I love how my passion for dance has allowed me to meet people from all over the world-people who, I’m sure, I might not have met otherwise. Some of these individuals are inspiring teachers, others literally take my breath away on the dance floor, and a few have an infectious energy about them that is so uplifting for any who are around them.
Jessica Lamdon happens to be one of those rare souls in the dance world that demonstrates all of these qualities.
Not only is Jessica a beautiful dancer and performer- invited to congresses and dance festivals throughout many different countries, but she is also an encouraging and warm hearted individual. Her personable, welcoming nature motivated me to want to learn Zouk more. But it also helped me feel connected to something at a time when I was feeling lost and heavy hearted.
Sometimes, the right words at the right time can lead us to places we didn’t even know we would go. And Jessica’s words and compassion have stuck with me so much that they have inspired me to get out to events in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles. They have shaped some of the personal decisions I have made in my life since I have met her as well. She has reminded me that it’s not just the dancing that is healing, but also the connections with people we make along the way in this Dance Journey. Sometimes, it’s just a touch, a word, and even just a breath or a moment of silence held together. But each of those moments can make a huge difference.
Jessica made this difference to me. And so I am so honoured to be able to feature her on Dance Me Free. Photos of her will be gracing our header page for the next few months. And to find out a little more about this dancer, check out this mini interview in which Jessica shares with us what Dance, particularly Zouk, means to her:
Where are you from?
Jessica: I was born and raised in Brooklyn:)
What is your dance background?
I used to be a competitive 10 dance international ballroom dancer for roughly eight years before falling in love with zouk. I took a break from dancing in the middle of high school and throughout college. I was pursuing learning about acting for theater and film, and was also working on a degree in psychology. I LOVED IT!
Yet, there was something missing. Zouk stumbled into my life and I made sure it stayed there. And turned it into my life!
What is it about Zouk that stands out to you compared to other dances?
To me, Zouk has a beautiful and seamless relationship with movement, music, connection, and community.
It’s a social dance that anyone can do– and that everyone is encouraged to participate in! You can dance with multiple partners, you can be celebrated with many people circling around you, you can perform, you can support, you can bring people together, you can find yourself and help find others through this dance.
Who helped encourage and support you as far as getting into this dance more seriously?
Jessica Lamdon and Henri Velandia of ZenZouk
I am so grateful that Kim Rottier brought Zouk to NYC and grateful to Hisako for helping to spread Lamba Zouk in NYC.
I am beyond grateful to have found Henri Velandia, my mentor, and to train with him and dance with him. Without him, I wouldn’t have had nearly as rich of an experience with Zouk. And for this, I am forever loyal to him 🙂
What has Zouk taught you?
Zouk has taught me so much about myself and others. And it will continue teaching me. Zouk has created moments for me that I never thought I could experience or feel. It gave me a family all over the world. Zouk will never make you feel alone. It is about beautiful energy moving to beautiful music. It helps us connect to ourselves in order to connect with others. I am so excited to continue this journey.
Videos of Jessica Dancing Zouk:
Fall For Zouk:
Note, the video below is without sound because there was a copyright against the song being used on youtube. But it’s one of my favorites of Jessica and Henri so I thought I would share it. The song, by the way, is “Frozen”- by Madonna.
Note: Jessica is based out of New York, but she travels to many different Zouk Congresses and Festivals throughout the world.
In fact, you can catch her next weekend teaching with Henri of ZenZouk at the L.A. Zouk Congress– April 28th to May 2nd, 2016.