Kizomba: A Dance at the Heart of the Angolan Soul and Beyond

By Gedeon Kas

Kizomba, often dubbed the « African Tango, » is more than just a dance. It is a true celebration of Angolan culture that has captivated international stages with its enchanting charm and sensual movements. Born in Angola in the 1980s, this dance embodies the festive spirit and deep soul of its homeland.

Origins and Evolution of Kizomba

The word « Kizomba » comes from Kimbundu, a Bantu language spoken in Angola, and means « party. » The dance is the result of a fusion between Semba, a traditional Angolan dance, and Zouk, a musical genre from the French Caribbean. This blend has given rise to a unique dance characterized by its slow, fluid movements and intimate closeness between partners.

In the 1990s, Kizomba crossed Angolan borders to gain popularity in Portugal, and then throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Today, Kizomba festivals are held in many countries, attracting enthusiasts from all walks of life.

The Music that Animates Kizomba

Music plays a central role in Kizomba. Soft, melodious, and rhythmic, it is often sung in Portuguese or Angolan Creole. The songs mainly address universal themes such as love, passion, and daily life, adding emotional depth to the dance steps.

The Characteristics of the Dance

Kizomba is distinguished by several distinctive features:

  1. Connection and Intimacy: Dancers move very close to each other, fostering an intimate connection and subtle communication.
  2. Fluid Movements: The steps are slow and gliding, contrasting with the fast movements of many other Latin dances.
  3. Subtle Leading: The leader guides their partner through discreet indications, requiring great sensitivity and attentiveness.
  4. Expression and Improvisation: Although some figures are codified, Kizomba allows for significant improvisation and personal expression.

A Dynamic and Passionate Community

The rise of Kizomba has created a vibrant international community. Kizomba festivals and congresses are multiplying, offering workshops, demonstrations, and dance parties. These events are unique opportunities for participants to learn from top dancers and choreographers and to forge connections within this global community.

In South Africa, the Kizomba community is particularly well-developed, especially in Johannesburg, where the organization BailaAfrika, led by the talented Natasha Edd, hosts sensational events dedicated to Kizomba. Natasha Edd, known for her effortless teaching of Kizomba, plays a crucial role in promoting this dance in the region.

BailaAfrika: Beyond Dance Classes, a Vibrant and Festive Community

If you have ever wanted to discover the captivating rhythms and sensual movements of Kizomba, Semba, or Salsa, BailaAfrika is the perfect place for you. This dynamic dance school based in Johannesburg, South Africa, offers more than just quality dance classes. It is a welcoming and inclusive community that celebrates African and Latin culture through dance.

A Haven for Dance Enthusiasts

Whether you are a shy beginner or an experienced dancer looking to perfect your moves, BailaAfrika offers classes for all levels. Their experienced and passionate instructors will guide you patiently, allowing you to progress at your own pace and discover the joy of dance.

A Unique Educational Approach

Teaching at BailaAfrika stands out for its particular attention to both technique and enjoyment. They believe that dance should be a source of fulfillment and connection with others. That is why their classes emphasize fluid movements, personal expression, and connection with your dance partner.

A Space for Meeting and Exchange

Beyond classes, BailaAfrika regularly organizes parties and special events that allow community members to gather, dance, and celebrate their shared passion. These events are ideal opportunities to meet new people, make friends, and share your love for dance.

A Major Event: May 28, 2024

On May 28, 2024, BailaAfrika organized a special event to celebrate African culture and dance. This event, which brought together dancers from all horizons, was a resounding success. The program included dance demonstrations, workshops, live music, and, of course, an exhilarating dance party.

BailaAfrika is much more than a dance school. It is a space for meeting, sharing, and artistic expression where everyone can find their place and thrive. If you are looking for a vibrant and festive community to explore the joys of African and Latin dance, BailaAfrika is the perfect place for you. Join the BailaAfrika community and let yourself be carried away by the passion for dance!

To learn more:

Don’t miss the big event « All Things Kizomba » which will take place on June 29, 2024, at the Royal India in Johannesburg, Sandton.

Kizomba, with its roots anchored in Angola and its global influence, is more than a dance. It is a celebration of life, love, and culture. Whether you are a seasoned dancer or a novice, Kizomba offers a rich and immersive experience, inviting you to discover Africa through every movement. Let yourself be carried away by its captivating rhythms and dive into the fascinating world of Kizomba.

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