Sydney Charisse is a ballet-trained dancer, choreographer, teacher, and helpless lover of Brazilian Zouk and community building. She spent two years in Ann Arbor pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Dance at the University of Michigan while simultaneously co-organizing ZoukMi with Nicole Gomez, teaching weekly community and university Zouk classes, and DJing weekly socials. She began traveling to teach workshops, weekenders and congresses.
while at Michigan and since graduating she has been on tour throughout North America, Europe, and Brazil teaching and studying Brazilian Zouk. In the last year, she has taken first place in the BZDC Intermediate Jack and Jill competitions at LA Zouk Festival, DC Zouk Festival, and Canada ZouKiz Bachata Convention.
Sydney draws on her diverse background in social dancing, somatic practices, and 3 decades of solo dancing to train the complete body, inspire endless creativity, and facilitate safe and pain-free connection and communication. She prepares progressive exercises and strives to maintain constant motion in her classes, empowering students to tap into their creativity and joy of motion. In addition to teaching Brazilian Zouk, she teaches Dancing for Dancers workshops that focus on building skills applicable to all social dance forms as well as Fusion workshops that focus on expanding students’ toolkits with elements from Brazilian Zouk.
To catch up on her adventures so far, check out the #ZoukGnome’s Instagram @sydney.zouks!