About Zouk Army Orlando
Zouk Army Orlando was born in November 2019 when Tate Lydia and Marissa Venero began hosting monthly practice parties as a consistent path for local dancers to gather and learn. With organic growth and accessibility as values, a free class was offered monthly.
Our motto was and remains the same: All levels welcome, no experience required, no partner needed. Our collective years of training and experience gave us the unique ability to teach someone who has never danced how to dial in and connect to Brazilian Zouk.
As word spread, dancers from all over Florida joined our program. We quickly realized the power of our forces and formed strategic alliances with strong Zouk dancers in surrounding areas. What resulted was a powerful corps of passionate and dynamic leaders in the Florida Brazilian Zouk community. Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami united made us Zouk Army!
Zouk Army Mission
We believe Orlando provides the perfect destination for dancers to meet, learn, connect and mature in the beautiful, meditative dance style known as Brazilian Zouk.
The goal is to build and develop Brazilian Zouk dancers in Orlando, so that we all may expand, flourish and multiply goodness all over the world!
When one of us grows, all of us grow. Let’s grow together!!
Co-Founder | President | Zouk Army Officer
Experience in musical theater, dance community building and biomechanical understanding from her podiatry career makes Marissa a triple threat we refer to as, “Dancer, Doctor, DJ RISS!”
With a background in performance arts training, Salsa Casino, Bachata and Kizomba, Brazilian Zouk stole Marissa’s heart in 2014. Zouk continues to challenge and bring her the brightest joy today! Dedicated to goal-oriented training, she has learned Lambada, Neo, Rio and Brazilian Zouk from a library of instructors!
In Miami, she ran weekly classes and socials with Ivo Viera Dance Company, choreographed performances, and organized local festivals. Regardless of her locale, the intention remains the same: grow the local Zouk community!
This burning passion drives her to teach, dance, and share music in her own cultural immersion style program, Zouk Army Orlando. Her hope is to inspire others to have fun, travel and Zouk! When she is not dancing, catch her mixing the hottest unheard Zouk tracks from deejays all around the world.
Her advice to new dancers is to find a community of people who are excited to go through the process of learning with you!
Follow Marissa on Facebook and Instagram Below:
Co-Founder | Vice President | Zouk Army Officer
Tate Lydia began dancing at 4 years old with ballet. Over her lifetime she has studied gymnastics, hip hop, jazz, salsa, bachata, west coast swing, Argentine tango, and acrobatics. In 2019 she fell in-love with Brazilian Zouk in Orlando, Florida learning from Zouk MIA.
Her desire to connect, share and build local community is manifested in Zouk Army Orlando’s cultural immersion program, where Brazilian Zouk music, dance and the Portuguese language are celebrated.
Her advice for new dancers: You don’t have to be the best to do your best!
Follow Tate on Facebook and Instagram Below:
Treasurer | Zouk Army Officer
Having danced salsa and bachata since 2006, Jason discovered Brazilian Zouk in 2019 after attending a free workshop taught by Marissa Ivette.
Since then, Jason has been enamored with Brazilian Zouk’s connectedness, flow, and creative potential.
Brazilian Zouk may look and feel intimidating at first. Stick with it and seek every opportunity to immerse yourself in it, and you may find a new passion in Brazilian Zouk!
Follow Jason on Facebook and Instagram Below:
Secretary | Zouk Army Officer
From creating routines for her neighbor friends to social dancing at Latin events, the love of dance and music has been in Monica’s heart since a young age.
She started studying Brazilian Zouk in 2021 after attending a party with Zouk dancers. Clueless, but so intrigued by the creative expressiveness and movements of the dance, she began to take lessons in Jacksonville, FL but later moved to Orlando, FL and continued her studies with Zouk Army Orlando.
Unbeknownst to her at the time, she would later join the Zouk Army Orlando team in hopes of continuing to help build a community, one brick at a time.
Brazilian zouk has filled her heart with joy and gave her a canvas to create art.
Her advice for new dancers: Be it Brazilian Zouk or any other type of dance, remember why you started, be kind and patient with yourself, and enjoy the process of learning!
Follow Monica on Facebook and Instagram Below: