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Claudio Gomes

How to learn Zouk Love

Level: Beginners

Style: Zouk

Content: Basics and simple turn patterns.

General Comment: I can just see Grandpa Simpson saying “I used to dance Zouk once… in those days we called it Lambada”. I am one of those.. and what is contained in this DVD is indeed very close to what Lambada was many years ago. It all makes sense, though; Lambada was a fun dance, driven to the death bed by the lack of good music production: except for less than a handful of songs, the entire Lambada music collection would hardly make you feel like dancing. So here comes Zouk with a vaguely similar rhythm; it adopts the dying dance, and this springs back to a new youth, thanks to the working symbiosis.

Now Zouk enjoys a growing popularity, especially in Europe and French speaking countries, and so instructional DVDs are welcome. As in any new adventure, you need to start from somewhere, and this DVD offers exactly that. Pity thought that the Zouk DVD production also needs to invent itself, rather than building on the considerable experience and improvement salsa instructional DVDs have seen in over a decade. What I mean is that DVD looks like the very first salsa DVDs which came in the market in the early 90s. The instruction is provided with no counting of the beat, rather to an improbable vocalisation of the basic rhythm; the steps are simple, but involve a certain amount of movement over the floor, so when the two dancers show the turn patterns without the partner, it is hard to understand what is happening. Zouk is based largely on simple turns (mostly enchufle) and a number of dips in very close position. So the body movement and the smooth flow of the couple as a single entity are crucial to the proper execution of the dance. Nevertheless, I found the repeated invitation to ‘feel’ the music and to pay attention to the internal ‘energy’ unhelpful: whatever these feelings and energy are I doubt they can be experienced on a DVD, which should rather focus on what can be learned indirectly, that is the technique. I may really sound like Grandpa Simpson, but to me the frequent reference to the sensuality of the dance, the requirement to be sexy, look sexy and feel sexy are more suitable to the flesh and blood of the dance floor than to a DVD. Sensuality, I believe, is something you bring into the dance, not something you suddenly remember when prompted by a turn pattern.

Despite my grumpiness, if you want to have a go at this dance, this DVD may be an avenue. Some 15 years ago a number of Lambada instructional DVDs were produced, but they did not contain any special recipe, so why not being more updated and try this one?

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Fair


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