The House of Zouk
Zouk is a complex dance. It is physically, technically and emotionally demanding. People easily can get lost on their pathway to grow as a Zouk dancer. We developed this concept to help students and instructors alike. It shall break down this complexity into building blocks on which you can work in order to improve. This concept is about the social dance side of Zouk, dancing with others at parties, festivals and in dance schools. It is not about shows or performances, which is another discipline.
So, what does it need to become a great Zouk dancer?
The usual starting point for learning a ballroom dance. You learn basic steps, you learn dance specific movements and routines. Routines getting more complex by time.
The technique you need to interact with your dance partner. This is about leading and following. It‘s not about routines and patterns, it‘s about what principles are behind and how we can make them work together.
You need to know yourself and how to master control of movements in order to protect your body and to look beautiful. You need a good understanding of solo dance techniques & body awareness.
Everyone has an attitude towards the dance, which comes with the reason why they dance. This reason is often unconscious (e.g. meet the other sex, get to know people, love for the music or movements). The next step in mastery is to be aware of your attitude and work on your mind set. Be aware you are doing a partner dance. If you really want to connect you have to be open. Tear down your walls. This starts before you go out to a party. It‘s a mental process and you decide upon it!
The small house of zouk
Having all this in place you created a house of zouk. If all pillars are equally strong your house will be solid.
Nonetheless this house has it‘s limits. It is indicated here by small letters „house of zouk“. If you want to go from good to great, there is more to master. You want a capital HOUSE OF ZOUK. So the next building blocks are important …
Musicality is essential, we always dance to music. In fact you have a threesome between you, your partner and the music. For this you have to really understand music, all nuances, instruments, details and music theory and not just the basic rhythm.
Last but not least, a big block for the core – the connection. The essence, we want to be able to create oneness. Two people, one feeling, one emotion, no right and wrong, just be in the moment and immerse. Feel the flow, what ever comes up is good. No judgement, no thinking, just be.
The full house of zouk
Some final remarks. This concept shall help to better understand where you are, what you need to work on, what classes are about and what classes can be about. Reality is always more complex than any concept can outline. Don’t take it too rigid. There is no black and white. Building blocks are often mixed. You can learn about solo and partner techniques in any routine class if you want. This concept is rather meant to make you see all dimensions needed, from different angles, all in order to become a great social Zouk dancer.
Furthermore this is work in progress. We are aware that these aspects can be seen in a very different way, more building blocks might be added or interpreted differently. In any case, we are happy for feedback and very much enjoy entering a discussion.