Brazilian Zouk Dance Council - Your fact sheet

Read Larissa Thayane's interview about the Brazilian Zouk Dance Council:
Larissa Thayane and the Brazilian Zouk Dance Council - "We want to improve the social dance skills of every dancer"

Below all the facts you need to know about BZDC and the zouk Jack & Jill competitions!


BZDC Basic information

What is Brazilian Zouk Dance Council?

Find BZDC on the web:

Find BZDC on the web:

“BZDC serves, supports and promotes all aspects of Brazilian Zouk and encourages the growth of the dance throughout the world. The council is designed to improve communications and provide information services and record keeping for the Brazilian zouk community. The council maintains a global website with a competitor registry showing points accumulated in zouk Jack & Jill competitions and an Instructors registry with a listing of dance instructors that are members of the BZDC in good standing.” More about BZDC at


Who are behind the BZDC? 

The The Board of Directors are Alex de Carvalho, Gilson Damasco, Rodrigo Delano, Lidio Freitas, Renata Peçanha, Kadu Pires, Larissa Thayane. Read more about how the Council got started in the interview with Larissa! 


Zouk Jack & Jill competitions

What does a ‘Jack & Jill’ competition mean?

Jack and Jill (or J&J) is a format of competition in partner dancing, where the competing couples are the result of random matching of leaders and followers. J&J is popular at swing conventions, as well as at ballroom dance competitions in the US. J&J competitions are intended to test social dance skills, whereas fixed partner competitions test performance dance skills. More about Jack & Jills' at Wikipedia.


When and where can I compete?

Registered events (with zouk Jack & Jill competitions):
10 - 13 July, 2015 at Zouk S.E.A in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Novice, Invitational).
24 - 26 Jul, 2015 at Casa do Zouk in Gold Coast, Australia  (Novice, Intermediate, Invitational).
2 - 4 Oct, 2015 at Vision Dance Encounter in Toronto, Canada (Newcomer; Novice).
25 - 29 Feb, 2016 at Australiasian West Coast Swing & Zouk Championships in Gold Coast, Australia (Novice, Intermediate, Invitational).
25 - 30 March, 2016 at Prague Zouk Congress in Prague, Czech Republic (Novice, Intermediate, Invitational).

Past events:
25 - 27 Jul, 2014 at Casa do Zouk in Gold Coast, Australia (Novice, Intermediate, Invitational).
7 - 10 Aug, 2014 at Zouk S.E.A in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Novice, Invitational).
17 - 19 April, 2015 at New Zealand Brazilian Dance Festival in Christchurch, New Zealand (Novice, Invitational).
30 Apr - 3 May, 2015 at LA Zouk Congress in Los Angeles, United Estates (Novice, Invitational).

Check the latest event list at


How Zouk Jack & Jill competitions are conducted?

Open registration: Competitions are open to any dancer of any nationality.

Divisions: There needs to be a minimum of two BZDC Registry Jack & Jill divisions with at least 40 contestants across all divisions. BZDC Competitors Registry shall be utilized to determine each competitor's appropriate division. It's not allowed to artificially even up groups by shifting of competitors between divisions or taking walk-ins. Combining divisions shall be avoided, if at all possible.

Random ordering: Rotations in competition heats, determining which dancers dance more than once (in uneven heats), pairing of partners in the finals and determining the order of dance shall be random.

Number of judges: A minimum of five judges is required for finals contests, or six total judges (three per sex) if judges are judging one sex only. Recommended nr of judges is 7 or more finals and 8-10 (4-5 judges per sex).

Judging: All contest results shall be based on judges making independent decisions and the scores properly compiled, tabulated (using Relative Placement Scoring System) and reviewed. Preliminary contests shall utilize the Callback System for determining finalists. Group judging decisions, tap out eliminations during the contest or instantaneous decisions are not accepted. Any potential conflicts, (favoritism or bias) between any judges and competitors shall be identified; and judging assignments shall be determined around the conflict. Chief Judge and scoring duties shall be independent of the event sponsor.

Results: Results postings shall be open to competitors and available within 21 days of the event.


What are the requirements and recommendations for competitors?

Age: Competitors shall be adults (18 year or over). Junior (under 18 years old) divisions are desired and encouraged but adults and juniors shall not compete together or against each other.

Roles: Leaders shall be men and followers shall be women.

Partners: If an event has a variety of partner competitions, a competitor shall have a different partner for each division. If a partnership consists of competitors of different levels, the couple shall compete at the higher level.

Divisions: Each competitor shall be allowed to enter only one Jack & Jill divisions. Competitor needs to use their BZDC assigned competitor ID number when signing up for Jack & Jill competitions and should know what division they should be competing in, referring to the Points Registry. An event may allows competitors to petition down or up.


When and how can you start collecting points from the Jack & Jill competitions?

When you participate in a Jack & Jill competition your name is entered in the BZDC registry. If you reach the final round in your Jack & Jill competition and place in the top 5 you will gather points for your placement. The amount of points will depend on your placement (higher = more points, obviously) and the competition “tier” that is determined by the number of competitors that took part in your division. The more the competitors in the division, the more you get points for your placement. The points that you accumulate are automatically registered by the Council. Three weeks after your competition you can go to the website and search for your name to find your points. After each competition you compete your points again are added to your profile.

A competitor starts off in the Novice division and once he/she has collected 15 points, they can move up to Intermediate division, or they can also wait until they have a first place win in Novice in addition to the 15 points. From Intermediate you can move up to Advanced after 30 points in Intermediate (and a first place win in Intermediate). To reach Pro/Invitational division you must have at least 40 points in Advanced and it is at the event’s discretion to decide who are qualified for Pro/Invitational. An event may offer petition which means a person may petition to dance in a higher division at a particular event, but note that if your petition is accepted this does not carry over to other events.

For events that combine divisions (e.g. Novice/Intermediate), points will be tracked for all participants in the lower of the two divisions and events that offer only one division (Open), points will be tracked in Advanced. Some competitions can also host divisions where no points are not collected for the placements, for example Newcomers division that is for complete beginners, Junior division for under 18 dancers or a Pro/Invitational division for professional dancers.

It is advisable to check each event’s guidelines and requirements regarding their Jack & Jill competition as these can vary from the BZDC recommended rules. 

For more details on BZDC point registration & accumulation check the BZDC site.


Information for event organisers

What are the requirements for event organisers to host a ‘Registered event’ and a zouk Jack & Jill?

Event history: You need to have an established event that occurs annually (one break year is allowed) within the same time frame and location, and with at least one year of history.

Event structure: The event should be at least two days long and at a venue with appropriate dance floor setting.

Membership: Organisers need to submit a membership application at least six months prior to a proposed event and pay annual fee ($200 for one event; $150 for additional events on the same year); as well as $2 surcharge per each Jack & Jill competitor. They also need to notify of any existing registered events that occur within four weeks and 700km of the proposed event.

Get familiar with all the details about registering your event via the BZDC site.

Read Larissa Thayane's introduction to the BZDC:
Larissa Thayane and the Brazilian Zouk Dance Council - "We want to improve the social dance skills of every dancer"

And stay tuned for the second part of Zouk The World's interview with Larissa where she talks about how she discovered zouk, what inspires her and what to her are the most important things in learning zouk!