salsa

Karel Flores @ Unified on2

The Unified on2 Project kicked off 2019 with a bang. Karel Flores flew from NY to teach a fun and challenging workshop. The workshop started with stretching and posture technique followed by a high-energy footwork sequence.

Karel Flores is a professional salsa instructor and choreographer and is originally from Mexico City. She is one of the biggest names in the scene and currently resides in New York.

We had a blast filming Karel and she was definitely a fan of our shiba inu - Nana. The last time we filmed her was at the 2016 LABKS Festival. Hope to see you again soon Karel!

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Marketing your festival the right way

Unfortunately, there are many people that take videos, edit them, and re-post them on their page calling them their own. When this happens, I file a claim with Facebook/Instagram and the video is removed immediately. Asking for permission or just tagging the festival/videographer would prevent me from filing copyright claims.

This situation is different, it’s not a random person - it’s someone who I consider a friend.

This friend got upset with SBKZ Media because we asked him to:

  1. Give credit to the festival and SBKZ Media.

  2. To not alter or change any videos we have produced.

I woke up one morning and received an invitation to join a new festival. I accepted and opened the page. I found at least 3 videos that I filmed for festivals that had been downloaded, changed (new intro, logo, and some effects), and credit was given to a videographer in Brazil.

I reached out to the festival and asked that they remove the videos (because they changed/manipulated the video) and did not give credit. After finding out that this festival is run by my friend, he sent me a message explaining what happened. I’ve worked with my friend in the past and really enjoyed creating content with him. I said no worries, if you just tag the festival and SBKZ Media we’re good.

Fast forward a week or so. I go back on the page and a new video is posted of Ry’el and Jessica. It’s a demo of them dancing at Zouk Me SF but with an entirely new audio track. The video was completely altered/changed.

After seeing this, I messaged my friend asking him to remove the video because his team had changed the sound. He got upset and said he would take down ALL of the videos. I asked him to just remove the one video that he altered and not the others. He insisted that he would take down all of the videos.

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I’m not upset with my friend at all. All I ask is that promoters tag the festival/videographer or reach out to me telling me what you’re going to do. If my friend had told me he was going to do this from the start, there wouldn’t be any issues. I’m really easy going and have worked with many artists and promoters. My goal is to strengthen the community by putting out great content, and maintaining the integrity of that content.

If my friend is reading this: you can use any videos of SBKZ Media. I support you, your event, and the Brazilian Zouk community 100%.

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Here are some tips for festival promoters:

-Share the original video from the festival and write a clever or catchy description of the video.

-Ask the videographer for the original video, create a really good description, and utilize Facebook/Instagram advertising.

-Instagram is hot right now. We are focusing a lot on creating short-form videos for IG stories.

-Content is important, but distribution(marketing/copywriting) is more important.

3 things latin-dance promoters and artists should stop doing.

1.  Having multiple personal Facebook accounts.   We've all seen it and have had to deal with it.  At the end of the person's name they have full, I, or II - i.e., My Name Full, My Name I, My Name II. 

This is frustrating when you don't know which account to add/follow.  Also, when you need to reach someone but you don't know which profile to message.  You message one profile but they respond with another.  On top of multiple personal profiles, they have an artist page, a dance company page, and a joint partner page which complicates things further.

What's the solution? It's simple: You delete or convert your additional personal pages and allow people to follow you.  You can have an unlimited amount of followers.  Sure, you'll loose some friends when you delete those extra accounts, but it's worth the short-term expense.  The convenience of properly managing and communicating through one personal FB account is worth it in the long-term.

If you are maxed out at 5k friends, turn on the follow option.  When people try and add you as a friend they are automatically following you.  You can then remove the request request and you are good to go!

2.  SPAM tagging you on FB for every event.  (Even if they know you aren't in the country) Getting notifications is annoying enough.  But getting the same notification from the same promoter every week and having to untag yourself gets incredibly exhausting.  Also, if it's the same weekly event thats been going for the last 5 years, there is definitely no need to be tagging anyone.

Once you create an event, it will automatically appear on everyone's upcoming events that you're friends with.  Unless you are directly involved with hosting the event, no one else should be tagged.  Also, SPAM tagging has become increasingly popular with artists who have a new demo that they just released.   Just like events, demos are filmed almost every day so tagging people who have seen similar demos can becoming draining as well.

3.  Adding dancers to groups that they don't want to be added to.  Groups are extremely convenient in FB when used properly and where valuable information is exchanged.  Unfortunately, in the dance world, 95% of groups are SPAM groups.  Promoters from all over the world post their event, festival, or ****NEW DEMO ALERT*** in every group imaginable.  They spend hours copying and pasting the same text in every group hoping they will get likes or shares.  Facebook has complex algorithms that can pick up on multiple postings using the same text.

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I've had people add me as friends just so they can add me on a group.  When you leave the group you've been forced to join without your permission, be sure to click the box 'Prevent others from adding me to this group.'  

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Additional tips for the dance community:

-If you notice these three things happening to you on a regular basis, just unfriend the person.  Just because you unfriend them on FB, does not mean you aren't friends with them in the real world.  It's nothing personal.

-In your privacy settings, be sure to prevent posts from being posted on your wall without your approval.  

-Going live on facebook is probably the most annoying things I see on a daily basis.  Facebook is really trying to push individuals and businesses to go live.  I don't recommend going live unless you are partying with Justin Bieber.  

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With more and more events and festivals popping up every month, promoters and artists are desperate for attention.  It's important to identify those that are marketing themselves the right way, versus those are not.

If you found this article helpful, let me know.  Let me know what other things annoy you in the latin-dance world of Facebook.  Tag a friend, share this article, and let's improve how promoters and artists market themselves in the latin-dance scene.

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Thank you 2017 latin-dance festivals!

2017 was an incredibly busy year for us.  We filmed over 15 Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, and Brazilian Zouk dance festivals and congresses.  We were exposed to many different promoters, locations, cities, countries, personalities, dancers, and artists.  We learned a lot about how different festivals are organized and ran.

Like with anything in life, one needs to have balance.  Filmed festivals every weekend will inevitabley burn someone out.  We tried our best to keep a good balance of local gigs, travel, and dance gigs.  Unfortunately, there were months where we filmed several dance festivals consecutively.  

With all the experience we got in 2017, 2018 looks brighter than ever.  We have new clients on the horizon and are super excited to continue working with with our favorite festivals.  It's not easy traveling with expensive equipment and filming/editing a 3-5 day festival non-stop.  There are times where we need to take a step back and take a break.  

Bachatea - Madrid
Amsterdam ZNL Zouk Festival - Amsterdam
Bachata French Kiss - Troyes
WestZoukTIME - Bruno
L.A Zouk Festival - Long Beach
Official - Prague Zouk Congress - Prague
Montreal Salsa Convention - Montreal
Zouk Me Summer Fest - San Francisco
Los Angeles BKS Festival - Orange County
Kizomba Luxembourg - Luxembourg
MiamiBeach KizombaFestival - Miami
Zoukadise - Puerto Vallarta
Montreal Is Kizomba - Montreal
Dutch International Zouk Congress - Breda
Hawaii Zouk Festival - Honolulu
Kizomba Harmony African Dance Experience - Cancun

Check out our work: sbkzmedia.com
Follow us on IG: instagram.com/sbkz_media

We don't try and work with every festival.  Rather, we focus on relationships with good promoters that are fair, honest, and try to do what's best for their respective dance community and push it in the right direction.  A big thanks to all of those promoters that we've worked with, and that we continue to work with in the future - you know who you are!!

 

What are the differences between Zouk, Kizomba, and Brazilian Zouk?

When most people hear or see the word Zouk, it's synonymous with Brazilian Zouk.  However, Zouk and Brazilan Zouk are two separate dances and it's important that dancers understand "Zouk" and it's history/origins. 

Zouk is why we dance Kizomba and Brazilian Zouk today.  The music from these small islands traveled across oceans and developed into new dances.

People are often confused about Brazilian Zouk and Kizomba music.  Can you dance Kizomba to Brazilian Zouk, and viceversa?  We will try and keep it as simple as possible.  Please note: we are generalizing to keep this as simple as possible so the majority of people can understand the basic differences. 

Zouk - Zouk originated from the Caribbean Islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique (see map below).   Zouk is what you would dance at a family bbq on the weekends.   There were no classes or formal moves, it was just something that you grew up doing and was part of every day life.  This music genre grew in popularity by a French Antillean band in the 1980s called Kassav'.

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Kizomba - Kizomba is an Angolan dance with heavy influence from Cape Verde.  It's a closed danced where you embrace your partner closely and is danced slower than Zouk.  There was  influence from the group Kassav', along with Semba and other influences.  This too, was a low-key dance that every one grew up dancing to.  Many new sub-styles of Kizomba have since emerged like Tarraxinha and Urban Kiz.

Kizomba grew as a music/dance genre when dancers moved to different parts of Europe.  Since then, Kizomba has grown tremendously and is spreading rapidly all over the world.

Brazilian Zouk - This partner dance originated from lambada music which became popular in the 1980s in Northern Brazil.  The most well known song is Lambada by Kaoma.  Due to the lack of Lambada music, dancers turned to Zouk music which sounded similar to lambada music.  Brazilians fused/incorporated Zouk music into their zouk-lambada dance.  

Brazilian Zouk is a dance genre, not a music genre.  You can dance Brazilian Zouk to anything with a 4/4 beat.  Popular genres include hip hop, rap, trap, electronic, lyrical, indie, rock, pop - and of course, kizomba and zouk like the examples above. 

In the Brazilian Zouk scene, there are many DJs that produce and create remixes of popular songs.  Popular DJs/producers: DJ Kakah, Mafie Zouker, Lord Feifer, Arkkanjo, DJ Allan Z, and DJ Amigo.  Popular US-based DJs: DJ Power, and DJ Shiv.   

Some DJs play tracks that have a Zouk beat or "boom chic chic boom" while others play "zoukable" music (an entire blog post can be written on this).

Some points we want to emphasize:

  • You can dance Brazilian Zouk to any music genre with a 4/4 beat if you really wanted to. Zouk music is traditional music from the Caribbean Islands.
  • You can usually dance Brazilian Zouk to Kizomba.
  • You cannot dance Kizomba to Brazilian Zouk music genres. (*some do but MOST don't)
  • Brazilian Zouk is a completely different dance than Zouk and Kizomba
  • Zouk has become synonymous with Brazilian Zouk.  Promoters, artists, DJs, should promote Brazilian Zouk by emphasizing that it is from Brazil. "Brazilian" should be present.
  • Kizomba and Brazilian Zouk are completely different dances.  There should not be a mixed Kizomba and Brazilian Zouk room.
  • Kizomba is not the "sexiest dance ever,"  this is called clickbait.  Clickbait is when the person just wants you to to click for attention or views.  I believe Kizomba is sensual but not sexy - this is  subjective.  Bachata Sensual and Brazilian Zouk are also sensual dances.

Popular Kizomba festivals we've filmed: Kizomba Luxembourg, Miami Beach Kizomba FestivalMontreal is Kizomba.

Popular Brazilian Zouk festivals we've filmed: Dutch Zouk Congress, Prague Zouk Congress, and Hawaii Zouk Festival.