ZELINO M. ROCHA (BE)
Zelino was dancing to swing dances for some years when he first got in contact with blues dance. From the first moment, he felt that there was something natural happening when he danced to this music.
Being born in Cape Verde, African music and African rhythms were always present in the house while growing up. The African environment had a natural influence which reflects on his dance. This might be the reason why blues dance had something familiar to him.
Being also a singer and having explored other forms of expression, it is naturally that Zelino sees the dance as a way of self expression, focusing on this aspect also when he teaches. Helping students find their expression and voice in the dance is one of his focuses. He finds that emotions can also be connected to the expression through the dance.
He has been engaged and teaching in different dance scenes, as Lisbon, Krakow and Ghent - where he is based now. His interest in the dance goes back to finding the connection to its origins and history, from both a dance and musical perspective. He is very interested in the slave songs from which the blues music was born, and in the African music that had a great influence in the slave songs.
Above all, he believes that having a good time and finding the right connection to the partner and the music are the most important aspects of the dance!