Brazilian zouk classes and dance scenes can be found in cities stretching from Seattle to New York, and festivals featuring parties and top dancers are being held in Miami and Washington. A second annual zouk congress starting Thursday in Los Angeles is expected to draw hundreds.

"It's already huge in Europe, it's very big in Australia, all of South America," said Kendra Haynes, one of the first to give zouk classes in Miami. "The U.S. is just a little bit behind."