What is Kizomba?

Kizomba is a dance and musical genre of African descent. Often-times mislabeled a ‘Latin’ rhythm, Kizomba, in actuality, hails predominately from Angola, a nation situated in Southern Africa.

The origins of this dance, like many others, are regularly disputed. The genre of dance is really a derivative of some of the traditional Angolan rhythms, including Semba, Kilapanda and Angolan ‘merengue’.Kizomba, as we know it today, is a result of the marriage and influence of many different musical genres and styles of dance. As afrobailar.com so articulately states: "It is impossible to speak about Kizomba without speaking in the traditional dances that preceded and influenced it: Semba (the predecessor of Samba), Zouk (from the islands Antilles), Coladeira (from Cape Verde), not forgetting the big contribution to the solidification of Kizomba that came from Tango and Merengue."

Kizomba is a relatively newer dance, coming to fruition sometime between 1970 and 1980 as younger generations heard the traditional sounds of Semba and Zouk and decided that something was missing. Thus, the genre of Kizomba was born, infecting the ears and bodies of its audiences with a slower, more sensual, yet all the while insistent and intoxicating rhythmic percussion.

The musical genre and the dance style have taken the planet by storm – spreading like wildfire from Africa, to Europe and now North and South America. Countries with established Kizomba communities include England, France, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Belarus, Lithuania, Egypt, Switzerland, Serbia, Canada and, of course, the US. Different variations of the dance have cropped up around the world, as other dance styles have influenced dancers to push the boundaries and create newer and interesting variations. Dancers around the world stake their claim to different styles of Kizomba from ‘French Style’ to ‘NeoKiz’ to ‘Cabo Love’ in Cape Verde, and of course the widely recognized variation or style of Kizomba, known as tarraxinha.

Much of the beauty of Kizomba lies in the blissful connection experienced between two dancers – oftentimes referred to as an ‘African Tango‘ – Kizomba is all about the connection. A nonverbal conversation between bodies, Kizomba is danced in a relatively close position (depending on comfort level of the dancers) and can be lead predominately with the chest/torso, much like Tango. The basic steps of Kizomba are often attractive to the ‘newer’ dancer because of their simplicity.In its most basic form, Kizomba is very much a simple and easy-to-learn dance that can be advanced and made more complicated as the dancer becomes increasingly comfortable.For many Latin dancers in the US, Kizomba has provided a ‘breath of fresh air’, as a dance style that is quite different from salsa, bachata or merengue. It's no wonder why Kizomba has exploded in the US and beyond – as it provides a new, simple yet challenging, full body and mind connective dance experience for both new and experienced dancers alike.

Join us for classes and start learning today!