What training combinations best support dancing Brazilian zouk? Poll results (Part 2)

Can learning Kizomba make you better at Brazilian Zouk?
Do notice your Zouk skills improving with regular stretching exercises?
Or how about going to Hiphop classes?

Maybe. It doesn't hurt, I'd say. These will certainly build your coordination, balance, flexibility, musicality, leading and following skills... All of them are things that any Zouk dancer would welcome.

But if you would be looking for the most optimal palette of training types to supplement dancing Brazilian Zouk, would your list include Kizomba, stretching and Hiphop? What kind of training do you think best supplements dancing Brazilian Zouk?


Training types you voted:

  • Acrobatics
  • Aerobic / Endurance Training
  • Argentine Tango
  • Bachata
  • Ballet
  • Ballroom Dancing
  • Breathing Together
  • Capoeira
  • Contact Improvisation
  • Contemporary / Modern Dance
  • Core Training
  • Cross Body Salsa
  • Cuban Salsa
  • Energy Training
  • Forro
  • Gym / Strength Training
  • Hiphop / Street Styles
  • Improv
  • Jazz
  • Kizomba
  • Lindy Hop
  • Martial Arts
  • Partnering
  • Pilates
  • Running
  • Samba de Gafieira
  • Self Control
  • Stretching / Flexibility Training
  • West Coast Swing
  • Yoga

This is what I set out to discover in our October's poll of the month. Each respondent could name maximum of three types of training that they think best supplements dancing Brazilian Zouk. To make it easy for you to respond there were both ready options as well as a free text field for your own types of training. See the full list of training types on the right!

So which of the styles got the most votes - what are the most popular types of training that zoukers do outside their zouk classes? In this story's Part 1 we went through the results. The basic conclusion was that the types of training us zoukers do to supplement dancing Brazilian Zouk are as versatile and diverse as is Zouk itself. Contemporary / Modern Dance was the clear winner. It was followed by Contact Improvisation, leaving Zouk's "rivals" (other popular social dances like Salsa, Kizomba and WCS) rather far behind them on the list.

Click here to see the results in Part 1: What type of training best supplements dancing Brazilian zouk? Poll results (Part 1)

In this Part 2 we'll look at the other side of the story. While on Part 1 we looked the sum total of all the styles everybody had voted, in this second part we are looking into the combinations of the three types of training each person had chosen.

Also in the end of this post 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!


Training types and their combinations

So what are the combinations each voter had chosen? As each person could choose up to three types of training, we could see a number different combinations among them.

We divided all the types of trainings into three groups: Partner dancingSolo dancing and Non-dance training. Click here to see how the training types were grouped!

Below you can see the combinations that people voted. There were seven different type of sets among the voters:

  • Partner dancing & solo dancing,
  • Partner dancing & non-dance training,
  • Solo dancing & non-dance training,
  • Partner dancing & solo dancing & non-dance training,
  • Only partner dancing,
  • Only solo dancing, or
  • Only non-dance training.

A majority of the respondents - one in every three (34% to be precise) - had picked a combination of partner dancing & solo dancing as their set of training types that best supplement dancing Brazilian zouk.

Second to that is the most diverse combination, partner dancing & solo dancing & non-dance training with 26% or about one quarter of the votes. The third most popular combination was partner dancing & non-dance training with 21% of the votes, approximately on in every five respondents. 

The remaining four combinations are much less popular; a combination without partner dancing, solo dancing & non-dance training gets 11% of the votes and only partner dancing is hanging on to the fifth place with 5% of the votes. Just a tiny minority picked a combination of only non-dance training (2%) or only solo dancing (1%).

Conclusions - what makes up the most popular combination of training types?

So what can be said about these results? Well first, notice what's common about the three most popular combinations (those combinations that were also significantly ahead of the rest)? In all of the top three combinations there was at least one type of partner dancing! In fact, looking at all the respondents' combinations, 86% had at least one type of partner dancing while 72% had at least one type of solo-dancing and 60% had at least one type of non-dance training.

In the Part 1 results we found out that different types of solo dancing and non-dance training were among the most popular types of training, leaving most partner dances to the end of the results. But still, it's clear now that partner dancing was still more consistently a part of each person's training palette.

Your comments had some interesting thoughts about the reasons you had when you chose the training types and why you made certain combinations. Read the below!

Your comments

Each respondent could together with their vote write their thoughts. These do shed some light into what you feel are the benefits of learning various dance styles or taking up other training types as well as why you feel certain training help more and some less!

First below are some more general comments; in brackets you can see for reference what were the types of training that person voted. After that are comments that were specifically about one type of training.

Overall comments

It's clear that by training in different ways you are able to improve selected aspects of your dance. I like the combination of looks/alignment, partnering, and flexibility. For alignment (or body awareness) there's for example ballet and contemporary, for partnering tango and WCS are probably best, and then there's just stretching for flexibility. I haven't found tango to help my zouk at all (it has such a different posture for followers). But tango is excellent for partnering in general. Of course hip hop, vogueing and any type of solo dancing helps with knowing how to work your body - I just find that ballet/contemporary go better with the zouk music that I like. (Ballet, West Coast Swing, Stretching / Flexibility Training)

I think zouk benefits one training from each category 1) solo dancing (ability to move yourself with the music, expression) 2) physical training (ability to move as wanted) 3) couple dancing or contact impro (contact, rhythm...) (Contemporary / Modern Dance, Yoga, Contact Improvisation)

Ballet and Contemporary gives you a solid foundation , posture/ breathing techniques and balance, and endurance training because your muscles need the strength to dance al night long! (Ballet, Contemporary / Modern Dance, Aerobic / Endurance Training)

Anything that smoothens your body and sensibility and gives you posture, rather than dances that are hard in the pressure of the hands and grounded like for instance Lindy Hop. (Contact Improvisation, Contemporary / Modern Dance, Ballet)

You have to be able to move good by yourself. (Contemporary / Modern Dance, Jazz, Samba de Gafieira)

For the follow, technical training for core and balance important - as well as turn control. WCS for lead and follow - similar partnering. (Contemporary / Modern Dance, Ballet, West Coast Swing)

I consider the most important in any dance is to transmit nice vibes to your dance partner... this comes mainly by breathing and connecting with each other. Yoga helps you to relax and make you feel blessed which will allow you to float and make others float as well by having a nice dancing experience. (Yoga, Kizomba, Stretching / Flexibility Training).

I think it is not really possible to give definite answers, since it really depends on what you want to improve specifically. If you lack musicality Martial Arts, with the exception of Capoeira will not help much for example. (Martial Arts, Contact Improvisation, Yoga)

Comments for certain training types

Argentine Tango
... Has so many foundations and important for guys to open there chests.
... For footwork, precision, subtle leading from the chest - rough leading from arms as u see a lot in zouk.
... Similar leading and following techniques between tango and zouk in terms of body leading especially.
... For connection

Contact Improvisation
... Feel your partner, creativity, contact.
... Teaches physical sensitivity and awareness of other bodies, important qualities for any zouk dancer.

Contemporary / Modern Dance
... To improve creativity, body awareness and space awareness.
... Correct "hair movement" technique comes from Limon technique. 

Cross Body Salsa
... Combination ideas for leaders and turn control of body for both.

Gym / Strength Training
... Muscle awareness and control of them.

Hiphop / Street Styles
... For style.
... For improvisation. 

... Teaches musicality, precision and presentation.
... For placement, movement quality and flexibility.

... For introduction before music starts. 

Stretching / Flexibility Training
... To improve flexibility, any dancer who stretches will move more beautiful.

West Coast Swing
... Flavour and improvisation.

... To build core strength and good posture.
... For flexibility


Thank you

Thank you everybody who took the time to take part in this poll! It was one of our most comprehensive polls so far and we hope you've found this information interesting - we certainly have! Don't forget to reply to this month's poll, below!


Current poll of the month - Why do you dance?

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 at Zouk The World do all the dirty work and collect the results for you! Click here to take part in this month's poll!