Thanks to the contacts I made at my first salsa party in Shanghai I was able to teach my first Zouk workshop in Shanghai. On Friday eve I prepared with Gene, the Salsa teacher who’s interested in learning and teaching Zouk. He has seen several videos and has been practicing a bit, but it was clear that no one ever explained the proper techniques that are an important part of Zouk. He turned out to be a fast learner, so in about 45 minutes we prepared the workshop and he learned a lot about Zouk.
On Saturday eve I first treated myself to some real Italian pizza and then it was Zouk time. A bit nervous of course, but also looking forward to it. People didn’t specifically come to the dance school for my workshop, but it is an open class of which the theme or type of dance differs every week, followed by a salsa social. The people were very open to learn new things, so that made it an easy crowd. And yes, it was a crowd; more than 30 people joined our workshop!
After learning the basics, including walking randomly through the room which they clearly weren’t used to, they partnered up. Except for a few men that couldn’t find the beat, pretty much everyone picked it up fairly quickly! The connection with Gene was also pretty good, especially for a first time. He’s an experienced teacher, he remembered everything I taught him the day before, he gave me enough space to explain things and of course he translated where necessary.
People were very enthusiastic and some really want to learn Zouk and go to Zouk parties. So, if everything goes well I will be giving another workshop next week and if there are enough people interested, I might be teaching my own class soon! I even (quickly) set up a website (http://www.zoukshanghai.com), so I can easily tell people about it. The first steps in getting Shanghai to fall in love with Zouk: check!