What is Kizomba?

Kizomba which is also known as the African tango was created in Angola. It is both a genre of music and dance style that is very sensual with deep African roots derived from / similar to semba, zouk, konpa and pasada

Albair Rojas – Kizombero

I first danced Kizomba a couple of years ago at an Angolan friends party. The first thing I noticed was how close the partners danced together and at the end of the song simply walked away and then went ahead and danced with someone else just as close. It was a whole new experience for me. Now, I have always been a free-styler and so i managed to make it through a couple of dances by just pretending to know what I was doing. Only recently did I learn the actual steps and structure of Kizomba and it has has quickly become one of my favorite partner dances.

Should you decide to embark on this journey to learn this beautiful dance, you will come across the question, “What is the difference between Zouk & Kizomba? ?” While the answers out there differ, in my opinion they are pretty much the same. If I had to differentiate though, I would say:

  • Kizomba is sung in Portuguese and is danced with a certain backward ass motion
  • Zouk is sung in french and has a more figure 8 hip movement

I must say though, this is an over-simplification of the 2 and I can already imagine the comments that will be posted contradicting my description, so just to clarify – This is just MY opinion and I am not claiming its the gospel truth.

Now that we got that disclaimer out of the way, how do you actually dance Kizomba?

Well, go and do a class. When you do, make sure your upper body maintains a solid frame while your lower body has a large degree of flexibility, especially in the knees as a result of the frequent stepping motion.

I would then advise that you learn 3 things like the back of your hand:
1. Primero Basico – This is a basic step using every beat 1-8 and there is also the 1/2 beat which uses every 2nd beat.
2. Secondo basico – also known as the basic 3 in which the guy an girl does a touch step (similar to cha cha) on the 3rd basic.
3. Saida – which is the main travel step.

Once you have learnt these 3 steps, you are well on your way to dancing Kizomba. Also, make sure you add a lot of free-style into it, this makes it that much more fun.

If you want to watch some videos, Albair Rojas is one of the best Kizomba instructors I have come across and Nelson Freitas & Mika Mendes are two of my personal favorite Kizomba Musicans at the moment. So You-tube these guys and have fun learning about the African Tango.

Till next Thursday – you know what to do!

About Chilly

Causality - I believe for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Cause and Effect. I am the cause - what will be the effect?
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5 Responses to What is Kizomba?

  1. I’ve been interested in doing kizomba for a while. I doubt I’ll find a teacher here though so I’m gonna have to find some good videos!

  2. gdayjen says:

    hey – I’ve been six months in Santiago de Cuba and there they reckon that Kizomba is from Haiti, and certainly the Haitians think so! It is quite popular in Santiago, though not as popular or widespread as is Son. The pre-teen kids do a great version, but not partnered.

  3. Alta Grobbelaar says:

    Kizomba is definitely gaining momentum here in Johannesburg. I love the dance and wish more people would dance it. I think it is the next big thing. We dance it at our Slasa parties. We had a couple from Mozambique that came to teach us with weekend workshops and BailaAfica did some classes and Thabo from ComeSalsa teaches a class before his Friday night party. I try and make all the classes.

  4. Pingback: My Top 10 Kizomba Tracks | Chillys Blog

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