Common Questions About Kizomba

kizomba Oct 13, 2022

 

Let's clear up some misunderstandings. Here are some short answers to common questions about Kizomba

Is Kizomba an African dance?

Yes, Kizomba is definitely an African dance. It has origins in Angola and other former Portuguese colonies in Africa, such as Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guiné-Bissau, São Tomé e Príncipe. On the link you can read more about where Kizomba is from. And learn even more about the history of Kizomba.  

Is Kizomba a Latin dance?
No, Kizomba is definitely not a latin dance, even if it in many countries co-exists and is danced at the same events as Salsa and Bachata, which are latin dances. So, for instance, many dance festivals offer Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba and have different rooms for workshops during the days and different floors for the respective dance styles at the dance parties at night. But this doesn't mean Kizomba is a Latin dance. 

Is Kizomba Portuguese?
No, Kizomba is not Portuguese....

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Where is Kizomba From? 

 Some of the most common questions about Kizomba is where it comes from? Where did the dance Kizomba originate? 

The Dance
There has always been a bit of a debate around this. When I started dancing Kizomba in 2011 some teachers (the Angolans) claimed Kizomba was from Angola and others (the Cape Verdeans) claimed it was from Cape Verde. It seemed like it was a struggle to claim Kizomba for their own country. Now it seems to me that the general consensus favours Angola. I hear most people say the dance is from Angola. And it is clear that the word “Kizomba” is a word from Kimbundu (an African bantu language common in Angola) and it means “party”. 

But with that said, it is also true that people have danced very similarly, with slight variations, in most PALOP countries as well as in Portugal. Sometimes calling it Kizomba and sometimes another name on the dance. And there is a lot of music in Kizomba parties that is not from Angola. What is...

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Who Invites to Dance?

We are in the 2020s. The world is more and more equal and open-minded.

Even if traditionally there was the rule that men dance with women and that men invite to dance, now we increasingly see women dancing with women, and also men dancing with men. And it is very common that women ask men to dance, no matter what role they take on the dance floor.


This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


I know that some women still struggle to invite men. They feel that they shouldn't have to, or that it is the responsibility of the men.

However, I believe that we have reached a point where it is hardly possible to maintain that position any longer if you want to dance.

  • First of all, we have the fact that there are often proportionally more women in the social scene. So, with women outnumbering men, women are already at a disadvantage if they want to dance. There is more competition for...
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Good Technique Leads to Better Musicality

First of all, it makes the dance technically better. When we dance couple dances there is always leading and following. The leader sends a signal and the follower has to interpret that signal.


This is an excerpt from my book about musicality - "The Secrets of Musicality for Dancers - Learning Nine Essential Skills for Musicality in Dance" Just click the link. 


With better technique, the leader will send a clearer signal so there will be less guessing and back-leading. And the timing of the leading will be better. The follower will be better at listening to and reacting to the signal. The interpretation will also be better. And the execution of steps or moves from the follower will be better, with better timing.

The leader then needs to listen to the feedback from the follower. Is the interpretation of the leading correct? Or was there some misunderstanding?

If the follower had good technique, there will be less problems that need to be adapted to. It might be...

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Negative Effects of Social Dancing

kizomba social dance Dec 13, 2021

Previously I wrote about the Positive Effects of Social Dancing. Even if I would like to talk only about the upsides, there are some downsides to social dancing too. Not that many, but some.


This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


If you have spent any time in the scene, I think you know that it is almost addictive. People who don't dance can have a hard time understanding this feeling.

We might start with a class per week. Then we start going out to dances. Maybe once a week at first, and then increasingly more. We sign up for more classes, we go out even more. We might start going to festivals on the weekend.

It is like a drug. The more we get, the more we want. And it is not that easy to stop. We keep wanting more.  

This can cause some side effects. I think it is pretty rare that people start skipping work. Heavy drugs can cause that effect. But late nights on...

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Dance with Confidence - Some tips for the social dance flooor

kizomba social dance Oct 28, 2021

Nice to have you here! 

In this post you will read about confidence and why it is important on the dance floor.


This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


Dare to Invite

If you want to be in the dance scene and really make it pay off, you might need to invite yourself. No matter if you are a man or woman, these days, you will often have to stand on the sidelines and watch other people enjoying themselves if you only wait for others to invite you, if you expect always to be asked.

Inviting others to dance also makes a lot of things happen. 

  • First of all, you get to know more people. The more people who know you and have danced with you, the more people will have an easy time to invite you back. You have taken the first step. You already showed you wanted to dance with them. So, it is easy for them to continue. The stakes are lower. You make it easier for them...
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Don't Dance with Your Partner!

Nice to have you here! 

In this post you will read about why you shouldn't dance with your dance partner. No, I am kidding. It is ok to dance with your partner. But...


This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


... if you only dance with your partner, you will not advance as fast. It is not too uncommon that a couple shows up in class and don't want to change partners like everyone else does. I usually accept it, but I also often let them know that they will not advance as fast as dancers.

Sometimes you also see couples glued together in dance socials. I don't quite understand it. If they only want to dance together, why not do it at home? There is so much fun going on in a social, so why not take part? It is like they are there, but they are not quite there.

Yes, you can become excellent within your couple. You might dance great together. If that is the only goal, then...

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How to Get More Dances in the Socials

Nice to have you here! In this post we talk about how to get more dances in the socials, festivals and parties, no matter what dance skills or other qualities we have! And no matter if we dance kizomba, urban kiz, salsa, bachata or any other social dance. 


This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


"So far, we have covered a lot of topics that are not dance related, and also pretty quick and easy to fix. If you still struggle to get dances, even if you have made all these quick fixes, I have a couple of more tips for you.

First of all, think of how you can reverse the things we talked about in the part about Invitation Smarts. I mean, if we, on the one hand, want to avoid rejection, we have to find the right moment to invite. We have to be smart about it and ask people when they are most likely to say yes. But if we also want to be invited more often, we can reverse...

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Dance Smarts - For Leads & Follows

Nice to have you here! In this post we talk about something I call dance smarts. If you are a lead, follows will love if you do this. And if you are a follow, leads will too!


This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


Be Gentle

This might seem obvious, but it is still far too common to not include here. Good technique is not painful at all. Poor technique can be. 

  • First of all, don't squeeze your partner. Not the hand, not the body.
  • Don't hold your partner's fingers. If you hold the fingers, doing any kind of turn might also turn your partners' fingers in their place. No more dancing with that partner. Maybe ever.
  • Avoid pushing and pulling. Your partner wants to keep their arms in place, no need to pull them off. If you are gentle, everything will work out better. Remember, leads send a signal. They make a suggestion. It is up to the follow to interpret that signal and...
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Creating the Best Partner Experience When You Dance

Nice to have you here! In this post, we will cover how we can create the best possible experience for ourselves and our partner when we dance. It is something that everyone can do no matter if you are a beginner or an advanced dancer. If I would summarize these different points I think I would call it "showing up for real".  


This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.


Presence
When we dance, if we want to create a good connection with our partner, we need to be present. We need to be there and then, both physically and mentally. We cannot be thinking about something else, whether it is work, relationships or any problems in life.

We need to pay attention to what they are doing, what is happening around us and in the music as we dance. When we are truly present, giving our undivided attention to the dance, the communication in dance will be better, and...

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