Zouk is the newest dance to join the Inspired Movement family of dances and one that has been constantly growing within the Austin dance scene in the past couple of years. While not as well known as Salsa or Bachata, it is definitely expanding at an exponential rate around the U.S. The dance is known for its distinctive music that has rhythms with a hint of Samba and Lambada with a modern twist as well as the flow and grace that diferentiates it from other latin dances. Inspired Movement is dedicated to spreading its love for Zouk by bringing artists from around the world in addition to constantly learning more and more about the dance to bring a class that showcases what Zouk is all about and why we love it so much. To view when our next IM Zouk class or event is, check our events calendar.
Brazilian Zouk evolved from a Brazilian dance called Lambada. Lambada grew fast, it was a fever especially in Brazil, however at the beginning of the 90’s it started to lose its popularity.
In mid 90’s Brazilians discovered the rhythm Zouk from French Caribbean which had many similarities with Lambada music due to Lambada music have many influences from the Caribbean rhythms. However the Zouk music was slower than the Lambada, so it was necessary to make alterations to the dance including to its basic steps.
This transformation happened in many states in Brazil. In Rio de Janeiro, Jaime Aroxa, Renata Peçanha and Adilio Porto at Jaime Aroxa Dance School realized that in class it was difficult to teach the Lambada basics on the spot and with the influence of other Brazilian dance styles such as Samba de Gafieira they modified the basics from being on the spot to traveling forward and backward. The linear Salsa also influenced them to create liver movements like “Lateral” and “Bonus,” because the Lambada movements were all circular. These changes helped students to learn easily. Following that other movements came up such as “Raul” and “Bonus”, which gave origin to our popular basic kit.
Because this dance evolved from a Brazilian dance, Lambada, it is considered a Brazilian dance. Despite the non-Brazilian name, Zouk professionals decided to call this dance style Brazilian Zouk (Zouk Brasileiro), with the objective to protect the Brazilian culture and prevent any interference with a different culture’s interpretations of Zouk.