Confessions of a Social dancer – My becoming Mzouk (by Lili)

Crush number one: April – May 2014, I meet a person at a salsa party in Sweden, and start cheching put this persons videos on Youtube, he was dancing this thing called “Brazilian Zouk”. What is that? It was not perhaps love at first sight, but I had to find more out. Eventually I enroled in Lambazouk classes at my local Lambazouk school in Stockholm, Brazouka. But, I was not satisfied. The energy in Lambazouk is something that I already had, and experienced. I had being dancing salsa for nearly 20 years by then. I was hungry for the calm, the torso, the pliés and demipliés that I was seing in the videos, and reminded me of the years at dance academies – that I had not gone back to since my second pregnancy. A part of myself that I somehow had abandoned. A very big part of myself, it turned out to be…

So after enrolling to a beginner’s bootcamp in Helsinki with Freddy and Andressa, I got a students discount to their Festival in Helsinki, which I of course, attendend.

Major crush: I was already hooked on Zouk. But on stage I see Daniel and Leticia Estevez, performing their “red” choreography. The Flamenco one. I had to make a big effort not to burst into tears by the end of the performance. Why was this? Why them? Well, maybe because that night, everyone except Renata Pecanha and Jorge Pérez, and of course D and L, were doing the standart show, with a catchy song and a sporty routine. When the Mzoukers went on stage (and later Renata and Jorge), they told me a story. I had never in my life seen a social dance show that could carry so much expression and so many emotions at the same time. I coud not believe it was possible, and yet it was there. A social dance, that you do on the floor. And that allows you to express so many feelings and so many things. In good connection.

During that festival I also attended the Mzouk workshops, and I had to say, I liked the attitude, I like having to “chew”, I fell in love with the: “Let’s drop everything and start leading from the left” (since most leading is done to the right side of the leader). I was a beginner, but I felt immediately attracted to “let´s do the opposite”.

Later on attended the MZouk Intensive Week, and so I had done ever since. Every year I get so much to practice at home, especially something about my solo tecnique, about my body. First time, I was very shy (remember I was a beginner), and the workshops were way beyond my level. I manage after a while to bring home an idea of the basics. And for every time I brought home some ideas to work on.

And most important thing: I found a “home”. A group of people, that actually I can share a lot with….I found myself being one of “them”. I think it has a lot to do with the creator of Mzouk Maestre Gegê, who took some extra time on me at the beginning, with huge patience, and whose discipline I also came to admire and love. The discipline that runs through the Mzouk spirit, and also the good values in the Mzouk family: Respect, curiosity, humility, and determination. It is a school found by a Capoeira master, and the values live on through its students: Children (Daniel and Leticia Estévez), grand children (Like Juanma and Elena from Cádiz), and greate grand children (J and E’s students from Cádiz, here in the video).

This video is to show how in a few years the Mzouk is renewing itself into something really good: A Legacy of new instructors and students.

*I am an Mzouker, I love to be different *

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