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Kizomba Dance History, Styles, Dancers & Competitions Kizomba Dance History, Styles, Dancers & Competitions

Kizomba Dance History, Styles, Dancers & Competitions

story by Danceus Staff for DanceUs.org

In order to get to the essence of Kizomba dance, it is necessary to know its something about its influencing origin.

From the coastal South African nation of Angola, comes Kizomba dance. Angola is bordered by The Republic of Congo to the north, Namibia to the south, Zambia to the east and the mighty Atlantic Ocean on its western coast.

Kizomba is derived from the word, Kimbundo, meaning party. Kimbundu is a minority Bantu tribal language spoken in Angola and influenced by the Portuguese. Angola was settled by Portuguese who set up trading posts there in the 16th century.

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The History of Kizomba Dance

The history of Kizomba Dance goes back to 1894. However, Kizomba Dance saw a resurgence of interest in the 1970s.

Most of the song lyrics for Kizomba is sung in Portuguese. The music and dance is derived from semba, a kind of mixture of Angolan Merengue and the tribal Kilapanda dance.

Basic Movements of Kizomba Dance

It is delightful to watch dancers perform Kizomba. It is easy to see the native Kilapanda dance movements within the Kizomba choreography. The difference is that while Kilapanda dance movements are performed as a line dance with single dancers, Kizomba has a definite Portuguese accent usually comprised of two partners who begin the two step movements in half time to music that strongly resembles the Latin merengue.

However, Kizomba dance can also be performed solo by a male or female dancer. When this is the case, the dance movements focus heavily on sensual hip rolls and hip movements.

Popular Styles of Kizomba Dance

Depending on dancers' preferences, there are several popular styles of Kizomba dance. The styles are heavily reliant on the rhythm of the music as well as music tempo. This allows Kizomba dancers to punctuate their dance movements to slower or faster tempos and create their own signature Kizomba dance style.

Though Kizomba Dance is often likened to Bachata Dance, the music rhythm is different and unlike Bachata, Kizomba includes turns rather than only forward/back dance steps.

There are actually three basic steps to Kizomba dance that derive from the number of dance steps from Kilapanda dance movement.

Famous Kizomba Dancers

Lynn Blue is one of the famous female Kizomba solo dancers. Albir Rojas, Donnovan St, L'Ange Noir and Mr. Tecas are most famous male Kizomba dancers. The first Kizomba dancers are native Angolans.

Current Trends in Kizomba Dance

When you watch Kizomba danced by male and female partners, the current trend is to add accents like double turns, body twists and acrobatic splits to Kizomba choreography.

When Kizomba is danced solo, the current trends are to dance it chorus line style. The movements then accentuate the precision of Kizomba dance steps by each dancer in precise musical tempo in a group.

On a more generic level, a current trend that has earned Kizomba dance major interest is that it is being taught in ballroom dance studios as today's most requested dance style. Part of the reason for this is that the fundamental Kizomba steps are not complex and couples and soloists can learn them quickly and easily.

Once the basic steps are mastered, Kizomba technique is added and personalized by each dance couple or soloist.

Two of the top Kizomba master teachers are dance team of David Campos and Guida Rei. This dance team teaches Kizomba throughout the U.S. Their dance students learn Kizomba movement, technique and how to inject fluidity and grace into their physical performance of Kizomba dance.

Known / Famous Competitions (USA / World)

There are 42 Kizomba dance events throughout the U.S. These include:

  • Kizomba Harmony
  • Kizomba and Semba World Dance Competition
  • The Great Salsa-Bachata-Kizomba European Cup Competition
  • The Shanghai Kizomba Festival
  • Kizomba Dance event (Festival) Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
  • Afro-Latin Invasion Asia

All of these Kizomba competitions focus qualifications on Kizomba dancers who have performed Kizomba publicly in previous competitions, have proven Kizomba dance technique and individual style and a consistent Kizmomba dance skill set.

Conclusion: Kizomba Facts

It is interesting to note that in Asia, there is a dance community with 1275 Kizomba dance members.

Costumes worn by Kizomba dancers are colorful and emphasize dance movements. Female dancers prefer high heels while male dancers prefer sporty shirts and trousers and flat soled shoes.

Kizomba dance has a certain natural flair for movement that begins with simple steps in easy to follow directions on the dance floor. With Kizomba dance couples, the male dancers leads and female dancers follow.

Because the Kizomba dance steps begin with basic choreography, it is the sound of the music that encourages the body movements.

It is easy to imagine an entire Kizomba dance group performing this stylized dance in a full production dance routine, complete with colorful costumes and precision Kizomba dance steps to Kizomba music. Most music used for Kizomba dance is accompanied by lyrics.

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