Zouk: The love´s dance

Zouk is the Creole word for “party” and a musical style created in the spirit of celebration. Zouk music can be immediately recognized by its distinct, pulsing rhythm. As a dance music, zouk encourages a social experience that few can resist. Zouk prompts a delicious physiological reaction as a rush of endorphins kick in response to the hypnotic beat. The steady, pumping bass line encourages slow and sensual dances.

Listeners describe zouk as a means to relaxation, self-expression, empowerment, and pure enjoyment. Zouk can also be life-changing. The legendary band Kassav’ were the first to put into words the remarkable healing power of zouk music. In the international hit “Zouk-la Sé Sèl Médikaman Nou Ni” (Zouk Is Our Only Medicine), they proclaimed that sometimes music is not just the best, but the only respite from life’s hardships. Cabo Zouk, a unique sub-genre borne out of the islands of Cape Verde, has its own distinct spin combining traditional Cape Verdean sounds with the Antillean influence.

Zouk music has thrilled and inspired millions of fans from around the world. The global influence of the genre is even more remarkable considering its roots. The islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique together cover barely 1,000 square miles, and each is inhabited by just 400,000 residents. Zouk music is steeped in the complex history of the islands, one of unsurpassed beauty, colonization, political turmoil, and the abundant fusion of bits and pieces of African, European, and Caribbean cultures. Naturally, zouk itself is the product of a combination of musical influences.

In Brazil

In Brasil, the Zouk was mixed with Lambada music. In the late 80's Lambada was a short lived dance craze, made famous in the UK by the 1990 movie and the Kaoma record, The Lambada . Very few people continued to dance Lambada when the craze ended. They changed what was originally a beach dance in to a form of ballroom dance. The bikini's and miniskirts were traded for glamorous ballroom dresses. The bare feet became high heeled and the butt shaking evolved into wavy head and body movements.

Zouk has a characteristic wave-like movement, elongated steps and striking hair movements by the lady. The movements are a rhythmic side to side and a rippling forward and back wave-like motion. Body rolls are reminiscent of the Samba, while hip grinds are reminiscent of the Lambada.

Accomplished female dancers roll their head in a circular motion and from side to side keeping to the rhythm of the music, and thereby creating a fluid and sensual quality to their dance. The embrace when dancing Zouk-Lambada is close. The follower dances on the balls of her feet (heels off the ground) with a twisting motion so that her steps appear to grind the floor. This in turn which emphasizes her hip movements.

If you like the dance,  the music and you want to learn a really incredible rhythm, the Zouk will give you all of that! Dare to dance the most sensual music worldwide!!!

by Patricio