Zouk in Rio

On top of Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro / Dancing with the Statue in Copacabana Beach in Rio 

I have been in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I went dancing two nights in a row and it was a blast!

I was a bit anxious as Rio is the land of Zouk, the land of Jaime Aroxa, Carlinhos de Jesus, Alex da Silva, among so many other great dancers. 

I have to thank LDA and say that my technical level was quite good compared to the other dancers on the floor, I was at least on the same general level.

In fact, I was asked to dance non‐stop during the whole night and thankfully almost every partner said good things about my dancing and danced with me more than one song. 

The first night was a mix with Salsa, Forró, Soltinho, Gafieira, Zouk and Samba‐Rock. The salsa level was not as high as in Australia, so my intermediate was enough to have fun.

Soltinho is a sort of Cha‐Cha danced with rock music, very entertaining. I watched and said: ‘I can do this.’ So when asked for a dance, I just did.

At the end of the night, I decided to go home as I was about to puke on my fellow dancers. I did so many spins, hair flicks, dips, and moves that my balance was gone. When I looked at my partner and started seeing two of them with about three hands up, it was time to go.

The second night was amazing, zouk only. I almost killed myself dancing, or was killed… I’m not sure. Both nights I saw people watching me dancing, but I only danced with great dancers, so they were watching the couple, not me specifically.

The great news is that I didn’t have to ask anyone to dance with me! It is such a great feeling to actually be asked to dance… over and over again!

The technical level of the followers were about equivalent to our Australian zouk ladies (including students) but the Brazilians do have a natural “ginga” (specially people with African ascendence). Ginga is what we call the natural ability to dance and swing the hips.

The leaders were above the level I experience generally in Australia, not exactly in terms of steps they know, but more on the capability of leading.

That is because the dancing crowd is probably larger. Leaders are used to leading people they do not do classes with, and therefore do not know what they are trying to do.

The result is the creation of excellent leaders. They do not lead too many dips and tricks, just the perfect balance, and they use the music excellently. 

Seriously I felt like I was in heaven! The other great thing is that no‐one dance with you only one song. Usually they dance at least two, often 3, 4 or 5!!! So you have time to get used to the person’s style and leading and it is extremely enjoyable.

This is an idea that at least in salsa, we should adopt in Australian dance floors, it is a simple idea and it makes the world of difference in the feeling of the dancing. 

It was funny to see a few faces I knew from Australia and meet a few other teachers and instructors that visited our Aussie congresses.

The night was unforgettable and I only stopped once I could not put my feet down on the floor anymore.

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One thought on “Zouk in Rio

  1. Pingback: The Dancing Bug’s Favourites – taniacreations.com

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