Zydeco as a dance style has its roots in a form of folk dance that corresponds to the heavily syncopated Zydeco music, originated in the beginning of the 20th century among the Francophone Creole peoples of Acadiana, Southwest Louisiana. It is a partner dance that has been primarily danced socially and sometimes in performances.
The follower usually mirrors the steps of the leader. However, in some figures, the steps may be completely different, allowing for self-expression and improvisation.
Because of the very lively music, the overall dance is composed of small sideways steps with relatively steady upper body and no hip swinging, wiggling or jumping. There are exceptions to this rule, but the feel of the zydeco is very consistent.
Zydeco dance can be described as the opposite of swing or ballroom since the direction or feel of the dance is down, not up like swing or ballroom.