It’s not salsa, it’s not tango, it’s not calypso, it’s not compas, and definitely not reggae — it’s Zouk!
The latest dance craze that is now heating up the dance floors from the Caribbean to the different continents of the world.
This new global phenomena zouk is a dance style of rhythmic music that has its origin in the Caribbean and to be more precise, Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Adopted and made popular by the Brazilians, it is the rave and most talked about dance form today.
Brazilian zouk classes and scenes are now widely rehearsed and practiced across cities throughout the United States. A second annual zouk congress is now scheduled to take place in Los Angeles in the second quarter of this year.
The music is said to be created by Kassav, a band whose members have their roots in the French Antilles, but were relocated to Paris and renewed playing music there.
In its early introduction, zouk, which has a faster pace in style and rhythm could not compete with compas, another popular dance form and consequently it fell from the dance radar.
However, it has subsequently gained momentum and ground swell recently and can be heard and seen in almost any night club throughout the region.
Zouk means “party” or “festival” in the local Antillean Creole of French. The dance form is said to offer a great degree of freedom that other music forms do not afford.
Zouk, with its jump up and carnival-like music style moves have long replaced the lambada – “the forbidden dance” in Brazil.
While in the Caribbean, zouk is danced at two beats per measure, in Brazil, dancers adapted it to four beats per measure, allowing for a slight pause between some of the steps.
The dance is described as sensual, fluid, intimate, and savagely seductive.
There is something about this music and dance that is causing it to spread like a wild fire. However, one will never know until one gets on the dance floor and move to the beat.