You know that feeling when you just can't sit still; this urge that you need to wiggle your body right now? What is that irresistible thing that makes a person - no matter their age or shape - want to move their feet or shake their booty?
It's the music.
For me music definitely is the thing that pulls me to the dance floor like a magnet. And the delicious tum-tchik-tchik of the zouk beat is what has been driving people to learn Brazilian zouk, just as much as the dance itself - or even more.
Zouk music or in the context of this post, zoukable music, encompasses a very broad range of music styles. For one person their favorite music to dance zouk to can be Wiggle by Jason Derulo, for another person it can be Gravity by Sara Bareille and for another it might be Lambazouk by Gil Semedo. All of those (and more) goes easily in the spectrum of "music for Brazilian zouk". And that's one of the things that makes Brazilian zouk such an intriguing dance: all the variety, all the marvelous options and suggestions different styles of music can provide. The sheer volume of inspiration that can be drawn from the music is hard to put into words. And music evolves, so does Brazilian zouk.
With all this variety, I was curious to see what kind of music pulls Zouk The World's readers to the dance floor!
So I asked you: What are your favorite types of music to dance Brazilian zouk to? You could name three types of music, from the following list of music styles. And, you had to pick which one is your #1, #2 and #3 choice. In addition to the list, you could write any other music style(s) in your own words.
The provided list of music styles included:
Zouk / Zouk-love
There was also a follow-up question: Which do you prefer more; Zouk remixes or Original (unremixed) music? You could select one of those two options, or 'No preference'.
Let's look at the results!
Poll results Your favorite types of music for dancing zouk
Based on all your votes, there were three types of music that clearly were the most popular ones: R&B (21%), Zouk / Zouk-love (18%) and Pop music (16%). Together these three music styles amounted for over half of the votes (54%).
In the mid-range of the votes were Kizomba (10%), Electronic (8%), Classical (6%) and Hip hop music (6%), followed by the remaining music styles; Latin (5%), Acoustic / Instrumental (4%), Dubstep (4%), Reggaeton (2%), Dancehall (1%) and Oriental (1%).
If you compare the percentage of votes gained by each music style a) based on all your votes and b) based only on votes for the #1 preferred music style, the results remain quite the same:
Your #1 votes only:
Zouk / Zouk-love 12%
All your votes (among your top 3):
Zouk / Zouk-love 18%
R&B is still clearly (even more clearly) a winner. Only in Electronic music there's a clear jump, nearly doubling its percentage of votes. Below a chart including all the results.
Other preferred types of music that were mentioned in your comments:
- Anything zouk-able which triggers emotions.
- Modern and the stuff the Brazilian instructors play in their workshops and demo
- Lyrical Zouk
- Zouk by Brazilian artists.
Remix or the original - which is better?
In the poll there was also another question; Which do you prefer more; Zouk remixes or Original (unremixed) music? You could select one of those two options, or 'No preference'.
A majority of the votes, almost one half, went to the 'Original (unremixed) music', 49% to be precise. Not too far, with over one-third of the votes were 'Zouk remixes', 35%. But a large number, 16%, had no preference. Your comments (see the section below) shed a lot of light into your reasoning on this matter.
On a personal note, while I tend to gravitate towards preferring the original music, it's undeniable (and perhaps unknown to some) that thanks to the remixes, the dance Brazilian zouk is alive & kicking. Even if not solely due to the remixes, their existence has certainly contributed a lot to the creation of Brazilian zouk, they've helped along with the dance's progression during the years and opened many doors for Brazilian zouk to spread around the world. Remixes make a lot of the popular music of today (and of each era before today) available to the dancers, they offer inspiration and new platforms for the dance. I love the original Zouk music, original Pop, original Hip hop and original R&B, etc etc just as much - or even more.... But ever so often there comes a remix that takes my dance to another dimension. I think zoukers are in a sublimely happy position to be able enjoy the creativity of the musicians of the original tracks as well as the creativity of the Zouk DJs!
First of all, thank you everybody for taking part in the poll! Below are the comments drawn from your responses. Most of the comments address the question of remix vs. original music.
If you didn't have a chance to participate the poll, we'd be very happy to hear your thoughts. Share a line in Comment section at the bottom of this post!
Which do you prefer: Zouk remixes or Original (unremixed) music?
Original (unremixed) music
The original music gives more opportunities for interpretation and the possibility to develop the musicality.
If a song is 'zoukable' why change it?
There are high quality remixes mainly created by popular zouk DJs, but unfortunately lot of remixes are simply the original music with zouk beat mixed on it.
Most of the original tracks are faster than the remixes.
My feeling is there are an overwhelming amount of pop song remixes in zouk parties than the original zouk-love songs. Are we forgetting the root of the dance?
The remixes are often too much commercial, so they only put a standard beat in it to make it a zouk remix. With the original songs you are dancing on the real song and you can transfer the energy of the song into your dance.
Depends on the remix. If a remix is subtle and the beat is place UNDER the original song, this is best. I don't like when the beat is taking over a completely good song.
About music & Brazilian zouk in general
I think what you do is fantastic. Would have like to had more depth with this survey, especially in relation to the speed of the music as some of it is way too fast for Zouk and also Kizomba music is being counted by many as Zouk. Kizomba is antagonist to Zouk as the energy is down and up respectively. I have seen so many times at social dance and major events people leave early because playing too much Kizomba or not sure what the DJ as certainly not Zouk. I feel we are moving too far the music that made zouk so enjoyable to dance to. Now experiencing really fast (really lambada speed) and Kizomba music that intrudes, invades and interrupts on the dance flow of Zouk songs - really hate it. It is boring to dance zouk to music that is too fast and has no really highs or low, which is why I now see many people waiting around for a 'real' zouk song, going through the motion on the dance floor but there is no emotion, feelings or connection with the song or dance partner, or cases, like the Sydney Zouk International Dance Festival, people went home early or went outside dancing as someone had brought their mini portable speakers and smart phone playing the zouk music we love. In fact there were at least twice as many people dancing on the cramped concrete balancy (girls wrecking their shoes) as there was inside on a large beautiful dance floor - the difference was the music being played, which is not an isolated case, such as the Brisbane Latin Festival everyone, except me and two others, had left the zouk room except because too much kizomba was being played. It turned out to be the highlight of my zouking because Carlos and Fernanda arrived to join the party. Since there was no one else around, I got the DJ to play true zouk music and had three dances in a row with the Fernanda - the most amazing and beautiful dances I ever had. Sorry for the tirade but I hate when the dance flow of zouk music is limited to one or two songs because they believe Zouk can be danced to Kizomba but the energy is quite different or the music is too fast or flat lines (i.e. no changes in tempo, just the same beat and intensity throughout the entire song).
Current Poll of the Month
This month we want to hear your insights on the leader role in social dancing. Have you come across excellent leaders? What are they like? Or do you think you're a pretty good leader yourself? What makes you good at leading? And how to get better at it? Tell us your thoughts!