Paulo Manso de Sousa was born on the Island of Madeira, Portugal. He joined the Oakland Ballet Company at the young age of 15, working with legends, like Leonid Massine, Eugen Loring, Anna Sakolo and others. Later he danced with Marin Civic Ballet, Puerto Rican Dance Theater, Ballet Today, Garden State Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, The Eliot Feld Ballet, The Festival Dance Theater Ballet, Alaska Dance Theater, Columbia City Ballet, Ballet Concierto Dominicano, Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, Connecticut Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma, Charleston Ballet, Boca Ballet, Southern Ballet Theater, toured with Edward Villella and Dancers, Dennis Wayne’s DANCERS, Fernando Bujones, Miami City Ballet, and Ballet Biarritz. He has worked with Finnish National Ballet, Rotterdam Dance Academy, was Artistic Director of Compamia de Danca de Aveiro in Portugal, where he has choreographed four original works, one of them a colaboration with University of Avairo and the Filarmonia das Beiras for the Mozart year. He has worked as Ballet Master with Nevada Ballet Theater, Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporaneo National Ballet of Belgradeand and Ayumi Ballet in Tokyo Japan. He has taught at the Vaganova, Escola De Danca do Conservatorio Nacional, Escola Superior de Danca, Companhia de Danca de Lisboa, Companhia de Danca de Almada, Ballet Gulbenkian, Centro Em Movimento, Forum Danca, CeDeCe, Cinevox Junior Company in Switzerland, Companhia de Danca de Aveiro, Atlanta Ballet, Emory University, and the University of Georgia. Mr. Manso de Sousa started folk dancing with Milly VanKonsky, and won a bronze medal for Scottish Highland dancing. He received further ballet training at the San Francisco Ballet School, Oakland Ballet, School of American Ballet in New York, and under the direction of Maggie Black, David Howard, Melissa Hayden and Edward Villella. Mr. Manso de Sousa directed his own dance group MAN-SO-DANCE, directed and choreographed for Subtropics Dance Festival, the Young Artist Series at Florida International University and the South Beach DIFFA Gala at the Jackie Gleason Theater, where Mia Michaels choreographed a special solo for him. As a choreographer, he has collaborated with flutist Nestor Torres for Juego Del Arte, Teatro Avante, Artz-In-The-Hood, Alaska Dance Theater, Sangre De Cristo Civic Ballet, Miami Hispanic Ballet, and New World School of the Arts, Maximum Dance Company, LAMBDA Showcase, and Discovery Channel. Paulo was commissioned to create the image of First Night at the Colony Theater 2000, and works for the Red Cross Dance for Life Gala at the Gussman Theater 2001, 2002, 2003, for Dia Mundial da Danca for the Auditorio Municipal Eunice Munoz, and Hansel & Gretel for the Voorhees Ballet Theatre. Mr. Manso de Sousa has an extensive repertory in classical ballet, contemporary ballet and modern works from Balanchine to Paul Taylor. He has appeared in MTV music videos with Gloria Estefan, Laura Brannigan, Indoor Life, and Puma to name a few. Residing in Newnan, Georgia, Mr. Manso de Sousa brings his vision and renowned international artistic experience to Southern Arc Dance Theatre and Southern Arc Dance Center, which he founded in 2013 to share his passion for dance and to educate a new generation of dancers. Mr. Manso de Sousa continues to be requested as guest instructor and guest choreographer, nationally and internationally.
Will D. Slay, is the Operations Director of Southern Dance. His uncanny ability to connect with people and manage the big picture has helped Southern Arc Dance become a hub for innovative creativity. His passion and drive are what help make Southern Arc Dance and it's umbrella, the contemporary creative space that it is.