SAO BERNARDO DO CAMPO, Brazil – Brazilians may be seeing a whole lot more of the student whose short pink dress got her booted from college: She's agreed to march in the nation's famously flesh-baring Carnival parades.
Geisy Arruda, who became an instant celebrity after being heckled by hundreds of fellow students because of her dress, said Thursday she has accepted invitations to participate with samba groups in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
"It will be a dream come true for me," Arruda said just before giving a deposition to police investigating the students who harassed her on Oct. 22 at the University Bandeirante in Sao Bernardo do Campo, just outside Sao Paulo.
Arruda, 20, said she will parade for the Leandro de Itaquera samba school in Sao Paulo and the Porto da Pedra school in Rio. The Rio and Sao Paulo parades are broadcast live throughout the nation of more than 190 million people.
"Sometimes, good things come from bad things," she said.
Many women featured in Carnival dance nearly nude in feathered costumes, but Arruda didn't say how naked she's willing to get.
Porto da Pedra's theme for this year's parade at the Sambadrome will be "What will I wear?" -- addressing the evolution of fashion. It wasn't yet known what kind of costume Arruda will wear or if she will be on top of a float.
"I hope to look good," Arruda said as photographers kept trying to get a good shot of the student who became an Internet sensation after video of what happened at the school appeared on YouTube. She had to put on a professor's white coat and left the campus amid a hail of insults and curses.
The private university expelled Arruda, alleging her provocative attitude, not her dress, caused the near riot. After a national uproar, the university reinstated her.
Arruda has made the circuit of television talks shows in Brazil and has said she is enjoying her fame, but she denied any plans to pose nude for men's magazines.
"I don't want to get exposed like that," she said.
Arruda, who was studying tourism, said she hoped to finish her freshman year at Bandeirante and transfer to another school in 2010. But she said she hasn't returned to class because she still fears for her safety.
Her lawyers have asked the university to guarantee her safety, but they say the school has not given any assurance.
"I want to go back, but I'm very scared right now," Arruda said. "Without some help from the university, there is no way I can return. They haven't done anything yet."
The phone rang unanswered at the school's media office on Thursday, but officials there earlier said that Arruda would be safe if she comes back.
Arruda said she would not "point fingers" at the students who heckled her, but said she hoped the school's security cameras would be able to identify some of them.