Monday 19 April 2021
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Kizomba: The Sensual, Slow and Smooth Dance from Angola

Dancing is fun and relaxing but even more relaxing when you are dancing to rhythms that speak well to your soul. There are different dances which have their own flavour and appeal. There is Pantsula, there’s Kwasa and then there’s Kizomba, a dance that has been gaining much popularity on the social scene, in light of its mesmerizing and unavoidable sensuality.

Kizomba is both a dance and a style of music that is more about the one-to-one connection with a dance partner. As in so many sensually driven dances, Kizomba has an iconic move whereby the man’s leg spends much of the dance firmly lodged between the woman’s thighs. Kizomba is not a frantic, throw-me-around-the-dance-floor surge but rather a slow and sensual dance.

The dance is vastly different from the other dances and is one of the most popular genres of dance and music originating from Angola. It has slow, insistent, somewhat harsh, yet sensuous rhythm to it. Armando Joao, a dancing instructor at Forever Dance Academy describes Kizomba as a sensual partnered dancing where people dance cheek to cheek. It is slower in pace, very smooth and a passionate dance with a touch of sensuality.

Kizomba originates from Angola and means to party in one of the native languages Kimbundu. According to Armando the dance started back in the 1970s and became very popular in the 1990s. It is a derivative of Semba which is also another dance from Angola. Even though it is derived from Semba, Kizomba is much slower than the faster dance, Semba.

Armando says the most enjoyable part of Kizomba is the pristine melody of the music and besides that, most people also like the message that message in the music. “Apart from the musical instruments and the beat that it has, it’s the lyrical component that people enjoy the most because a lot of Kizomba songs speak about relationships, love, friendship and things that happen daily,” he narrates.

There are different ways to dance Kizomba:
Besides the different moves where one moves right and left, forward and backwards and where they lift up and down, Armando says there are different Kizomba dancing styles. There is “Passada” which is the classic Kizomba style, there’s “tarraxinha” and there’s “quadradinho” which is more related to tarraxinha. Tarraxinha is a way that one could start dancing Kizomba intermediately without knowing much about Kizomba. Tarraxinha which means little ‘screw in a bolt’ is the sensual, sexy part of Kizomba. It has very little steps and the entire dance is meant to be danced with eyes closed and reacting to body movements, rythm, isolation and two bodies moving as one.

In as much as Kizomba has been spreading all over the world, being practiced in countries such as the USA, Canada, England, France, Germany you name it all, Namibia is one of the countries that didn’t adopt Kizomba. “It is funny that Kizomba originates from Angola yet Namibia its neighbour did not adopt the culture. Kizomba is not a common dance here because of the misconceptions that Namibians have and it’s those misconceptions that impedes them from adopting this dance. Most Namibian people think that Kizomba is a sexual dance that can only be danced by lovers which is completely false. Even when we go to parties, people do not play Kizomba music because firstly people do not know how to dance Kizomba and secondly it’s the misconception that Kizomba can only be danced by lovers which is wrong. People need to understand that Kizomba can be danced by everyone with their uncle, father, grandfather, basically anybody and that’s the charm about it,” says Armando.

It is for this reason that Armando and his two friends, Maceus Julio and Marcio Casimiro decided to start offering Kizomba classes. “We want people to become aware of how Kizomba is danced so that they can adopt the dance. It is not what people think it is, Kizomba is not only for Angolans or Portuguese speaking people but everyone and anyone can dance Kizomba. However due to its sensuality, Kizomba can only be between a man and a woman. Moreover, we want to spread the Kizomba dance culture in Namibia.

Armando says the academy offers free lessons to everybody from the ages of twelve and above. “We prefer not to work with children of the lower ages because it is a lot of work and their concentration is very low. Not that we do not want to work with kids but we would like to work with kids who have an understanding,” he says.
The academy is situated at Fitness for Africa in Mandume ya Ndemufayo Avenue and their classes take place every weekend, Saturdays and Sunday starting from 15h00 and end at 17h00. For further information contact Armando at 0813216385.

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