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Zouk at the Park

Live in-person classes in the Washington, DC area

Join us for outdoor solo in-person dance classes at Glen Echo Park. Our next events will be: Saturday, March 6, 1-3pm; Saturday, March 20, 1-4pm.
Gui teaching at Glen Echo

Our Instructors

Senior Instructor

Alisson Sandi

Alisson Sandi began his dance career at the age of 15 in São Paulo, Brazil, where he was born. Over the years he trained in Brazilian, Latin and International Ballroom dancing with Jaime Arôxa, Renata Peçanha, Alex de Carvalho, Rodrigo Delano, and others. In 2007, he joined the Juan Rando Dance Academy (JRDA) in Perth, Australia, and stayed in Australia through 2019 teaching in multiple cities and around the world. Alisson has held performances and workshops in over 41 countries, and holds titles including 2x Pro World Champion, 3x Australian Pro Champion, and Winner/Finalist of various BZDC All Stars/Champions Jack and Jill Comps. He is one of the the founders and the first choreographers of the International Zouk Flash Mob. He has also been an official judge for the Brazilian Zouk Dance Council since its first competition event. Alisson has a passion for teaching and is known for his attention to detail and effective instruction in dance techniques. Recently Alisson completed the 50-hour lambada certification course with Master Braz, and is looking forward to practicing and teaching more lambada and sharing it with the dancers and community here and in Washington, DC.

Senior Instructor

Gui Prada

Gui Prada started dancing in 2004 inspired by the movie "Shall We Dance?". He began to dive deep into dance in 2006 as a work-study trainee of the Jaime Arôxa Dance School in Rio de Janeiro. Jaime Arôxa, one of the creators of Brazilian Zouk, was the head instructor and was a mentor for the most accomplished dancers in Brazil. During his 6 years as a member of the school's team, he learned all Brazilian partner dances (Forró, Samba de Gafieira, Soltinho, Bolero and Zouk) as well as Argentine Tango. After he left the school, he continued dancing and learning from other remarkable instructors, including Fabiano Vivas, Kelly Reis, Érico Rodrigo, Guilherme Pimentel and many others. Since then he has focused his training and research on taking the best of each of these dances and applying it to the close embrace, with the purpose of conveying a sense of well-being and relaxation to dance partners. In 2016 he attended the first Zouk Retreat in Valencia, led by Xandy Liberato, Brenda Carvalho and Anderson Mendes. After that, his research on partner dancing took a new direction, as he continued working with Brenda and Anderson to seek for the application of the concepts explored at the retreat in different ways by using the references of the other Brazilian partner dances and Argentinian Tango. As a result, the importance of the basic steps and concepts became evident, since it is through them that all dances reach another level. Gui is looking forward to sharing his technique and training with students here in Washington DC to help them improve their basics, comfort and confidence on the dance floor.

Junior Instructor

Vanessa Scott

Vanessa Scott found zouk in New Zealand and was drawn to its music, fluidity and circular movement. When she lived in the midwest US, she persuaded a ballroom teacher to split the cost of some instructional DVDs and learn Zouk from scratch together. In 2016, Vanessa moved to the DMV area and has been zouking as much as possible ever since. She joined the District Zouk dance team and performed with them for three years, and began teaching with District Zouk at the end of 2016. In 2017, she went to the first ever 30-day Rio Zouk Immersion Course in Brazil where she studied with top Brazilian instructors Jaime Aroxa, Renata Pecanha, Brenda Carvalho and Anderson Mendes da Rocha. Working closely with them in such an intimate setting allowed her to see the depth and different philosophies of this dance. She continued learning from some of the top international instructors, including a 40-hour one-on-one training with Xandy Liberato in Spain and a 19 hour training with William and Paloma in Singapore. In 2018, she formed her own Ladies Performance Team with District Zouk and she continued as the director and sometimes as the choreographer. In summer 2019, the District Zouk Ladies team won first place at the National Team Zouk N Play Competition under Vanessa’s direction. Vanessa has been teaching, traveling the world, and soaking up different flavors of Zouk, and is excited to share her passion and knowledge with others.

Guest Instructor

Ry'el Zenzouk

Performer, choreographer, instructor, Dance coach and Creator of ZenZouk, a method of teaching Brazilian Zouk lambada and over all body movement thru multiple exercises and philosophies based on the “elements” Including earth water fire and air- as symbols for analyzing dance and personal movement. Ry’el’s main aim is to educate and cultivate the appreciation for each one of these different styles of Brazilian Zouk-Lambada , building a strong foundation of versatility by embracing evolution thru the classics techniques found in the origins of our dance (Lambada). His rich formal dance training in classical ballet, jazz, World Jazz, modern dance, international Latin, and social dances like Salsa, Bachata, cha-cha and different Brazilian Zouk styles enables him to understand, share & create flavorful and fluid organic movement in each of his works as well in his teachings. His expressive sensuality and trained eye for technique through his Body and mind connections philosophies makes a unique class experience.

Guest Instructor

Jessica Lamdon

Jessica Lamdon, also known as "Unicorn", (the nickname she was crowned by her mentor and partner Ry'el) instructor, performer, actor, loves to MC, professional hugger, has been dancing since she was 8 years old. She began with competitive international 10-dance ballroom dancing and was fortunate enough to compete and place in international competitions such as Black Pool and represent the US in the Worlds Competition in 2007. Jessica flirted with other Latin dances and styles. She then totally emerged into acting for stage and film throughout high school and college, while earning her BA in Psychology. Along the way, the Unicorn got bit by the Brazilian Zouk bug 4 years ago and never recovered. Your Unicorn has had the honor of training with her mentor, partner, and founder of ZenZouk Ry'el Velandia and getting certified by Kim Rottier. She has had the pleasure of traveling to teach and perform in congresses throughout the states and Europe. Jessica also had the privilege of partaking in a workshop and performance of hit show Braz Dos Santos's Brazouka. Jessica is so proud to be representing ZenZouk and grateful to have zouk be in her life and the lives of others. She is so humbled and excited to share her discoveries in movement.

Guest Instructor

Kelsey Rote

Kelsey started dancing tap, jazz, and ballet at the age of five, later adding lyrical, modern, and many others. She first tried partner dancing in college, and focused on Argentine Tango until graduation. She loved the feeling she found in Tango of gliding and flying seamlessly with another person, and would keep trying to find that same feeling in various partner dances later on. After returning from the Peace Corps, she started taking Salsa and Bachata classes, and fell in love with Brazilian Zouk from the first moment she saw it. She started taking classes as part of the first cohort of Zouk dancers in Seattle during the scene’s founding, and has been a passionate member of the Seattle Zouk scene ever since. She currently co-runs the Advanced Zouk Team at Salsa Con Todo in Seattle and travels and teaches with Gui, hoping to imbue others with the feelings of seamlessness, circularity, relaxation, and care she fell in love with.