Longboard dancing with "The Girls of Guanabara"

December 8, 2020 | Skateboarding
The Girls of Guanabara: a longboard dancing movie | Photo: Lucas Inke

Everyone knows that you can do tricks on a skateboard, but did you know you can dance on a skateboard?

That's exactly what four fearless women prove, as they defy the laws of gravity in their latest short film collaboration, "The Girls of Guanabara."

The film was made in collaboration between the UK-Brazilian skateboard collective and longboard school Guanabara Boards and Los Angeles filmmaker Brett Novak.

It was supported by Nike and shot amongst the breathtaking landscapes of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The six-minute project takes us on a journey by longboard to experience the true Brazilian spirit and color of carnival while leaving viewers in a sense of awe at the technical and artistic abilities of the four female skate longboarders.

Longboard dancing is the latest skateboard trend taking the world by storm, and the movie shows us exactly why as the girls step and spin on their skateboards with a sense of freedom, grace, and style that forgets they are actually balancing on a moving piece of wood.

"The Girls of Guanabara" sets out to prove that women can be the subjects and creators of beauty.

Its mission is to inspire worldwide women to get out, be daring, fearless, and creative, whether that means in skateboarding, extreme sports, or in anything that they choose to do.

Sara Watanabe: one of the stars of the Brazilian longboard dancing movie | Photo: Teresa Madeline Batista

Empowering Women Through Skateboarding

The four women who appear in the film were all taught how to longboard dance by the Guanabara Boards longboard school, which launched a school in London in 2020, after operating out of Rio de Janeiro since 2010.

The film's UK-born and based producer, Teresa Madeline Batista, also longboards in the video while eight weeks pregnant.

"I made this film to be empowering for women. There's never been one quite like this that showcases such a high level of skill and creativity from female longboarders," revealed Batista.

"We needed a filmmaker who could match the ability and creativity of the girls, and that's where Brett Novak came in."

Brett Novak is an American filmmaker, director, and music video editor for the likes of Beyoncé and Kanye West.

He's best known for his skateboard-related short films, in particular his collaborations with Spanish professional skateboarder Kilian Martin.

Novak has had his films commissioned by brands such as Mercedes and Ballantine's whiskey.

This is the first time he's made a film featuring female skateboarders.

The Girls of Guanabara: a movie shot by Brett Novak | Photo: Lucas Inke

The Guanabara Girls

The four skateboarders featured in the film are Ana Maria Suzano, Teresa Madeline, Sara Watanabe, and Beatriz Gavelak.

Suzano is a psychology student. She started skateboarding at the age of 14 and has already had a taste of online stardom with over 20 million views on her videos.

Her seamless flow on the board and love for fashion has influenced an entirely new generation of young women and men worldwide, which hasn't gone unnoticed by global brands either.

Teresa Madeline Batista originally traveled to Brazil in 2014 to work on a project about women in boardsports, where she started researching for the Guanabara girls film.

She was so allured by their world that she moved to Brazil, where she met her skateboard coach/husband and immersed herself into practicing longboard dancing - to eventually become a Guanabara girl herself.

Sara Watanabe is a model, born and raised in Rio de Janeiro.

When not shredding down Rio's hills, she's tearing it up the flatland with her effortlessly rhythmic flow and outer-worldly balance.

Beatriz Gavelak is a nurse in training and business owner. She hones a smooth, delicate dancing style while at the same time proving that she truly is a master of equilibrium as she executes challenging technical tricks that few others in the world can muster.

The Girls of Guanabara: empowering women through skateboarding | Photo: Batista/Novak

A Reference in Longboard Dancing

Guanabara Boards is an international skateboard school and a collective of skaters from Rio de Janeiro who teach in Brazil and the UK.

Since 2012 their passion has been to share the health benefits and lifestyle of skateboarding with everybody, a goal they are achieving with schools and workshops in the UK, Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, and Spain.

The team is a reference for longboard dancing, influencing new generations of skaters around the world.

The name "Guanabara" is the native Brazilian name for the city of Rio de Janeiro.

The family-owned company is run by Alex Batista and Teresa Batista, who met in Rio de Janeiro and found each other through skateboarding after Teresa had a nasty fall on her face.

Alex helped her to the hospital - and the rest was history. They even longboarded after tying the knot in Australia on their wedding day.

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