Check out this video by Arthur Santos and Sara Panero showcasing their amazing zouk improvisation skills. And the gorgeous Madrid sunset location of course adds an extra romantic element to the dance!
Arthur Santos has been a huge proponent of Brazilian zouk and he has worked hard to push awareness of the dance style around the world. He even spent some time in Australia where he opened a dance school teaching zouk. He is now in Madrid teaching and dancing and showing Spain just how great zouk can be. He has an academic sports science background, gaining a degree in physical education, which he uses to bring an extra element to his teaching.
Sara Panero has been hugely successful as well. She is a previous four times bachata national champion and has danced with the prestigious salsa company Imperio Azteca. Her background was actually in classical ballet and she was trained at the Conservatory of Dance.
Zouk is a fairly new dance style, hailing from the 1990s in Brazil. It is named after the French Caribbean music style of zouk, so you will often see the dance called Brazilian zouk to make the distinction. As you can see from the video, zouk is characterised by really strong leading and following techniques that create movements that shift the upper body out of its axis. You also get a lot of body isolation movements, tilted turns, and counterbalance techniques.
One of the great things about zouk is that it does lend itself really well to improvisation. The movements involved are very flexible and fluid, so it is relatively easy to put them together while improvising. Arthur and Sara demonstrate how polished zouk improvisation can really look when done by the best of the best!
The improvisation element of zouk means that if you learn this dance style, you really do get an opportunity to use your creative side. It can sometimes be hard to feel that creativity when you are working through choreographed steps, but flexing your improvisation skills can definitely help you to feel inspired!
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