Some like it hot

On Wednesday 8th of September this article about our Zouk classes in Abu Dhabi was published at ABU DHABI WEEK:


What’s the deal?

Zouk is a provocative Caribbean/Brazilian dance style that originated in the 1980s and has since scorched its way across the globe. It’s the ever evolving anti-ballroom couple’s dance, not as popular as Salsa, but certainly a strong contender. In fact, one of the few things that Zouk Lambada (the Brazilian form we’ve chosen to explore) has in common with Salsa is the 1-3-4 time signature that comes with it, so don’t make the mistake of mentioning Salsa in instructor Sam’s class. “Salsa moves are strictly forbidden,” she warns jokingly.
Zouk means ‘party’ in its native Antillean French Creole, and with all the saucy body ripples and drops we learnt, we surely see the link. Joined at the hip, the only thing we and our partner were missing was the steamy setting of a tiny club in Rio.

That, and the beat. Zouk is hard – a little harder for men, as they lead your movements with the palm of their right hand resting on your back. Women simply maintain a ‘good Latin look’ while fitting the frame of their partner’s arm and following his lead. That is, until diamond formations and 90 degree turns figure into the already tricky equation.

Why go?

After a few toe-stepping trials, we learnt the hard – but rewarding – way that focusing on your partner’s chest area instead of your feet makes a world (or whirl) of difference. By class end, we were queuing up to take home a sample of Sam’s modern Zouk playlist.

And why not?

You end up in quite a few intimate situations that for some may be a little too close for comfort, especially if paired with a stranger. Eventually, though, muscles and nerves surrender as the music flows through you.

What? Zouk Lambada
Where? One to One Hotel Fitness Centre
When: Thursdays from 8.30pm
Cost: AED 35 for members, AED 40 otherwise
Why? For its addictive beats and passionate grooves
Why not? It may be too hot to handle for some. Walk in with re-inforcements (a partner you’re comfortable with)
We say: Prepare to get your body rocked
Contact: 050 280 6362