Rafael was born in Rio de Janeiro and started dancing at the age of 8. He studied break dance, classical ballet, and contemporary dance, until he discovered ballroom dance at the age of 17, through his great master, Maria Antonieta. He has also taken many courses at important dance schools like Deborah Colker and Angel Vianna.
His first contact with forró was at the age of 16; since then he focused on the embrace dances. Having lived in different cultures and practiced so many different dances helped him develop a very eclectic way of dance, in which he incorporates different body and dance techniques to create a dynamic, fluid, and stable dance.
At the age of 18, he co-founded the group Forró nas alturas, dedicated exclusively to forró. He also participated in the group Forró do Rio.
Rafael has taught in several festivals around Europe, like Ai que bom, Forró Wochenende Freiburg, Alegria do Norte Stockholm, Copenhague Festival, Psiu forró Festival Berlin, and has given workshops in more than 30 countries.
He currently travels twice a year, once to Asia and Oceania and once to USA and Canada, giving workshops, private classes, performing, and DJing. In Brazil, he gives workshops once a year in São Paulo, Salvador, and Resende.
Rafael developed the Smooth Flight Method, the technique he created to teach embrace dances. Through this method, he aims to inform students about how to create a silent but powerful, light but dynamic, dance.