Olaya & Papagaio: I can feel 100 things in zouk - Interview Part 2

Olaya & Papagaio: I can feel 100 things in zouk - Interview Part 2

Time flies when you're talking with  Brazilian zouk stars Olaya and Papagaio. In the second part of our chat we talked about the evolution of zouk. I was curious to know what makes Brazilian zouk special to Olaya and Papagaio, how they motivate their students to practice and what does DJ Papagaio feel about the current trends on Zouk music. Olaya was also kind enough to tell me how she's been coping with her work as a dancer dance during her pregnancy.

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Olaya & Papagaio: Anybody can learn zouk - Interview Part 1

Olaya & Papagaio: Anybody can learn zouk - Interview Part 1

Hmmm... what are the questions I never dare to ask the international zouk pros? And who do I know that would give me straight up answers?

It’s a rare and precious experience to get to work with something you love - and with people you admire and enjoy spending time with. Olaya and Papagaio are one of my first zouk idols - their dancing swept me off my feet in 2011 and the feeling hasn’t faded over the years (quite the opposite). So when I finally had a chance to interview them, I jumped to the opportunity with all my long thought-over questions; What is the most important thing in learning Brazilian zouk? How to motivate students? What could we do to make zouk scene better, and bigger - or do we need to? Why pro dancers have seem to have different mentalities regarding dancing with students in the parties? How to deal with maternity & teaching dance? And.. and... and.......

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A breath of fresh air - revisiting Alicante

A breath of fresh air - revisiting Alicante

Welcome to Alicante! On the Costa Blanca (the ‘white coast’), in the southeast corner of Spain lies this jet-set port, laid back beach town, urban metropolis and historic city. Know both as Alicante and Alacant, the city is home to some 350.000 people, plus another 450.000 people in its surrounding towns and hundreds of thousands of tourists and summer residents that flock to Alicante each year.

I had a chance to revisit Alicante a bit earlier this year. It had been a while… a looong while. I was picturing in my head a plain sandy beach and a 1990’s cookie-cutter beach resort but - to my pleasant surprise - found a lot more than that!

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DansaBrasil - celebrating 10 years of lambazoukin' Barcelona!

DansaBrasil - celebrating 10 years of lambazoukin' Barcelona!

It was a gorgeous sunny Thursday morning two weeks ago when I boarded a train in Alicante on the southwest coast of Spain. I was leaving my little Spanish spring holiday behind me and dragging a surprisingly heavy trolley bag. The air was still cool and people were going about their usual daily routines but I had a certain special smile on my face: I was on my way for some all-day-all-night zouking in Barcelona at the DansaBrasil 2015!

DansaBrasil congress, also known as Congresso Internacional de Lambada/Zouk en Barcelona, had been long on my list of "must-visit events". Being already at its 10th edition (!!) it's quite a historic event in the zouk scene and for many European so called old school zoukers it has been their first zouk congress. Though on this particular jam-packed weekend there were a lot of options for us zouk dancers; while many of us enjoyed bank holidays on Friday 1st of May, the congress organisers around the world also wanted to bank on this. Events in addition to DansaBrasil that same weekend were the Prague Zouk Marathon,  L.A. Zouk Congress and the Zouk Fusion congress in São Paulo.

But my (harder than ever) choice was made - I was not going to miss the 10th anniversary of DansaBrasil! 

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It's time for carnavaaaal!

It's time for carnavaaaal!

Carnival! The most colourful, indulgent and rambunctious time of the year! Carnival is a festive season which occurs according to the Catholic calendar before lent, setting this year at around 28 February - 4 March. Depending where you go you may see different types of events - but you can expect massive street parties and spectacular parades. Costumes and masks are worn, and in fact historically they served a purpose: behind those you could hide your true identity, race and gender.

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Beach & lambazouk week in Barcelona

Beach & lambazouk week in Barcelona

After my long trip around the world I wasn't exactly looking forward to traveling more any time soon. But I wasn't looking forward to dark & rainy autumn days in Finland either. So I booked a trip to Barcelona for mid-September for the 4th Beach Zouk & Lambada Festival.

The festival was held in Santa Susana, 60km or 1h20min train ride up from Barcelona, right on the beautiful beaches of Costa Brava, Spain. Our small "team Finland" arrived on site already a day before the event, just enough time to unwind, unpack and get a little beach time before the zouk&lambada marathon that awaited! Santa Susana is a small town, basically like one big tourist resort. There's the beach and close to it there are restaurants, shops and hotels. A little off the beach is the town centre and up on the hill there are the residential areas - we never made it that far, after all we just came there to see the sun, sea, sand and dance our feet off!

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