Zouk

Zouk Classes Singapore DanceZouk is a Brazilian partner dance that is popular among Salsa and Bachata dancers in the social scene in Singapore. It has a deep rhythmic vibe and is characterized by the smooth sensual sway of the hips, head movements and full body dips, with an interesting and different feel as compared to other Latin dances, making it a fun dance to explore, especially if you are looking for something different and new to try.

The dance is characterized by distinctive head movements like Cabeça and Boneca with a lot of body and hip movements.  It is a style of rhythmic music originating from the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. It has its roots in compas music from Haiti,. Zouk means "party" or "festival" in the local creole of French with English and African influences, all three of which contribute the sound. In Africa, it is popular in franco/luso countries, while on the African islands of Cape Verde they have developed their own type of zouk. In Europe it is particularly popular in France, and in North America the Canadian province of Quebec.

Origins

The zouk music style was invented in the early 1980s when many different styles were fused, such as compas, balakadri, the Dominica based cadence and bal granmoun dances, mazurka and biguine, French and American pop, and kadans, gwo ka and other indigenous styles.

Zouk-Lambada (also called Lambada-Zouk) is a group of closely related dance styles based on or evolved from the lambada dance style and is typically danced to zouk music or other music containing the zouk beat. There are two dominant styles of Zouk-Lambada called (Brazilian) zouk and Lambazouk. The Zouk-Lambada dancing styles are among the most popular non-ballroom dances for couples in Brazil, others being Forró, Lambada, Samba de gafieira and Salsa.

Brazilian zouk

Brazilian zouk is mainly danced in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia), The Netherlands and some other European countries, It uses a modified, slower, smoother, even more sensual version of the lambada and is typically danced on Zouk-love style music. In the Netherlands this dance style goes under the name of zouk-love.

The Brazilian zouk dance style was first developed by Jaime Aroxa, Adilio Porto and Renata Peçanha in Rio de Janeiro around 1989. In the Netherlands it was first introduced (in the early 2000s) by Claudio Gomes. Today Brazilian zouk is also danced on R&B, Latin pop and Arabic music, mixed with a zouk music beat.

Unlike salsa, which is led with the hands; Brazilian zouk is led by more parts of the body, noticeably the glued-to-each-other hips of the partners. Thus, in a basic sideways movement, it is the hips that move first, followed by the rest of the body, and this is part of what makes the dance so sensual. However, in various moves the dance partners are also connected by eye contact, legs, arms, shoulders, head, etc.

When practicing zouk in dance classes, teachers generally warn women to be very careful with their backs and necks, as two of the most distinctive and commented-on movements are the cambré (arching backwards to a greater or lesser degree, sometimes even below the waist) and the specific 'hair movements' or ' head movements' for the woman. If not done properly this could lead to injury.
As of today Zouk is becoming well known and apart from the original styles Lambada (faster) and Zouk (latter development) some people distinguish other styles like Soulzouk, NeoZouk and Zouk-Revolution. Whether these are truly separate styles or just individual ways of dancing zouk is, however, still a point of debate.

Lambazouk

In many countries the term Lambazouk refers to the Lambada dance style or a variation of it, danced to Zouk music. It is mainly danced in North-East Brazil (Porto Seguro) and Spain. It differs from Brazilian Zouk in the way the steps are performed on the music. To put it simple, Brazilian Zouk is danced on the dominant beat ("toom-cheek-cheek"), while Lambazouk is danced on the small beats ("cheek-cheek-toom"). In general the Lambazouk/Lambada dancing style is more suitable for fast tempo music, while Brazilian zouk is more suitable for slow tempo music. It is also very common practice to switch fluently between these dancing styles during a single Zouk music song.

Related Classes: Bachata, Street Cha Cha, Salsa, Lumbia, Jazroc, Practica, Salsa Shines, Salsa Styling, Cuban Salsa, Merengue, Casino Rueda, Afro Cuban Rumba
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Starlinn Actfa DanceSTARLINN CHOO YANQING joined the SFDF program in 2004 while studying in NUS, training 12 hours a day; she completed her SFDF, Diploma & IHDC courses in 3 years, using her teaching income to finance her classes in Diploma & IHDC. In 2008 she pursued her IMDC Dance Business & is now doing her 3 years IPHDC Dance Product Research. While pursuing her IHDC she was already traveling around the world for assignments. more


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 Libin Actfa DanceLB, a masters degree holder working for a MNC, decided to do a career switch after he completed his SFDF. He then worked as an International Sales Manager in dance products, an international artist & dance instructor. He is the Singapore Bachata Champion 2008 and the 1st runner up in the Asia Salsa Championship behind Serge and Polina from Russia in 2010. more


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maricel Actfa DanceMARICEL, a professional dancer from the Philippines, joined SFDF in 2009. In less than a year, she has performed at the Esplanade Da:ns Festival 2009, Salsa Cruise Asia 2009, & has also been to China to teach & perform. In 2010 she was offered a full time dance instructor job in Singapore. She has since gone on to set up a dance studio in the Philippines and comes back periodically to upgrade her skills.


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Actfa School of Dance & Performing Arts
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