Back in March of this year, my good friend Jean Rene Rinvil of Dance Kompa (Tampa, FL) joined us in Miami as we held held a beginners Kompa workshop at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. We had a great turnout and everyone expressed interest in continuation of the workshops. (Which we are working on for 2013…)
One of the greatest things about bringing people together through dance is learning new things, new styles, new approaches. Little did I know that a Kompa workshop would be my introduction to Kizomba. A couple from the UK demonstrated it, noting it similarities to Kompa. Needless to say, I felt as if I had been living under a rock for sometime. Anyway, long story short, in a few short months I have become quite obsessed with this social dance native to Angola which has been spreading through Europe for years, and is now becoming more mainstream in U.S. dance circuits.
The legendary Eddy Vents describes it:
“Kizomba is originally from Angola, West Africa. But it’s also from the five ex- Portuguese colonies. One of them is Guinea Bissau, which is where I’m from. And I grew up in Portugal. Kizomba is from a combination of zouk and other African rhythms. I love zouk because I grew up learning to dance kizomba to zouk. Kizomba, the step, has existed for a long time. Kizomba, the music, is something new. It’s been around from the late 80’s. ” (Thank you Industry Dance Mag!)
Kizomba is an African dance in its truest sense. The body language is flavorful and distinctly African. African in the same way movement was carried across the Atlantic some 400 years ago and deposited in places like Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Bahia, Rio, and beyond. The dance is symmetrical but free at the same time. The partnering aspect has been a lesson in sweet surrender. Above all, Kizomba to me is subtle…seeing two bodies move in perfect unison as if they were one. If you have danced Salsa, Bachata, etc…chances are good you can and will follow a good lead. If not, not to worry. You will learn the subtlety of the movement from scratch, come to know the music, and most certainly, like I have, fall in love!
South Florida has now made it onto the map in terms of hosting events and practice nights. If you are a dancer, interested in learning, or have ideas for events, please keep in contact with us via Facebook. Look forward to dancing with you!
For worldwide Kizomba events, click here.
All the best in the Dance!