Interview with Tania & Marcelo dodano: 11.09.2011
We would like to present an interview with Tania Onca & Marcelo Estilo - two of the most respected and popular Brazilian zouk dancers, teachers and performers. They shared their zouk experiences with us to encourage everyone to get to know this beautiful dance:
Salsowisko: How did your ‘zouk-adventure’ started?
Tania & Marcelo: We started dancing zouk many years ago - Marcelo has been part of this dance since the early days of Lambada (the dance out of which zouk developed) and Tania started in the late 90s.
The dance comes from a 'street' dance - lambada - where there was no 'set of figures'. Of course you had basic steps but many people were creative with it and developed new things, similar to salsa.
Salsowisko: How long does it take to learn zouk and what are the biggest problems at the beginning?
Tania & Marcelo: Like with anything you want to learn - it depends on a variety of factors, but mainly your dedication, passion to learn and your teacher/s ;)
Salsowisko: Who is your dance guru/idol?
Tania & Marcelo: There are many - from all kinds of dances - ballet, latin, salsa,..... it’s more of an individual thing in terms of how those dancers express dance and interpret the music - which to us is one of the most important things in dance.
Salsowisko: Do you dance any other styles beside zouk?
Tania & Marcelo: Yes, other Brazilian dances, salsa, latin, ballroom,... but zouk reigns ;)
Salsowisko: What is the most charming for you when you dance zouk?
Tania & Marcelo: Flowing with the music - which is why, as many people know, our motto is and has been 'passion for dance & music - always!'
Salsowisko: You travel a lot – can you tell us if people all around the word dance the same?
Tania & Marcelo: Yes, we do travel lots-;) No, they don't. Their styles are highly influenced by local dances and local teachers and their background - until the dancers start travelling to international congresses and events.
Salsowisko: What city do you have the best memories from? (parties/congresses/workshops)
Tania & Marcelo: So many ;)
Salsowisko: Have you had any contacts with Poland so far?
Tania & Marcelo: Not yet for zouk - that means we've had dancers from there at our workshops at congresses but we haven’t been to Poland yet to teach.
Salsowisko: What gives you the most fun and joy while dancing?
Marcelo: Expressing my creativity and making my partner enjoy the dance.
Tania: I love spinning and flowing with the music. ;)
Salsowisko: Do you think zouk community is open for new dancers?
Tania & Marcelo: Yes, definitely. Our advice to those new comers that find it hard to integrate is to not feel intimidated, if they have more advanced dancers around them. The vast majority of people is there to dance, LEARN and have fun.
Salsowisko: What do you think is the most difficult in zouk to learn for dancers that are dancing other styles (like salsa for example)?
Tania & Marcelo: Holding the sometimes extended breaks and keeping the 'flowy' style of zouk.
Salsowisko: Is zouk dangerous? How to avoid injuries?
Tania & Marcelo: The dance is only dangerous when people don’t learn the correct technique of how to execute the moves or when they learn with people who say they teach but don’t really have the ’know-how’ to do so. This is unfortunate as over the years the dance has suffered a little from people hurting themselves (especially the girls with their neck and back) - but it is NOT linked to the dance but to the lack of some peoples’ knowledge who teach. We are known to have been one of the advocates of 'safe' and healthy execution of moves - for example for cambres/head movements - follow the motto 'less is more' ;)
Salsowisko: We think it’s really difficult to keep good balance while dancing zouk. Do you have any advises how to exercise labyrinth for some spins and head movements?
Tania & Marcelo: We teach that at great length too - especially as Tania is 'Queen of spins' ;) For the head movements as we said before - less is more – don’t try to exaggerate them.
Salsowisko: While dancing zouk - do you dance the same routines or do you invent new things and new movements? Is there more to invent as it’s such a ‘young’ dance?
Tania & Marcelo: We, like many of the established teachers, have and still create new moves and there is definitely still room for more - which is great as it keeps the dance interesting.
Salsowisko: What is your most important dance success?
Tania & Marcelo: We would say we love teaching and seeing our students progress from complete beginner to show dancer or teachers ;) that’s very fulfilling. Likewise it’s amazing when you perform and the audience gets inspired to learn more of the dance.
Salsowisko: What is your biggest dream? Where do you see yourself in couple of years time?
Tania & Marcelo: ...still dancing and teaching ;)
Salsowisko: Who do you think is the best DJ/creator of zouk music?
Tania & Marcelo: There are many - but you have to remember that 'zouk music' comes from the Caribbean and the 'created zouk songs' as you call them are often R&B etc songs that get the stronger beat added to 'facilitate' dancing. We love a whole range of music and songs so there is no single one.
Salsowisko: We have notices men are wearing some shell bracelets around their arms? What are they and what do they mean?
Tania & Marcelo: They come from Brazil and are worn 'for good energy' ;)
Salsowisko: You are organizers of the first zouk congress in Vienna next year – can you tell us something more about that event?
Tania & Marcelo: Yes, we felt it would be great to bring the best teachers and many dancers together in Vienna to further zouk grow there and to show people from abroad the local scene and have fun while visiting the beautiful 'city of music' ;) We want it to be a very social event with people going out together and getting to know each other as this helps the international zouk community grow stronger and bigger. We very much hope to see many of Poland's Zouk dancers at the FIRST INTERNATIONAL ZOUK AUSTRIA CONGRESS IN VIENNA - the city of music from 9-11 MARCH 2012! More information on Facebook ZOUK AUSTRIA and soon on www.zoukaustriacongress.com.
Salsowisko: Can you tell our readers what is the most important for you while dancing – your motto?
Tania & Marcelo: Passion for Music&Dance - Always!