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

Kizomba Dance History, Styles, Dancers, Socials & Competitions

story by Danceus Staff for

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.


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.


Kizomba Social Dancing

Dancing social Kizomba offers a soulful and intimate experience, and you can find opportunities to enjoy this dance style in various settings around the world. It's a part of most popular latin dances list. Here are some places and venues where you can dance social Kizomba:

  • Dance Studios and Schools: Many dance studios and schools offer Kizomba classes and organize social dancing events where dancers can practice their skills, connect with others, and enjoy the rhythmic melodies of Kizomba music.
  • Kizomba Nights and Parties: Numerous nightclubs, bars, and venues host Kizomba nights or parties dedicated to this sensual dance style. These events often feature DJs or live bands specializing in Kizomba, Semba, and Tarraxinha music, creating an inviting atmosphere for dancers to socialize and dance the night away.
  • Kizomba Festivals and Workshops: Kizomba congresses, festivals and workshops are popular events worldwide, bringing together dancers, instructors, and enthusiasts from various countries. These gatherings typically include workshops, performances, social dancing sessions, and opportunities to immerse yourself in the Kizomba community and culture.
  • Cultural Centers and Community Events: Explore cultural centers, community events, or local venues that celebrate Afro-Latin music and dance as they may organize Kizomba dance nights, social gatherings, or special events featuring Kizomba music and dance.


Known / Famous Competitions (USA / World)

There are 40+ 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
  • Amsterdam Kizomba Festival

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.


Interesting 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.


Kizomba Dance FAQ

What is Kizomba dance?

Kizomba is a sensual partner dance that originated in Angola in the 1980s. It is known for its smooth, flowing movements and close connection between partners. Kizomba music is characterized by a fusion of African rhythms and melodies.

Is Kizomba dance difficult to learn?

While Kizomba may seem challenging at first due to its intricate footwork and partner connection, it can be learned by dancers of all levels with dedication and practice. Many beginners find that starting with the basic steps and gradually building upon them helps in mastering the dance.

Do I need a partner to learn Kizomba?

While having a partner can enhance the learning experience, it is not necessary to have one to learn Kizomba. Many dance studios offer group classes where individuals can rotate partners. Additionally, solo dancers can practice footwork and styling independently.

What attire should I wear to a Kizomba dance class?

Wear clothing that allows for ease of movement and comfort. Women typically wear skirts, dresses, or leggings, while men often wear trousers or jeans. Choose shoes with smooth soles that allow for easy gliding on the dance floor.

Are there different styles of Kizomba dance?

Yes, there are various styles and interpretations of Kizomba dance, including traditional Kizomba, Urban Kiz, and Fusion Kizomba. Each style has its unique characteristics, techniques, and musical interpretation.

How can I improve my Kizomba dancing skills?

Practice regularly, attend classes, workshops, and social dance events, and seek feedback from instructors or more experienced dancers. Focus on developing your connection with your partner, mastering intricate footwork, and expressing musicality through movement.

Is Kizomba dance suitable for all ages and fitness levels?

Yes, Kizomba dance can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Beginners can start with basic steps and gradually progress to more advanced movements as they gain confidence and skill. Many dance classes offer options for dancers of different experience levels, ensuring an inclusive and enjoyable learning environment.

Is Kizomba similar to Bachata?

Kizomba and Bachata are both sensual partner dances, but they have distinct styles, origins, and music. While Bachata originated in the Dominican Republic and features a characteristic four-step beat, Kizomba originated in Angola and is known for its smooth, flowing movements and close partner connection.

Is Kizomba Brazilian?

No, Kizomba is not Brazilian. It originated in Angola, a country in Southern Africa. However, Kizomba has gained popularity worldwide and is now danced and enjoyed by people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Is Kizomba the same as Zumba?

No, Kizomba and Zumba are two distinct activities. Kizomba is a partner dance originating from Angola, characterized by its sensual movements and close connection between partners. On the other hand, Zumba is a fitness program that incorporates dance and aerobic movements to upbeat music, typically performed in a group fitness class setting.


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