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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Brazilian Zouk Dance Council - Your fact sheet

Brazilian Zouk Dance Council - Your fact sheet

What is Brazilian Zouk Dance Council?

“BZDC serves, supports and promotes all aspects of Brazilian Zouk and encourages the growth of the dance throughout the world. The council is designed to improve communications and provide information services and record keeping for the Brazilian zouk community. The council maintains a global website with a competitor registry showing points accumulated in zouk Jack & Jill competitions and an Instructors registry with a listing of dance instructors that are members of the BZDC in good standing.”

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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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Rio zouk congress 2012

Rio zouk congress 2012

One of the things I was looking forward to the most on my trip around the world was to get to zouk in Brazil. I managed to fit an actual congress on my travel plans – the 3rd international zouk and lambada congress in Rio de Janeiro, organized by Renata Pecanha. The congress had four nights of parties and three days of workshop and my plan was to clock in as much dancing as possible.

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First zouk competition - Fresca 2011

First zouk competition - Fresca 2011

Last weekend the salsa festival Fresca 2011, organised by La Nieve Fresca, took place in Helsinki. I joined the festivities on the Saturday night's big party when the Latin Championships were also held. The evening kicked off with the Finnish record attempt for cuban salsa rueda. I think there were close to one hundred couples!? Well, the big room at the "White Hall" near the Senate Square was filled with the rueda dancers.

After the rueda we started the Fresca 2011 Latin Championships with the zouk competition! It was a 20 minute freestyle "Jack & Jill" competition with 3 rounds of two songs (2 minutes each). On each song the partners were changed and for the first two songs the couples were chosen by random lottery. Normal tricks and dips were allowed but no choreographies or aerial acrobatics... which was pretty easy guideline to stick to with the "random partner" system. The dancers would be judged above all on musicality and the authenticity (the "zoukness") of the moves. The overall best female (follower) and best male (leader) would be announced the winners.

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