"But what is Brazilian Zouk?"
(The short version)

The Short-short Version

History

Our School

So basically...

Brazilian Zouk (which is a completely different dance from Kizomba and Bachata) started as a dance called Lambada, which was super popular worldwide in the 90's (see video below).

 

Due to several reasons, including the music no longer being made, the dance kind of died down, but survived by adopting Zouk music (which comes from the french colonies in the Caribbean). The dance evolved and changed, and nowadays we dance it to ALL kinds of music - from Kizomba and Zouk to Hip-Hop and EDM.

History

Lambada emerged in Brazil since the late 1970's but broke into mainstream music and media in the late 80's and early 90's, mostly sparked by the immortal song, "Lambada" by Kaoma

It spread throughout the globe and became a worldwide sensation. They even made 2 (!) movies about it, calling it the "Forbidden Dance". As a result of those movies and other stigmas about the dance, it has declined in popularity. As it evolved and became a social dance for all to dance, this dance changed its context and character.

Today, we no longer dance with the same intensity as seen in the video above - the dance evolved to be danced to different and slower music, and with time, the complexity and sophistication of the movements increased, requiring more finesse, gentleness, and care.

 

The dance absorbed influences from Ballet, Modern dance, contemporary, and many more. Here is one of the most classic videos of the newer style of Brazilian Zouk:

Music

Initially, the Brazilians adopted Zouk music from the French Caribbean, but over time, new genres started emerging on the dance floor. Nowadays, you can Zouk to ANYTHING! We do mostly dance to Kizomba music (which is why some folks confuse this dance with Kizomba), RnB, Pop, Hip-Hop, Dancehall, Reggaeton, and many more.

At parties, we don't stop and play a new song - usually there is a DJ that mixes songs together seamlessly, and it is common (but not mandatory) for people to dance to multiple songs with each other, with the flow of the music.

Here's an example of our school playlist that we play in classes: