There are a couple contenders in Europe for the title of the biggest zouk city. For quite a while Prague, Barcelona, London and Amsterdam have been at the top of the list. All the aforementioned cities have a large number of zouk teachers, dance schools, congresses and party nights and are pretty much neck and neck for the #1 zouk destination in Europe.
Lately, I've been hearing that the zouk scene in Amsterdam is not like it was in its heydays and perhaps Prague and Barcelona are now in reign...? Be that as it may, I was in Amsterdam last week and certainly had to go check out the local zouk scene!
See the end of the post for full list of zouk in Amsterdam & Netherlands!
Zouk in Amsterdam
I decided to venture to the BraSaZouk's Friday "Copacabana XL" party - and it certainly sounded promising: 10th anniversary of BraSaZouk with 5 hours of lambazouk, including guests like Gilson Damasco, Adriana Coutinho, Bebe Genivaldo, Braz dos Santos..... And I wasn't disappointed.
The venue (also know as Melody Line) is located in an eerily quiet industrial park close to the Overamstel metro station. The silence breaks as you start to hear latin music blaring from the front room of the club & dance studio already a block or two away... and as soon as you step in, you'll feel right at home. In the first room there's a large salsa floor and the bar. Behind that an equally spacious zouk room, and from there you can continue on to the slightly smaller bachata studio. There were hundreds of people dancing and a general positive vibe. It's a Friday night in Amsterdam so could you expect anything less!?
In the zouk room they played mainly the latest lambazouk tracks with a couple short interludes of axé (seemed quite popular) and samba de gafieira (less popular). You could also see a few kizomba couples here and there, mixing nicely with the zoukers; a few did ask me if I wanted to dance kizomba or zouk. From midnight onwards the floor was busy, with easily around 100 people in the room and still enough space for dancing. The salsa and bachata rooms were packed too - so consider this a great place to go out for dancing in Amsterdam, worth to venture out of city center (only a 10-minute metro ride).
Perhaps the best part about my night at BraSaZouk: I didn't have to go ask the guys for a dance! Not even once! There was enough great dancers and no need (or habit) for the ladies to run after them. I can happily say that I happened to catch dances only with nice, polite and soft handed leaders - big thumbs up for the Amsterdam zoukeiros! Safe to say I was a happy zoukeira and almost sad to leave the party.
Amsterdam - I will be back for more zouk!!
Though this was a lambazouk party there are plenty of Rio and neo zouk nights in Netherlands. There was also an outdoor zouk party, SummerBreeze, as well as a big zouk party at Dos Bailadores in Lieden with guest stars Bruno & Eglantine (who by the way just came there from Finland!). No shortage of zouk nights in Netherlands.
Below are links to this party and other zouk events, dance schools and anything zouk related in Amsterdam and the Netherland. Thanks to my local zouk friends Josefin and Wing for helping me find the zouk events (luckily zouk friends and zouk parties are never too hard to find!).
In case you notice a regular (or irregular) zouk event is missing from the list or if you have anything relevant to update to this post feel free to use the comment section or contact me.
Zouk socials and parties in Amsterdam
SummerBreeze Zouk Gathering
Thursdays during the summer at 19:00-21:00 outdoor zouk! The party continuous 21:00-01:00 with more afro & latin styles (salsa, bachata, kizomba).
Organised by Yon Mok / MySummerBreeze.
Location: Westergasterras at Klonneplein 4-6, 1014 DD Amsterdam.
Every first and third Friday of the month at 22:00-02:45 zouk as well as kizomba, samba, axé, forró, salsa, merengue and bachata.
Organised by BraSaZouk and Swing Latino.
Location: BraSaZouk Studios (Melody Line) at William Fenengastraat 12, 1096 BN, Amsterdam.
BZA Sunday Zouk Social
On select Sundays at 20:30-23:30, only zouk.
Organised by Brazilian Zouk Amsterdam.
Location: Borgerstraat 112, 1053PX Amsterdam.
Zouk in the Vondelpark
On select Sundays during the summer outdoor zouk.
Organised by Brazilian Zouk Amsterdam.
Location: Vondelpark Openluchttheater at Vondelpark 5-A, 1071 AA Amsterdam.
Dance schools and teachers in Amsterdam
Zouk elsewhere in the Netherlands
Amsterdam is not the only city in Netherlands with zouk! In fact, you may find some of the biggest zouk parties in the other cities so remember to check what's in the schedule when you're around!!
Distances within the country aren't long and many Dutch zoukers regularly visit events outside their home towns. So if you have a car or can hitch a ride you'll find yourself zoukin' pretty much all throughout the week!
You can find zouk workshops, socials and parties in (check the links for the latest schedules):
Delft: Kwok Wan
Den Helder: ZoukLovers
Haarlem: Brazilian Zouk Amsterdam and Salsamotion
Leiden: Dos Bailadores and ZoukLovers
Rotterdam: DancAlegria and Dance-to-go
Zouk & mixed latin events in the Netherlands
11-13 July 2014 Salsa Beach Festival (with zouk, kizomba and bachata) in Noordwijkerhout.
18-20 July 2014 ZNL Zouk Festival in Amsterdam.
28-31 August 2014 Amsterdam Zouk Congress in Amsterdam.
23-27 October 2014 Dutch International Zouk Congress in Breda.
For more special workshop weekends check the local dance schools (links above)!
Want more zouk?
For all the major zouk events around world check our zouk congress calendar.
P.s. What is "gezellig" (in the title)? Read about this fantastic Dutch word here.