Get ready, here comes the new & improved International Zouk Day!

Get ready, here comes the new & improved International Zouk Day!

Need a reason to look forward to September? I'll give you one: International Zouk Day! On Saturday September 19th, for the fourth time, the world is uniting for zouk. Started in 2012 from a simple zouk flash mob organised by Alisson Rodrigues Sandi & Audrey Isauter in Perth, Australia, it quickly grew into an international phenomenon - International Zouk Flash Mob.

From idea into reality

An active group of organisers set out to make the International Zouk Flash Mob (IZFM) an annual event, uniting dancers in a global scale. And spreading the word about Brazilian zouk in the process! The idea was that everybody would dance the same choreography and song on the same day, in all corners of the world. Anybody could join a local group - or create one if there were none to begin with - no matter their skill level. Instructional videos were available online for everyone to learn the moves with their group or even just at home.

After months of preparation, on the set date, people would gather to a prominent place in their hometown and perform the flash mob. Videos of the flash mobs were filmed and distributed around the web for all of us to marvel. This resulted in amazing compilations (such as these videos from 2013 and 2014) where you could see the dancers’ undulating bodies moving to the same beat in front of the Eiffel tower, Times Square, Berlin Wall, Colosseum... I'm sure just the videos make every zouk dancers heart skip a beat!

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Helsinki Zouk Flash Mob and IZFM 2014

Helsinki Zouk Flash Mob and IZFM 2014

September 21st to me nowadays equals International Zouk Flash Mob! Last Sunday we yet again danced zouk all around the world. Over one hundred cities and thousands of zouk dancers hosted flash mobs with one zouk song and one choreography. And all this hard work only to share our passion for zouk!

This year the IZFM organisers had also teamed up with Peace Day - joyful dancers and the idea of uniting people all around the world through international collaboration are good ways to promote peace, aren't they!

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Best moments of IZFM 2013

Best moments of IZFM 2013

A few weeks have passed since Sep 21st and the International Zouk Flash Mob 2013. What a great idea it is to unite the world with dance! And unite it did: thousands of dancers in altogether 127 cities in 43 countries took part in the flash mob.

The list includes such landmark places as New York, LA, Miami, Toronto,  Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Rome, London, Berlin, Barcelona, Athens, Moscow, Dubai, Sydney, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Mumbai,.... but also some even more exotic locations like Fortaleza (Brazil), Flagstaff (USA), Stavanger (Norway), Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Minsk (Belarus), Irkutsk (Russia), Astana (Kazakhstan), Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine), Beirut (Lebanon), Muscat (Oman) and Chiang Mai (Thailand) -- just to name a few! The tremendous work of numerous volunteers to make this event happen made it into a success story in a global scale.

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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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IZFM - zouk flash mob takes over the word

IZFM - zouk flash mob takes over the word

All summer thousands of people all around the world from Toronto to Melbourne, from Suriname to Singapore, have been practicing for the International Zouk Flash Mob that took place on Sunday Sep 16th. People rehearsed the same choreography and performed it flash mob style at iconic places sush as in front of the Eiffel tower, the Colosseum, on the beaches of Brazil...

There were about 100 cities in 38 countries that took part in the big event on the same day! I was dancing with the participants of the 4th Zouk & Lambada Beach Festival in Santa Susana, Spain. 

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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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