What type of training best supplements dancing Brazilian zouk? Poll results (Part 1)

Can skills learned from one dance style be transferred to another style?

Do dancers significantly benefit from exercising their bodies (and minds) with other types of training than just their preferred dance style?

If you ask me, the answers would be "Yes, to a certain degree" and "Yes, definitely". I don't think anybody will question that - a great dancer is not only great at a narrow topic (their preferred style), nope. Great dancers are versatile in their technique, have a wide library of movements, are familiar with different types of music and have a solid physique, among other things. To achieve this, training several dance styles helps as well as taking care of & strengthening your body by providing it with different types of stimulation.

The question really boils down to what are the dance styles and other types of training that can provide the most benefit to your preferred dance style? How can we determine what are those styles that benefit the most?

Well, for one, by asking a whole bunch of people this question and then making a summary of the results!

So came about our last month's poll:

 
 

 

The poll

The question in the October's poll was:
"What kind of training do you think best supplements dancing Brazilian Zouk?"

Each respondent could name 1-3 types of dancing or training. To make it easy for you to respond there were both ready options and a free text field. Our list of ready choices included:

Jazz
Kizomba
Samba de Gafieira
West Coast Swing
Acrobatics
Aerobic / Endurance Training
Gym / Strength Training
Stretching / Flexibility Training
Martial Arts
Yoga

Argentine Tango
Bachata
Ballet
Ballroom Dancing
Capoeira
Contact Improvisation
Contemporary / Modern Dance
Cross Body Salsa
Cuban Salsa
Hiphop / Street Styles

 

Most respondents used only the list above and all of the respondents picked at least one type of training from the list. You could choose a maximum of three types of training from the list. And, you had to pick which one is #1, #2 and #3 choice.

Additionally or in stead of using the list above, you could write any type of training in your own words. 8% of the respondents did name another type of training outside the list above; those included:

Lindy Hop
Partnering
Pilates
Running
Self Control

Breathing Together
Core Training
Energy Training
Forro
Improv

Let's look at what were the results!!


Results - how you supplement your zouk training

So, what kind of training Zouk The World's readers think best supplements dancing Brazilian Zouk? Drumroll, please....

The most popular type of training was Contemporary / Modern Dance with 16,6% of all votes; that means one in every six respondents pick that in the poll. In fact, the Contemporary Dance has a clear lead to the all the other training types, as you may notice from the bar chart below.

On second place was Contact Improvisation (12%). It still has quite a lead before Stretching / Flexibility Training (8,5%), Ballet (8,1%) and Argentine Tango (7,7%) - these three have quite an equal number of supporters.

The rest of the top 10 were Gym / Strength Training (5,4%), Yoga (5%), Hiphop / Street Styles (5%), Jazz (4,6%) and Martial Arts (4,2%). See the longer blueish bars on the chart below for all the results.

 

Number 1 on your lists

Looking at only those training types that landed on the #1 spot for each reply, the winner is still the same: Contemporary / Modern Dance. It appeared on the #1 slot on 25,9% of the replies - one in every four people picked it first on their list. Arguably, probably not everyone who selected it on the #1 slot meant that it is the most important of them all, but I'd think there's at least some more weight to it.

Other popular training types selected for the #1 slot were Contact Improvisation and Argentine Tango (both 15,3%), Ballet (9,4%), Yoga (5,9%), Jazz (5,9%), Stretching / Flexibility Training (4,7%), Martial Arts (4,7%), Gym / Strength Training (2,4%) and West Coast Swing (2,4%). See the purple bars on the chart above for more types of training that gained #1 slots!

 

Grouping the types of training

If you break down all the types of training into different categories, you can notice some interesting trends. There can be many ways to group the types of training; the groups I looked into were Partner dancing, Solo dancing and Non-dance training.

Here is how I divided the different types of training into those three groups - I hope you agree but feel free to disagree and correct me! Towards the end of the scale there were a few types of training that were too mixed and these I left out in this grouping; Capoeira, Partnering and Improv. 

Partner dancing:
Argentine Tango
Bachata
Ballroom Dancing
Blues
Contact Improvisation
Cross Body Salsa
Cuban Salsa
Forro
Kizomba
Lindy Hop
Samba de Gafieira
West Coast Swing

Solo dancing:
Ballet
Contemporary / Modern Dance
Hiphop / Street Styles
Jazz

Non-dance training:
Acrobatics
Aerobic / Endurance Training
Breathing Together
Core Training
Energy Training
Gym / Strength Training
Martial Arts
Pilates
Running
Self Control
Stretching / Flexibility Training
Yoga

 

How does this reflect to the results? Let's first take a look at the ten most popular types of training. Already by looking at the bar chart above you may have noticed that the top ten positions are held by a rather diverse group. True, it's fairly mixed; Modern Dance, Contact Improvisation, Stretching, Ballet, Tango, Gym, Yoga, Hiphop, Jazz and Martial Arts.

But when you group those, actually a majority of the votes on the top ten, almost one half (45%)  go to solo dancing! Second to that, the different non-dance types of training take up 30%.

Contact Improvisation and Argentine Tango are the only two partner dance styles that reach the top 10 and together account for 25% of it. Clearly missing from the top are the many other popular, up-beat social dances like Salsa, Samba de Gafieira and WCS, and other popular sensual social dances like Bachata and Kizomba. A whole bunch of them are right below top 10 list. 

Below in the pie on the right side are top ten types of training, divided into these three groups. 

The pie on the left side of the image above has all your votes, not only the most popular top ten types of training. There, the story changes. Accounting everything, 38% of the votes went to various partner dances, resulting into the biggest slice of the pie. It was closely followed by solo dances (35%) and not too far behind was the others, non-dance training (27%).

 

Part 1 conclusions - our summary

How to sum up these results? For one, I'd say the types of training us zoukers do to supplement dancing Brazilian Zouk are as versatile and diverse as is Zouk itself. 

It was interesting to see Contemporary Dance and Contact Improvisation standing out so clearly on the list, leaving Zouk's "rivals", the other popular social dances like Salsa, Kizomba and WCS rather far behind them. Stretching, Ballet and Yoga were all fairly up on your lists - possibly some parallels can be drawn between those three. Many also go to the Gym.

Psst.. Have you read our story on Salsa vs. Zouk?

Psst.. Have you read our story on Salsa vs. Zouk?

What can be concluded from all this? Even though some of the partner dances did ok on the overall results, many were below average. Can skills from other more popular social dances like Salsa and Bachata transfer so poorly to Zouk that they are less popular among zoukers? Are the techniques in Modern Dance and Contact Improvisation so similar to Zouk and thus suit zoukers better; or are they perhaps less distracting zoukers as opposed to learning some other trendy partner dances? Is your physique (fitness and flexibility) important; are we considering that Zouk is a rather physical dance?

Do I have more questions than answers?

Probably, yes. But don't fall into despair: some more answers to come in Part 2!

 

In part 2

There was still much more to digest and discuss from the poll results than what could sensibly fit into one post. In part 2 coming up on Monday we'll look at the other side of the story; as each person could choose up to three types of training, we will in the next part investigate what kind of different combinations of the types of training people had chosen.

Also we dig into the comments you shared in the poll about what are the benefits of learning various dance styles, how and why you feel certain styles help more and some less!

 

Current poll of the month

Each month I ask your opinion on one topic - I think this a great chance for the Zouk community to share their opinion and learn from each other. We'll do all the dirty work and collect the results for you! Click here to take part in this month's poll!

Remember that if you have an idea for a poll, or a blog post, you are more than welcome to send in your suggestions!