Larissa Thayane - "Foundations are the key" (Interview Part 2)

Larissa Thayane - "Foundations are the key" (Interview Part 2)

I sat down with Larissa Thayane recently to talk about her historical zouk project, the Brazialian Zouk Dance Council - read more about this in the previous post.

While I had a chance to talk to her, I wasn't going to miss this opportunity to hear from her what is that drove her to zouk and what drives her today. And I gave her a chance to share her advice to all us zoukers on what she feels are the most important things while learning zouk!

Zouk The World: Tell us a bit about your zouk history - how did you get involved with zouk in the first place?

Larissa Thayane: I’ve only danced Zouk 10-11 years now. Before I started with ballet, jazz, contemporary, and that’s what I did my whole childhood and as a profession. When I moved to Rio de Janeiro, where I started working with a ballet/contemporary company, I started to do salsa because I just wanted to do something for fun. So latin dance was my hobby! That’s how I met different dancers and learnt samba de gafieira, bolero, forró - and saw zouk for the first time. Initially, it didn’t get my attention. 

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Larissa Thayane and the Brazilian Zouk Dance Council - "We want to improve the social dance skills of every dancer" (Interview Part 1)

Larissa Thayane and the Brazilian Zouk Dance Council - "We want to improve the social dance skills of every dancer" (Interview Part 1)

If you're active in the zouk scene you've probably come across with the newly formed Brazilian Zouk Dance Council. Zouk The World met with one of the founders of the Council and a definite zouk all star Larissa Thayane recently in Helsinki and talked with her about the council, how she discovered zouk in the first place and what inspires her today.

But first, what is Brazilian Zouk Dance Council (BZDC)? On their site it says that the Council supports and promotes all aspects of Brazilian zouk and encourages the growth of the dance internationally. One of their key initiatives are the zouk Jack & Jill competitions to be hosted around the world adjacent to established zouk congresses. The BZDC also keeps a list of registered events, records of competitors and their scores as well as a registry of instructors.

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Let’s Zouk The World!

Let’s Zouk The World!

Welcome to my world - welcome to Zouk The World!

Launched today, Zouktheworld.com aims to bring you all you need to know on your zouk journey. Here you’ll find articles about dance technique, zouk festival reviews and the zouk congress calendar, latest news in zouk world and music links. We'll also publish personal stories from your favorite artists as well as from local dancers that make zouk happen around the world. Zouk The World = everything you need to know on your zouk journey!

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11 things I wish I knew when I started dancing zouk

11 things I wish I knew when I started dancing zouk

Just a short while ago I was celebrating my four-year zoukiversary! (Yes, that means it's been four years since I started dancing Brazilian zouk.) Time flies by and a lot has happened during those years, such as traveling around the world by myself as well as basically redefining myself.. no biggie! :D Never did I imagine that such a thing as Brazilian zouk would just take my life by the balls and completely sweep me off my feet. It's been a fun ride!

Reminiscing the years passed by, it's fun(ny) to read old blog post and watch the old dance videos - that is some scary stuff! But all part of one awesome journey. This lead me to think what would I do differently if I had the chance? Nothing really, I guess. But there are indeed some things I wish I knew when I started dancing zouk. Some of these are things that people did keep telling me - but at that time I didn't really sink in. Here's what I would tell to my fellow beginner zoukeiros and zoukeiras that are in the beginning of their dance journey!

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Zouk music - your guide to artists and playlists

Zouk music - your guide to artists and playlists

I often get questions about zouk music... Us dancers love to get new music as much as we can. Even though our music collections can already have hundreds or thousands of tracks we keep looking for something new & exciting. I'm a passionate consumer of zouk music myself and look up new music every week so I thought I would offer you my playlists for Brazilian zouk!

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In the flow - 5 keys to the magic of dance flow (Part 1)

In the flow - 5 keys to the magic of dance flow (Part 1)

Flow is a moment in time when you’re both challenged at the activity that you’re doing, and when you also have complete autonomy in the task you’re conducting.
Everett Bogue, in The Hidden Art of Achieving Creative Flow.

Have you experienced flow? Dance flow? Creative flow?

I have. One thing that's so great about dancing - and dancing zouk is what I'm writing about here in particular - is the flowing motion. When you're in the dance flow, you will certainly have one of the most pleasurable moments on the dance floor (or anywhere).

It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were. 
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

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Best of travel 2014 - top destinations from around the web and the world!

Google & I made a virtual trip around the world past weeks, scouring a number of "best in travel 2014" lists by various news outlets and travel experts. My first thoughts of the lists were something like: 

"Oh, so you took a map and some darts..." and "What ever happened to cool places New York, Tokyo, Barcelona...?"

But I do get it, the idea is to recommend (mostly) fresh or less known places, since  people who travel a lot and read these lists want to see something new. And what looked like a whole bunch of randomly picked places did eventually lead me to find some clear trends in the top picks!

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Berg's Congress - every zouker's dream holiday

Berg's Congress - every zouker's dream holiday

Porto Seguro. A little piece of paradise located in the tropics, in the sunny state of Bahia approximately in the middle of the Brazilian coast line. It was the place first seen by the European settlers over 500 years ago when one Portuguese guy called Pedro Álvares Cabral touched shore at what is now Porto Seguro city in 1500. In addition to its history, the place is mostly known for its beaches, coconuts, açaí and massive axé parties. But for zoukers Porto Seguro is especially known as the birth place of lambada - and for Berg's Congress, most likely the biggest zouk & lambada congress in the world at the moment.

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Round-the-world: The good, the bad and the FAQ

Round-the-world: The good, the bad and the FAQ

Today it's been six months from the day I returned from my first round-the-world trip! It feels like a small eternity but still all the memories of the places, the people and the experiences are so vivid...199 days traveling around the world,  about a 100 cities or towns, in 12 countries on five continents - all of them (besides London) that I had never visited before. All by myself. That may seem a lot to someone and not much to some other more hardened world explorers... But it meant the world to me.

People have asked many questions about the trip, no surprise there. So I decided to put together a "little" FAQ list:

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The time I got doudouleyd

The time I got doudouleyd

I happened to be in the area for the DouDouLe Latin Dance Camp (18-20 May) which is held every year on the Gold Coast, about an hour drive from Brisbane. DouDouLe is the labour of love of Sydney dance busy-body Jean-Luc Lambs and I'd say it's one of the rare mixed dance events that's actually a hit. The event hosts a group of Australian and international teachers on several latin styles – this year they had classes on salsa, zouk, bachata, cha cha, samba, afro jazz and pachanga.

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Revising my bucket list: Machu Picchu - check!

Revising my bucket list: Machu Picchu - check!

Despite the fact that no one seems to know what the place was really about, Machu Picchu is one of those places that needs no introduction. It's one of South American most famous sights and #1 image & place to visit listed in my bible, The Lonely Planet's "South America on a shoestring”.

A couple days before my trip to Machu Picchu I arrived to Cusco (like many others) to rest, regroup and make sure all was taken care of. I already had my train ticket to Aguas Calientes and bought the entrance to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary in Cusco so I was ready to go.

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Carnaval week in Floripa - drag queens, caipirinhas, samba and desert beaches (part 1)

Carnaval week in Floripa - drag queens, caipirinhas, samba and desert beaches (part 1)

Three flights. Three effing flights. Never again will I book a trip to somewhere with two stopovers. This time even the second flight left an hour late so the second stop was a bit more “exciting”. But these are the things a girl needs to do to get to a carnival! So I flew from Argentina to Brazil, from Salta to Florianópolis (=Floripa), on the Thursday before the Carnaval.

Carnaval - a Catholic holiday - is a major event all over Brazil, in most places in South America as well as many places in the rest of the world as well. The Brazilian carnaval though seems to have nothing to do with anything that resembles a religious holiday ;) I had heard that Floripa is one of the nicest places to see the carnival in the southern Brazil. I manage to get the (idiotic) flight and a hostel there so I was all set!

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