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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Zouk in the Netherlands .....gezellig!

Zouk in the Netherlands .....gezellig!

There are a couple contenders in Europe for the title of the biggest zouk city. For quite a while Prague, Barcelona, London and Amsterdam have been at the top of the list. All the aforementioned cities have a large number of zouk teachers, dance schools, congresses and party nights and are pretty much neck and neck for the #1 zouk destination in Europe.

Lately, I've been hearing that the zouk scene in Amsterdam is not like it was in its heydays and perhaps Prague and Barcelona are now in reign...? Be that as it may, I was in Amsterdam last week and certainly had to go check out the local zouk scene!

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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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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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Dancing up a storm in Buenos Aires

Dancing up a storm in Buenos Aires

Dancing is a popular past time in Buenos Aires - the tango capital of the world - and the city is known for its nightlife. So I made sure I got my share! Zouk is going strong in Buenos Aires, and even with the dominance of tango there's something for all kind of dancers.

I went out to zouk to Maluco Beleza club, after a week’s break I couldn’t wait to get to burn the floor! The club has zouk/lambada parties on Fridays and Sundays where they first have a class (at around 11pm) and then social dancing until around 2:30am. On Friday there were plenty of people taking the class, enough for both beginners and intermediate groups. To my surprise I got paired up with a Finnish guy (yes!?) for the class. That was again one of those odd coincidences again, like meeting a Finnish samba friend in my hostel room at the Iguazu Falls!

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