Skip to content

How To Become Better at Zouk – Checklist

  • by

When you first step through the doors of a dance studio, start taking classes and fall in love with brazilian zouk, you might have the impression that in order to master the dance you simply need to keep going to classes in this studio for a few years and then you’ll become a great dancer. But the reality is that it’s not true. 

You may be lucky and have world-class social dance teachers in your city to learn from that will guide you all the way through. But if you don’t, you’ll be left to your own devices to figure it out. 

Here is a checklist of things you need to do to become better at zouk (or any other social dance style really). Many are meant to be done continuously, you can’t really “check them off”, but take them as a reminder so you don’t forget this aspect of training. I have divided them to 4 levels, higher levels indicating more investment and effort. Let’s go!


❏ Take group classes and learn the basics of leading/following and the moves of zouk. Revisit and practice basics also later to make sure you’re not sloppy with them.

❏ Go to zouk parties weekly to practice and dance with as many different people as possible, from all levels.


❏ Take styling classes in zouk (lady styling/men’s styling).

❏ Go to international dance festivals and dance with people outside of your local community to gauge the international level.


❏ Practice improvising solo at home with music but without a partner.

❏  Take private classes from good teachers. I find that a few times a year is good, so you can practice before the next private and incorporate the learnings properly.

❏ Find a practice partner with similar level to yours to train with every week. Film yourselves and analyse.


❏ Do cross-training to become a versatile dancer – get a personal trainer to help you put together a training plan to improve your strength and mobility.

❏ If you haven’t before, take dance classes from solo styles like jazz, ballet, hip-hop, commercial or others to support zouk. Read my article on which styles I’d specifically recommend and why.

❏ Go to a therapist to talk through possible limiting beliefs, minsets and fears that hold you back both in dancing and in life or to discuss problems with fluctuating motivation.


❏ Start going to competitions

❏ Learn choreographies and perform

This is what I would consider a rough checklist of how to structure your dance training journey over time. This applies to brazilian zouk, but also other social dance styles like bachata, salsa and more. Of course I don’t claim this to be an exhaustive list and there might be some other things you need to do like go to a physiotherapist or a doctor to discuss your health and what your body is and isn’t capable of doing.

The reason I put competitions and performances as a bonus, is that they may help you get better at zouk, but ultimately these are considered a separate skill from social dancing. Meaning, it’s not necessarily good to dance with someone who is good at competitions/performances. It is up to you to choose which direction you want to go to – do you want to be a great social dancer or rather a performer, or even good at competitions? Check out this article where I go in depth on this topic.

If you’re interested in zouk ladies styling and are ready for this stage of your dance training, I give classes about once a month in Tallinn, contact me for more information or follow me on instagram @jettence.

You may also want to subscribe to get new blog posts to your inbox by scrolling down to the footer and entering your e-mail 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *