Brazilian Zouk

20-zouk
LaVida is the only place in the Eastside Seattle area that offers weekly Zouk classes and monthly dance socials!

Zouk is a fun modern partner dance suited for all ages. Zouk music is characterized by a slow rhythm and a heart-beat like deep baseline. It takes its origins in both Brazilian and Caribbean dance cultures, literally engaging people into the "Party Time". Today, Zouk is often re-mixed with R&B, Pop, and Electronic music.
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. A very dramatic move that needs to be executed with care, is for the woman to lean far back lowering her head below her waist and then whipping her head from side to side. This results in her hair swishing and flying from side to side.
For those who have experience dancing other traditional partner dances - many of the moves, techniques, or concepts from those styles can be imported to Zouk. This makes this dance relatively easy to adapt to. In addition, Zouk can be danced to a variety of songs, and a variety of moods, making it a versatile dance to know.
The inspiration for Zouk's style of rhythmic music comes from Haitian rhythms, as well as music called cadence - music of Dominica popularized by Grammacks and Exile One. Zouk music started to become popular around the time Lambada music was fading from the Brazilian dance scene.

In Brazil, Lambada evolved into Zouk-Lambada. The original Lambada beat became slower and smoother. Zouk-Lambada is danced to a one-two-three beat. Zouk-Lambada maintains the characteristic close embrace, hip-grinding movements of the Lambada. The basic sideways step is led by the hips. It also maintains the head-roll seen in the Samba and Lambada as well as upper-body rolls.
Zouklove is danced to slower music and it is a more dramatic and sensual style of Zouk. Zouklove has its origins in a slow tempo form of cadence sung by Ophelia Marie of the Dominica. Zouklove in turn influenced an African genre of Zouk called Kizomba which developed in Angola and Cape Verde.

If you are a beginner, we recommend you to start with the Level 1 - Absolute Beginner Zouk series.
The series include 4 classes once per week and a practice session right after the class to nail down your body moves and routines, and socialize with your fellow dancers!

At our Level 1series students learn the basic connection, transition, flow and technique of this sensual dance. The focus is on basic movement in place, timing, the basic going forward and back, lateral, and transitions between those elements.
You will need to be able to demonstrate the steps in Level 1 before moving on to Level 1-2.
If you would like to join Level 1-2 or higher right from the start - you certainly can! Just contact us for our complimentary 10min evaluation.
At Level 1-2 series students continue to build up the fundamentals as well as exploring new possibilities and more fun sequences. They dive into a signature Zouk's movement like simple turns, lunge, cambres, chicotes, bonus, etc.

Students are advised to stay at this level until they feel comfortable to dance at Zouk socials.

No, you don’t need a partner. We often rotate students (optional for couples). We also invite our volunteers, who come to help by dancing with students without a partner. Having an ongoing dance partner is not guaranteed, but we do our best to make sure everyone has plenty of chances to dance and learn.
Absolutely. Come and bring your friends to our monthly dance nights! We offer a group class right before the dancing starts, so everyone is ready to have fun and move. Various types of music like Soul, R&B, Pop, and Electronic is played during the night. Spend a wonderful evening socializing and dancing Zouk on the Eastside Seattle without crossing the bridge. See our Social Dance Nights for up to date schedule.