What is ZOUK?

Zouk is a partner/couples dance orginating from Brazil - in this case called more specifically Brazilian zouk. The dance is mostly characterized by the girls' flowing hair and a close connection embrace. The steps are soft and quite long, and the dance at its best takes a lot of space, includes a variety of bodywork, spins, and head movements. The partners movements are different from each others - ladies are very feminine and the men typically quite masculine; the essence of the man's role is to make the lady look beautiful. While the dance is sensual, it is not sexual or erotic and it makes a fun hobby for people of all ages! Zouk is danced in around 60 countries in a variety of interlinked styles.

Brazilian zouk is "daughter" of the late 1980's hype music & dance lambada, now evolved to the modern dance floors as the zouk of today. The name comes from the zouk music of the French Antilles - zouk meaning "party" or "festival" in Antillean Creole. Nowadays many different types of music are played for dancing Brazilian zouk: Brazilian (of course), Angolan (kizomba music is used quite often), Latin American and Oriental as well as all kinds of pop music, reggaeton, R'n'B, hiphop, dubstep and even opera music is used and remixed to cater the tastes of zouk dancers around the globe. This makes Brazilian zouk very dynamic and constantly evolving.

Unlike ballroom and many other latin dance styles there are no strict rules or regulation; anybody can adapt the dance to their own taste. There are many different forms of dancing zouk, the main two derivations being  lambazouk or zouk-lambada that has a faster tempo and includes more spins and is danced more upright; and Rio style which is slower, more dramatic and inspired by contemporary dance. Other styles include VeroZouk, Mzouk, NeoZouk SoulZouk, FlowZouk... Interestingly, anybody knowing any zouk style can still dance with any other zouk dancer, no matter where or from whom they have learned.

So far zouk hasn't been discovered by the large masses or money-making enterprises, making it quite different from salsa and other dance movements. It is growing mostly by word of mouth, almost entirely ignored by the media. This has created a unique scene that is very warm and friendly, where newcomers are embraced and welcomed. Many zouk dancers travel around the world to meet other dancers and practice. Perhaps more than any other dance, Brazilian zouk is a multi-cultural affair.

For all of my zouk related post browse the zouk label!

How does Brazilian zouk look like?

If you search for "zouk demo" on Youtube you'll find thousands of videos. I've created a small list with some of my favourite zouk videos, that show different styles of Brazilian zouk danced around the world by the world's top professional zouk dancers & teachers.

Where can I dance zouk?

You can find zouk in the following countries (status of April 2013 and the list is growing). Also you can see the tag cloud on the right side of this post: for my tips on zouk places click on the "zouk" or country name tags, or for some music links click on the "music" tag.

Europe: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Israel, The Netherlands, Norway, Latvia, Poland, Portugal Russia, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, USA.

Asia-Pacific: Australia, China, India, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, Vietnam. 

Africa: South Africa.

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  1. From my knowledge there is no zouk in South Africa, thus if you know about any school down there, refer them to organizers of IZFM. We have 44 countries and 129 cities joining us for IZFM 2013

    this is list of all our registered locations and their coordinators.

  2. Sorry for the late response. Have you checked this list?

    I found this page through the Cazouk list:
    I guess it's old information but could be worth to follow up?