Zouk Is a fast jump-up carnival beat originating from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, popularized by the French Antillean band Kassav’ in the 1980s. Very rapid in tempo, the style lost ground in the 1980s due to the strong presence of kadans or compas, the main music of the French Antilles. Today, zouk is the French Antilles compas, also called zouk-love.
The Creole word zouke, sekwe, or zouke, etc. from the French verb secouer meaning “shake intensely and repeatedly” was used by Haitian artists who toured the French Antilles during the late 1970s and 1980s. The word zouk has, over time, come to mean “party” or “festival” in the local Antillean Creole of French
Brazilian Zouk: The original Porto Seguro style is also unique in the way steps are performed to music (in this sense it is closer to Lambada). Here, the steps are performed with equal emphasis (same amount of travel) on strong beat and the two beats that follow (including the pause after the strong beat). This is done specifically to facilitate musicality by matching sharp movements (chicote and cambre) with the strong beat. When danced this way dancers fluently incorporate sharp movements to accentuate strong beat without stopping the dance (pausing to catch up). Even though this timing is popular in lambazouk it is by no means exclusive. Many lambazouk dancers also dance by taking longer step (or turning the follower) on the dominant beat. It is also a common practice to switch between the two timings within the same song (by doing multiple contra-tempo turns for the follower). In lambazouk style (as explained earlier) a popular way is to step equally (length-wise) on strong beat and following two beats. This creates continuous movements.
About the instructor: Luciana is from Brazil where she learned Zouk in 1998, since then she fell in love with Zouk’s rhythm. Her classes will include ladies and gentleman’s steps, posture, stretching and musicality.