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Fri, Oct 07


Dauntless Dance

The Universe Behind The Hug with Gui Prada

***IMPORTANT*** "The Universe Behind The Hug" is a unique workshop that focuses on the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the hug as a part of Brazilian Zouk, and is different from "standard" dance workshops. Please read the full description before booking! 🙂

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The Universe Behind The Hug with Gui Prada
The Universe Behind The Hug with Gui Prada

Time & Location

Oct 07, 2022, 7:30 PM – Oct 09, 2022, 6:30 PM

Dauntless Dance, 3221 Houston Ave, Houston, TX 77009, USA


About the event


1. "The Universe Behind The Hug" is a unique workshop that focuses on the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the hug as a part of Brazilian Zouk, and is different from "standard" dance workshops. Please read the full description before booking! :)

2. Schedule:

Friday: Dancing at the Water Works (Free)

Saturday: Workshops (12-4pm) and The Palladium Social (10.30-2am)

Sunday: Workshops (1-5pm) and practice (5-6pm)

Party on Saturday not included (Palladium social), Friday & Sunday practice included. 

Follow the event for updates.

3. Pricing:

Sotaki Students $85

Regular admission $100 (Only 10 leads and 10 follows)

See ticket link for purchase.

Saturday social $15 (at the location, includes a free class and Salsa and Bachata rooms as well)

4. Event is capped at 50 people and will have an even ratio of leads and follows.

5. Privates with Gui are available at $150 an hour on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. SCHEDULE BY CONTACTING SOTAKI! 

Limited availability, and priority to Sotaki students.


It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been dancing, we all have experienced dances that made us wish the song was over as soon as possible. More usual than that is the experience of a dance that doesn’t feel right, is awkward, uncomfortable and sometimes hurts. There may be several reasons for these things to happen, but certainly the most common ones are lack of attention to one’s own body and to the partner, the lack of physical and, consequently, emotional connection, usually observed in taking for granted simple and basic elements like walking together and the hug.  The hug is fundamental in almost all Brazilian dances, and if done well you can do basics for the entire night and you will have an awesome experience! This is because it has the power to create an indescribable feeling of comfort, safety and care that can go beyond dance and reach more profound layers of our beings. 

There is an entire universe behind the dance hug, embracing several aspects of our lives: how we were raised, how we perceive the other, how we see ourselves as dancers, why we dance and what we want to accomplish in this amazing form of art. All these issues affect the way we approach dance and the people we dance with and, as a direct consequence, the way we physically connect through the hug.  Connection works on three main layers: physical, emotional and spiritual. Exploring the universe behind the hug helps us fill the connection void created by our busy lives in all those layers and understand how our entire body reacts positively to the meaningful contact of another person. In other words, the exploration of this universe can lead to the discovery of an incredible tool on our search for joy in our dancing.  We can actually learn how to create a comfortable, meaningful hug that will make our dancing experience mutually satisfying, and more than that will help us see the other person as someone who deserves nothing more than care and love.  

During this workshop we will learn the physical and mental principles behind the comfortable, meaningful hug and how to apply them to every single person we dance with, no matter the level, height or mood. We will also explore a different mindset towards social dancing -- one that is primarily focused on the other and turning ourselves into instruments of the other’s wellbeing and happiness, at least for the duration of two, three, ten or even thirty songs.  We cannot go deep into connecting with someone without mastering our body’s movement first. Unlike the other layers, connecting on the physical level is not something you can avoid. Therefore, in this workshop we will explore the limits and potentialities of our bodies and how we can work to move together as comfortably as possible.   


Building the Hug – The Physical Layer  

On our first day we will work on building the hug throw the exploration of its physical elements and concepts, such as the “awaken body”, attention, balance, weight transfer, torso and hips connection, shoulders, head and hands contact and use, as well as pressure and layers of connection.   


Building the Mindset – Going into deeper layers  

On our second day we will focus on building the mindset to create an amazing dancing experience. We will talk about and exercise empathy, patience and interdependency. In addition, we will explore the concept of the “absent presence”, the use of though, emotion and feeling and how basic tantra teachings can help us provide and receive great dances.   

Additional Details:  

For both days, dancers should have experience dancing zouk through routine participation in classes and, most importantly, socials. If you have no experience in zouk, but in another dances and is interested in this workshop, please let us know!   

Please make sure to bring comfortable clothes since we will have floor and contact and improvisation exercises. In addition, bring a blindfold -- they will be used during both days of the workshop to help us improve our other senses.

About Gui, the teacher:

Inspired by the movie "Shall We Dance?", Gui Prada started dancing in 2004. However, it was only in 2006 that he really began to dive deep into dance as a work-study trainee of the Jaime Aroxa Dance School in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most prestigious dance schools in Brazil, which trained some of the most renowned dancers in the country. During his 6 years as a member of the school's team, he learned all Brazilian partner dances (Forró, Samba de Gafieira, Soltinho, Bolero and Zouk) and Argentine Tango. As he matured more as a dancer, he found he preferred to focus less on the steps and more on turning partner dancing into a relaxing experience for the mind and body.

In 2009, on his first visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was introduced to the authentic tango hug - the close embrace - and all of its complexity and power to create the ultimate feeling of “conforto, cuidado e entrega” - comfort, care and surrender. After that, he continued learning from other remarkable instructors in Brazil, including Fabiano Vivas, Kelly Reis, Érico Rodrigo, Guilherme Pimentel, Lídio Freitas and many others; and went on to research the close embrace and its application to all partner dances, with the purpose of conveying a sense of well-being and relaxation between dance partners.

His investigation of the close embrace continued over the years, and through many sources both inside and outside of the dance world. These studies guided him to form a multidisciplinary understanding of dancing and connecting in close embrace as a healing and therapeutic experience. Due to its versatility in movement, music, speed and approach, Brazilian Zouk became the perfect dance to apply this concept and explore the possibilities, which he has been doing since 2016, when he attended the first Zouk Retreat in Valencia, led by Xandy Liberato, Brenda Carvalho and Anderson Mendes. After that, his research on partner dancing took a new direction, as he continued working to seek for the application of the concepts explored at the retreat in different ways by using the references of the other Brazilian partner dances.

Currently, he develops the idea of partner dancing as a true social and bonding experience, having dancing in close embrace and the masterey of basics as the focus point. Over the course of the years, Gui was able to develop and improve this concept through workshops called “The Universe Behind the Hug”, Parts I and II, Finding Zouk, Embrace Zouk Weekender, Embrace Zouk Online, and the Leaders Intensive Training, which together toured many cities around the US. Gui is based in Washington DC, US, developing the local community with regular, weekly and progressive classes. He became a reference in the execution of clean, comfortable fundamentals and its understanding of close connection, both from a physical and mental perspectives. Gui is also one of the regular instructors of Alex de Carvalho’s MAC program, where he teaches new instructors how to learn, talk about and teach connection.


  • 3 hours 30 minutes

    Acro & Zouk at the Water Works

    The Water Works

  • 4 hours

    Workshop - Part 1

2 more items available


  • Sotaki Students - LEADS

    Tax: +$3.00 Online fee+$2.58 service fee
    Sale ended
  • LEADS - Regular Admission

    Tax: +$3.45 Online fee+$2.96 service fee
    Sale ended
  • Sotaki Students - FOLLOWS

    For local Sotaki students only

    Tax: +$3.00 Online fee+$2.58 service fee
    Sale ended



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