Zouk History in Croatia

Zouk history in Croatia begins in 2012, while in Zagreb – since 2015.

As Brazilian dance Zouk is very popular in Europe, the same as worldwide, it is still very new for Croatian people. Even though there is no solid and content Zouk dance scene in Croatia among locals yet, but huge and worldwide loved festivals have been organized here by instructors from other countries since 2012!

The pioneers of Zouk in Croatia are Pavla & Ludek from Czech. They have been organizing international Zouk dance festivals on the most beautiful seaside of the country since 2012!

The 1st festival was called ZOUK & SALSA HOLIDAY IN CROATIA and it happened in one of the most beautiful cities – Omiš. Now their festivals are being called “ZoukTime! Holidays in Croatia” and each year around August/September are being held in Kajčak. Literally, the dance floor is just at the seaside with the most fascinating view of the sea.

In 2018 and 2019 Pavla & Ludek organized an additional Zouk event in Croatia in June, called “Summer Dance Paradise”. This time the vision was to bring more dance styles into the festival and make it available for a wider audience.

“Summer Dance Paradise” was organized in La Luna Hotel, located just at the seaside of Pag island.

Zouk events organized by Ludek & Pavla are famous worldwide because of:

  • how open, simple and honest they are;
  • the rich programs for beginners, intermediate and advanced;
  • high class famous Zouk instructors from all over the world;
  • extraordinary DJs;
  • amazing show programs;
  • perfect organization;
  • the best dancers coming back each year.

Definitely, we are going there as well!

Zouk History in Zagreb

A RESUME

1. September 2015, 1st zouk event in Zagreb was organized by Salsa de Fuego, Lilly (Lithuania), Vedrana (Croatia). Workshops & parties. Zouk instructors from Poland – Magdalena & Junior Arto
2. November 2015, 2nd Zouk event in Zagreb, organized by Salsa de Fuego, Lilly (Lithuania), Vedrana (Croatia), Robert Szemesi (Croatia), Rejane Kristović (Brazil/Croatia). Workshops & parties. Zouk instructors from Poland – Magdalena & Junior Arto
3. December 2015 – May 2016, regular weekly Zouk classes, organized by Salsa De Fuego. Teachers: Robert Szemesi (Croatia) & Rejane Kristović (Croatia/Brazil)
4. September 2017 3rd zouk event in Zagreb organized by Salsa de Fuego, Lilly, Ivica, Ludek & Pavla. Workshops & parties. Guests from New York! Jessica Lamdon (The Unicorn 😀 ) & Ry’el Zenzouk 
5. 2017 November 30th, Zouk basics with Pavla & Ludek. Workshops and the party. Organizers – Salsa de Fuego, Lilly, Pavla & Ludek. 
6. 2019 August 4th, open workshop and a social party under the sky 🙂 Zouk teachers from France – Clement L-k & Céline Zinspi. Organized by Lilly.
7. 2020 August 13th, an open workshop and social hanging out with a Zouk guest Iman from Germany. Organizers – La obsesion by Gloria
8. 2022, April 30-31st, Zouk fundamentals with Felipe West and Anja Novaković. Organizers – a dance school La Obsesion by Gloria.

Extended history

The 1st ones who introduced Zouk to Zagreb dancers are Maša & Boris from Slovenia. In 2014 they had a performance in a Buena Vista club during World Dance Day in April, where they showed what this dance looks like.

The history of the constant movement starts in the summer of 2015 when Lilly came to Zagreb just after she attended one of the first workshops of Zouk in her country Lithuania. Being so much inspired by dancing zouk for the first time, she hoped one day to see Croats dancing it as well.

Not so long later, in November 2015, 1st zouk event in Zagreb was organized by Salsa de Fuego, Lilly and Vedrana. Together with the team, they made it happen! Instructors Junior & Magdalena (Krakow, Poland) held workshops and a few parties were organized as well.

Immediately after guests left, one well-known, big dancing experience having local teacher Robert Szemesi showed the initiative to continue Zouk spirit by leading classes in Salsa de Fuego. His partner was a professional dancer from Brazil – Rejane Kristović. Maybe for a half year around 5 couples were attending regular classes where they learned the basics of zouk.

In meantime the summer came, the life path of teachers changed and regular classes were over. Not sure how about others, but Lilly was missing zouk a lot! She started hearing a zouk beat everywhere around her. In November of 2016 Lilly accidentally found a song on fb wall – Beyonce “XO”. It is not a zouk song but she heard zouk beat clearly and it resonated with her a lot. So much so that she decided to check if there was a video of somebody dancing zouk on this song. And she found. Instructors from New York. Here is that video. And that’s how the magic of zouk in Croatia continued… 🙂

Inspired by the video she saw, Lilly started daydreaming a lot every single day about how she dances zouk based on that song. Just by imagining she felt every move in her body, every wind blow in her hair, and that speed, that emotion… Her blood was on fire! The feeling was as if she gonna explode just by daydreaming. Her blood was on fire! And it felt extremely good 🙂 One evening she became so impatient to dance zouk that she asked herself, more as a complaining: “when Croats will dance zouk?! I want to dance it sooo badly and here is nobody to dance with.” Suddenly the idea by the thought crossed her mind: “Lilly but you don’t need to wait while Croats will start dancing. You can bring zouk to Zagreb”. This idea out of the blue felt extremely inspiring and made sense. Why wait while others will do it when you can make it happen?

The story continues… From that day of the brilliant idea till September of the next year (2017) nothing had happened with zouk in Croatia. And then… Out of the blue, the dancer and zouk instructor from that video (Ray’el New York) by accident appeared to be in Lilly’s apartment in Zagreb! 🙂 Yes yes, it really sounds like magic, right? 🙂 Lilly shared this amazing story that went pretty much viral with more details in this video.

A huge THANKS for the magic goes to Pavla Lužná and Luděk Lužný who spontaneously contacted Lilly through her dance partner Ivica for the idea to organize zouk event in Zagreb with Ry’el & Jessica (The Unicorn).

September 2017 was 2nd time when zouk event in Zagreb was organized by Salsa de Fuego. Even though just a few couples attended workshops, but parties attracted many dancers. Literally, Ry’el & Jessica blew out the mind and hearts of people with their performance! After then, more people in Zagreb became familiar with zouk dance.

Zouk in Croatia Zagreb

Social Dance Party 2017

In September of 2017 one more Zouk event happened. Very random and fast, having just 2 days of preparation. Pavla contacted Lilly with the news that she with Ludek will pass by Zagreb and they wanted to stop there for a few hours to give free workshops for local dancers. Even though the idea was very fast with almost no time for the promotion, it worked out very well! Relatively, many people came to learn something that they were familiar with already.

In 2019 August 4th, Clement L-k & Céline Zinspi from France contacted Lilly and offered a gift to local people – to organize an open workshop just in nature, under the sky 🙂 Its was a small and very cozy event, full of valuable musicality and sensuality lessons and practices.

In 2022 April 30-31, the school of La Obsesion By Gloria organized a BootCamp of Zouk Fundamentals. The guest Felipe West. Assistant – Anja Novaković

Looking forward to the upcoming events!

OUR MISSION

Zouk in Croatia” is a MOVEMENT of bringing Zouk dance to Croatians’ dance floor. Our mission is to educate people about this dance, organize events, cooperate with others and so, spread the love of zouk into the heart of each dancer 🙂

OUR vision

To see Croats dancing zouk! By cooperating with all dance schools in Zagreb, to build the scene of this dance in Croatia 🙂