Training Team directed by Gui Prada

Gui's training sessions happen on Mondays, where we drill and train several aspects of Brazilian Zouk with a focus on quality and precision of the movements, different techniques, comfort, musicality, and flow.
We also take a multidisciplinary approach to include more than just Brazilian Zouk techniques to our training sessions. During our warm-ups, we will dance to different styles and eventually have classes about them with guest instructors.
It is important to remember that Brazilian Zouk integrates several forms of movements, borrowing from other Brazilian partner dance styles like Bolero and Samba de Gafieira. Our goal is to provide as many dance and movement references as we can, giving our members a kind of training no one in the country right now has.
The Training Team is not a performance team 😉.
TRAINING SCHEDULE
Mondays 8-9:30pm

Prerequisites to join

The Training Team is an intermediate/advanced team, which aims to develop the techniques pertaining to develop member's social dancing skills, engagement with their partner, and comfort. Therefore, in order to join, it's necessary to:

  • Have clear knowledge of the dance and comfortable execution of techniques and moves.

  • Be fully vaccinated and willing to take any necessary measures needed to keep our team safe.

  • Knowledge of Brazilian Zouk head movements, and at least 18 months of consistent Brazilian Zouk dance experience.

  • Be approved in the Auditions

How to join?

New members are accepted through an audition where we attest the fulfillment of the prerequisites.

At this point, we don't have auditions for new members scheduled.

Meet Gui!

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.

Alisson's Teams

We have 2 teams directed by Alisson Sandi. Take a look at the details.

At the beginning of 2020, we had launched Alisson Sandi’s training team, but unfortunately, we had to put it on hold. We are now back, and we can’t wait to have you join us!
This time, we will be launching two separate groups which will cater for different experience levels. Both teams will train under the same principles, goals and structure, so you won’t miss out on anything in either team.
* About the training:
Alisson has been training students and professionals of all levels for over 14 years, including many full time professionals, national and international title holders and the first competitors to ever achieve Intermediate and Advanced Levels in the Brazilian Zouk Dance Council Jack & Jill competitions.
The training will be based on years of research for the most broad, sustainable and effective ways to level up and push yourself in Brazilian Zouk. Repetition is one of the key ingredients to this secret recipe, therefore expect a lot of experimenting, drilling and cleaning up.
* Why should I join?
If you are interested in achieving a higher level of effortlessness, comfort and precision in your dancing: This is it!
We will be mainly focusing on 3 different aspects of dance training:
- Social Dancing Competition (Jack & Jill)
- Showcase Competition (Stage Performance)
- Choreography (Creative Training)
* Am I expected to perform or compete? Can I not?
Although the training will be focused on the above, your participation in competitions and live performances is optional. Therefore, if you are interested in joining the team for the sake of the training, but don't want to compete or perform, you are still allowed to join. When the time comes and we need to concentrate on an upcoming competition, you may continue training with the team without joining the stage formations.
* How long will this team go for? What is the goal?
The commitment will be made on a monthly basis, and we will be participating in events and competitions as they come, with that being said, the goal is to train at least for the next 12 months. This bigger goal is in preparation for North America’s 1st Brazilian Zouk Championships which will be happening in August 2022.
Our goal for that competition is to take as many students, couples and teams as possible to represent the DMV area and bring home as many awards as possible!


TRAINING SCHEDULE
Group 1: Tuesdays 8:45-10:15pm
Group 2: Wednesdays 8:45-10:15pm

Prerequisites to join Group 1

  • To have been regularly studying Brazilian Zouk for one year or less (pandemic break excluded)

  • To have clear knowledge of the dance and comfortable execution of techniques and moves.

  • Be fully vaccinated and willing to take any necessary measures needed to keep our team safe.

  • Be approved in the Auditions

Prerequisites to join Group 2

  • To have been regularly studying Brazilian Zouk for more than one year (pandemic break excluded)

  • To have clear knowledge of the dance and comfortable execution of techniques and moves.

  • Be fully vaccinated and willing to take any necessary measures needed to keep our team safe.

  • Be approved in the Auditions

How to join?

New members are accepted through an audition where we attest the fulfillment of the prerequisites.

At this point, we don't have auditions for new members scheduled.

Meet Alisson!

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.

Follower's Team directed by Elena Rovito

We're excited to restart a District Zouk follower's team, this time under the direction of Elena Rovito.
Grow your confidence and skills as a dancer and enrich your zouk follow experience with a combination of diverse dance technique and choreography!

WHO CAN JOIN?
This team is open to dancers of all identities and levels.

WHAT WILL PRACTICES LOOK LIKE?
Practices will open with an hour of dance technique. As well as working on zouk technique for follows, we will explore elements from different dances like jazz, ballet, and samba, and use these concepts to strengthen our zouk. The second hour will be used to learn and refine a followers' choreography, which will can performed at various local events and festivals.

AM I EXPECTED TO PERFORM?
Performance is not required - however, if you do choose to join the performance team you will be expected to attend every practice or catch up via video in order to respect the other team members’ time. The performance team is a 4 month commitment in order to allow enough time for everyone to learn and refine the choreography.


TRAINING SCHEDULE
Thursdays 7:00-9:00pm
The first hour will be technique training and the second hour will be choreography training. It's possible to participate only in the first hour, or both.
We'll explain more at the auditions about the training structure, dues and benefits. We'd love to see you join us!

Prerequisites to join

  • Familiarity with zouk fundamentals.

  • Be fully vaccinated and willing to take any necessary measures needed to keep our team safe.

How to join?

New members are accepted through an audition where we attest the fulfillment of the prerequisites.

At this point, we don't have auditions for new members scheduled.

Meet Elena!

Junior Instructor

Elena Rovito

Elena is a Brazilian zouk instructor, performer, and DJ, originally from California. She has a diverse background of many different arts and sports including gymnastics, parkour, ballet/jazz/modern/contemporary dance, and various partner dances. She began partner dancing in 2014, and has since competed at collegiate ballroom events, completed certifications in multiple dance courses, and taught classes all over North America - from San Francisco to Playa Del Carmen. Her preferred styles of dance are Brazilian zouk and bachata, but she also dances samba de gafieira, salsa, West Coast Swing, forró, while dabbling in many others. The nickname “Rhinestone” refers to her love for sparkly accessories, but also to her constant development of inner sparkle and inspiration. She is a passionate advocate for body positivity and acceptance, and she loves to incorporate this into her teaching so that people of all body types can learn to dance! She also blogs about body positivity, mental health, and personal growth (therhinestone.medium.com). In 2019, she visited DC for a weekend event and fell in love with the welcoming atmosphere and dedication of the local dancers. After a few years, she finally took the leap and moved cross-country to join the District Zouk core team! She is very excited about getting to learn alongside their phenomenal trainees and instructors and to help further grow the incredible community in DC.

Teams Dues

Our teams have the same monthly dues, with discounts when you join more than one team.

  • US$ 90/month for 1 team

  • US$ 160/month for 2 teams

  • US$ 225/month for 3 teams

What do team dues include?

Our monthly dues include some perks that can help you dance and learn more!

  • At least 1.5 hours of training every week for the partner teams and 2 hours for the followers team

  • Level 1 drop-in classes at 7pm on Mondays*

  • Monday practicas and occasional weekend practicas*

  • Discount on District Zouk and Swouk DC socials

  • Discounts on District Zouk progressive and special series, Labs, workshops, and weekenders**

  • $10 discount on private lessons with the lead instructor of your team

*These perks are not included in the Followers Team dues.

**The Followers Team only includes discounts on District Zouk progressive and special series