The summer of Lambazouk is just about wrapped up. Still many sunny days are left in Finland - at least so we hope! Sometimes it feels the Nordic summer just slips through your fingers… but not quite. Come to think of it, we've had an amazing season full of smiles & dancing! And we thought we'd share some of highlights here.
Don't miss a thing: Follow us on social media to see more of our daily & weekly activities! Links below and more useful links at the end of this post!
Return of the Jedi | May 2017
May was a big month for us since it marked the return of our beloved co-founder of Lambazouk Finland, Jaakko Pispala. Since summer 2014 Jaakko was living and training in the mecca of Brazilian dances; São Paulo, Brazil. Having the unique opportunity to be part of one of the best Lambazouk schools in the world - Movimento Lambazouk - he’s been busy learning everything from the school's founder Ricardo Ferrari, taking a Lambazouk teaching course and travelling to different dance events in Brazil. As the only Finnish person ever (!?) he has performed in Porto Seguro at the famous Berg’s Congress already twice and as well as at the Brazouka Beach Festival.
Now he’s back in Finland, teaching and sharing his passion for Lambazouk! Hopefully we’ll manage to convince him that Finland is a far cooler place to live than Brazil ;)
BTW, we’ve updated our Lambazouk Finland team profiles! Who are we? Read about us here >
Summer start: beginner classes at Studio Shamsina | May/June 2017
So having our Jedi back, Jaakko & Noora immediately rolled up their sleeves and got to work. We kick-started the summer already in mid-May, with five weeks of drop-in classes focusing on the fundamentals of the dance at Studio Shamsina in Hermanni, Helsinki. It was amazing to get the Lambazouk lessons re-started after a few months’ break in our schedule!
Our student numbers were rising every week, topping at our final class on June 13th with almost 30 people! The room was packed and we had the rare chance to teach together with top-class ‘bolsistas’ (=Brazilian Portuguese term dance school assistants): none other than Ricardo Ferrari & Danniel Navarro, our world-famous teachers from Brazil. It was exciting to say the least! And the smiles on our students’ faces told it all…. <3 It was a great start to our new season of Lambazouk!
One of our freestyle demos from these classes here below - more still to come so follow our Youtube channel and Facebook page!
Visiting the neighbours in Stockholm | June 2017
On the first weekend of June, we took a small break from our Helsinki routines to visit our western neighbors in Stockholm. Along with our local team we brought with us our favorite Brazilian friends, teachers & our mentors from Movimento Lambazouk - Ricardo Ferrari and Danniel Navarro - who arrived to Finland all the way from São Paulo, Brazil. On Thursday evening we jumped on a Viking Line boat in Helsinki... and after a looong night of dancing on the Baltic Sea we arrived "fresh" to our destination.
During the weekend our team and our Swedish friends had a chance to learn from Ricardo Ferrari at workshops held by the lovely Brazouka Stockholm. Outside the classes, there was no shortage of fun activities - sightseeing, group dinner and party at Grammofon in Stockholm, as well as a music video shoot for the local artist Lucy Nordqvist which we got to feature on. Check out her video here!
On Sunday night we left back to Finland tired, but happy! Thank you so much Joanna Kosinska and the whole Stockholm gang for your hospitality and making everything feel so effortless. We’ll be glad to come back for a visit (and if you read further, you’ll see it’s quite soon!!).
Lambazouk explosion in helsinki - Lambazouk Week with Ricardo Ferrari | June 2017
In mid June it was finally the time for the awaited week with our amazing guests from Movimento Lambazouk: Ricardo Ferrari, Anna Claudia Leite and Danniel Navarro. Yes, not a weekend - we had planned a full week of activities. First dancing at our local regular Zouk party, Afrolatin Night on Monday at Uggla. Then Jaakko & Noora’s Lambazouk class with Ricardo & Danniel on Tuesday. This was followed by a string of private classes from Wednesday to Friday and more social activities (with dancing of course of Thursday and Friday). Our Brazilian guest were excited to get the full Helsinki experience, dancing all day and night - even at the famous Thursday night party at Kalle (all the locals know this legendary club!).
Then on Saturday and Sunday was the highlight of the week: workshops with Ricardo and Anna at Dance.fi dance school. The workshops progressed from simple to challenging, giving an intense workout for our bodies and minds. It was exciting to see our old and new students progress!
The weekend wouldn’t have been complete without an energetic party (like Lambazoukers do it) - and that we had! Saturday night we joined our friends at idance for their awesome Dance Heaven party where we kicked off the evening with Lambazouk intro classes and danced the night away up until the morning!
No rest for the wicked, we finished the week with another zouk party on Monday at idance's AfroLatin nights, where Ricardo & Anna also wowed the local dancers with a freestyle demo! See a snippet here -->
Ricardo still came to visit our team the following week for some last dances and private classes, and then we sadly had to send the Brazilian hero back home. It certainly was a Lambazouk explosion for our eager local dance community and we’re looking forward to have them back!
Oh hey, more pictures and videos are still to come, keep an eye on our Facebook page!
Improver workshops with Lambazouk special treats: Boneca & Wifi | July 2017
While others might be resting their laurels, sleeping in a hammock at the summer cottage, we took advantage of the free time (and rainy days…) by dancing!
Jaakko & Noora held in mid July a set of intensive workshops on our favorite topics: Boneca and WiFi. We decided to have only a small group of students so that we can give more attention to each person and also more space to practice these fundamental but complex & comprehensive moves. It was so rewarding to see our students learning with such passion. And we see them dancing Boneca and WiFi now in the parties too! Awesome!!
If you want to learn more about these topics, we’ll have some classes on these subjects coming up this autumn! Keep an eye on our coming classes & events >
Summer dancing | June-August 2017
Summer Zouk in Kaisaniemi
With all the classes and trips, the summer haven’t had any shortage of dancing. Summer is a special time also for dancers here in Finland since finally we get to dance outdoors! For a few years now we’ve had the pleasure to host our traditional outdoor social at the beautiful Restaurant Kaisaniemi. The Summer Zouk in Kaisaniemi events are nothing but legendary - you wouldn’t believe the amount of positive feedback we get from everyone, locals as well as our many foreign visitors alike love it.
This year our superwoman organiser Tiia suggested we add a special treat: let’s start every evening with a beginner class! Our local teachers in Rio Style (tradicional) Zouk, Lambazouk and Mzouk have each had their class in rotation, each style featured every three weeks. Another great example of the whole zouk scene in Helsinki working together regardless of dance school or style! All this to offer more easy opportunities for new people to join our fun gang :) And we’ve had quite a success with it, with lots of new excited faces joining every week (and week after week!!). Altogether over 400 people during the summer!
One of our Lambazouk demos from July here below! There are few more video clips from this week as well on Instagram - click here to watch!
So every Wednesday this summer we’ve been zoukin’ at Kaisaniemi - days when the weather has been good we've enjoying fresh air and danced in sunshine amidst the tree lined outdoor stage. And some days we've been less lucky with the weather so we’ve been able to dance inside the beautiful old restaurant. In either case, it has been lovely!
A big thanks for the Kaisaniemi Summer Zouks go to Tiia Hietala, whose heroic efforts to make these events happen are not going unnoticed. Thank you Tiia <3 Noora & Jaakko have been super thrilled to have been teaching and Noora also Djing all summer long. Thanks to our fellow teachers Jukka, Sonja, Ossi, Outi, Riikka and Antti as well as our DJs for supporting these events! Last Summer Zouks are still held in August so keep an eye on Facebook!
Zouk @ AfroLatin Nights
Not only have we been dancing on Wednesdays, our regular Monday socials at idance’s AfroLatin Nights at Uggla have kept us on our feet all through the summer. It’s been a special summer since the Zouk social has been promoted from the basement to the first floor - a small thing but always fun for a little change of scenery.
There’s over 100 people every Monday coming to dance Brazilian zouk, salsa, kizomba and bachata… all year round. Quite amazing! A big effort from Omar & Johanna at idance who are the masterminds behind this amazing event. Thank you for your hard work! A huge hug also to our fellow zouk DJs Jukka & Antti <3
While we've been thanking all our fellow teachers and organisers here, the summer's biggest thank yous we owe to our amazing, supporting students and dancers in the local Helsinki zouk community. Each and every one of you make us smile every week and we couldn't do this without you!!
Special thanks to Sören, Elina R., Anna, Eeva and Pauliina <3
Winter is coming ...
Autumn season starts NOW!
Woo-hoo looks like you made it to the end of this post, congratulations!! It’s hard to sum up such an eventful summer (and we didn’t even try to include all the fun gatherings we held outside these cool events). While we hope the summer weathers continue, we’re already getting a head start on the autumn season as we speak. So what’s coming up?
Autumn classes in Helsinki
Lambazouk beginner course in Helsinki on 15.-29.8.2017
Classes start on August 15th with a 3-week beginner course on Tuesdays (17:30-19:00) at Studio Shamsina. This is a great set of classes for new beginner and anyone who wants to review their Lambazouk fundamentals. More info here and sign up by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for Facebook event >
Beginner+ / Improver classes in Helsinki in September
On select Tuesdays in September (17:30-19:00) we’ll continue with beginner+ / improver level Lambazouk classes at Studio Shamsina. We’re finalising the details so follow our updates on Facebook!
Lambazouk classes in Helsinki in November-December
Our Lambazouk classes will go on throughout this autumn! We’re having a little break in October but along with August and September, also November and December will be full of classes and fun activities. You’re also welcome to contact us for private classes if you’re thinking about boosting your dance skills at a faster pace or feel you're struggling with a specific move. We’re happy to help out and answer any questions you have so don’t hesitate to send us a message!
See also our links below for useful info and after that a current list of upcoming events!
Lambazouk Finland on the road
Jaakko & Joanna’s Lambazouk workshops in Stockholm 9.9.2017
Jaakko is going to pay another visit to Stockholm this September and teach Lambazouk workshops with Brazouka Stockholm’s lovely Joanna Kosinska. If you’re in the neighborhood, don’t miss this cool Nordic duo with their Brazilian energy. Themes of the workshops are Boneca and WiFi! Click here for more info >
Zouktime Holiday in Croatia 3.-10.9.2017
While Jaakko is in Sweden, Noora & a few of our team from Lambazouk Finland are heading to Croatia for the amazing Zouktime Holiday! A bunch of us went there last year and completely fell in love with this event... One full week of easy living in a picture perfect Croatian beach location. Workshops with the top Lambazouk & Brazilian zouk teachers. Dancing from sunset to sunrise. Yes. It's real. And we'll be there! Our Finnish gang is counting the days!! The event is sold out - we recommend keeping an eye for the next edition for registration in spring 2018.
Zouktime in Brno 29.9.-1.10.2017
Our Lambazouk Finland team have many trips planned! After Croatia, at the end of September we’re also traveling to Czech Republic for another cool event - one of our favorites, Zouktime!. As you may notice from above, we do have a thing for Zouktime events; the organisers Ludek & Pavla have a special knack for creating events that the visitors fall in love with. If you’re looking to join, there are still tickets available (check Zouktime website)! Contact us for travel tips from Helsinki to Brno.
Our Facebook page - For upcoming events and updates as well as photos & videos of past classes and events.
Our Instagram - Noora keeps this updated with fresh video clips and daily behind-the-scenes updates. -->
Our student group - If you’re taking our classes you may find our student group on Facebook useful and you can there chat with us & other students too!
Zouk The World - Noora is writing dance insights and travel tips for social dancers at her popular blog Zouk The World.
Brazilian Zouk Finland - Our entire local community in Helsinki and in Finland you can find on Facebook with all the events related to this beautiful dance.