In Miami, a growing Brazilian population also contributed to the dance's rise. Renato Medeiros, 33, recalls leaving Brazil to pursue a culinary career in the U.S. about seven years ago, and being perplexed there was no zouk dancing in Miami. For almost two years, he didn't dance.

Then a friend arrived from Brazil and began giving classes.

He said the last year there has been "a boom."

"I think it's the sensuality," he said of the dance's growing popularity. "Zouk is a completely fluid dance. It's almost like you're floating." - AP