KWENDA LIMA

This is going to be the longest article I’ve ever written and probably you’ve ever read. This is also the craziest thing I’ve ever done for my blog in 2018. And the most beautiful one.

In the last months I met a lot of new people from different countries, I made new friends, I shared lovely & interesting moments with them. It’s just that time, I guess, when my social life was booming!!! And I took my chances. I absorbed information like a sponge, taking the most of it.

In the middle of this communication blossom I discovered Kwenda Lima. I was told that he is one of the very first kizomba teachers in Europe. I would call him the “God-father”. At once I opened his webpage, and I realized that he is a MUST part of my blog-encyclopedy. He is the missing master-peace for my historical research about the kizomba roots in Europe.

You’d be laughing to hear that, but I believe it’s important to make this information available for the most curious dancers, who want to know how kizomba arrived to Europe. If you ask anyone about the eldest teachers they know, you’d hear names like Albir Rojas, Tony Pirata, Pitchu, etc… But these teachers also had their teachers. And Kwenda Lima is one of them. He is actually the teacher of Albir.

A couple of months before my trip to meet Kwenda Lima I sent him a long email. I explained who I was and why I wanted to see him. I got a reply from his assistant the very same day inviting me to Lisbon to see his dancing school and to have our interview in person. In a few days a booked my flight and in a few weeks I was already on my way to Portugal, thinking hard about what I wanted to ask him, writing down some notes in order not to forget anything important during the interview.

The day before I was asked to assist to Kwenda Lima’s Kaizen Dance workshop, taking place in his Kaizen Dance studio at 6 am in the morning to meet the sunrise! I’ve never had a dancing workshop that early hours, to say the least!!)). That sounded so special!! I was excited and I didn’t even mind to wake up at 5 in the morning. I knew I would love it.

The place was enormous, very spacious. High ceilings, lots of windows opened to the sky, the smell of essence and calm relaxing music. It was still dark when we started. Everyone was lying on the floor in silence… In the beginning it looked like yoga class. Kwenda invited me to join them and I took a place as close to him as possible to be able to watch him…

After 2 hours of a very unusual dance (his own creature) we sat on the floor surrounding him for a talk. He pulled a card from the deck and explained its meaning to us as a Message Of The Day. People were asking questions, he was replying, like a priest in a church after the mesa. I fell asleep right there with the first sun rays, listening to their conversation mixed with an incredibly beautiful music tape…

THE INTERVIEW

I would like to start by the slogan on your web “Dance kizomba with awareness“. I would like you to translate the meaning of this expression into simple words.

Kwenda Lima: “With awareness” means that when you do something aware of it, you respect it. You do it simple. You don’t make it look something inaccessible. When you are aware of doing something, you do it in a very careful way, not to hurt people, but to help them to improve themselves. It doesn’t have to be kizomba, it could be anything. But that’s why I said “kizomba with awareness”. We get into these situations in any dance because it’s a famous dance, it’s an opportunity, which is fair. So you jump into it, but in terms of your personal things, your ego, etc. you don’t think of what this instrument is doing to you or what people bring into this instrument. This is awareness.

You are from Cabe Verde. All those dances like Mora, Funana, Batuque, Coladeira, Tabanca and more.., can you dance all of them?

Kwenda Lima: Yes

Why do you particularly of all these dances teach kizomba?

Kwenda Lima: I teach kizomba because I wanted to reach the world with a different message.

What is the message?

Kwenda Lima: I could teach, for example, Morna, Batuque, but with those dances it’s difficult to open the door into a new culture. Kizomba is much easier. It was much easier to infiltrate, to be in someone else, to open someone else’ s house and to present the product. Those ones are very specific. They are not what every culture would accept. Kizomba is what people somehow need, because it’s closer. It’s like a hug. Of course, you have the sensual part, like people say. But the most important is that you are close to that person. That’s what people need in this present life. They need to understand their own emotions, to be close to other people, to be touched. That’s why kizomba is much easier as a tool to reach public.

But others are also couple dances, right? You also touch each other…

Kwenda Lima:  Some of them are couple ones. Batuque, for example, not. Funana yes, it is! But there’s a moment when there’s not. Coladeira is different: you have contact, but it’s not really a couple dance. Tabanka is not a couple one. Landun is what you dance in a wedding. But the way they dance is different. Funana, for example, is a ¨happy¨ dance, very energetic.

Like salsa?

Kwenda Lima:  It’s faster. It’s really strong and It has nothing to do with salsa. But it’s different the way a couple works. Morna, yes, it’s closer to kizomba in the way of holding, the way of being there, but it’s not something that you could teach, because it’s very boring to teach. All of this you have to take into account: what is going to be fun and knowledge at the same time? You cannot just drop things like that. Morna you can teach for about 10-15 minutes, or when you teach kizomba, you can give some Morna in-between (what I used to do before), but it’s not the dance to reach culture, because it’ very boring for people.

There we answered the question why kizomba conquered so quickly European hearts.

It attracts people because of the closeness, but it doesn’t attract others because of the same closeness. Some people avoid it because for them it’s too close and others love it because of the teasy part, the play between man and woman.

Do people miss closeness in their real life?

Kwenda Lima:  Yes. Somehow people are looking for THAT person, for THAT relationship, to be understood, to be respected. But of course there’s a group of people who are not looking for this kind of things. They just want to enjoy. The music is beautiful even if they don’t understand it. Although you don’t understand the lyrics, but there’s the energy in kizomba and a very strong sexual part, that can unconsciously attract you, and you don’t know why.

Good. Now let’s get to the point: who brought kizomba to Europe. When did you get to know about it?

Kwenda Lima:  Always. I started dancing when I was about 10 yo. Now I’m 40. It’s hard to tell you who brought kizomba to Europe.

If you don’t know, who knows then? 🙂

Kwenda Lima:  I will explain you why. My point of view: any palop, any African immigrant, especially capeverdians, angolans, mozambique, guinea bissau, when moving to Europe, of corse they bring with them their music and dance.

So, the first immigrants to Europe brought kizomba.

Why? And How? – Because when you come to a new country – you bring your culture with you. They were listening their music at home, inviting their colleagues from work and new European friends, who asked immigrants what was this music and how to dance to it. In Lisbon there have been kizomba discotheques for many many years, but they were for a more closed African population. There were some few portugués, but not that much. In Holland there’s a huge community of Capeverdians, in France and in Luxembourg as well. Everywhere, where you had a community of capeverdians, angolans and mozambique, kizomba was there! ¨Pasada¨ at that time. we called it “Pasada”. The word “kizomba” is very new.

My generation was growing calling this dance “pasada”.

Really? You mean Kizomba and Pasada is the same dance?

Kwenda Lima:  Yes. But before people would say “pasada”. Then, there is another side, that you can’t see. It’s the commercial part. If we talk about the commercial part, I can tell you who brought kizomba to Europe.

Who?

Kwenda Lima:  It’s very important to understand this difference. Kizomba has always been there (in Europe), but someone started to teach it, which is different. When we start teaching kizomba, which happened here, in Portugal, then here you would have Ze Barbosa. He started to teach pasada. Then Petchu started to teach too, but at that time he wasn’t into kizomba, he was in African traditional dances. And even before Ze Barbosa there had been other two guys, who used to teach in B-Leza, which is an old dance place.

Oh, I was recommended to go there tonight!

Kwenda Lima:  No, but this is the new one. Before there was another very well known B-Leza, but in a different place. They started teaching there, but they were not known. Then I started teaching with Ze Barbosa and Avelino.

Did you learn from them?

No, no… we learned by dancing, because it’s the part of our culture. We learned when we were kids by watching. And then we started to create our own way of interpreting kizomba. But no one learned from anyone. I mean, those 5 people: me, Avelino Chantre, Ze Barbosa, Petchu and Tomas Keita. And after came Elliu, Santus and Banderas.

I don’t know any of those names!!

Kwenda Lima:  Those people started here, in Portugal. And then Petchu started AfloLatin Connection. They learned from Petchu. Those ones are portugués and they learned from Petchu. And then I went to London to study and I started teaching kizomba there.

So, it was your first teaching experience in London?

Kwenda Lima:  No, it was here, in Lisbon. But then I went outside and I started to teach it in UK. And for the first festival, which is ¨Africa Dancar¨ in Portugal, I brought my students from London. So, 90% of the festival was from London.

Really?

Kwenda Lima:  The teachers in Portugal started to realize that kizomba went outside. And there were some Polish people, too. It was enough from that very moment to spread the dance. It was already in Poland and UK. Poland started to consume a lot of kizomba, inviting teachers there. The same happened in Spain.

You mean Albir?

Kwenda Lima:  Albir was not in the kizomba at that time. Another guy invited us to teach there. Albir was a student then. Afterwards he decided to come to Portugal to have lessons with me. So I taught him. And now we are in this situation when most of the people know him better than the ones who actually created it, which is nice. Although it started in Spain not with him, but with another guy, who later left Spain. He moved to USA.

You mentioned Poland, UK and Spain. But how did it happen that the capital of Urban kiz is France?

Kwenda Lima:  Festivals went to Paris. The French took the idea of the festival and they started to organize their festivals in Paris, like the Swimming Festival.

The Jazzy’s one?

Kwenda Lima:  No, Jazzy was one of the elements, but it was Stell. Jazzy was a friend of her helping there. So, Swimming was very famous. A lot of French people started to come to learn kizomba. But there was a difference: some people could not accept kizomba because of its closeness, sensuality, etc.. That pushed them to create their own style of being more apart and making new moves (some moves that I don’t know where they come from), because some of them could not make the kizomba steps. So they made a fusion. That became the French Style. With this French Style it jumps to Urban Kiz. Because they were teaching kizomba, but it was not kizomba.

Urban Kiz is not Kizomba. It’s totally different from kizomba. It’s another dance!

You think so?

Kwenda Lima:  Of course!! It has nothing to do with the kizomba. Because if you compare these two things they don’t come with the same basics. You cannot compare salsa and merengue and say “it’s the same dance”. They don’t have the same basics, so you can’t say it’s the same dance.

What is the main difference?

Kwenda Lima:  The main difference is the basics. They can dance under the same music, but even the music is changing… Urban Kiz is like a plant, which to survive needs to be feed from another plant. But afterwards it separates from that plant. This is Urban Kiz.

Why is Urban Kiz so negatively perceived by the Traditional dancers? Why are they so against this change (or better say evolution)? I believe that they both have the right for existence.

Kwenda Lima:  Of course they do! But they have a fear to loose something. The traditional dancers fear to loose the chance to travel, to earn money, to make their business, etc… This is what makes the fight!

The commercial part, you mean?

Kwenda Lima:  Sure! It’s not about the cultural part. Because if you understand the cultural part, you will accept it. You cannot force a person, or I cannot force you to feel kizomba the way I feel it. I can not force you to have the history that you did not have. I went through some things, you went through other different things. Kizomba came to Europe, but the way we embrace kizomba is different. The situations are different, the population is different, the way you interpret life is different, so of course people would need to adapt it to their way. And there the Urban Kiz was born. We said “Ok, I like it, I like all around it, but I don’t quite feel it. I need to put some things from my culture into it.” It’s normal, so it has changed.

Do you dance Urban Kiz?

Kwenda Lima:  I don’t dance Urban Kiz, because it doesn’t make sense for me. I don’t even learn those steps, because I don’t need it. If they play music, I can, I follow the rhythm. For me it’s not something that my body needs, because, if you noticed, the Urban Kiz (of course there are people like everywhere that dance beautifully), but it’s a kind of separation dance at the same time. Women have their moments and men have their moments to do some moves on their own, and most of the times they don’t connect… because their bodies are like robots, somehow. My body doesn’t need this way of dancing, but I still respect it. Because my body needs to exist. I exist. I don’t need to prove it. But in the Urban Kiz way there is an energy to prove.

To prove what?

Kwenda Lima:  Your existence. Energetically yes. If you notice, for example, (it’s a very delicate subject to talk), like in any dance, you can have couples that dance very connected, they follow the rhythm, the rhythm is beautiful and they are identified with this rhythm, which is tin-tin-tin-bum-bum… This music doesn’t make sense for me.

I prefer to eat food, that my body really needs, deserves and feels.

With the music it’s the same. If I dance to this “tin-tin-bum-pff-dun-dun-dunn”, my body gets this information, and it changes something in me. It completely changes my feelings. It’s totally different, if you put, for example, a melody… well written. Because that music they (Urban Kiz Djs) use, it’s not really music. A Dj makes this music, but there is no… juice. Nobody from the Urban Kiz scene can tell me that they play this song in the morning and they can relax. You cannot relax to this music. But some kizomba you can play in the morning and listen to it and enjoy it. But you can’t do it with Urban Kiz.

Why? Instead you can do it during the night. Because you body during the night is weaker. It would accept anything… It’s a game that I don’t agree to play:) It doesn’t make sense for me. It doesn’t make me evolve. The Urban Kiz music makes me go down.

If the Urban people would sit down, understand that the dance is different, they made the basics very structured to become Urban Kiz Dance, they could talk to the musicians to write the structure of the music to make it a bit softer and more beautiful, wow, that would be amazing!! But this kind of music, that being played now, that the Djs are playing and the people are following, for me this is not an evolution. And in the Traditional Kizomba as well.

I’m not taking anyone’s side.

There is music in kizomba that I don’t like. Maybe you don’t understand the lyrics, but sometimes it’s so aggressive. The energy is so aggressive to women. And I don’t dance this. But it’s not about the Urban or Traditional, it’s about the dance itself. It’s about the respect of people, about what you are doing to your body. What you are eating! People eat in Macdonald’s evert day. it’s OK. If you don’t have food, you eat there. But every day?? It makes something to your body. In the end you will have something. Maybe in 10 years you will have something.. Once in some time it’s OK, nothing bad with that, but every day? With the music it’s the same.

Well, some people don’t have much choice.

Kwenda Lima:  Even down there, if the Djs are conscious, if the are not afraid to educate people, because they don’t know! They think the music is correct. They don’t know! Of course people will eat what Djs give them.

What I’m trying to do is to make people think…. Don’t accept whatever!

You do it to your body! Just think about that! Is that the music that you would listen alone, when you are very stable emotionally in your life?

To me it’s a meditation. It was very difficult for me to learn dancing, because I had to learn to trust someone. I’m used to take initiative, so the most difficult part for me in the kizomba was just doing nothing, being relaxed and letting a partner guide me. It took me a long time to manage to live the moment. So, it’s the kizomba, even though Urban, that helps me to relax!!

Kwenda Lima:  You said something very important now, which is “allow someone to lead you, to guide you”. Not because this person is going to force you with his lead.

Because sometimes, we, the men, think “it’s me who leads…” No, it’s the woman who allows you to lead her!

But in Urban Kiz you are not creating this link. There is a moment when a woman is independent. Even the way men lead you is not natural and organic for your body.

Why?? Now you dance Kaizen. There are a lot of very strange movements in there.

Kwenda Lima:  Yea, but those movements, for example, (he stood up and demonstrated me a couple of them), are organic movements. What is not organic is when you walk like this! (And he moved in a very ¨dutch¨ robot way, like Micheal Jackson). This is not organic! You don’t move on the streets like this. If you move like a machine, you take your body and tell it: “Now we are going to move like this!!”. This is what I’m talking about. If you bring it to your body as a memory, you put yourself in prison, you are not free. I don’t like this.

Jajaja, actually that’s what I’m doing all the time. Even at work at my desk I repeat these movements on a molecular level, because my body is so used to them now.

Kwenda Lima:  This is OK, but listen, the most difficult thing is to tell someone is what he’s doing is not organic. It’s very hard for us to accept that what we have learned is not organic. Of course, it depends on the teacher. I know teachers in France that teach Urban and I know that they teach very well!

Who are they?

Kwenda Lima:  For example, Carola from Madrid. And also Curtis from Paris. They are someone who know what they are doing and why they are doing that. Curtis knows.

So, he dances with awareness?

Kwenda Lima:  I don’t say that. In kizomba not every teacher dances with awareness. What I mean by awareness is “not dancing for yourself and not dancing to teach steps, but to transmit something that could contribute to the evolution of this society”. This is awareness. And not every teacher is dancing with this purpose. They teach for traveling on festivals, to create more steps, to fight Urban Kiz and Traditional Kizomba and to have girls, to have men, to be on top (to become famous), etc… This is not awareness. What I’m saying about awareness is that someone can use that tool to improve people and to take them somewhere in their lives.

Curtis is very aware of his steps, why he is doing these steps, he is aware of his technic, but about the world, the people, the society, etc.. not every teacher is aware.

All of these is for you to understand that I see things in Traditional Kizomba on which I don’t agree neither, and I see thing in Urban Kiz too, but I am not against them. I think all of them are needed. If people like Urban Kiz it’s because they need that energy. If they like Salsa it’s because they need that energy. What I’m trying to tell people is that those energies are different. The food that you eat is different. It will have an effect on your body. Either you become more sensual, or more rooted, or more boring, or independent… There is an effect.

How do you build up your workshop? Unfortunately I coudn’t see it.  Where do you put your accents? What is the most important thing you try to transmit to people?

Kwenda Lima:  It depends on a group. You can have, for example, classical music in my class, you can have mantra, you can have hip-hop or break dance in my class.

To dance kizomba?

Kwenda Lima:  Yes, to show people that they can dance kizomba to any type of music. It’s only in your mind. And for me this is the important message to make people not to accept things like this. That’s what makes you enjoy. Because if I accept kizomba like that it will make me fight. It will make me say “this is wrong. this is right¨. That’s the truth. It will make me separate from others.

I want people to accept the possibility that they can play with kizomba!

Wait! You don’t do it with salsa! You can’t play hip-hop and dance salsa to it! Ho can you do it with kizomba?

Kwenda Lima:  Are you sure you cannot do it?

Jajaja I don’t know!!!

Kwenda Lima:  Try to dance salsa to hip-hop. It works!

Really?

Kwenda Lima:  Of course! If you want I can put hip-hop and I dance salsa with you! It all depends on the way you embrace the music and the dance.  You meet them together.

(Unfortunately, I cannot publish the complete interview right now, as I´ve lost my voice recorder and cannot find it anywhere for days!! But I hope  it is interesting enough to be my New Year´s present for 2019!!  I WISH YOU ALL TO LIVE WITH AWARENESS! TO CHOOSE RIGHT TEACHERS, BECAUSE THEY ARE SOMETIME NOT ONLY DANCE TEACHERS, BUT LIFE TEACHERS TOO! BE AWAY OF WHAT YOU EAT, WHAT YOU DANCE , WHAT MUSIC YOU LISTEN, WHAT PEOPLE YOU SPEND YOUR TIME ON!!!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A hug. Now I know why I dance

“It’s been a long time…”. Yes. That’s what people told me tonight when they saw me entering the door.

Break

After all my motivating enthusiastic articles about how much I am in to kizomba, not needing any break, here I am! With the biggest break of my life. And not only the dance break. It was also somehow a life break. Not intentionally, not planned, not wanted, but I stopped dancing in summer, let’s just say for some real life circumstances.

Since the day I deleted all my dancing contacts and sent my FB account to the rubbish bin (sorry guys, I also had an article on that, how I was managing my social media. You won’t believe a word of what I’m saying in the end), I could feel it was the end. Of my kizomba story. I could feel even on a physical level like someone was cutting of my hand or my leg, with blood all around, and horrible pain, squeezing my teeth, trying not to stop breathing at all.

I thought I would never overcome that pain. It felt like my whole life was over.

Frankly speaking, the first few weeks tasted bitter, to say the least. But I had to move on…

And I did. Although kizomba stayed there deep in my heart. I was thinking about it, remembering everything I’d lived for the last 4 years. It looked crazy and unbelievable. Unforgettable memories of travelling the world, uncountable number of new people, and much more . You all know what I mean.

Change

But each time it was less and less… less kizomba in the car, in the shower, less contact with dancing friends, less or (I would rather say) zero festival plans. It was vanishing from my life. Each time I was getting better in terms of bearing my pain, getting used to my new life (the “normal” one I guess, like 99% of people on this planet). I was filling the empty gaps with other activities, thoughts and topics.

I overcome it.

I won.

I got rid of my drug.

I could do without it.

I never had believed I would be able to.

Nostalgia

Today I was feeling so down and tired, empty and totally out of energy, that I was about to shot myself if I wouldn’t come with a plan. And, accidentally I realized today it was Tuesday! That very day, when it all started 4 years ago. Moreover, today there was a small local party in that very place where it all started for me 4 years ago.

Suddenly I recharged myself like an iPhone, after a cup of espresso, updating my makeup and looking for my dancing shoes all around the house. I was going to dance!

It felt so strange to drive the way I did so many times in the past. I never drove the same itinerary ever again since then. Can’t even remember when I last went there. Ages. This bar is located in the part of the city where I never go for other things. Thus dancing is my only association with this area.

The place

I parked quickly, remembering my old tricks of getting good free spots. I walked in already in a nostalgic mood… Full house!! OMG! What are all those people doing so late on Tuesday evening!? Don’t they work tomorrow? (Applied to myself too)

I knew half of the crowd. To my surprise I was even lucky with the Dj. Booom… Stefanio Lima! What is he doing here on Tuesday night? Well, he is a… like all of them. I’m angry with him for our never-approved interview, but I still love him (appreciate him) for his music. TOP!

It took me a while to get used to the environment, standing a bit lost, feeling half “retired”/half “beginner”. I remembered my first steps in that very floor… and I got sentimentally sad, but happy at the same time.It was still there – this place – where I can always come. Come on the days like this: feeling down, frustrated, upset, bored, tired or stressed.

Hug

When I started dancing I clearly realized- I just needed a hug.

I wanted to be hugged so much, that it didn’t matter weather it was a man or a woman, young or old, black or white. I just wanted to feel that warmth, somebody’s arms around my waist and breath in my ear. You can feel how your body is recharging with this energy through the hug.

Now I know why I dance. I run away from my inner loneliness to hugs. They definitely won’t solve my problems, they won’t save me, but they help like honey at winter time.

Merry Christmas guys!

Here you can find different types of hugs: https://www.littlethings.com/hug-relationship-test

Big big HUG

Kizomba in Portugal. My 1st dancing experience

Kizomba in Portugal (my personal perception of a 1 time experience)

This was my first dancing trip to Lisbon to discover how kizomba in Portugal is. I have been to this beautiful country before, but I didn’t dance kizomba at that time, and, you know, you see it with different eyes then and put your accents on a different place.

I´ve been always told that I wouldn´t dance well here, because it´s almost all traditional, and, you know, I´m an Urban dancer. I imagined it wouldn´t be that great, but still wouldn’t miss a chance to dance if I ever come here. So, on Friday morning, few hours before taking my flight, I put all my duties aside and jumped into the Facebook jungle to search for any kizomba party taking place in is on this weekend. Obviously I found some. Later, on Saturday morning, at the Kaizen dance workshop with Kwenda Lima, I re-confirmed information and took some advise on which was the best place to go.

1st NIGHT

And the winner was the View Rooftop bar party! Sounded at least beautiful! And it was!! Although absolutely not what I had thought. It was happening in the evening time, finishing at 11 pm, which is the earliest kizomba party I´ve ever attended. To compare with, in Luxembourg evening parties finish at 1 am. But here in Portugal, it gets darker earlier. At 9 it’s already dark at summer time.

I was quite relaxed by the party time. After having cried out all my dirty stuff teas at Kwenda´s studio, having bathed in the Atlantic frozen ocean, and having drunk a couple of sangrias at +42 C (lucky with the weather, what can I say! Lol)), I was already in my ZEN mode…

THE MUSIC

I loved it. This is the kizomba I really like- Ghetto zouk. Songs that have some meaning, some story, some feeling… Of course, there was traditional as well, but not only. And the mix was nice. I was actually signing all the time, because I knew and loved all of them. Pretty old playlist, but let´s say “popular hits”. My portugués partners were signing with me jajaj. They thought I spoke portugués too lol.

THE DANCE

So much criticizing “Europe” (by Europe I mean mainly France and Benelux) for the sexualization of kizomba.. Hmmm.. I believed it was very decent in Portugal.

The first dancer I take is a well-built and well-smelling black man. He pulls me in with a terrible force and I can feel his “thing” horizontally lying on my belly!!! I´m not shocked, but still… I remark. We move in a very sensual way (just the way I like) – two waving bodies in unison, making soft curves. In 5 minutes I´m asked in portugués “Where is your hotel?” (I don´t speak it, but I understand!). I say “No”. Next question “Where is your apartment?”. I say “No” again, and he´s curious where I stay then!?? I say “NO SEX!!!!” This I guess in all languages sound the same))) The guy is sincerely surprised by my answer. And me, I am finally convinced that the sexualization doesn’t depend on the country, on the type of music or anything else. It’s all across the world atlas, music genres, ages, etc…

 

2nd NIGHT

“B-Leza” – one of the top places for dancing kizomba in Portugal. I was recommended it. And besides there was a party on Saturday evening everyone was going to. The guys from the View Roof party too. Besides it was 10 minutes walk from my hotel. All matches. I was looking forward to discover it, to get more experiences, emotions and as much information as possible for my blog.

First impression

When I entered I got really confused.The atmosphere was different from the parties I’m used to. I don’t even know how to describe it with words. But it was not the matter of not knowing anyone. Sometimes I went to parties in Spain, for example, where I knew nobody neither. But here it was a different feeling. Uncomfortable. All men were watching me… I felt myself like a peace of meat. I started to look around and realized that there were almost no white ladies. Very few, and they all were under 45-50 years old. That made me feel weird. Moreover, they were not classy. Neither men nor women.

The place

The place and the atmosphere reminded me the 80-x, something like my first social dance parties in a small park of the village where my grand-mother lived, and I wouldn’t lie if I say that I even got a bit scared.

There was was no air-conditioner… +43 С.

I tried to dance as much as possible, but the music was rather strange. I don’t even know what kind of genre some of the sets were… I’ve never heard anything similar in my life, and I didn’t know how to dance to it. Nevertheless, at times of the traditional and a bit of Ghetto zouk I couldn’t dance well. I didn’t like any. And it’s not because I’m a bad traditional dancer, no. It’s because the partners were rather bad.

I can recognize that I almost have no skills in Traditional, but I know when guys dance it well. That was not the case. I think most of them never had one workshop in their life. I was disappointed… in the overall situation.

Until I saw one guy dancing. He was that urban french style. I was watching him dance and thinking “What are you doing here?”. Definitely, he didn’t learn to dance kizomba in Portugal. He was from Paris, as I discovered 15 minutes later dancing with him.

He saved my night.

 

CONCLUSION

Maybe it’s because i’m not used to dance kizomba in Portugal, maybe it depends on each party, or a day, or a Deejay. I don’t know, but the general impression is that it’s a bit “old-fashioned”, and a kind of… boring. I still prefer dancing in France and Benelux.

Socializing in Kizomba and Media life. Part 1

Part 1. Social Media Life

socializing in kizomba1

This subject is interesting to study, but frankly speaking I have no time for that. I will share only my own experience and my thoughts. Socializing in kizomba is a hot topic and a hot activity. One of 3 main ones (will you guess the other two, by the way? :))

Restricted

Since I got into the dance scene I started adding a lot of new “dancing friends” into my Facebook list.  My other “normal” friends were a bit shocked by how colorful my FB page was becoming… Literally colorful, I should say! And asking me questions trying to understand my new exotic hobby. Because it IS exotic. Now I have half of Africa and Caribbeans in my Social Media. Even more black then white.

Sometimes people ask me “Why “BLackkizomba.com”? And I reply “But look at the dance floor! That’s why!”

Therefore, to avoid unnecessary explanations to my relatives I realized I had to set some restrictions in my account. I created a closed group “Kizomba” and now all my dancing contacts, activities, likes, tags, photos, etc.. remain private. No more questions from my mom: “Are you in Paris with 5 black man???” (lol). Although we live an the 21st century, we travel abroad, we are open-minded, but still…

My FB and Instagram accounts

Also, I hided my general friends’ list that no one could see it and no one could know how many friends in total I have. That was the best thing I’ve ever done in Social Media. It’s not possible to do the same thing in Instagram. That’s why I simply have two accounts – my personal one and professional – “Kizomba Blog”. The second one is opened. Anyone can follow me. And my dancing life. The personal one is only for my real friends, or at least for people I know well, or people whom I give a chance to get to know me better. But I never, NEVER, accept anyone I do not know personally neither in my Facebook nor in my Instagram accounts.

Yes, I want to spread a word about my blog, I want to make it the most popular Kizomba Blog in the world! (my blog is just an example, for you it could be your teaching or your DJ label). But I still separate my socializing in kizomba with my private photos, news and events. I can seem very open, talkative and easy-going, but not to the point of absolutely loosing control. Although I can tell you almost all my life in the first 5 minutes we get to know each other, and my honesty and openness may result shocking and scaring… But I’m still being pretty careful online.

Unfollowed

There is something else I did. I unfollowed in Facebook almost everyone. I am so tired of endless advertisements and demos, and being tagged on every publication hundred of times, especially of the same event! I’m sure it happens to you too. It’s annoying. And it’s boring to see the same Lady Styling videos that don’t differ one from another at all. The music and decorations change, but it’s always the same bunda moving in the same directions. Even if it’s the most beautiful and sexy bunda in the world, it’s still all about the same.. And when you watch it for 3 years every few days, believe me, you get tired of it.

I apologize in advance for my opinion, considering it’s a kind of Art anyway, and maybe a hard work and an effort. It’s always appreciated when people are brave enough to express themselves through writing, dancing, painting or whatever form of art they prefer.

I also understand that Facebook is a very important strategical promotional tool, which cannot be ignored if you are trying to gain audience. I use it as well for promoting my blog.

Advice:

And still, I would advise you, guys, to try to be a bit more creative!  I would post less videos, but making them as much particular as possible. Otherwise my eyes hurt. I don’t see the point of sharing every  single dance from every festival just to gain some more scores. I think you might have an opposite effect and repel people from yourself instead of attracting attention. They will unfollow you too if you convert their FB-wall into a rubbish bit. So, please, think twice, better three times, before you post one more video and tag 100 people on it.

PS: I do it with my posts)))  and, let’s be honest, it’s like a non-verbal game. If I support someone’s event, they would support (like, share, re-post) mine. Business, in one word. So, I don’t actually know if they really sincerely like my writing or put their “likes” just to tag me on their next publication and get my “like” and comments in return. 

Blocked

At the moment the overall situation is 80/20, meaning about 80% belong to my Kizomba friends and the rest 20% are my “normal” ones, which clearly demonstrates and proves how important this dance became in my life.

Nevertheless, some people enter, but some also leave… my accounts. They leave themselves or I kick them out. As in real socializing in kizomba we get attached, get emotional and vulnerable, as soon as it goes wrong (arguments, etc…), the first thing to do is to block this person in Facebook and unfollow him in Instagram. This is funny, because we still see each other on the dance floor. So, you will ask me “Why to block then?” In fact we cannot totally disappear from each other’s lives. Unless we stop dancing at all.

Well, the reasons can be that stupid like “he won’t know to which festival I’m going to” or “he won’t be able to text me (reach me) any more whenever he wants”. Actually, he won’t know many things. Because in Facebook it’s very easy to understand our preferences. It’s an incredibly (although not-trusted) database, from where you can jump into all kinds of conclusions. If you have good observation skills, you can chase some tendencies.

For example

I had a friend, who “liked” every photo of a new girl he was interested in. It lasted just the period he was having an affair with her. As soon as he got over-saturated by her, he stopped “liking” anything on her page. So, we could always know who is occupying his thoughts and his bed at the moment. That simple.

The same happens with girls who support by sharing and “liking” every festival of the organizer she sleeps with (or her official Boyfriend), or every new track of a DJ she sleeps with. And all this strong promotion campaign finishes when they break up. Thus you can already suspect they are not together any more just being a bit more attentive on Facebook. Or vice versa.

In my personal case I had both experiences: I blocked, and I was blocked. I did it when I was very angry with someone, but I always regretted it afterwards. And once even added back jaja, when my anger was over. It’s not in my nature to be that tough. Those who blocked me it’s because I pissed them off. And I know why. I understand them, but I believe and really hope I’m still in their hearts.

A favor

Dear followers, I would like to ask you a favor: sometimes you read my articles and get curious about me, finding my social media accounts and sending me your friend’s requests. Please don’t! I am really sorry, but until we meet in person I cannot accept your requests.

Dear “friends”, please don’t be surprised when I directly delete you from my Facebook. It’s definitely because in the last 10 times that we met you didn’t even say “hello” to me. So, I find it logical. My Facebook platform is for those with who I communicate at least somehow in my real life.

Dear real Friends, please don’t get mad at me if I delete or block you. It’s the love-hate thing, most probably because I’m too indifferent towards you.

 

Socializing in kizomba. Networking. Part 2

To be continued…

 

 

Sex in kizomba. Don’t we have enough?

Sex in kizomba or… harassment

In the light of the last days discussions about the harassment in kizomba I’ve been wondering why someone would rape a girl when it’s so easy to get one? The information on Facebook is in French, and many people want to know what exactly happened this weekend at Dancar Kizomba Festival, but those who don’t speak French cannot be translating every post and comment. This is not to re-tell you the last case! This is to generalize and make my own conclusions. In short.  I’m sure some of you have been in that situation of abuse. We just don’t talk about it. It’s so easy to get sex in kizomba like nowhere else, and yet, cases like in Mons still happen.

There have been so many opinions on this topic that, frankly speaking, it made me sick. But I’m glad that the discussions are opened. I’ve heard more stories before, with names and in every detail. The stories that didn’t show up publicly in Social Media.

I don’t take anyone’s side here!

Although I am a woman, and once upon a time I was raped too. So, I know very well what is the feeling… The emotional obviously much worse than the physical one. But nevertheless each case is different.  Probably in the next days more cases will pop up, will be brought to the surface and this is really good! This will make us think it over – both men and women.

Men:

Maybe from now on will be more careful and will control their actions because of the fear to loose reputation. As you see, girls can be brave and go public, and even to the Police. So, next time some famous artist decides to have sex in kizomba without taking into consideration girl’s wishes, he will think it twice before forcing her. Because women are not peace of meat. You cannot just take her whenever and however.

Maybe next time, on the view of the mentioned above scandals, it will be more expensive for him to get into shit just because he’s lazy to find the right approach to a girl, so she would open up herself.

Ladies:

Maybe next time you are invited to a hotel room of an unknown person you will think twice before saying “yes”, because now you know what can happen. Maybe you will be more discrete in the way you talk and the way you dress up (that also helps). I’m not saying I’m a nun here. I like sexy short dresses and red lips too. But sometimes I observe some girls and I get shocked how they present themselves. Almost naked. And their behaviors sometimes are embarrassing… But they don’t see it. They don’t see an non-verbal sign on their fronts “Take me!”.

Ladies, please look at yourself in the mirror before you leave your place, and before you get drunk. Ask yourself:  “Is it too provocative? Is it this the body message I want to send out? Does it match with the way I feel and the way I think? And with what I’m looking for?” m

Me, myself and I still have a room for improvement, but at least I’m conscious about that.

I have a post about pre-parties and after-parties in kizomba. Read it again, learn what the after-party is usually about. If you are not ready for more, just be careful to avoid uncomfortable or even dangerous situations.

PS: And, yes, men, no matter the way a woman dresses up, or behaves, or no matter how much she is drunk, or timid, or how much she likes you, if she is not ready to have sex with you, this is NO. Find the way her to say “yes”, a decent way. The tricks like “I know you want it too” are so cheap and asshole-minded! Don’t you have enough girls who are so hung on your neck and offer themselves? And even those you want to fuck and they will never refuse you? This becomes absolute lawlessness and degradation.

Watch out!

Let’s have sex in kizomba, not harassment!

It’s healthier, it’s fun. And it doesn’t spoil the reputation of the dance itself.

We are here to enjoy ourselves. Mutually.

 

Kizomba Local Parties or Dancing Where You Live

I won’t be the only one to say that dancing kizomba in the country I live in is not so much fun. At least in Europe. There’s a tendency not to dance with people from your own country. Our local guys hardly ever invite us for a regular dance, let alone Kizomba. Yes, of course they do dance, but mostly with girls who don’t travel that much around the world for international festivals and Kizomba parties. Let’s say, with “not spoiled”-by-high-level-dancers girls. Here they can manifest themselves in full glory, like lions – the kings of beasts.

I actually don’t find a good explanation to that, but according to my observation and the general statistics you never dance as well and as good in your own country (city) as somewhere else. In my case, comparing with other places in Europe, we have a good level. I should be lucky! LOL. But, to tell the truth, I dance well here only when we have guests from outside (I mean, when we invite some taxi dancers from abroad). Otherwise it just makes no sense to go out. I would be able to stay all night with shisha to somehow entertain myself to not fall asleep.

I’ve heard the same story many times from my friends from Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris. Yes, Paris is the same. Although it’s so big, powerful and diverse, men in Paris don’t like dancing with Parisian girls. They prefer foreigners. So, if you ever think moving to Paris hoping that you will endlessly dance there, please don’t!!! You won’t. You will become “local” and they will get bored and lose their interest inviting you all the time. Less people you know – more dancers and enjoyment you have! Go as far as possible, and not often. Control the frequency. This is the secret of ensuring yourself a non-stop Kizomba party.

In my country not-dancing is not the only issue. They also don’t greet you! I mean what I say: they don’t say “Hello”. Only if they bump into you, step into your feet, then they have no choice. Otherwise most of the times they ignore you. Even if one day you were learning to dance together, in the same class, standing in the same line, making our first basic steps.

In the end, you don’t care.

The last local Kizomba party, I went to, was a lost of time for me. Among other things, like no air-conditioning at +30 C, because of the attitude. The attitude of its organizers: cold, indifferent, selfish and arrogant. I think an organizer must treat people who come to his party the same way he invites guests to his house. Everybody! Not only those he has personal preferences to. And obviously he must be there, dancing and making sure everyone is dancing & having good time, instead of sitting in the VIP zone or dressing room, drinking champagne with his bros. Be there! Out!! Invite people who made their way and spent their money to dance Kizomba. Treat them equally with respect and gratitude.

I would have never written this post if it was a one-time case (it happens, a bad night). But it’s been like that for a long time. And I am fully supported by my girlfriends, who feel the same way I do and who absolutely agree with me.

If you are my follower, you know that I try to be always positive and write only about nice things. But sometimes I think it’s also important to share with you my frustration, to be completely honest. This will not change the situation in my country or anywhere else, and especially will not improve the local Kizomba dancers’ attitude towards me jajaja.  But it’s all about expressing myself and telling you things, that many of you know but don’t say it out loud. That’s what makes difference in my blog: purely honest independent content.

Kizomba Dance and Woman´s Lead

For sure you saw many times on the dance floor girls leading men.. and this also applies to the Kizomba Dance. If you are a girl, you have probably danced at least once with another girl.

There are many more women in kizomba, it’s true. But is the ratio the only reason why we dance for men? 

I interviewed plenty of girls from different countries (some of them are professional dancers, artists and teachers), asking them what is the feeling dancing with a girl and what’s the difference with the man’s lead, if they would like to learn man’s steps and Why ?

What you are going to read maybe very interesting and even result surprising to discover what in fact motivates women to lead themselves or to follow woman’s lead.

 

Mila P: Not usual, strange. With a man you feel yourself more self-confident, you assume he knows the steps and you feel more relaxed. With a girl I’m all the time scared to step on her foot. It’s not the same.

Yes, I’d love to dance for a man to see how difficult it is, to compare. Maybe it would help me to improve my girls’ dancing.

 

Vanessa N.: To me personally there’s no difference when I dance for a man. If you have a good connection it’s a connection . It’s not exactly the same connection. You are more concentrated, you can’t let it go, but the feeling is the same as good. It’s simply fun.

When you lead as a man you have another approach. Even if you dance afterwards with a man you have less problems to follow.

I learned men steps because I wanted to experience a new thing in the kizomba dance, to go to another level. And because of the lack of guys in the kizomba world as well. And I did it when I started taxi dancing…

 

Sabrina: I only danced maybe 4 times with a woman. Mostly I feel they are too soft and weak and therefore I don’t like the feeling so much. Maybe also because their energy is still very female. Only one woman was really tall and strong, and it was actually better for that particular kizomba dance.

I could imagine learning it to generally improve my dancing skills and to be more independent, but so far I don’t enjoy the feeling of leading so much.

 

Trecy G: Well, doing like a man, when I dance I enjoy doing my own steps, to be free, to play with the music (musicality). Dancing with a girl on woman side is very fun because some ladies lead even better than men and sometimes have better musicality! There’s no difference for me to dance with a man or a woman.

I decided to learn men steps because I was curious to know how to lead and also because I started to teach. And for me it is important to know what my partner does so I could answer to the questions of our students. And also, it’s important while teaching when my partner is not there.

 

Mona C: The feeling when I dance kizomba with a girl is…. concentrated, relaxing and having fun 😄. The difference with a man is that I have to think twice what my next step will be. When I dance with a man and I have the connection.. it feels like I’m somewhere that nobody is watching.

Yes, I would like to learn man’s lead because sometimes I like to lead and play with the music my way… so the girl has to follow me 😅

 

Erna T:  For me it’s still a little bit strange feeling to dance with a girl because, of course, I dance more with men. It feels also good with a girl, but the connection with a man is better, I think.

Woman’s lead is softer for me. I also think that girls have better musicality than men. Another difference between both is that I know that the girls want just to dance, so it is only about dancing and sharing the same passion. With a man ( of course not all of them) you don’t know if they just want to dance or to prepare you for a private after-party dance 😂
Surely, the connection between men and women is completely different. I would say that I feel more secure with a man.

Yes I would like to learn the man’s steps to see how it is for them to lead and also to let the girls feel my musicality during the dance. But I think it is not easy to learn it 😂

 

Chiara G: The feeling with a girl is the same but, I can control movements and I can explain to my beginner students how to control and how to move the hip and back like a professional dancer, because they have to know what the girl has to feel when they’re doing the movement. Of course, I prefer to dance with a man, but if a man dances like a robot or like a stone, I prefer to dance with a girl because i can control what she is doing and take a good dance with.

Kizomba dance is not sexual and not a perverse joke, this is a normal dance like salsa or other dances, so you can of course dance with a man and with a woman. I don’t think I’ll stop dancing for a man if the situation requires. I mean if there are more women than men and a lot of girls are waiting for a dance. But this is another problem…  The big difference between the number of women and men is affecting the woman dancer’s role, so lately we have more and more women partners on the kizomba scene.

 

Hannah F: Dancing with a girl always depends on the girl you’re dancing with but basically the difference is that you have the freedom to interpret the music your own way, with your musicality. As a follower ( only followed with girls on a few occasions) the leading is usually softer, and we’re more about enjoying the moment and trying new stuff. No back breaking, which is heaven.

I would like to be a better leader because I love having the freedom to interpret music as I hear it!

 

Vanessa T.: I can’t describe this feeling exactly, because it depends with whom you are dancing. If you feel comfortable you have the same thing as with a man. If you have a good connection, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.  For me it’s a comfortable feeling, because I like to dance with women. For it’s fine both to lead or to follow. But when I lead I have to think a bit more about what could I do, which will be my next step. It’s more difficult than just following. But, for example, at KZL I really enjoyed a dance with one girl. We danced for about 30-40 minutes and it was like flying… I closed my eyes and was really enjoying the dance! It didn’t matter what kind of music there was, didn’t matter at this point.

The difference is, when you lead, you must think about it. My most important issue is the musicality. I like to hear and get inspired by the music rather than just steps and tricks to show how good I am. That’s why sometimes I prefer to dance as a man so I could lead instead of following. That’s the most important difference dancing with a man or a woman.

Actually I din’t decide to learn man’s steps, I was more pushed into it, because the ratio between men and women is mostly bad and a lot of women stand on the side. So, at one point I just tried with a friend of mine to adapt what I normally do as a woman-follower, during a kizomba dance. That’s how it started. And I improved more and more… At the beginning it was really  difficult, as I tried to do every step in time.

As you know by yourself, I really enjoy sometimes dancing more with a woman than with a map, but when I go to a party and I’m only a leader, it’s not really joyful for me, it’s kind of not satisfying me at all. It’s fine for a while but not for the whole while.  I’d like also to follow.

 

Jogaile B: The feeling dancing with a girl is a bit unusual – already due to the fact that women have different body structure, softer skin, sweeter perfumes.. As strange it sounds they are often leading much harder than men do. Also the sensual part is missing. So, for me doing the kizomba dance with a woman is technical and more fun than the sensual ‘connecting souls’ experience.

I used to learn to lead, because i was teaching, so i had to know how to breakdown the steps and moves also for the men part. However i never wanted to take over the leader function on parties because i enjoy that I don’t have to think which step to do next and can just relax and follow.

 

Tania V:   I don’t see a big difference between dancing with a girl or with a guy, especially during a kizomba dance, I have danced with many girls with better rhythm, better musicality, better style and more strong and clear leading then any guy. As for feeling and sensuality, I can feel deep connection with a girl too, both musical and physical because many times it comes from dancing style. Being bisexual, I can feel desire, I can feel horny, I can feel the same bouquet of sensations that you normally feel with a good dancer. The only difference I feel is size! Girls normally are smaller than guys and me I like to feel weak close to a big and strong guy dancer.

I would like to learn to know how it is to lead, dance and feel the girls dancing style.

 

Katia KS: Sometimes I like to dance with a girl. There are some girls who lead very well with good musicality and creativity. I can have really fun dancing with a girl.

The difference… hm… good question.. maybe connection. I do not get that good connection like with a man. Time to time yes, depends who is this and how good she is. But that deep connection where you understand your partner only by eye contact is less possible with a girl then with a man.

I can definitely lead some basics during a kizomba dance as a teacher (I give private classes time to time on my own). But the Kizomba dance for me is still a partner dance. Means a man and woman. That is why I prefer to have it classic and to be a woman-follower.

 

Macarena P:   Well, I won’t lie to you, the first times it was strange, because we are used to dance with men and when we start dancing with girls, we feel them so small, that we think we gonna break them into pieces! 😂😂
Then, when you get used to it and you start enjoying it, it feels so good!

I think that girls who lead, do it because they miss something in the dancing with men, and they find it dancing with girls. In my opinion, I love leading because it lets me take control over the dance and use my musicality and my creativity much more than dancing with men.

In addition, I feel that most of the girls-leaders are actually pretty good, and girls who dance with female leaders, always have a positive feedback afterwards. I think that the reason is that we focus 100% on the girl we are leading, since we don’t care about how we look like dancing as a man, we try to make a girl have a good time, using our musicality and having a soft but clear leading 🙂

If I would like to learn man’s steps? Ummm yes and no 😂. Maybe I’ll take some kizomba dance classes, but just to open my mind and have more variety on my steps and feel more confident in my leading, but I’m not interested at all in looking as a man dancing 😀😘

 

SO, HERE ARE THE STORIES. LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Styling concept in kizomba by Inna Jadore

   Once upon a time in a beautiful city of Munich there was a girl called Inna. I met her for a little talk in the evening to tell me about her Lady Styling teaching. Inna has lived in Munich for almost half of her life, but originally, she is from Bulgaria. I will never forget the first time I saw her dancing. It was at Kizomba Luxembourg Festival 2nd Edition. It was one of the first festivals in my life, at the morning workshop with Donald Wilson. He didn’t have an official partner at that time, and he took Inna from the crowd of students for his Demo at the end of the workshop.

    I was watching her move and wondering how perfect her body was and how well she was following. She had been dancing Kizomba for a year by then, but clearly, she impressed me with her dancing skills.

   Later, I discovered that she started dancing when she was 6 and practiced different dance styles like ballet, modern dance, Bulgarian folk dances, hip hop, salsa (all styles), bachata and a bit of tango.

————————————

   The weather was hot, we stayed at one of the main Munich attractions area on a fancy terrace tasting local beers. I started from the middle:

  • Are you planning to continue with your Lady Styling or looking for a partner?

It’s both actually. I’m not only looking for a partner, but my main goal is to continue developing myself and teaching techniques, like body technics and musicality, which are essential for the kizomba dance and which I teach not only for ladies but for men as well. I have at my workshops men and women. The thing is that organizers prefer to call the class “Lady Style”, because it’s well known, and therefore well accepted title.

Lady Style is just one aspect of everything. I prefer to teach body technics, musicality, body isolation, which is relevant for men and women at the same time, and the techniques about the way a couple interacts with each other, how they communicate to each other. I think this is the key for dancing together and interpreting the music again together.

Of course, having a partner it would be an enrichment. At the same time, I would like to further develop myself as a leader as well… And I believe that not only men can teach a couple dance (kizomba, urban kiz or tarraxa etc). This is what we can do very well, the women, too.

  • What is “Lady Styling”? I personally don’t understand this concept, because I believe that every person has its own style, so when somebody tells me how to move my body, it’s kind of useless, might not be applicable to the way I am. So, how could Lady Styling influence on me? Why would I need it?

To me your question has to do with two different topics. For the definition of a dance style means – what kind of a dance style or genre we are talking about. About kizomba, salsa and urban kiz, So for me there is lady styling for the different dance styles. . When you go to a workshop you should check what kind of Lady Style it is. It could be everything.

It can be just an inspiration, giving you an idea how the style can look like and how you can develop yours based on the genre and certain dance elements, but there’s no certain lady style as a dance style. It should be just an inspiration or motivation to create your own style, showing your body, leading and following technics.

So, the lady style class is not only about moving your body on your own, but how to implement a movement while dancing with a partner. And there’s another very important thing, that your partner gives you some space for interpreting music with him together, but not using you only as a marionette.

  • But you can’t ask a man before the dance: “Will you give me some space for interpretation?”

You can give him an idea that you want to express yourself. Because it’s about adjustment of both parties to each other. A couple dance is when you get to know each other in the dance and you find the harmony between you both. Only then a couple dance can be fun and look beautiful. So, the question is: can a leader listen to the partner while leading? Because communication in the couple is sending and receiving or finding the balance.

  • I thought that kizomba is the type of dance where women cannot take initiative or improvise. To my understanding, I must be a plasticine, letting a man do with me whatever he wants. The only thing I do is follow.

I cannot completely agree with you. It’s clear that in kizomba you have less possibilities than in other types of dance to interpret on your own, it’s true. But in kizomba you also have your body movement GINGA while following which you can use without being led to implement it. So, you can add your own flair in that space. It’s not just a style but how ladies and men move across the styles.

  • A body WHAT??? (I was ashamed for not knowing what it was after almost 4 years in kizomba)

Ginga! You really don’t know what it is? Oh my God! It’s a key element of the kizomba dance! Normally it’s the lady styling movement in the kizomba, but men can also move like that. It’s the bunda movement.

In other styles, like urban kiz and tarraxa you have more possibilities to put your personal interpretation of the music, where possible, if your partner gives you this possibility. It´s not only about following. It´s about expressing you both in the couple dance.

  • Do you know why I actually called you?  I saw you in the rating of Top 5 most popular female kizomba dancers 2016 according to The Kizomba Channel, scored for their skills, interview/professionalism and popularity on The Kizomba Channel.

A personal statement about me: Popularity is not the most important thing for me. For me the most important thing is that I can share my knowledge with my students and I see, that they are more motivated, more excited about the dance, that they are enabled to enjoy the dance after my workshops. It´s not that about the quantity, but about the quality at workshops, that counts for me.

  • I bet that any teacher now in front of me would reply something similar, as they are all very nice statements that everybody uses. All festival organizers repeat ” We prefer quality to quantity”.  

How many people on average would attend your workshop? 

I don´t have regular workshops. I´m organizing the second lady styling boot camp in Munich now. And I start teaching in Munich after some years of dancing internationally and teaching abroad. Most of the time I teach at festivals. And at festivals it´s between 25 and 100 people per workshop. But I see, that the less people I have, the deeper and the better we go through the stuff.

  • How do you make the difference with other lady styling teachers?

I cannot talk for everyone, but I can talk for myself. I always have open level workshops. The most important thing is that everyone attending my workshops understands the basics of kizomba dance, knows its elements and can differentiate the music and the genres. So that at festivals they know what they are supposed to dance to a certain type of music. This is how I start my workshops.

I think everyone has a different perception, a vision of the dance, and it’s hard to find someone having the same vision. But it’s about sharing things and communicating them to people, and inspiring people. This is for me the most important thing.

  • How do people normally become an official teaching couple? You just have a good connection on the dance floor and say like “Oh, let’s teach together!?” 

There is no scheme for that, but I’m pretty sure that the connection that you have at a certain moment is not enough to be a teaching couple. There are so many more aspects, like having the pedagogical understanding and skills, having experience in communicating with students, inspiring them… Most importantly they must have the same vision for everything. Therefore, I think that the two need to get to know each other first.

  • In your opinion how a good teaching couple is supposed to be?

There are many aspects of being a good teaching couple and there are many essential things I mentioned already, but repeating myself, both should be able to communicate to each other properly and communicate to their students in a proper, effective way, transmitting not only their skills, but their vision and inspiration as one!

   Leaving this conversation in the same place where I started it, I’m finishing my post thanking Inna for finding time to show me a piece of Munich and sharing with me her thoughts on Lady Styling and couple dance.  I will continue watching her dance, but now, having the chance to get to know her better, I will look at her differently…

Kizomba connection vs Molecular World

THE CONNECTION

There is something I learned in all these years of dancing. Thanks to dancing. Something important about the kizomba connection. I also learned to hear myself, to be conscious of what I feel and how I feel.

THE ENERGY

  • People I accept

There are people whose energies my body does not accept. It never will. I stopped fighting myself to try to adjust to such people, to look for the way to get to them, to understand them. Now I just accept the fact that we are simply incompatible with me, like butter and water, and I feel better, because I realized that It’s not possible to have true good relationship with absolutely everybody, because I can’t go against my nature.

  • People I don’t accept

On the contrary, people I accept, I do it no matter what they say or do. We don’t need ages to get close. We already ARE close. I have also been observing how we are all connected to each other on the dance scene, who gets on well with whom, who makes friends with whom..   And I noticed some certain patterns: we get attracted by similar types of energy, as in a molecular world with positively and negatively charged ions. We get attracted or refused by smell.

THE SUPERPOWER

The kizomba dance increased in a hundredfold my sensitivity and perception of people at some subcutaneous level. It’s like superpower, as the sensory abilities that we develop through constant physical contact with a huge number of people, as if in a few seconds I can read information from the energy field of people, which allows me to realize whether their ions match with mine or not.

In the ordinary world, we also feel and understand this, but in kizomba it is much more noticeable, and perception is much sharper. And I’ll tell you why.

THE SMELL

During the dance we sweat. Each of us emits a certain natural smell of our body. With close physical contact, these smells at subconscious level give signals to the brain. This forms an unmistakable acceptance or rejection of one or another person. Pheromones that rule the ball will determine what we call a “kizomba connection”. In the ordinary world they do not attack us on the go. Some time passes before we allow physical contact, but on the dance floor we save ourselves this time. Therefore, in the first dance with a stranger, we sometimes get an offer to go to bed. This is not surprising.

THE PHEROMONES

  • Hormones

To understand what pheromones are, you can remember about hormones. Hormones are chemicals that seem to bind the whole organism into one whole, providing a quick exchange of information between its parts. Pheromones play the same role. Only their task is to connect individuals belonging to the same species of animals to couples or communities. The “chemical” communication of humans involve some special substances.

  • Control

Throughout the development of human communities, we do everything to suppress the instinctive reactions of people to smells, so that we could better control ourselves, control our animal instincts. In kizomba, it is very difficult to do so because of a close physical contact.

Although our sense of smell is weak when we compare it to the smell of many animals, the smell from our bodies is stronger than in animals. Many women find the smell of a man pleasant, if they are attracted to him, and unbearable if a man does not like them.

  • Information

In addition to the pheromone cocktail, body smell carries a lot of other information, which also enhances or weakens the response to pheromones. For example, if we give a mice a wide range of partners for mating, it prefers those whose genotype was the most different from their own. It is possible that similar unconscious selectivity exists in humans: the limb system processes the information carried by the smell, and decides whether to open the path to passions.

  • Signals

Pheromones are honest signals. You can hide the true feelings by changing your facial expression. You can hide the true thoughts, uttering insincere words, but it’s very difficult to change the smells that spread our body. Sebaceous glands, sweat glands, glands of the genital organs work continuously, sending information about the state of our desires to the environment. Pheromones, awakening various behavioral (instinctive) and physiological reactions, manage the complex process of rapprochement.

THE CONCLUSION

This is the “molecular world” what I mentioned above. The dance scene is an excellent example of an instinctive animal world. In creativity we are closer to nature. We are natural in understanding and expressing ourselves. But our kizomba connection is determined. And we can do nothing about it. Go dance!!! This is a great way of self-discovery!

SOURCES:

** Some information taken from https://www.nkj.ru/archive/articles/1243/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KIZZAFRO impressions 5th Edition by european DJs and artists

Saïdou Saï Saï Mangane:

Good atmosphere, friendly, well received, KIZZAFRO festival is different from a lot of others because of their theme and their Russian culture. Good team, good line up. It was awesome!

 

Jazzy Cubango:

Yeaaaa…wooop woop The festival was so Nice. As you know, I love Russia. And the KIZZAFRO Festival is one of my favorites, because the welcome is always warm, it feels like home and especially the energy that we get and that we give is huge. I loved the last day (Sunday) the Russian Party where the festival-goers, the organizers and the artists could share a fine moment of Russian culture and delirium before starting the evening and the release of the final ball before finishing the Festival.

 

Stefanio Lima:

I have a newcomer in my favorites list of festivals, KIZZAFRO in beautiful Moscow. As I could taste the good atmosphere in the night parties every day, the high quality dances and great music. A good caring organisation with a crew that is ready to solve any problem and make sure you have anything you need. A lovely audience that come to enjoy the music!! Definitely a festival holy should attend next year!! ❤

 

Gwany VVK:

KIZZAFRO is an amazing festival! Good organisation. Festival special Tarraxo, everybody loves tarraxo !!!  Don’t change anything !!! LOL

 

Kizzy:

I enjoyed KIZZAFRO festival. it was the first time for me and this festival exceeded all my expectations. it was very well organized … the whole team was kind to us and anticipated our needs (water, food available, interpreter for the courses). i was very touched by lenvi to learn from students … and my great pride was to be able to explain the history of our style, our partnership with Gwany. I loved the Russian part, because I had never been invited to discover the culture of the country in a festival …. it was great, so I left very excited KizzAfro festival … and of course I’d like to come back to share my teaching and live a wonderful time of sharing

 

Joe NiceLife:

I strongly recommend KIZZAFRO to any kizomba dance addict because this 5th edition is just a blast. The vibe, the organization were so high…For me it was my first edition and it was just a blast.. to say the least. Please remember wherever you come from, KizzAfro is unique and will remain unique…Highly recommended to anyone who loves kiz…

 

Lucien Noten:

KIZZAFRO. You should write this festival in capitals. My third KizzAfro. The best ever of all my festivals till now. Ambiance, music and lots of genuine people. The organizer did a lot to make this anniversary memorable. And it was. Amazing is not the right word. Magical perhaps. I need time to write a proper review. But these are my preliminary words.

 

Hicham Lokito Elbanbino Movemintos:

I really loved the way this festival was organised from day 1 till the end !! Every single person was having fun i couldn’t stop dancing !! I even compted my partners !!😅😅😂😂 100 girl I danced with in 4 days 🤣🤣
The team of kizz afro made everyone like a VIP artist or not !!
I really recommend this festival to everyone who wanna enjoy en a proper way .

 

Kevin Vidjai:

KIZZAFRO 2018 was amazing! For me it’s one of my favorite festivals because of the magical atmosphere, the warm and passionate people and the beautiful location, Cosmos hotel! I will definitely be back next year!

 

 

Jazzy Cubango – a DJ, a teacher and an events organizer

Jazzy Cubango is one of those people who doesn’t need to be presented. I offered him to talk without almost knowing him, and he politely agreed to find some time to answer questions for my blog followers. I’ve always admired his intriguing eyes, that have already conquered many dance-floors around the world. I would take him to the list of Top 10 seducers in kizomba. But what do we know about him, besides his outstanding appearance?

Jazzy is an organizer and co-organizer of three festivals: “Let Me Kizz You”, “Paris Kizomba Congress” and “Castle Limouzikiz”. He is a DJ and a kizomba teacher. I’ve danced with him a couple of times. I consider him a comfortable dancer. I went to some of his festivals some time. I’ve listened to some of his DJ-sets as well. I saw some of demos of his workshops and obviously I saw his face on every photo of Russian kizomba girls. But still I’m sure that neither me, nor you know much about this guy. So, shall we discover this charismatic and handsome man together?

THE INTERVIEW:

  • Let´s start by your name: why “Jazzy Cubango”? What does this nick name mean?

In my life I practiced several types of dances. I started when I was young with the Caribbean folk dances from where I was born. Then Hip Hop, Cuban salsa and the Dominican bachata and afterwards I came to Kizomba and Urban kiz.

My nickname “JAZZY” comes from my teenage years when I started dancing Hip Hop and I was also a saxophone player… My style was mixed with the Jazz Rock (based on footwork), and my friends called me “Jazzy”. Then naturally everybody started calling me like that till nowadays.

“Cubango” comes from Cuba and Angola, as the first dance school I created in 2012 was called “CubAngo Connexion”. Because these are the two dances that I taught the most and that marked a good part of my life.

  • Do you still play saxophone?

sax

Well, I haven’t played it for about 10 years and it´s always been in my parent’s apartment. But when they retired and moved to Martinique, they gave it back to me. And now it´s at my place.

  • When did you get to know kizomba? Who was/were your teacher(s)?

In 2009, at a festival of Kenzo Medi in France. It was a Salsa festival, but the first one where I got to know Kizomba. Then I travelled to Poland and Portugal to learn more about this dance. And I met for the first time Kwenda Lima, Afro Latin Connexion and many others. They were my first teachers and inspiration.

After that, in 2010 I created the first 100% Kizomba Festival in France with my then girlfriend Estelle – the Kizomba Swimming Festival. I brought Pitchu and Vanessa, Albir and Sara Lopez, Afrolatin Connection and other artists. For the first 3 years it was the only one pure kizomba festival in France. Afterwards everybody started doing it as well.

Four years later I launched “Paris Kizomba Congress” with Fred Maestro. We are partners with him till now.

  • You are a multi-task guy, playing several roles at the same time on the dancing scene. What brings you most personal satisfaction: dancing, teaching, mixing or organizing events?

Teaching is the thing that most makes me happy. But during all my life I’ve always been in music and organised things.

The common thing that I find in each of these activities is sharing happiness with people. When I organize events or teach dancing steps or play music, I share my happiness with others… It is the meaning of the bird “colibri” that I have tattooed on my neck.

jazzy tattoo

 

  • Do you have only 1 tattoo?

hybiscusNo, I have 2. The other one is on my back- it´s hibiscus flower. It represents Martinique (I´m from Martinique). They call Martinique – The Flower Island. And the main flower representing the island is Hibiscus. The tattoo is a mixture of Hibiscus with the musical note “sol”.

 

  • Do you have favorite destinations?

Yes, I have. I travel almost all over the world. But my favorite ones for dancing Kizomba are Russia, Croatia, Sweden and some others. Because I found their people have really good and positive energy.

I like Russia because the dancing level of girls is very good. Russian girls are very conscious about their femininity. They really live the dance! Others can be technically good, but they care more of the visual aspect. It´s more intense on the emotional level with Russian ladies.

  • Do you have a teaching partner now (for workshops)? Who is she?

I had one. Her name is Dana. We worked together for one year. She lives in Germany. It was a bit difficult to meet.  Now I have no partner.

  • Do you give regular classes in Paris on working days or only while travelling to festivals at weekends? Do you give private lessons as well? How much does one cost?

Three years ago, I stopped my regular classes in Paris, because I was travelling almost all the time. Now I focus myself on festivals abroad and on the organization of my events – “PKC” and a new concept “Let Me Kizz You”.

I give exclusively private classes and sometimes one-time workshops in France.

  • I always ask this question to “decision-makers” of Kizomba: if it was in your power to change something on the kizomba dance scene, what would it be?

If I had to change something? Hmmm… I would not change anything about kizomba or urban kiz. I find it perfect! That’s why it attracts so many people. The only thing that could be good is to change the attitude of some people, who are not passionate about the dance itself, but who are there just to take advantage of the scene. People with bad intentions, taking themselves for who they are not and judging others. But unfortunately, we cannot change the mindset of others.

  • I´m sure that many ladies constantly ask for your attention. How do you refuse some? Do you feel uncomfortable to say “no” to a dance? In what cases do you refuse a dance?

I feel very uncomfortable to say “no”. Even if it’s only for one dance I try to say “yes”. But the thing is, people cannot imagine how many times a teacher is asked for a dance. It’s impossible to dance with everyone. And now I’m also a DJ. Thus, I have even less time to dance at festivals. It’s more difficult.

Teaching and mixing takes twice as much energy and time… So usually I reply something like “not now” or “later”, if at that moment I’m busy or tired.

Anyway, I always keep one hour during the night to dance with everybody and some time for myself.

  • Where and how do you see yourself in 5 years?

Maybe I will still be organizing festivals in France or in other countries. Maybe I will be still working as a DJ. I really don’t know. I’ve been in kizomba for 8 years now. It changes a lot in a good way as well as in a bad way, but I stay always addicted. So, let’s see what happens next. I’ll be in the music that’s for sure.

  • What advice would you give people who have just came to this kiz-world, according to all your experience?

Dancing can be a passion for some people and entertainment for others. A fun can become a passion. If you come to the kiz-world, keep in mind that this is not true life … Do the separation between the positive and negative things, keep only the positive for yourself and live your kizomba as you feel.

  • What can you tell the world about David Giboyau?

Nothing special. It’s just my real name, in normal life. The name on my papers

  • Could we learn something about your real life, like what do you do apart from kizomba?

Ah, you already know my real name. I work in the French National Train Company, managing train stations in Paris. I’ve been doing it part-time now for 5 years, to free up more time for dancing and travelling.

I always do both: real life activities and the music.

  • Many people, who are so much into the dancing scene, just leave their normal everyday jobs and dedicate themselves completely to music. Why do you still keep your job?

I could leave it, but I always think about the future, about what could happen. You never know if one day I had an accident, then at least I would always have a normal job. Besides, I have a lot of benefits here. I have free transport in France and all neighbouring countries, like Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, etc., anywhere where I can depart from Paris by train. It’s very comfortable in terms of money savings)

  • I´m sure half of female kizomba population would like to know at least if Jazzy Cubango has a girlfriend. Do you?))

——————————————————————————————–

Jazzy Cubango Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/cubango.jazzy/

https://www.facebook.com/jazzycubango.new

https://www.facebook.com/JazzyCubango.kizomba/

Dance friends: my kizomba co-pilot

Normally we come to kizomba world alone. But as the time passes by, we make acquaintances and dance friends and in the end we meet that one person who becomes our best kizz-friend. The one who shares all our nights out, trips, meals and secrets. We generally don’t trust anyone in kizomba, but we still open up to a minimum and stick to those ones, our Kizomba “bros”, “pots”, whatever you call them.

With my bestie it was a quick match. And this post is dedicated to her, because she is worth it.

We met at some kizomba party in Amsterdam over a couple of years ago. We had a brief conversation, and next week I was at her place picking her up for some kiz-event. I was upset and told her in 5 minutes all my life, full of tears and snot. We hugged, we had a drink and since then we were already dance friends. Today it’s her Birthday. And I publish this post to thank her for being always there for me. I thank her for supporting me in my downs, for never betraying my trust and for trusting me back. You will ask me: what does it have to do with the kizomba?

A lot. Imagine if you had no one to gossip about those bitches or those star-guys, if you had no one to open a bottle of (xxx) with and talk in bed long after a party is over? And to share petrol and accommodation costs?? (LOL). In fact, I’m used to my dance friend so much, and I’m happy she’s my companion for all my kizomba journeys, that recently I almost never accept co-sharing with anyone else. To me she’s my back in this kizomba turbulence. I’m lucky I got to know her one day.

Sometimes when I’m about to send it all to hell, she keeps me afloat. I feel safe and I keep on going  (meaning “keep on dancing“)… It’s important to have a good friend. But it’s even more important and, I would say, priceless to have one in Kizomba! Our friends from  the real world can hardly understand our passion for kizomba dance. This is a particular scene. Overflowing with emotions, we may speak different languages with people from outside it. They maybe obviously best friends ever, but they are not able to feel what makes our hearts beat so crazily.

I feel like I must present her to you anyway, as, most importantly, she is the one who gives me a hand with almost all my blog contents, the one to help me to edit most of my articles (not this one lol) checking my English and the one to advise if I should ever publish some of my crazy stuff at all.

Take care about your dance friends! And the real ones as well!! In my case she IS my real friend, not only on the dance-floor.

Mila

Now you know who my co-pilot is)

DANCE FOR IT – a movie about three kizomba dancing couples

  I would like to support the amazing project DANCE FOR IT, which is a movie about our favorite kizomba dancers´ lives, by publishing below my interview with its founder, Anna. I loved the trailer and contacted her to tell me in details what it is about and asking her how I could help to make it happen.

 

What is this project about?

“Dance for it” is a human story about 6 dancers – Albir and Carola, Ricardo and Paula, Paulo and Lanna. Each of them dances for different reason and has a very inspiring personal story. It’s about real life, love, sharing heritage with the world, fighting for dreams, making difficult choices, taking the challenge of being real. These are human stories that will resonate with all of us.

There will be two very special episodes. We want to follow Paulo and Lanna to their homeland, Angola, and meet their families. We will see them all together dancing, singing, laughing – it’s absolutely precious. I believe that to see it is important not only to understand better the personalities of Paulo and Lanna, but also to feel deeper Kizomba dance and its roots.

The other storyline is following Albir to Panama. He left for Madrid to study dancing when he was young. His family is in Panama and they are his heart. Everything we need to understand about Albir is there.

I believe that telling human stories is one of the best jobs in the world and I want to make a documentary which will inspire, empower, bring joy and hope.

What does DANCE FOR IT stand for?

In English language there is an expression “Go for it” which I understand as “be brave and pursue you dreams”. For the characters of my film dancing is the way to pursue their dreams, so I changed “go” to “dance”. For me it’s the perfect name.

How the idea was born?

In 2014 I started dancing Kizomba and went to my first Kizomba festival – it was DMAES in Porto, organized by Afrolatin Connection. That summer before this trip I graduated from the university (I studied documentary filmmaking) and quit my job which I didn’t love anymore. I felt pretty lost and didn’t really know what to do with my life. I was hoping that vacation in beautiful Portugal will help me find a new passion – and it happened. The idea for this film was the gift from the universe))

At the main party artists were performing and I saw for the first time how these 3 couples were dancing. I was fascinated how beautiful and inspiring they were. I still remember how Paulo and Lanna shared such a huge happiness during their show; Ricardo and Paula were looking at each other with so much love; and Albir and Carola hugged each other after the show and it felt like all the kindness of the world was in that hug. It’s a bit difficult to explain – that’s what I felt that night and feel till nowadays. They inspire me, they make me feel better – and I’m sure not only me. I want to share these beautiful feelings with everybody in my film “DANCE FOR IT”.

Why did you choose particularly these dancers?

I really didn’t choose anybody. It was love at the first sight – you never can explain why you fall in love with a particular person, you just feel it.

 

When does the Crowdfunding start?

It starts on May 22 (TODAY!) and will be live till the beginning of July. Although I’m asking everyone who wants to support this project to do it these days – the first 5 days of the campaign are crucially important! During this time you receive support from your family and friends (and I consider Kizomba community as a big dancing family) and later, when the DANCE FOR IT campaign gets viral and gets first success, people from the outside join and that’s how I can reach my funding goal.

 

How can we collaborate to it?

There are two best options: to donate and to share the campaign in your social media. If you have an idea of how we can cooperate in other ways, please contact me and I’ll be happy to discuss it.

LINK TO THE PROJECT:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dance-for-it-documentary/x/12446539#/

 

Link to the trailerAlbir

https://youtu.be/-RVnd8TQVPc

 

Is it time to take a break from kizomba?

Yesterday I got a question in my PM from one of my followers: “I´m very unhappy about some certain things in Kizomba going on, with all the money spent on it and all the tiredness. It was worth it in the beginning, but now I feel just so sad because of people´s behaviors. Going to festivals should make me happy, not make me sad like this. What do you suggest me to do? Should I take a break from kizomba?”

My first reaction was a smile on my face, as I have found myself in the same situation for the last several months as well. I was all the time telling everyone “I´m going to take a break from kizomba”, but still booking my next trip. Like fighting myself to stop it, but not having enough willpower to make it happen.  I rationally realize that any kind of addition must be controlled. I tried to dozen it, telling my family and friends that from now on I will attend only 1 festival every 3 months (obviously not considering local 1-night parties). But till now I have never kept my promise.

After reading yesterday´s email I was thinking what to reply to this person… and to myself.  I finally answered a few nice words, like “go with the flow” (which not that bad answer neither), but the question stuck in my head and unconsciously I was still looking for better explanations.

Today at work I’ve been listening to kizomba music with my headphones all day long… I suddenly realized that I was doing the same thing as over three years ago, when I just made my first steps – listening to kizomba all the time and everywhere.  I never got tired of this music. People were wondering how it is possible to listen to it 24-hours 7 days a week. My car, my bathroom, my iPhone & Soundcloud playlists, my get-together with friends… all around the way.

I still love it today. I’m not ready to quit. I can’t force myself. Maybe one day it will come… my burn out. But it will happen naturally. Not now. Not today. Let’s be honest to ourselves. Let’s listen to ourselves and follow our hearts, not our heads.

Everything finishes one day. I realize that this is just a period in my life. A beautiful period. I know it will end. That’s why now I enjoy it at maximum, I breathe deeply and relish it.  I’m trying to look for positive thing in it. What most helps me to continue in this dancing world is actually DANCING! It’s closing my eyes, trying to feel unknown energies, accept them, catching the same wave.

The more people I know, the more the kizomba scene becomes all about socializing, the more time I spend on conversations, drinking at pre-parties (which imperceptibly pass into parties, as they finish at 2-3 in the morning) rather that on the dance-floor. Yes, I enjoy hanging out with my “veterans”, gossiping, laughing and playing fool. But, I still miss the dance-floor a lot. And at 11:30 pm I start asking my friends: “Are we finally going out of this hotel room or what?  I want to dance!!!”  And they all reply: “Calm down! There’s nothing to do on the dance-floor yet. Relax and enjoy the moment”.

And I stay. But my thoughts fly away to that big dark room, full of slowly moving people. I get nervous and think to myself: “Next time I go to a festival alone, and, like a beginner, I´ll come to parties as early as possible in order not to miss any minute of it! Even if I must dance with beginners, I don´t care. At least I will listen to this magical music and savor the atmosphere”. In the end, that’s why I keep on going. And while I never have enough of dancing, I’ll be there. So, my dear followers, after all mentioned above, for sure I say, it’s not my time to take a break from kizomba, “See you on the dance floor!” =)

 

 

 

Born dancer – BODY KIZ LANGUAGE

   Let me introduce you to a born dancer, a man who´s been on the stage for over 12 years, who had made his long dancing way to kizomba through different styles and experiences. Harvey BKL (David by his real name)!  Music is in his blood. It´s his devotion and philosophy.

  I met him last year on the dance floor. I asked myself why becoming a teacher in Paris with such an incredible rivalry. Would he ever find enough students to open a course? What is so special about him that people come to learn from him?

  • What is your story?

I have been practicing the art of dance since 2006. I started with Hip-Hop were I met the international teacher Ledoux Danza, who was teaching hip hop yet, but who was not dancing kizomba back in the days. Then I was involved in my first project: Illusion Optique show.
We were a troupe of street performers. We brought a lot in the streets environment in Paris and Europe with new entertainments technics. After that I decided to learn academic dances like ballet, jazz and modern (Alvin Hailey jazz and Graham method). I passed the admission to the Académie Internationale de la Dance in Paris. I took class there every day from 8.30 am to 5 pm for 3 years, that helped me a lot to develop my dancing skills.

With Illusion Optique we decided to travel to conquer the streets if foreign countries (USA, Italy, Germany, Spain, England, Sweden, Belgium), where we had a great success. We created a company specialized in entertainment and we presented shows everywhere we went.

One day I decided to stop our project, because we didn´t share the same point of view and we couldn’t agree on which direction to take…. We were losing our artistic authenticity, that had been our strength, for the sake of money. I was teaching a lot as well at that moment.

  • When and why did you get into Urban Kiz?

I got into urban in 2015 because I found the same freedom that I had had in hip hop. The freedom of creation. Soon I wanted to improve in kizomba dance.

  • Who were your teachers?

I took classes with Enah and Curtis. I also met Anais Millon by talking her class first, and afterwards I took part in her company project. I was her show-partner for 8 months. I learned a lot from her as she trained me a lot. And i had the opportunity to assist her during at workshops during this period (Work hard play hard). Our collaboration finished in January 2017. Then I created my own concept “Body Kiz Language”.

  • What is it about?

Basically, I really believe that dancing is a way of communicating. Through body movements (no matter which style) we can tell a lot and we can create emotions, sensuality, seduction. I dedicated a lot of time to it in in my dancing. I’am a hardworker because i’m convinced that no matter the talent you have it will not replace the job you do to improve. Everything I have I built myself and I’m proud of it! I’m not the best, but I can make people improve and give them advice how to dance better due to my dancing experience.

Ultimately this concept is about mixing styles… I express myself in the dance with different influences i got form my artistic background and I want to explore it in a new way in urban kiz, pushing a little bit more the boundaries to see what happens. For me the dance is always evolving… we are all part of it. I understand that people might think differently than me, but I think that it’s the choice you make to be a part of this evolution…

I’m new to teaching in kizomba and I’m happy that at the end of all my workshops my students have smiles on their faces and overall motivation to improve!

  • And now I see you teaching and performing with a new nice lady. Can you tell me a bit about your partnership and professional plans for the nearest future?

28378082_1592360110871469_8767355662596462181_nYes, its Nina Ysnel! We started working together in December 2017 to perform for an event against orphan diseases. It was a very nice experience. She is a very talented and complete artist doing painting and creating clothes and objects. We started working together in December 2017 and she’s also my girlfriend. Its always touchy to mix those two environments…. but its possible and for the moment we are doing very well! She has ballet dancing background and was one of the first to bring some fusion in the lady styling with moved like “ronds de jambes” and “fendus” picked from ballet dancing vocabulary. She’s also very experienced in the kizomba scene due to her previous partnerships…

So, we are working on mixing her universe with mine and our differents projects are on they way. Its coming soon 😉

  • I know you love kizomba. But is there anything you would change in the kizomba world if you could?

There are few talented and inspiring dancers i’ve seen that don’t get the visibility that they deserve…. I just think its sad.

Business is business, yes. but just let’s not forget that art is art too.

For the rest, people enjoy this world the way they want to, I’am noone to judge… 😉

 

  • If you had to move to teach in a different place, what country would you chose? Where do you like to dance most?? Do you have favourite destinations?

 

I would be happy to teach everywhere… the priceless value of this passion is to meet amazing people and share with them something priceless! I Like to dance foreign because the mentality is different than here and I find people more open and more friendly and respectful. This might upset some people but its my opinion.

No favorite destination!

 

  • What is your dancing dream?

My dream is to constantly improve and share this passion by dancing and teaching to many people as possible with my partner. I would like also to learn new dances and explore Always and always.

  • Where can people find you in Paris?

We are on some projects for the moments, so we are available only at weekends for teaching. Nevertheless,e will soon launch a weekly classes in Maison Alfort. We will communicate accordingly.

For the parties and festivals where we will be teaching people  can learn from our Facebook page .

 

 

FB page link “Harvey & Nina”:  https://www.facebook.com/harveyninakizomba/

FB page link “Body Kiz Language”:  https://www.facebook.com/BodyKizLanguage/

 

 

LoveHate in the kizomba world

Recently I´m so concentrated on the interviews, running after people who sometimes seem to be interested in the beginning, but in the end they ignore me like if I was asking them to have sex with me. I write my thoughts less and less. Especially it turns to be dangerous to open up myself in this small kizomba world, as most of you know who I am, and you talk behind my back, you criticize me, you gossip, etc… Moreover, you are asking yourself “why is she doing this?” Nobody pays me for my writing, true. It takes me my time and my energy, and it´s just a small part of my whole world, full of other hobbies, my family and my real work.

THE WHY

You know what? It’s my nature to express myself. I need to share my thoughts; I need to put them on paper. I have been writing since childhood. I started with small stories for literature Olympiads at school, and then continued with poems until I got a couple of poem books and finally put them all online. I started my first blog 12 years ago, when I moved to Madrid. I was writing about my life in Spain. Afterwards, I changed country again, and merged my blogs to make it a big European journey.

HOW I STARTED

When I got into kizomba world, this dance was the only thing I had in my head. I couldn´t write about anything else but dancing. So, I opened my Kizomba Blog to continue my natural thing… to keep on doing what I loved doing and what  I have been doing for years. It was not an attempt to approach famous kizomba DJs or artists. The blog is not my only way to get to know people.

Imagine, I have some articles in drafts, that have never been published, because I was scared to share my  thoughts, to be judged, to be ignored, laughed at. And now I think “What the hell? I will say what i think. There will always be people who will find themselves identified with me, who find it interesting, useful or at least curious”. And here I am. With my pain.

THE SCALE

The deeper I get into kizomba world, the wider is the range of my feelings. Let´s say, on a scale from 1 to 10, when I started, I was always at 4 to 7. I was at “4” when I didn´t dance much, or missed a nice party. However, that was not the end of the world. All those kizomba people meant nothing to me. They couldn´t upset me as much. When I was at “7”, I probably discovered a new track, which I was listening all the time in my house, my car, my office etc., or when I had that super connection-dance.

NOW

Now things are different. I know how it works. I know some people very well, or even too well. I have attitudes. Now I can really get very high or get very hurt, I can be at “0” when I´m betrayed or heartbroken, or be at “10” when I have great time with my kizomba family who became my real friends. Now all my emotions are strengthened by a hundredfold, because I fly high and it hurts badly. And, although I know all the scenarios I can´t help myself to stay cool, to avoid attachments and disappointments. I find this world amazing and frustrating at the same time. I love and hate the same people, the same events, and the same music. Right, that very music I enjoyed listening in my car while dreaming last month, that now brings me some bad memories…This is so crazy.

You know, what still surprises me the most and amazes me sometimes, is that the same people can be inadequately behaving with you. I guess depending on circumstances. Hhmm.. Or on their mood?… Like you spoke to them, had drinks with them, danced with them many times before, and then suddenly, at some next festival, they pass by without even saying “Hello”.  You just stay there and wonder, “Are they all right? Is it a kind of joke? Is it a play?” To me these are totally disrespectful, inhuman behaviors, and I’m still guessing “Have these “Stars” grown too fast?”

A FAVOUR

Please, people, even if you are famous dancers, teachers or Djs, whatever – STAY HUMAN, STAY KIND, STAY RESPECTFUL towards others. Don’t believe you are the Kings who rule the world. This is just a small kizomba world inside the Real WORLD, where sometimes you are nobody. So, please, have one dance when you are asked for a dance, reply to a message when you receive one, even if it’s a quick “I’m busy, will answer later” or a stupid emogji smile. Say “Hello” to someone you already greeted before. You can be the most talented person in the world but with a shitty personality you are worth nothing. You are worth nothing and your careers will go down.

You know why Jojo (#letsplaykizomba) became the most popular dance teacher in the kizomba world recentely?  I haven’t interviewed him yet (coming soon!!!!), but I’ll tell why he has in my opinion: he never refused me for a dance! I guess he does not like dancing with me. I don’t keep my balance right, and I make mistakes with him. However, as a hero, he dances his two dances if I ask. I appreciate it so much, and I admire him for his politeness. That’s why you will read my interview with him very soon J

Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival

When I first time attended Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival it was its 2nd Edition in 2015. From the 4th one I started working at it as a volunteer. The 5th Edition is the 4th one I took part in and the 2nd one I was working at. And of all festivals obviously it’s my … it’s just mine. Other festivals can be good, and very good, and even great. But this one is in my heart forever. The one I stay faithful to. The only one I ever promoted, although nobody ever asked me to. And the one I am delighted to write about finally in my blog!

FACTS AND FIGURES

Kizomba Luxembourg Festival is a public event, approximate size nowadays reaches about 2.000-2-500 people.

The chronographs year by year:

1st Edition – 500 ppl

2nd Edition – 800 ppl

3rd Edition – 1500 ppl

4th Edition – 2300 ppl

In terms of size, KZL is one of two TOP biggest festivals of 100% kizomba in the world all along with “Feeling” (Madrid).

Initial idea – Aimé Beurt (https://www.facebook.com/aime.beurt) in March 2012.

 

OFFICIAL ORGANIZERS OF

KIZOMBA LUXEMBOURG FESTIVAL

IN FACES:

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THE INTERVIEW

PS: The organizers were interviewed separately, even on different days and months. They didn´t know the questions in advance and didn´t hear the answers of each other. There was no influence on the way they think nor the way they interact.

The beginning…

Dj X-TRA  At the beginning it was difficult to get credit, to make people pay attention to our event. We have an excellent team spirit! We did great promotion campaign, each member of the team traveling every weekend all around the world.

Dj PINGUSSO    About 1,5 years before the 1st Edition Aimé was giving workshops in CHE club, I was a DJ there. One day Aimé came to me and said: “I have an idea… let’s do a KZL festival”. I was a local DJ for that party, but I wasn’t too much into kizomba dance  yet. He spoke also with X-tra. He got his OK, and Melissa´s one as well. Then all together we went to one festival to see how it is. We enjoyed the vibe very much!

The first team was: me, Aimé, Rodney, X-tra, Melissa. Rachel was also with us.  We built everything for the 1st edition, we started to promote. We went to a lot of festivals, always wearing our Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival t-shirts, and roll-ups. The 1st edition took place the same date as “Africa Dancar”. Many people were saying that we wouldn’t be able to compete with them, but our festival was full. We had almost 800 people. We had a good vibe. Many people didn’t even know if Luxembourg was a country or not))) It was amazing.

RODNEY    Before Aimé came up to me with the idea, we had already been at two festivals, one in Portugal and one in Rovinj, Croatia. After Rovinj we were sure we must do it together. Aimé was my friend. So, for me it was just to help a friend of mine. I completely trusted him. So, I reacted very positively, and he could take the most of my social skills to gather people. I didn´t know how to do it exactly, because I wasn´t into kizomba yet. I couldn´t even dance it at that time. So, I started organizing a kizomba festival before I learned to dance kizomba itself.

 

The way you work?

Dj X-TRA The line-up hasn´t changed much over these years. We pick the best of the best, being always updated on the latest know-how of the Kizz-world. we are born perfectionists! We take our time to study the market, gathering information from other festivals.

AIMÉ   The most important is that every person in our team has his special “skill”, helping and giving ideas. We are a real team! We don´t have one boss. When an idea is important we convince each member of the team with arguments. That´s the way we work.

RODNEY   It takes approx..1 year to prepare everything. The 1st thing we usually focus on is to start checking a new line up -DJs and artists as well. And then we start to think about the people who´s gonna come to keep good gender balance between men and women. Afterwards we check main locations for the festivals. We did it for the 1st edition, and since then it´s normally the same place – the LuxExpo Box, so now it´s just about negotiating the price. We aim to get the lowest possible prices, so we could make it cheaper to everyone who comes to the festival. It´s a very important point we pay attention to. Then we clear up the rest of details, like car parting, promo tours, etc.. We decide where we are going to make the official pre-party, where the workshops would take place, and so on.

 

Who does what?

Dj X-TRA My role in the organization is being responsible for all sound systems, managing sponsors, and the administration part, like replying to mails, managing people’s information, etc

Dj PINGUSSO    Sometimes we share tasks, we exchange tasks.

AIMÉ   Each one has its tasks, but if someone needs help then we can help or substitute each other.

RODNEY  My responsibility is the artists management: to put them in the line-up and to take care of them during the festival. Including contracts with artists & DJs.

 

What’s your favorite part of the organizational process?

Dj  X-TRA   Our meetings before the festival. We always laugh a lot, even more than we talk. We are always in good mood! We have a lot of fun=) It takes time from other life activities to meet often and to put our ideas in practice. But I like it.

Dj PINGUSSO  My favourite moment is the end of the festival, when everyone is happy and making comments, and after months of work, I feel like it was worth it!

AIMÉ   My job during the festival is the coordination. At the same time this is the part that I like most. And of course, sometimes I must replace someone, or do something I don’t expect to do. It’s not always easy. For example, last year I had to clean the toilets during the festival, but it´s something I like to do! I am also the contact person with our providers, like the hotel, the LuxExpo, the transport company. I make deals with them, sign contracts, etc..

RODNEY  I enjoy myself when I see people happy. I talk to artists, DJs, dancers, everybody. I am only satisfied when everybody is. Sometimes I go up to the stage and observe…

 

How do you deal with lessons learned?

Dj  X-TRA   there are 3 types of mistakes:

  1. When you detect it, you can check it, analyse and change it at once. (We are strong at it)
  2. We can’t change it now but won´t repeat it next year.
  3. The one that puts you down forever (thanks God, hasn’t happened yet)

Dj PINGUSSO    1st thing is to keep what is good, and the 2nd is to work on weak points. Like the big difference between men and women, the major problem of the kizomba scene nowadays.  Like for the 5th edition we will have only ONE UNIQUE PASS, because the control is more precise, so we´ll have a better vision on the balance. But we still separate between men and women.

AIMÉ   Each year we try not to make the same mistakes as last year, that´s our goal. Last year there was a problem with shuttles. We fixed it. Also, there was a problem with the gender balance, so we are trying to fix it in 2018. That´s the way we work.

 

What´s the key of KZL success?

Dj  X-TRA   We love what we do! Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival is our baby. We are a family, also in private life. A great part of our success are people from Luxembourg themselves, everybody who comes to support us, all the kizomba Luxembourg community. They appreciate the festival, they spread good feedback about KZL everywhere they go, they are very proactive, and they help us to promote our festival. They working as volunteers at the event, and they are proud of us like real patriots!

RODNEY   First, we always stick to quality. Recently kizomba dance became very popular, spreading very quickly around the world. It’s easy to make money on it. Even if you just put music on a laptop and rent whatever room with a shitty dancefloor, you know that people will come anyway, because they want to dance. But at KZL we work in good faith.

Second, we are a family. Kizomba Luxembourg is not only Rodney, Aimé, Pingusso and X-tra, it´s the country, Luxembourg country! For us everybody who lives in Luxembourg is a part of the organization. Everyone who helps us is the organizer! Not volunteer, but the organizer. We take care of them, and we want to let know people around the world that Luxembourg is like this!  We work with our hearts. We organize the event to create a good atmosphere and let people enjoy it. Sometimes other organizers say the same things in public, but they don´t mean it indeed. But we are proud for our authenticity. If everyone would really mean what the say it would be amazing. But we are doing it in the right way, and we must continue like this, although it´s not easy.

Dj PINGUSSO   We do this for the people, we work a lot on details, we have a really good team behind us, everyone who works with us.

AIMÉ   One of the reasons why our festival is so successful it´s because we are not thinking about the money. We don’t try to save on the preparation to our event. We focus on the audience, trying to think like those who come to our festival, to put us on their place. We ask ourselves “if we were them what would we like and how would we like it to be?”  So, the right focus on people’s satisfaction is the key, not our profit.

 

Anyway, do you make good profit on it?

RODNEY   If I made good money on it, I wouldn’t continue any more. I would take the money and go away jajaja. Seriously, in Luxembourg it’s difficult. Although we grew a lot in 5 years, almost 5 times in number of people, but the prices for everything here grow with us too every year. You can’t imagine! So, it’s like a machine, we can’t stop it any more, but obviously because we love it, not for economical reasons.

 

Plans for further growth?

Dj  X-TRA  Physically it’s difficult to make it bigger in Luxembourg. This is a VERY small country, there are not many big comfortable locations to choose from. So, now I think we remain the way it is.

Dj PINGUSSO   Nooo, I guess we are good.

AIMÉ  To be honest, I don´t know if it’s a good idea to grow more than we are now. If the festival was techno, for example, or dance festival on TV in USA, Luxembourg could be like that. But in kizomba we have a problem that we could lose our atmosphere. I don’t know if we want to grow. That is really a big question. And I don´t have an answer to that.

RODNEY  The thing is that last year we had too many women, we apologize for that. So, this year our main purpose was to keep the right balance (and they managed!!!) to make people happy. The disadvantage is that in Luxembourg everything is very expensive. The festival costs a lot. We pray God and we try our best not to lose money. We cross fingers for that. As an example, last year we didn´t make any profit, even though we had a lot of people. Growing to make more money makes no sense because it doesn´t depend on the quantity of people.

If you compare the line-up between the first edition and now you will see that the balance was better before the division into Urban Kiz and Kizomba. We heard complaints in the past that KZL was only an Urban festival, and we added more traditional kizomba teachers in the line-up to make all dancers happy. Our aim was to become one, to show that we are also a Kizomba festival, not only Urban Kiz. Finally, we could make it. Now, those who like traditional kizomba also come to Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival.  That´s the idea for growth: not in number, but in the kinds of public. Moreover, this year we have an RnB room to bring people who like RnB as well.

 

Team rules?

Dj  X-TRA   If one says “no”, it´s NO. Obviously if it´s well justified. There must be a good reason for that. One more rule: we must love each other :))) We can ague sometimes, but we are always able to solve our problems. Because we talk straight and then turn the page.

 

Team meetings

Dj PINGUSSO   they are most of the time productive. Sometimes when you have 4 people to decide 1 think it can be a mess. The frequency depends on the season. At the beginning more, during promo phase less, 1-2 months before the festival we meet every week to prepare the last details.

Rodney, you are the only one who lives in Paris. Is it difficult to be in touch with and available at once for the rest of the team? Are you able to assist all the meetings?

RODNEY    Yes, of course! I live in Paris, but I move all the time. I´m in several different places at the same time, like Luxembourg and Germany, due to my job. That´s also why I am one of the organizers- So I basically can come to Luxembourg every weekend. I´ve never lived there, but I spend there a lot of time.

 

You know that many people don’t know who are the KZL organizers?

AIMÉ   Yes, I know, and it´s good. I don’t like to be in front of people, to show off, it´s my personality. I like to be at the backstage. I hate presentations. I do it only if nobody wants to do it in my team. I am a shy person.

RODNEY  I don’t like to be in public neither and to have my face on posts and promotion videos. I would prefer to stay in shadow. Until recently almost nobody knew I was also an organizer of Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival. But now I am starting to be identified and respectively I’m being more and more invited to parties and festivals.

 

How is KZL if you can give it only a few words? 

Dj X-TRA   getting better, creativity, family

RODNEY   family, enjoyment, friendship and happiness

——————————————————————————————————————————–

ATTENTION

TWO THINGS THAT MADE THIS EDITION DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS AND ALSO FROM OTHER KIZOMBA FESTIVALS!!!

FOR THE FIRST TIME Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival PRESENTED:

The Unique Pass

X-TRA    Each time they are more and more dancers with experience, so they just come to enjoy, to dance not to learn. We have one of the best social rooms in Europe (Blog: agree!!). The UNIQUE pass is also to reduce the price so that people who like to dance don’t feel that they pay too much for the festival.

NO taxi-dancers

Dj PINGUSSO   Why?  – because there are a lot of contradiction, after a long discussion we decided not to have them. On the 1st edition we didn’t have taxi dancers, and I don’t remember that problem with the balance. For me it’s not an issue, we are going to work on it, so it will not be an issue. (Blog:  and it wasn´t at all! It was great and a big success!!)

AIMÉ   Maybe this year there is a bit less people at Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival due to the changes mentioned above, but I don’t mind having less people as long as they enjoy the festival and really like it! I prefer it like this rather than people come and complain. We don’t work for money, it’s not interesting.

 

ATTENTIONWhat is the idea behind this decision?

As you all know, the 5th Edition was very special. For the first time the organizers haven´t contracted any taxi-dancers. And they have their reasons for that. In addition to the comments above, about a month ago on the official KZL page in Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/157426514923880/ ) you could also see a video where they explained in 3 languages the “why” (https://www.facebook.com/kizombaluxembourg/ posted 01.03.2018 ).

But behind that decision there is a very interesting idea, that has been processed in the last weeks!

It’s simple. It is no news that recently every man wants to be a taxi-dancer, although sometimes they don’t even know how to dance properly, as they’ve been dancing just for 3 to 4 months. Looking for free trips, free accommodation and food they decide to join a taxi-team, but to be honest they are not experienced enough.

So, how to choose a good taxi dancer from this huge crowd?

The organizers of Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival decided to set up a Taxi Dancer Association, which includes an agreement between two parties – the organizers of different festivals and taxi-teams, together creating special rules to be a part of an official List of Taxi-Dancers.

The list would be published for use of both parties. The first steps include talking to as many organizers as possible to see what they think about this idea. After that to speak to teams if they are OK to do it, and then together write an official list of rules. Those who are IN have to accept these rules. Those who are not interested can do whatever they want.

Some of the organizers, like Narcisse *Universal Kiz*. Yannik *Futurokiz*, etc., have been already approached, as well as some of the taxi-teams. They liked the idea!

I wonder if the decision not to take taxi dancers this year is just temporal until the Association of taxis will be founded. Let´s see what happens next year!!

Luxembourg proves to be the pioneer and the revolutionary in the kizomba world.  They make changes!

Now it´s time to rest and recover after a long 5-days-and-nights Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival event, which is already inviting you to its 6th Edition in 2019! Check it at https://www.facebook.com/events/2143288782378729/  and book your pass in advance to make sure you don´t miss it!

 

Official KZL T-shirts all over 5 years:

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Mike Evens & Skizomba in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

The concept

Just back from a very special trip to Chamonix- Mont-Blanc – a resort area near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy – organized by Mike Evens. It’s difficult to call it a “festival” or any other. I would say it´s a mixture of sports, kizomba, playing games, socializing and having fun – SKIZOMBA!!!

A very particular concept of Ski practice + Kizomba dance had its first edition 7 years ago. I have never heard of it before. But looking for unusual experiences I paid attention to it and decided to make it one of my priority trips 2018. When I got everything solved and confirmed I felt those butterflys in my stomach!

Mike Evens

Knowing Mike Evens as one of the key players on the kizomba scene, as the organizer of one of the most popular kizomba festivals – I’M YOUR DJ – and having already visited some of his festivals, I knew it could not turn bad, to say the least.

Mike Evens team is one of the best team-organizers in the dancing world. That must have been win-win trip anyway. Although I haven’t skied for almost 10 years, that didn’t stop me from going there. 

The road trip took a bit over 6 hours. No snowfalls or stories. It was very easy to find the place. Everyone could communicate through a TEAM group in What’sApp with their suggestions, looking for each other, making plans or any other aspects related to the organization of the event. It was comfortable, quick and very useful. I got updated at once on every change, so I could react accordingly.

The atmosphere

In a familiar atmosphere, I got lost in the time. I lived a small life among the Alps in a little place that was my house for a while. Too many days for too few people (about 60) made us feel a real community, and I would rather say one family members.  It is the smallest “festival” I have ever gone in my life!

That was a real relax time, laughing, making new friends, enjoying the wonderful nature panorame of Mont Blanc and bathing in the snow… At first, I wanted to interview Mike Evens for my blog, but the more time passed by, watching him in action, the more I realized I had nothing to ask him. I saw everything I needed written on his face: whatever he does in kizomba as an organizer or a teacher, he really enjoys doing it. He loves dancing!!! Therefore, first of all, to me Mike Evens is a dancer. Full of energy he is always there being present in complete access for the guests. But it’s not just him, it’s all his friends and team being the same way crazily energizing the public. If you once go to his event, you will follow him forever.

Pure emotion

Please, note, I’m not writing these compliments to Mike Evens as a promotion for his new edition of Skizomba or any other of his kizomba festivals. This opinion is my pure emotion and impression on what I experienced in the last days. I’d say more: he injured his shoulder on the ski slope, and the same night afterwards I saw him taxi-dancing nonstop with the bandaged hand!! I saw him jumping, starting the audience and singing and I was astonished! No words but thanking Mike Evens, Kal and Estelle for the great job!

If you ever decide to go to Skizomba, keep in your mind, this is not a simply dancing festival; this is your Holidays time to disconnect from the rest of the world. I would also advice you to visit the small village of Chaminix, to have a meal there outside watching the mountains at the background…

Now I’m back home, but still in my mind in that small village in the mountains having hot wine and chilling with people that share the same passion with me.