The History of Brazilian Zouk

Brazilian Zouk is a dance style from Brazil created in the 90’s and has influences from dances such as Lambada, Brazilian Bolero and Samba de Gafieira. Zouk is danced to Zouk music or other 4/4 time signature music. The name Brazilian Zouk is used to distinguish the dance from the Caribbean Zouk dance style, which is historically related to, but very different from the Zouk dance style created in Brazil.


This dance style was developed and first taught by Adilio Porto and Renata Peçanha at Jaime Arôxa Dance School in Rio de Janeiro. They danced to the Caribbean Zouk music making it easier to learn and vary steps, moves, patterns and combinations. The characteristic steps that were created are the basic step going front and back (from Samba de Gafieira), the opening and lateral step (from Bolero), elastic and bonus (also called boomerang).


Since adding lots of new steps and changing the characteristics from Lambada, a new name was given to this dance, with was originally ‘Zouk Love’, later just called ‘Zouk’ and today Brazilian Zouk. Today, the Brazilian Zouk has changed and thus, the name ‘Traditional Zouk’ has been given to the dance that was first taught by Adilio and Renata in the beginning of the 90’s, which is now didactically used all over the world.

Interview with Renata Peçanha
Interview with Alex & Renata