What makes this dance recognizable? What is typical, distinctive or characteristic?

Most sensual of Latin Dances. The lady makes typical oscillations of the head (and hair).


Somebody That I used to know - Gotye
Rise and fall - Sting and Craig David
I'm yours - Jason Mraz


Zouk would be the word for party' in the Kweyol (French Creole).

Video: as it may look ...
(We searched preferably brief and clear movies without much show, spectacle and competition.
Better suggestions are welcome.)

Zouk state except for Creole for celebration also for the sound systems that are used at parties.

French dictionary “Le Petit Robert" gives the following definition of the word Zouk: 'A very rhythmic music and dance style from the Lesser Antilles (Guadeloupe and Martinique), which has become known from the '80s ''. The famous Martinican percussionist Henri Guédon indicates that during the 60s the word "Zouk" referred to popular places where people danced. The columnist Michel Thimon is looking at the same angle. According to him, Zouk signified originally a kind of improvised ''Ballroom'' where people came together on Saturday to dance the "lafouka' (a very sensual dance) to the rhythm of popular bands. Others see the word Zouk as a contraction of the word Mazouk, which is nothing else than the Creole dance the mazurka. The etymological origin of the word Zouk continues to this day to be surrounded by mystery. Another origin of the word is found in the Congolese word " Zoka ", this means movement of the body.

(See also: Lambada)

Zouk is the folk music of the French Antilles, that mixed various Caribbean musical traditions with African guitar styles, calypso and reggae. The French Antilles are formed by two countries, Guadeloupe and Martinique. They know in Zouk their most popular music. There are two types of zouk: extremely danceable Chiré (also called concrete) and the ballad form zouk -love.

Roughly between 1950 and 1980 has been developed for dancing and partying their own kind of music from a mix of various Caribbean styles, such as the compass of Haiti, reggae, calypso, African rhythms and its own carnival rhythms on drums of Guadeloupe (gwo ka) and Martinique (tambour and bamboo).

For a form of folk music it is remarkable that zouk usually developed with electric instruments and in the recording studio. The music is usually played with wind instruments, synthesizers, guitar, bass, and a wide variety of percussion instruments. Nevertheless, it is a key feature of zouk music that it not sounds crowded, like many other Caribbean genres do. That's because not all instruments are used simultaneously. And variation is often obtained by processing sound, as is done in dub. Although there are plenty of bands nowadays are usually inexpensive electronic instruments used for the rhythms and melodies. The singers and / or singers sing, in the studio or live on stage, there over. In the eighties, the zouk rhythm was the most popular 'exotic' element within the western pop.

Because of the past colonial life there are many original inhabitants of the French Antilles in France. Kassav, the zouk most popular band on the islands, has always operated even from Paris.

Zouk in the Caribbean

Zouk music genre is magnified in the first instance by the band Kassav (70’s). Their first album was "Love and Ka Dance'. Originally Zouk is a typical Caribbean music genre sung in Kweyol (Creole French). The rhythm of the Zouk has its roots in music such as Cadence, Kompa and Soca. Also in Brazil has Zouk become popular, but under the name Kizomba, perhaps under the influence of Portuguese-speaking African countries.

Other well-known names in the zouk world are Zouk Machine, Edith Lefel, Stephane Nichols.

Description of the dance

Zouk is danced as a couple. While they are pressed against each other, the man grabs the woman stuck in her waist and the woman puts her arms around the neck of her companion. Much comes from the dance biguine or the rhythm of the Carnival of the French West Indies (Martinique and Guadeloupe) called a Sinjan mas ' (mask of Saint - Jean). This contains even funk synthesizers, rock guitars and soukouss, a brass instrument. We also see influences of kompa music from Haiti. Only later was the slower style 'zouk love' originated.

Because in Brazil lambada dancers used the zouk music after lambada music more or less extincted, is a newer variant of the lambada dance also called 'zouk'. This 'Brazilian zouk' does not resemble the original Caribbean variant, but is a mix of modern dance and lambada, in which the long hair of women plays a major role. Especially in the slower zouk songs is the role of modern dance visible. In recent years, even reggaeton and RnB play in the 'Brazilian' zouk dance a major role.

Zouk love

Zouk love is a variant of Zouk music, but the rhythm has a quieter, softer and more sensual character. The texts of the songs are often about love and feel issues. Zouk love style is danced against each other in a sensual manner.

One could argue that the Zouk is the "new Lambada" is. Because the rhythm of zouk is perfect for dancing Lambada is in Brazil Lambada the basis of the dance that we call Zouk. Because many zouk music is French, Brazilian Zouk sometimes is call the "French Lambada".

The original Lambada is a fairly fast dance, which was especially popular in the 1980s. The music is hardly popular. The zouk is quieter and more elegant and ad is therefore perceived as sensual and romantic.

Striking at Zouk as with the Lambada is the many "hair waving": means that the hair by a kink or twist the head are thrown forward -, or sideways - backwards. This can be tough for the neck. By bending backwards for many of the ladies also get back the hard time. These movements scare some people off, because they are afraid of injuries. Yet Zouk can be danced well without these movements.

There are roughly three dances that are very similar. The slow and sensual Zouk, which is stepped up 1-3,4 in a four-four (long - short-short) and counts many deep movement. In addition, the original Lambada which is stepped at 123, and the focus is on the movement above the belt, and which is therefore more suitable for much faster tempo music. And an intermediate form, Lambazouk, which takes the 123 as a base, but has taken over many of the deep movements of the Zouk.