Lili Ortiz


Lili’s dancing experience dates back from the Kindergarten years in Ciénaga, Colombia, where dance used to be a popular and appraised, and even a mandatory part of school program at some schools. Lili’s school, Colegio La Presentación, had the privilege to enroll German Acosta (now deceased), a graduated folk dance teacher, for many years. Lili grew up in the late 70’s and through the 80’s in the Caribbean shore of Colombia, where traditional local music like Bullerengue, Cumbia, Vallenato, etc coexisted with other Caribbean styles as Soca, Calypso, Cuban Son, Merengue, and nonetheless: Caribbean Zouk (from Francophone Islands). Through portuary activity, also African Soukous was in the air (and it actually stayed as a local variety: Colombian Champeta). So in short: Lili’s dance base can be resumed in one word: Flavor. – Technique would come later.

Once in Sweden (1989) Lili moved on dancing Ballet, Contemporary and Afro Cuban Dances with teachers like Barbro Nyberg de Montmarin (also deceased), and in Lund and Malmö. On the Afro Cuban side, Lili was lucky to find Chiqui and Kristina Dixon in Uppsala, later on. Also to make a couple of summer trips to Cuba to improve her Afro Cuban dance, the dance of the Orishas in particular, but also Contemporary workshops in Havana and Mexico City. Steadily, the technique was improving.


Lili’s teaching experience dates back from early 90’s, during her student time in Lund/Malmö (Musicology and Language), as a no charge assistant/teacher in Colombian Societies, and teaching folk dances to kids. Also performing folk dances in festivals, like the Malmö Festival, or Kulturnatten in Lund. No festival would pass Lili to participate with enthusiasm!. Once back in her new home (Uppsala) for more studies (Library and Information Science), Lili started to teach Cuban Salsa to beginners at “the” salsa place at the moment (early 2000’s), Fredmans, a memorable bar,  a special place for salsa people.  The classes were arranged by a Culture Society: Prisma. Lili also taught a couple of classes at Studio K (also Uppsala). While teaching Lili didn’t stop dancing ballet and contemporary dances, now at Uppsala Dansakademi , with teachers like Natalia Sosnowska (Contemporary dancer/physiotherapist). But after her first pregnancy only Afro cuban was possible at this time at Ekeby Dansstudio with the Dixons.

After moving to Stockholm and giving birth to her second child, Lili deviated for a moment from dance schools due the necessity of getting the body strong again, and worked for a few years as a Zumba instructor at gyms, like Sollentuna Simhall and Actic (Kista). The big change came when Brazilian Zouk came lurching around the corner. It would also open the door for her to new activities such as Contact Improvisation, and the exploration of (flowy) lead and follow techniques.


Lili’s first meeting with Brazilian Zouk was actually on a visit back to Malmö in early 2014, through a local Zouk instructor. What the earth was he dancing?!! Soon, Lili was taking Lamba Zouk lessons at Brazouka Stockholm, and embarking a plane, off to Helsinki to Freddy and Andressa Marinho’s Rio Zouk Beginner Bootcamp. This was summer 2014. Also organizing Zouk workshops in Stlm with guest instructors, in an urge to soon raise more dancing pals. Later that fall, at the Helsinki Zouk Festival, the second crush would hit Lili hard in the head and heart: MzoukMzouk, and Daniel and Leticia Estevez’ “Red” choreography, a flamenco inspired version of “Maria de la O” on the Festival’s Saturday night party.

Following Freddy and Andressa’s steps, who attended the 4th Mzouk (Summer) Intensive Course at Spiral Dance in Barcelona, Lili attended the 5th the year after. And later the 6th and the 7th. This and a following intensive period of festival dancing (a special festival was the Barcelona Dance Festival in Santa Susanna Summer of 2016, where Lili started leading “officially” – participating 50% as a leader and 50% as a follower on the dance floor) gave Lili confidence enough to start organizing own classes in Stockholm, with help of friends – but also getting great help and feedback from guest instructors.



A special recurring guest Zouk instructor was Kris Leczek (Poland), who not only supported the Stockholm Zouk community and classes for a period of time, but also introduced Lili to her third crush: The Soulzouk Philosophy. And with it followed a nice encounter with China Soulzouk, an Iconic figure within Brazilian Zouk. Another Iconic figure, important to Lili is Mestre Gegê (Jefferson Costa de Oliveira), the creator of the Mzouk Style, and Mallorca resident.

Currently (2018), Lili is enrolled at Spiral Dance Barcelona/Mallorca, as an aspirant Mzouk Instructor and Spiral Dancer. The training is going on, now with more dancing pals in town, as intended and desired. And happily attending ballet and contemporary lessons again after a break of nearly 10 years.