Question By _superdancer
I’m a professional in West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, and Country Western. I’ve competed in Latin and ballroom, but as an amateur. One of my friends is really into Zouk. I’ve seen some videos, and it looks like a lot of fun. What is your experience, and what made you want to stay? Why Zouk?
Lindy / blues / fusion dancer here who just started zouk and wcs this month. Enjoying it a lot.
Zouk is just so unique in its movements. I love the connection and clarity this dance has.
I say you should definitely try it. At the very least, you’ll have new techniques in your toolbox. It’s already creeping into my other dances.
I also love that you can dance 5 or 6 dances in a row in zouk and it’s totally normal. Whereas other dances, you’re always scrambling to find the next partner.
Zouk is very challenging. To me it is a dance for dancers- those who start it with an individual dance or partner dance background tend to enjoy it more than those who start with no dance experience at all. There are a myriad of possible beautiful shapes in zouk because there’s a whole added plane of movement in the upper body (this is also true to some extent in WCS). It allows the lead to dance more than other dances which are sometimes more follow-heavy. By this I mean that the lead comes from mirroring in many cases, so instead of just using the arms to lead movements, the lead must use their whole body.
I really love zouk 🙂 It’s worth it to do a 6 week intro series and see if it jives with you! Why not?
When I dance other dances I feel as though the conversation is aggressive: “Do this, do that, watch what I can do”. With zouk it feels more like a collaboration: “maybe we try this movement together, wow let me adjust to your response, you seem tired- let’s breathe for a bit”. That plus there’s a lot of room for personal style. 🙂
I started Zouk about 3-4 years ago, soon after I started West Coast. To me the main difference is that WCS has a strong competition/self-improvement aspect, while Zouk is more enjoyment-oriented.
Westies tend to be more obsessed about the details of dancing “correctly”, while zoukers tend to think more in the general terms of whether something feels right or wrong and whether it works or not.
I often hear WCS teachers saying something along the lines of “yes it works, but you are leading it wrong”, while from the zouk teachers I hear the opposite “well it worked, so what’s the problem?”
To be honest, I only really started enjoying Zouk after I allowed myself to just have fun dancing with people, without thinking about whether I’m doing right things correctly.
Also, in Zouk people are dancing much more closely than in all of your dances, and it felt awkward for me in the beginning, until I realized that this awkwardness comes only from my mind, and I should just relax and enjoy this kind of dancing instead. 🙂
Good comments so far.
I started in ballroom, took a 5 year hiatus and came back to Lindy. It’s a lot of fun, but almost stuck in a time capsule with the music and had a distinct speed and vibe.
Upon finding zouk, I was really taken with how much more freedom it offered in movement, pace, and music. It felt like I had much more control as a lead over what kind of experience to share with my dance partner.
Whether it’s a party pace with thumping carribbean beats or a slow and intimate groove to one of your favorite new songs on the radio, I feel zouk really has a wider application and freedom of expression, while still respecting strict technique.
Beginner hell in Zouk is real, especially for a leader. Dive into lessons for awhile though and you’ll feel more confident. So worth the money and effort of 6 month training.