Brazilian Zouk has taken me (Hoi) to so many places in this World. And it continues to reshape who I am through the interaction of people and culture.
I realise my biggest growth happens is when I travel spontaneously and alone, this time I headed for Moscow, Russia for the Zouk Non-Stop (ZNS) marathon event. It was a new event planned within 3 months and very little publication or marketing done to the rest of the world. There were around 15 international dancers who also decided to make this journey within the 165 Russian dancers of 180. Despite being a foreigner I felt very warmly welcomed and part of this family. The moments shared have found a permanent spot in my heart and will always remember this feeling of falling in love with the dancers of Russia. I feel so peaceful, so grateful and thankful. I am fulfilled.
It’s no easy feat that Alex Paska, and the ZNS team for pulling off such an amazing event with only 3 months planning and fill it up with so much passion. It was surreal and incredible. The concept, the smallest details, the music and the abundance of incredibly high-level dancers. It was an eye-opening, a place which I thought was quite secluded yet they created so many amazing dancers. The question HOW?
Brazilian Zouk / dance is our language, it’s a tool we use to communicate and open up new opportunities… For many years and even up to this day I have heard a number of comments where Russian Dancers tend to only dance with their friends, which gives a pretentious outlook. This is not always true. I have a hypothesis. Most people are introverts, yes, even high-level dancers are… They tend to open up very quickly if you speak the same dance language. Once you’ve found it, they will open up and you will find yourself in a wonderful place and being part of their lives and community. For clarity, this has nothing to do with ego. It’s their way of communicating and how they bond. I would say we all need to learn to understand their culture. They are the most wonderful and caring people and I truly fell in love with them. So this is your challenge to find out how and grow.
Yesterday, I sat having a 3 hours lunch with Alex Paska; we shared our vision, our dreams, our concepts, structure & ideas and the reasons why we do what we do. It turns out we’re so similar, like twins brothers. To build something sustainable for the future, for the people, to give and share our joy & passion, to truly connect people and bring them together. We don’t have all the answers or even know how yet for everything, but willing to do it, learn and grow.
Alex shared his culture, the way his people bond and how they are building their dance communities. I was intrigued and listened intently as we also watched some of the videos of their retreats, workshops, and events. I was so inspired that I now want to immerse myself in this experience first hand.
I still have so much to learn there, from Alex and the people. I have decided to change some of my future travel plans and will be spending more time in Russia for the coming years and participate in some of their special retreat concepts. Firstly, my personal goal is to deep dive into their methodology and creative minds in ways to learn to master the art of dance. Secondly, as a team to share their wonders to the world for the open-minded ?. You will be amazed at what is yet to discover in Russia and its people. Truly astounding.
It was an honor to be able to get such insight from within the Russian Zouk community. As I progress, I will be sharing my stories and journey as it unfolds…
If my new adventures also interest you, please feel to drop me a message. The next few chapters will be, “The Secrets of Russian Dancers…”
Please continue to WATCH THIS SPACE… As more wonderful news yet to come as new bridges are being built between our communities and cultures ?
Here’s a link to a video of the dark party, a really cool theme: [WATCH NOW]