have to end or can’t yet start because of age, or of a certain body type, or because of any other limitation imposed upon them (self or otherwise). I have a dance company with age ranges 23-51, from all diverse trainings, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. My work transcends current situations and dives right into the heart of what every woman from the youngest to the eldest face, “Am I enough and what is my voice?” Technique and choreography are taught, they are learned. They require a dedicated discipline. What also requires and deserves dedicated practice is our unique feeling our unique expression. My work incites this unique energetic expression and holds space for women who under traditional outdated standards had no voice. Women the older we become the more ornate, the more intricate we are. Every line, crack crevice nuance is just a testament to how ornate we truly are. Recently I’ve started working with children. I want to reach them before they say they are too (insert negative word). They may not become dancers but through this methodology, dancing, drumming and training they will have seen over and over something they thought was impossible become possible. These messages transcend dance. These messages transcend age. This harnesses true social unity empowering women in more than just the dance community, but in the way they go through life. This work is in the intimate. It then pours out like sweet honey impacting everything these women and young girls do and face, in turn impacting greatly society.


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