Brazilian zouk is a couple dance descended from lambada in Brazil. Brazilian zouk is among the most popular couple dances in Brazil, others being forró, lambada, samba de gafieira and salsa.
The name Brazilian zouk is used to distinguish the dance from the Caribbean zouk dance, which is historically related to, but very different from the lambada.
Traditional Brazilian Zouk style was first developed in Rio de Janeiro around the mid 90’s and was developed and first taught by Adilio Porto and Renata Peçanha. The characteristic steps that were created are the basic step going front and back (from Samba de Gafieira), the opening and lateral step (from Bolero), elastic and bonus (also called boomerang in Europe).
Since adding lots of new steps and changing the characteristics from Lambada, a new name was given to this dance, with was originally ‘Zouk Love’, later just called ‘Zouk’ or ‘Brazilian Zouk’. Today, the Brazilian Zouk has changed and thus, the name ‘Traditional Zouk’ has been given to the dance that was first taught by Adilio and Renata in the beginning of the 90’s.
Unlike salsa, which is led with the hands, Brazilian zouk is led by more parts of the body. Sometimes, 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.
Here are a few varied videos to give a sense of this dance style:
Below is a continually-updated list of music we play in class and at socials: