The name Brazilian Zouk is used to distinguish the dance from the Caribbean Zouk dance style, which is historically related to, but very different from the Lambada dance style. Zouk was born in the city of Rio de Janeiro where it was first developed and is danced among the most popular non-ballroom dances for couples in Brazil, others being Forró, Lambada, Samba de gafieira and Salsa.
Zouk is mainly danced in Brazil (Rio, Brasilia and other states), Australia, The Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, Finland, and some other European countries. It uses a modified, slower, smoother, even more sensual version of the lambada and is typically danced on Zouk-love style music.
The Brazilian Zouk dance style was first developed in the Ilha Dos Pescadores in Rio de Janeiro around 1989. In the Netherlands it was first introduced (in the early 2000s). Today Brazilian zouk is also danced on R&B, Latin pop, hip-hop, R&B, Arabic music, etc, mixed with a zouk beat.
Unlike salsa, which is led with the hands; Brazilian Zouk is led by more parts of the body. Sometimes, in a basic sideways movement, it is the hips that move first, followed by the rest of the body, and this is part of what makes the dance so sensual. However, in various moves the dance partners are also connected by eye contact, legs, arms, shoulders, head, etc.