Friday, December 20, 2013

Jolly Holidays!

Dance the World! would like to wish everybody Happy Holidays!

While the blog is on a little holiday this December, hopefully so are you! Exciting plans are being cooked up for 2014 - the blogger has already booked maaany trips for the start of the year.... So stay tuned for lots more dance and travel stories! :) 

Despite the break, the zouk calendars are up to date and the shop is open all year round! And if you're looking for travel ideas, now is a good time to visit the travel tips. See you all next year!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Practice makes perfect - myths & theories about becoming an advanced dancer

The right genes, starting at an early age, dedication, motivation, passion, 1000+ hours of practice, great teachers, natural talent, exceptional physique, unlimited amount of money... What is it that makes a person into a truly great dancer?

I have collected here some theories and tips from various articles & studies, plus some my own thoughts about the path to become an advanced dancer in social / partner dancing. If you're just starting to dance you may also look at my piece about how to become a zouk dancer for beginner dancers!

What is an advanced dancer? And how to become one?

Newsflash: there is no one way to become an advanced dancer. We all know it's very individual - some advance from a complete beginner in a couple years and for some, few people though, it (seems like) could be an unachievable goal. On the other hand for some dancing is just a way to pass time and meet people; advancing in it makes no difference. For a passionate beginner dancer becoming advanced though can be a matter a life and death. The advanced dancers are admired, envied and even feared... are they human at all? And how fast can I become one? Read more about the myths of advanced dancers by Rebecca Brightly.

Veronica Toumanova writes in her note about advanced tango dancers but her thoughts are equally valid in any partner dancing. She thinks that to become an advanced dancer takes a lot of work and dedication - practicing, taking classes and going out dancing. Advanced dancer is described as a person who is musical, has a good understanding of the dance vocabulary and technique, can improvise as well as knows how to improve him/herself. In addition to all that, an advanced dancer has a personal style. S/he doesn't need or wish to be a copy of another advanced dancer but finds a form of expression that is truly their own.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Helsinki Zouk Festival 2013 - a zouk event quite unlike others

Renata Peçanha & Jorge Peres, Leonardo & Becky Neves, Bruno Galhardo & Eglantine Oliveira, Mafie Zouker, Daniel & Leticia Estevez Lopez and the hosts, Freddy Marinho & Andressa Castelhano. They were the reason why people from all over the world flocked to dance at the Helsinki Zouk Festival last week!

Held now for the second time in mid November (though it was fifth festival held in Helsinki it was only the second international event), we had 2,5 days of workshops and 3 nights of parties in the center of Helsinki at the spacious venue, Gloria. The crowd was mostly from the Nordic & Baltic countries, Russia, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and some even as far as from Canada & New Zealand.


The festival's schedule was simple: there was only one intermediate track and one beginners track, like last year. This is a pretty good concept in my opinion - the artists are what the attendees come to see and this way you won't miss any one them.

On the main (intermediate) track each artist couple had one workshop on Saturday and one on Sunday; six couples means six workshops per day (from 1-8pm). On Friday night there were also three workshops, introductions to Neo Zouk (by Mafie & Marina), MZouk (by Daniel & the Finnish Mzouker Ossi Kimmelma) and Rio Style (Renata & Jorge, Freddy & Andressa and Leo & Becky). All in all workshops were pretty packed as is usual in congresses but it was easy enough to follow the teachers. The spacious & nicely lit main hall worked well and people were in a great mood.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Zouk music - your guide to artists and playlists

Updated Nov 11 2014 with second playlist and new music links!

I often get questions about zouk music... Us dancers love to get new music as much as we can. Even though our music collections can already have hundreds or thousands of tracks we keep looking for something new & exciting. I'm a passionate consumer of zouk music myself and look up new music every week so I thought I would offer you my zouk playlist! See & subscribe to the Dance the World Youtube channel for more playlists!

These playlists have some of my favourite tracks from the past couple years, including all kinds of music that have a tempo & beat suitable for dancing Brazilian zouk. I tend to prefer upbeat music but you'll find ballads, melodic tunes and lounge music on the list. And if you like R'n'B, hiphop, dubstep or kizomba there's plenty of that too - all zoukable tracks of course.

Where else to find zouk music?

Like you may have noticed from my playlists above many pop artists have zoukable music: Rihanna, Jason Derulo, Usher, Ne-yo, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis, Madonna, Michael Jackson,... But there are lots of artists creating zouk music and DJs producing zouk / zoukable remixes specifically for us dancers. Remember that these talented artists do a lot of work to cater our "small" dance communities so please support the artists and buy music from them! Below you'll find a fairly comprehensive list of good music sources to keep an eye on.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How to become a samba queen?

Passista (comes from the Portuguese word passiar - meaning to walk) is a solo samba dancer and one of the key members of the samba school. In the samba carnival the passistas wear the most elaborate bikini costumes and commonly dance in front of the samba band, bateria. Only a handful of the best dancers are chosen as passistas and one of them, the best of the best, is furthermore chosen as the rainha de bateria. Rainha is the queen of the bateria who will dance in the carnival parade right in front of the bateria and is considered as the "leader" of the passistas. Passistas are chosen for one year at a time and each aspiring dancer have to audition for the part no matter how experienced they are.

Last Saturday I went to see the annual passista exams at the Helsinki samba school Império do Papagaio. The passista exams are in fact one of the most anticipated samba events of the year (the carnival is obviously the most anticipated event). A panel of judges, typically former passistas and merited sambistas, evaluate the dancers that perform an improvised dance in small groups as well as individually to the live drumming of the bateria - and in front of a large crowd of fellow samba dancers. To be chosen as a passista you not only need to have excellent skills in samba no pé and be familiar with dancing to the beat of the live bateria but you should also have charisma, musicality, a big smile.... and don't be afraid to dance in a very revealing costume!

Wednesday, October 16, 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.

Below is a compilation video of the event. Credits of the video go to the IZFM management team, all the coordinators and dancers that were involved all over the world as well as Swageberg Productions that edited this video. The true scale of this event is really captured in this video - despite the fact that many cities that performed the flash mob could not be included in the video it is still quite impressive!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Expanding my dance wear collection...

Over the past couple months I've been working hard on creating some fun new print designs for all kind of clothing and accessories. One can never have too much clothes, am I right!!? So go ahead and visit the Dance the World shop!

As before, in case you want to make a group order for your team and want the graphics in a certain color or with a custom text that can all be arranged, just comment on this post and I'll get back to you.

The shirts, printing, delivery & payment is done by great printing company in Germany, Spreadshirt so if you have questions about them look up their Help section. Prices are pretty reasonable and I've liked the quality of the shirts before so can recommend them. Deliveries are available to all over Europe, US and Japan.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Dance congress survival guide

How to plan your dance congress trip? What do you need to pack with you? How to best prepare yourself and make the most of the event? This survival guide is particularly for you who are going to your first international dance congress. Lucky you! I wrote this from the zoukeira's point of view but I think it can be used by any dance congress traveler! If you're a beginner dancer you can also like to read my thoughts on how I became a zouk dancer (and how can others too).

To plan your zouk congress trips you may also want to look at my zouk congress calendar!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

International Zouk Flash Mob 2013 in Helsinki

The International Zouk Flash Mob is happening right now all around the world. Thousands of zouk dancers have joined forces, trained hard the past few months, sent a million messages, made hundreds of videos .... all to make an impression, share their passion for zouk and dance for peace & love!

We had a small but fun group of our dancers that joined us this year in Helsinki - and we had a great time!

Look up Youtube (and perhaps even your local news outlet) for more videos! There were about 160 cities in around 50 countries around the world dancing zouk today. More details will follow about exact number of cities and countries that took part in the event. But safe to say we made history today!

And if you're curious you can read more about this flash mob here!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Zouk calendars!

As I've been getting a lot of questions about calendars of zouk events I went ahead and created a couple of Google calendars for the zouk enthusiasts: a congress calendar for all international zouk congresses and a calendar for all zouk happenings just in Finland. You may have noticed I have added both calendars in the left side bar of the blog - you can view them below in detail.

Zouk congress calendar

For the global zoukers please feel free to use this zouk congress calendar. I will keep the calendar up-to-date as event dates are confirmed and new events announced. Please do check the links attached in the calendar markings for the latest information from the respective event organisers for any possible changes or cancellations. For the full list of annual zouk events feel free to look at my list of 2014 zouk congresses.

You can subscribe to the calendar below through this address (as well as view events via feed readers and view a read-only version of the calendar directly in your browser). If you are organising a large zouk congress please do let me know in the comments section to have your event added in the calendar.

Pole Art 2013

I revisited Pole Art last week. And yet again I was amazed. The amount of talent involved in pulling through any of the shows there is beyond my comprehension... both physical skills and artistic talents. The Savoy theater and its stage with the impressive lights was really perfect for this event!

About the performances... I really enjoyed the first guess show with Saulo Sarmiento & Anna de Carvalho. Perhaps for me it's the dynamics between two dancers - like in zouk - that really can bring the show to the next level.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

End of the Dalmatian tour in Split

To end our trip in Croatia we came back to Split. We decided to take another route off the coast from Dubrovnik to Split just for a change - and can recommend for you to not to do the same. The roads are not well marked and don't expect any express highways (even though your map might suggest something like that), but it looks like they are building one. But hey, this was a sightseeing trip! We made a quick entry to Bosnia-Herzegovina, passed through the borders and the town of Neum... nothing too exciting there to make us stop.

However we did make a short stop in Omiš on the Croatian coast. It looked like a nice town with (again) a nice beach. Especially the canyon-like Cetina river looked intriguing.. perhaps some time it could be fun to do some rafting there!

So we had two days in Split before heading back home. Last on the agenda was shopping, beach time and visiting the number one sight in Split: the Diocletian Palace. The palace, built by the Roman emperor Diocletian for his retirement home (yeah...) over 2300 years ago, is no longer really a palace but more like an old city. The palace area has been through many wars, has served as a home to various people and over the centuries been rebuilt on numerous occasions, making it more complex and more interesting over time. This is another one of Croatia's marvelous Unesco heritage sites - like also Plitvice and old city of Dubrovnik.

Spectacular Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is an ~1300 year old city on the southern end of Croatia - and probably the most popular tourist destination of that small country. The city is famous for it's old town and for it's massive harbour that lures in thousands of sailors and cruise ships passengers on a daily basis. With a population far smaller than Split (40.000 vs. 180.000) it seems like a much bigger city, spreading out and up the coast line.

We had a place to stay on the hills above Gruz harbour - the location was a bit hard to find without a GPS (though I don't know if it had helped) as the city is built more like a maze. The views over the harbour and Lapad was stunning, if you stay there make sure you book a room with a sea view.

Above the Gruz harbour: Day..
..and night, equally beautiful!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On the road again, at Pelješac peninsula

While touring Croatia we tried to find some nice, peaceful, interesting places with lots of nature and we ended up going to the Pelješac peninsula - it was also conveniently "on the way" from the island of Brač to Dubrovnik. To get back to the mainland we drove from Bol to Sumartin and barely made it to the ferry leaving to Makarska (and possibly made an island record with those mountain roads as we noticed the ferry schedule a bit too late). The view of Makarska from the sea is quite impressive with the Biokovo mountain range looming right behind the city, going from 0 to 1700m in altitude within quite a short distance. Makarska looked like a lovely town too - shame we couldn't stay everywhere!

From Makarska we drove the picturesque coastal road to Ploče where we would get on another ferry to Trpanj, on the Pelješac peninsula (nothing to see in Ploče btw, an industrial town). Another short, one hour ferry ride and we were on the peninsula's northern side in Trpanj from where we continued straight to the southern side of the peninsula, to our next destination: Orebić.

Pelješac peninsula

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dazzling Dalmiatia - off-roading on Brač

A trip to one of the many famous islands is a must if you are ever to come to Croatia. We picked Brač, just outside Split. Ferries leave from Split to Supetar several times a day and take around 50 mins (price was around 150KN/car and 30KN/person, the same price range goes for most Jadrolinija ferries around the coast). From Supetar we drove straight across the hill to Bol where we arrived at around 11pm and hadn't made any bookings but still had no trouble finding a lovely apartment to stay in. Very handy! 

Leaving Split
We had a couple days to discover the gorgeous island. The weather was a stark contrast to the cool (cold) mountain climate of Plitvice - sunny & hot! We passed the first day walking around the city of Bol, the pine tree lined beach walk, lounged on the famous tongue shaped Zlatni Rat beach (great smoothies there too!). The evenings we continued our trip tradition of Croatian "tapas": local salami & prosciutto and some wine. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Start of a Croatian adventure - Zadar, Plitvice & Knin

This summer I returned to the life of a tourist and finally made it to Croatia! I have been dreaming about discovering the beautiful beaches of Dalmatia for ten years now so it was about time. We had 12 days to see as much as much of the country as we could. I had done some research into what to see - and learned pretty fast that there's waaay too much! Luckily Croatia (especially the coast) is quite compact and the roads are in good condition so we got into our rental car and set out from Split with as little planned as possible.

Arriving to Split

2014 zouk congress calendar

Find the updated version of the calendar:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer days in Estonia

Estonia is one my favourite countries for a weekend getaway... it's close, the travel is fast & easy, the food is tasty & cheap, there's lots of great shopping and I always some new places to visit.


This summer I made my first visit to Tartu - the second largest city in Estonia. While most summer visitors flock to the beach town Pärnu, Tartu is also a great place for a summer trip! Tartu is mostly know for its university, established in the early 1600's, making it one of the oldest in Northern Europe. It's a bit calmer & more compact than Tallinn and has lots of charming very old buildings and quiet streets to stroll around.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Helsinki Night of the Arts goes salsa .... and zouk!

Yesterday was the tradional Night of the Arts (Taiteiden Yö) in Helsinki. It's the night to see theater, circus, music and dance shows, visit art galleries, book stores and anything even remotely related to arts - all for free! The "Night of the Arts" events take place all around Finland and are on a Thursday evening at the end of August. They're really popular among intoxicated teens, but luckily there's also something else fun to do and see!

I'll give you one very good example: It was also the season's final Opera Salsa. This a series of events organised by Salsa Borealis usually every Sunday evening during the summer (you may remember it from last year too). Yesterday evening the stage behind the Opera House was filled with dance classes & shows and hundreds of people were there to have fun, show their move and learn something new. There was Cuban salsa, LA salsa, bachata, kizomba, semba and yes - also zouk! Our local Mzouk teacher Ossi Kimmelma together with Noora Kykkänen hosted a short class on Mzouk. Mzouk is a zouk style from Palma de Mallorca, popular in Barcelona at the moment.

Mzouk class by Ossi and Noora

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Zouk classes in Helsinki - autumn 2013

The new school season is starting in Finland, and so are new dance classes! Here is a list of all the zouk courses that are taking place now and this autumn:

Monday, August 19, 2013

New designs, new shirts!

While I'm still working on getting back on track with my writing & photos from the summer adventures I've had some time to finalize another project of mine: zouk t-shirts! I wanted to create a print for promoting zouk - something that is original, looks fun & sexy and says "ZOUK" as big as possible so you can see it from a distance!!

Welcome to my shop to get your own!!

There are lots of different colours and models for both guys and girls (in the picture below are "some" of the options for girls)!

In case you want to make a group order for your team and want the graphics in some special color or with a custom text on the back of the shirt/hoodie that can be arranged, just comment on this post and I'll get back to you.

The shirts, printing, delivery & payment is done by Spreadshirt so if you have questions about them look up their Help section. Prices are pretty reasonable and I've liked the quality of the shirts before so can recommend them. Deliveries are available to all over Europe, US and Japan.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Welcome to the northernmost samba capital of the world!!?

Helsinki is quite the samba city even though you may have a hard time imagining it. Every year, now for over 20 years, there is a big samba carnival right in the center of Helsinki - held following the same traditions and rules as in the all-mighty Rio de Janeiro. With the small exception that the Helsinki Samba Carnival (HSC) is held the second Saturday of June, as it would be quite too cold to do it in February-March!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

International Zouk Flash Mob 2013 - dancing for love & peace all around the world

Now is the time to jump on board the IZFM - International Zouk Flash Mob! After the success of the last year's event the international team has been working hard all summer preparing for the grand event for this fall. The flash mob will take on September 21st, the international day of peace, in well over 150 cities in about 50 countries. That means we'll have double the number of cities as was last year! It will be a fun day with thousands of zouk dancers - from new beginners to professionals - dancing to the same melody all around the world.

This year the song is by a well-know Brazilian zouk vocalist Paulo Mac. "Dance of Love" is a song specially made for this event (and I like the song actually, nice work!). In an international choreography competition zouk dancers around the world could send in their choreo suggestions for the song and a piece by Henri Velandia & Claudia Palestini from the U.S. got chosen. This is the choreo (note that the choreo may be adapted in your home to best suit the group's skill set).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Looking for the world's best beach

My search for the world's best beach is endless... In my travels I keep looking for and stumbling upon amazing beaches but I just can't get enough!

CNN recently came out with their list of 100 best beaches. I love their introduction by the way:
Is it possible to rank the world's best beaches?
- Of course it is. This is the Internet.
Will everyone agree with our ranking, murmuring respectfully among themselves about how perfectly accurate every placement is?
- Maybe not. This is the Internet.
You'd think people love the same things about such a simple thing as beaches but probably not... Some like it hot, some shady. Some love to people watch, some want utmost privacy. Some like that it's isolated and hard to reach, some like the convenience & the amenities. Some want pristine sand or lounge chairs, some want playgrounds and beach volley fields. Some want to snorkel, some surf, some swim, some won't put their toes in the water.

I've been to beaches in as north as Iceland, as south as Tierra del Fuego and traveled to world famous beaches in Brazil and Australia... and still looking for my favourite one! But I put together some of my favourites, only for you my friend! ;) I've tried to be "fair" and list lots of different types of beaches to make it interesting...!

* By the way: if you're looking for the ultimate beach to dance zouk then you definitely need to head to Porto Seguro, Brazil!

My top ten beaches (so far)

10. Kata Yai, Phuket island, Thailand. There are surely many many more beautiful, quiet, idyllic, beaches in Thailand and South-East Asia but as I'm a freak for sunsets I have to say I've enjoyed some of the most beautiful ones here. Lots of snorkeling places right off the beach and some more secluded beaches can be found closeby. Rent a motorcycle and tour the island!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wake up! It's time to zouk!

This week one enthusiastic zouker, Markus, organised a morning zouk session in our summer dance venue in Helsinki, the stage behind the Opera house at Töölönlahti. What way to wake up to a Thursday morning!! It was super sunny & very warm already at 8 am when we started. The ten dancers that made it to this pretty spontaneous event danced in the morning sun for one hour... and for sure started their days more energized than usual :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

How I became a zouk dancer - and how can others too?

In the spring of 2011 I walked into a club in Helsinki through a recommendation by a friend of mine "to check out some Brazilian couples dance". I wasn't so sure why I'd be interested but I thought why not. What I walked into was the closing party of the first Helsinki Zouk Festival. I fell in love with the music instantly. I got to learn my first zouk steps and even had one dance, with one of the teachers. To me zouk looked something out of this world, out of my reach and out of my elements. But it got me curious. The next week I went to my first zouk class with a friend of mine. Two years later I'm still on this road of no return. And I couldn't be happier! (But, hey.. What is zouk? )

Dance like everybody is watching!
In other words, how to get rid of those first mental hurdles in partner dancing?

Dancing seems to be a daunting idea for some. How many times have I seen the "Dance like nobody is watching" poster, as if dancing would be something you would need to hide or be ashamed of!?! Many people say they simply can't dance or that they have no rhythm. But everybody can dance: find music you like and move to it! In essence you're just walking to the beat of the music or to the changes in the melody - it can be as simple as that. People seem to always worry most about stepping out of their comfort zone and forget all the positive things that come with it. Dancing is good for your health, it improves your memory (it's a fact!), builds your confidence and it's a great way to meet new people!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Vappu is a fun time of the year to be in Finland - especially in Helsinki. If you're ever around on the first of May here's what you need to do:
1) Pack your picnic brunch
2) Pray for decent weather
3) Head to the nearest park

The most popular park for Vappu brunch is Kaivopuisto, on the south tip of Helsinki (bottom pictures). It can get a little crazy there!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Prague zouk congress lives up to the hype!

The Prague zouk congress came to its 4th year in 2013. Boldly dubbed by the organisers as "the most anticipated zouk congress of the year" I certainly booked my ticket early, back in last November(!!). This year the congress took place during the Easter holidays and the Prague - as pretty much all of Europe - was experiencing unseasonably cold weathers. But even the cold & grey Prague was as beautiful as ever with festive Easter decorations and people were enjoying the cheap but tasty food & drinks!

But we weren't feeling the cold as the temperatures climb in the zouk congress atmosphere. Right in the center of Prague Old Town – next to shopping center Palladium on the top floor of department store Kotva was the location of the Prague zouk congress.

View from the top floor of the congress site

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

24 hours in Rio

Before returning home from Brazil last January I stopped for one day in Rio. Now you could say "what sense  does it make to stay only one day in Rio?". Well almost no sense at all, but since I had spent there 2 weeks one year ago I thought I could spare the few extra non-dancing-tourist days visiting some new place (=Paraty).

But I got surprisingly much done in 24 hours in Rio. I went back to Ipanema and Copacabana, did some shopping in Botafogo, walked around in Lapa and Santa Teresa, and had my last açaí and other local treats. After another long, lovely trip to Brazil is was ready to come back home.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The picturesque Paraty

Paraty (or Parati) is an old Portuguese colonial town on the Costa Verde (Green Coast) of Brazil. One of the beach towns between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, it's a great place to stop if you're traveling on the coastline. Just arriving to the coast over the mountains is quite stunning! I really fell in love with Paraty... The old town is a sight in itself with the rough cobbled streets and beautiful old buildings. It's easy to spend a day just walking around and exploring, shopping and sitting in cafés and enjoy the laid back atmosphere.

Street view from Paraty - one pretty white house after another

Monday, April 8, 2013

Can't stay away from São Paulo!

In January I went back to São Paulo - for zouk, obviously! I wrote a more comprehensive report last year but below are some updates on where to find zouk in São Paulo. Some new clubs have surfaced and teachers have new schedules...

Burn the floor in São Paulo

First about the zouk nights. There's a massive zouk scene in São Paulo and you will find many big parties every week. People like to dress up, go dance & socialize and new-comers are always most welcome! on a usual week night there can be easily 200 people dancing zouk in one club - on special nights 1000.... You'll feel like going to a congress party! The zouk club's prices may vary depending on special visitors (artists such a Paulo Mac and Kaysha are no strangers to São Paulo clubs) or promotions (often free nights for ladies) but the entry is generally around R$20. The parties usually start around 9-10pm and go on to 2-4am with a free zouk class at the start of the night with local teachers such as Philip Miha, Dadinho, Renato Veronezi, Ricardo Ferrari etc.

One of those zouk-filled nights in Capital Bar

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Videos from Berg's Congress 2013 - you have to see it to believe it

I compiled some lists for videos of the 5th Berg's Congress - you can find the links to the videos below! The lists are in no way complete as there were about 80 workshops and about the same number of show and competition performances. But I've tried to make sure I've looked up the most interesting and popular ones!

Below is the playlist of videos of the workshops and demos. The first one on the list, Ricardo's & Graziella's demo with guest star Braz was perhaps my favourite as it shows the wonderful, fun spirit that lives in the lambazouk community. There's also lots of collaboration among the various zouk styles that you find in São Paulo, which you can also see in this Renato & Babi's demo!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Berg's Congress - every zoukers dream holiday

I'm so behind on my blog that it's not even funny. Or is 2-3 months' lag funny? Well, I've decided not to care and just go with it, write when I have the time. So here goes!

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. Last year when I was dancing around the world I kept hearing so much about it I decided I wasn't going to miss the next one!! I made my flight bookings already way before I had even come back home, actually last March when I was on my way to hike to Machu Picchu :D

Porto Seguro - Praia Taperapuan around New Year

Monday, March 18, 2013

The soundtrack of a lambazouker - early 2013 edition

Before I get into my report on the Berg's Congress 2013 I'd like to share my Porto Seguro playlist. I've been collecting the most memorable and most played songs of the past January's Berg's Congress and also music from São Paulo zouk dance floors during that time. Here's the link to the playlist on Youtube!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Zouk designs: Z**k me!!

It's been a long & cold winter in Finland and I've been taking a break from blogging. The weeks have been busy training, working - and cozying up under a warm blanket at home. There have been some beautiful days with lots of snow and it's been great to go skiing and skating. But surely there's always time for zouk (a great way to stay warm as well!) and I managed to fit a 4-week trip to Brazil for the legendary Berg's Congress among others to escape from the cold & darkness. More about that in the next posts!