Challenge: Why I love Brazilian Zouk

I recently got a dance video related challenge from a friend & student of mine. And I’m always up for a challenge!! But what would a blogger do - turn this into a blog post, obviously.

The challenge was: Why do you dance what you dance? Post your favorite video of your favorite dance(s).

A great challenge - and a tricky one! 


So, why do I dance Brazilian zouk?

While many participating in this circulating challenge have been posting videos of dance shows, competition performances and demos that have inspired them to dance, for me, the ultimate reason I dance is not entirely in the dance itself. Yes I do love to experience different body movements. And I enjoy the feeling that comes with the connection, the ever changing dialogue and interplay between two dancers (or several dancers). But the ultimate reason why I dance is in the music.

I don’t like all music, but I do like many different types of music. Quite a few I even love. And some simply inject straight into my spinal fluid. Music can literally make me dance - I hear a certain song and it just happens; in the party I grab the first guy I see and I run to the dance floor; at home I can’t help but drop what I was doing and dance, bouncing between the furniture; in shopping mall I notice walking to the beat of the music and making little spins of joy.

Why I dance Brazilian zouk has the same answer for me; it was and still is ultimately the music that makes me dance. Of course, it’s not just the music - the music is “merely” the inspiration and zouk is my tool to use it, to fully live that inspiration. And zouk is the favorite tool in my big box of tools, the one I tend to use every chance I get.

Aside for the music, why do I dance Brazilian zouk? I love to dance it because 1) - and above all - I love to dance 2) I love to be creative and express the music - to "paint a picture of the music", 3) I love the different levels of partner connection that are possible in zouk and 4) I know by now that I can never get bored with zouk - I can never reach the "end" in zouk when "I know it all" and have nothing new to discover.

Out of all the dances I know, zouk is .....special. Zouk is such a dynamic and powerful dance. It has everything in between water & fire, sharp & soft, flying high in the clouds at zero gravity and being very grounded & present in the moment; feeling passion, love, drama but above all to me it is my compass to joy! I love being able to have it all, those magical dances that go through the whole spectrum. Those moments where I tap into the music, connect to another person, disconnect from this world, from one part of myself and reconnect to another part.


Why I love Brazilian zouk - videos

To fill the dance video part of the challenge I will post here a few of them too!

Disclaimer - To pick ONE video that tells why I dance a particular dance is kind of absurd as there’s no one video that can encompass every detail of what I love about Brazilian zouk. Also, videos are not what inspire me to dance… It never happened to me (I know it has happened to some people) that I saw a video or a live zouk demo or a show, and then thought that I want to dance that dance. Yes, videos do give inspiration, ideas, work as a reference and help me remember things and I really do enjoy watching live & taped dancing of all kinds (frankly I willingly do spend a lot of time doing exactly that!). But I dance because I love to dance. Not because I saw something cool and I wanted to do the same. 

So, it was quite tricky to choose a video.

For zouk, I choose one dance demo that encompasses many of the important aspects of zouk for me - a combination of softness & sharpness, continuous flow of movement and connection between partners, the flying feeling and (oh yes) the flying hair, refined technique & elegance, and pure joy. Also, another significance in this video is that this couple (already much before they performed this particular demo) defined to me, and for many others, what is spectacular about Brazilian zouk. Here are Gilson Damasco & Natasha Terekhina:


Another video I'd like to put here is one that I like to show to non-dancers, for many obvious reasons, when I talk about what is zouk and what makes it special. Here are Leo Gomes & Letícia Castro:


Why I dance urban dance?

Besides zouk, another dance passion of mine - one I don’t have time to practice anymore but one that lives very strong in my core - is typically labelled as hiphop, street dance or urban dance. Various types of hiphop and RnB music speak to my heart and makes my soul (as well as my body), well…. grind, I guess would be the word. Part of why I love urban dance comes from the intense musicality, the contrast sharp isolations and flowing movements, the harmony & synchronization you can see in various shows... But really the strange thing with this part my “dance soul” is that I really have no words to describe why I truly love it. There’s just something in it plugging into a mysterious piece inside me that pumps dance movements into my body.

One dance video in this broad world of urban dance that I keep returning to and which may speak to my fellow partner dancers is this piece by Keone & Mariel:


What is your dance passion - and why?

Share us your story and videos of why you love to dance!



Why do you dance - Poll results

Why do you dance?
Is that an easy or a hard question?

To me, it’s quite a tough question. And I love tough questions! Especially asking them (hehe). So that’s what I asked you last month! In November’s Poll of the Month I asked you to tell us why do you dance, and more specifically, what is the most rewarding aspect to you in dancing. No multiple choices this time, just a chance for you to share your own dance motivations! 

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