Taxi dancers team story: The “Kiztrotters”

Well it was already time for me to tell you about some taxi dancers team. There are plenty on the kizomba scene, and I had a great choice to begin with.  As I usually prefer best quality in every aspect of my life, the same applies to my blog: I write about the best of the best! This team to me represents a solid well-planned and well-managed organization, which, I believe, will survive everybody & everything else)

I first heard of the Kiztrotters when I met one of them on the dance floor, over a year ago, in my favorite place in the world – Park Futbol. A couple of months later I danced with few more and we even made friends, but then I did not know how famous they were in the kizomba world. The word “trotter” at that time said nothing to me.

My girlfriends told me that day: “You can’t even realize how lucky you are to be able to dance and party with the Kiztrotters themselves! Any girl would dye to be there on your place”. Then I thought, “Have I missed something?”))

Since then I started observing the way they work, where, how hard, what events organizers think about them, what girls say about them, what their philosophy is. I was amazed at the quantity: so many from different cities, mixed genders, ages, dance styles, etc. This is a Monster Organization! I was wondering if this big machine is ever manageable at all. Finally, I decided to talk to Mr. Jojo Lebon. The perfect opportunity popped up at their fourth Birthday Anniversary.

Jojo appeared to be a serious man, staid and very smart. He took out a piece of paper and started drawing a scheme to explain how it all started. I captured his mimics, timbre of voice and posture, and I concluded – he knew what he wanted, and he knew exactly what he was doing…

How to become a Kiztrotter?

  • Most importantly you must have a special state of mind – to really want to share your passion for dancing. In the first two to three months we test a person, which means he is travelling with us everywhere. Meantime we are evaluating him, and afterwards decide weather he stays in the team or not. If he does, then we sign a kind of Code of Conduct document.  Normally all our taxis have over 3 years of dancing experience.

What are the rules?

  • Taxi dancers always wear the same clothes at an event or a party, which always include black trousers. Exceptionally, we can wear white trousers as well. Regarding the number of dances per girl it varies between 3 or 4 maximum.

What’s your strategy?

  •  Everyone does their own thing! The responsibilities are clearly split among the members of the team, because the key is to be well-organized. Thus, there is no loss of information. In the end events organizers trust the quality of our job.  Whoever goes to make an offer to one of our taxi dancers they will redirect this person to me, because, for instance, that’s me who is responsible for contracts.

Lobbing is also a part of our strategy. I’ve danced for over 7 years, since 2010. I have already created my own source in Kizomba. As you know, Paris is the laboratory of kizomba dance. Everything started here: the first non-stop, the first blackout, the first urban-kiz, etc… I lived it all and I took advantage of the moment.

Talking about the responsibilities, who does what? 

  • We don´t have any Superior or boss, but I would highlight 5 main pillars, some of us obvoiusly also “taxing” as well:
Jojo  Ania Fred Pascal Mamady
Sales Manager Set up bookings/ Responsible girls in France Head projects Responsible men´s bookings Financial Responsible
 Negotiating contracts once the contract is signed, managing all arrangements from A to Z anniversaries, photo shootings, events, announcements,communication  pick up of full passes, food info, drinks, dancing hours, etc..  managing team´s accounts
                                                          55 Kiztrotters taxi-dancers

How does it happen in life?

  • Once the contract is approved, I pass it to Ania. She gets in touch with everyone to build a taxi dancers team for the requested event or party. People reply “yes” or “no”. Afterwards she creates a group for this event in Facebook. Also, there´s one more group created, which would include the event´s organizers. When they go to a festival there is always a Captain assigned to every project (differs each event depending on the composition of the team; normally this is one of the veterans, more capable). Even if I’m there myself, that’s him who is responsibly all the weekend. I interfere only if there’s a problem of contractual nature, like when the conditions of the contract were not respected and organizers don´t do what they had promised. Otherwise a Captain takes care of all issues starting by the food, transport & accommodation arrangements and finishing by checking dancing hours, getting tickets for drinks, bracelets, etc.

What are your plans for the nearest future?

  • We are going to recruit more taxi dancers! We will open 10 in Bordeaux, 5 in Lyon and 10 more in Paris.

Wow, this sounds crazy! You are a monster organization! I wish you good luck and continue to please us with your great performance!!

I also asked him to tell me what was his “Kiztrotters biggest dream”, but this will remain our small secret)

 

http://www.facebook.com/kiztrotters/

 

Kizomba Gala Kassel & Friends

Kassel Gala and FriendsChristmas time is a good reason to look back, come into conclusions and make new plans based on our experiences from the past. On the kizomba dance scene I thought that after three intensive years nothing could surprise me anymore. But I was mistaken. I have visited all kind of events, which made me become very picky about my choices. In the last months I´ve been looking for something different, special, for new emotions and challenges. Kizomba Gala Kassel & Friends is one of those cases that worth my attention. It´s that festival I want to come back, the one that already makes part of my Agenda 2018!

Kassel2018

I first noticed it on Facebook months ago for its interesting line up full of my favourite artists & DJs and followed it since then. Later on, I read an incredibly honest post of Sabine, its organizer, regarding some ticket sales issues, that seemed to me so unusual for its openness, simplicity and heartiness.    I´ve never seen an organizer talking loud like that. I really appreciated her approach even without knowing her in person.

Now, after having this festival under my skin, I know why it´s been so successful over the years. This is all about Sabine´s personality! You can say that the most important thing making it so good is the balance between man and women or a beautiful location, but although all mentioned above is true and more, Sabine herself is the key to the success here!!

Sabine I don’t know her well, but I don’t need to. I could feel her incredible energy and passionate attitude throughout the phone cable the first time we spoke. I had an immediate connection and a confidence, that my intuition was right. The more we spoke, the more I wanted to write about her festival. I got all the necessary tools in advance and a warm welcome afterwards. Every little detail was considered. At first, I thought it was due to the fact that Germans are famous for being well organized. But when I got there and interviewed guests and artists, I realized this is not about Germany at all, it´s all about Sabine!

I could make this post endless, but I´ll count only the most interesting points, which make this even different from others, and that in turn should cause you a great desire to visit its Fifth Edition in 2018.

Primarily I want to draw your attention to the format of Gala Kassel. This is a CLOSED event. What does this mean? No sales at the door. Once on-line sales are finished, there´s no way to access it. Literary NO WAY. This condition already gives it a kind of exclusivity. Taking into account that the size is very small comparing to festivals like PKC or KZL, only around 500 people per year (meticulously taken care of), this suggests that you have to be quick if you want to feel yourself a part of this selective group.

Sabine thinks in 4D dimension perspective: she can put herself in shoes of artists, taxi-dancers, guests and DJs. She is all in one. That´s why she knows our needs so well and builds her festival plan and strategy based on her own broad experience as a teacher, dancer, organizer and more. As an example, I would highlight an interesting fact about the Kassel timetables: the social room starts at 4 pm, which is quite late comparing to other festivals. But it happens for a reason. “I respect the teachers who work at my festival. I make people come later to the social to make them attend workshops. This way teachers have their classes full” – Sabine says. And she has a point. Recently the tendency is to go straight to social and learn directly from good-level dancers, avoiding workshops even at the beginning level. I admit that social practice is very important for improvement, but I wouldn’t advice beginners and intermediate students skip workshops. So, I agree with Sabine and support her decision to do so.

One more thing to add to the same basket is the time of breakfasts- starting 11 am! Thus, this festival is not only for dancing, but a place for socializing as well. Giving it high importance the schedule is adjusted to our typical Kizomba rhythm, that all of you know very well. So why not making it an official part of the program?)  Fair enough.

What to expect upon your arrival, besides some staff at the entrance putting you bracelets? A cheerful barmen Dominique, bartenderwho would for sure remember what you drink not only for the next night party, but also for the next year!! He becomes your friend once you get there. Believe me, to meet the same person in a year, who know what you like, makes you feel at home! These kind of things, small details, create the whole atmosphere, which is priceless.

And all this action takes place in a stunning 300 yo Orangery building * (see history comment below) that was once used to protect delicate plants during winter and now home to the Orangery restaurant, with great international cuisine, including a wonderful terrace overlooking the lawns and woods of the Auepark.

orangerie

On the dance floor you will see a big Christmas Tree, something that you won’t have at any other kizomba festival, because it´s the closest event to the most magical days of the year! So, like when I was small, dancing around this tree gives a cosy and romantic feeling :))

One more thing I cannot leave aside, is the famous issue regarding the balance between men and women, that provoked such polemics in Facebook. Yes, the balance is strictly controlled by the organizer. Because she knows how it feels paying an amount of money for a trip and almost not being able to dance at all in the whole weekend. Girls are aware of this recently common problem. We are more than men, in general much more. This point is one of the main things we pay attention to when choosing our next festival. “Will I be able to dance if I go there?”  It costs Sabine blood, but yes, I can assure you 100% – you will dance in Kassel!

One question I asked her during her busy festival hours:

-How would you describe your event in 3 adjectives?

My words for Gala are: cozy, familiar, energy charged ❤ – she replied.

madiss for GalaTo finish my post, I will publish the opinion of a high reference and well-known DJ in the kizomba world, DJ MADISS, spontaneously interviewed while socializing during the dancing hours)

-How are you living your first experience in Kassel?

It’s been years since I´m working as a Kizomba DJ, exactly since 2009. Before I was a DJ for afro music. I was lucky enough to mix at huge number of big festivals over the past 8 years. Today I’m in Germany, at Kassel Kizomba, organized by Sabine, and I´m living a very positive experience, positive in terms of organization. It was difficult to connect and to make my presence possible at this festival, but now that I’m here I can say that I´m proud that I believed in her. I didn’t know Sabine as an organizer. Today I discovered her from this side, and I think she deserves a lot of respect for her work. It is very well done!

Yesterday I arrived at Germany and I had a chance to meet Sabine in person during the first Welcome meeting organized for artists. Before the dinner she transmitted her vision and what she was expecting from the festival. It’s when I saw that she works not only to have her festival well organized, but also to do something good for kizomba in general. The gesture of the introduction meeting really flattered me. 

Today I am very lucky to be respected and heard by the kizomba public. This is not easy. I feel that I am being recognised in the kizomba dance scene and together with other recognised artists we must work to improve and grow the environment we are in.  So, I really appreciated that. I saw that Sabine was someone who was worth the attention. I was lucky to open the party. What I could already feel from the dance floor is that people were happy to be there. When I was mixing I played a piece where I blocked the words, and then I played a different music style, more aggressive one. Everyone started shouting. I felt very positive energy!! For the moment, I can say I´m lucky to have so many people around me and people with good energy. For me it was a beautiful experience. So, I´m glad to be here, because it´s worth it!

 

*ORANGERIE: Built under Landgrave Charles between 1703 and 1711. Since then, it forms the northern corner of the Karlsaue park. Today it is used as an astronomy and physical cabinet. The ground of the Orangerie was an old garden, in which Landgrave William IV built a small summer house. His successor, Landgrave Moritz redesigned the garden in the 17th century. The baroque castle of today was designed and built by the architect Johann Conrad Giesler in 1702, who worked on the court of the landgrave. The main building is 139.40 meters long. The marble bath (Marmorbad) was designed by Pierre-Étienne Monnot and is shown as a separate museum today.In World War II, the Orangerie was damaged and later repaired to host the federal garden show 1955. After the show the building was restored and transformed into the astronomy and physical cabinet with planetarium, in 1996 a astronomical garden was added.During the documenta 12, the space in front of the Orangerie was used for the exhibition, which included a temporary 9,500 square meter hall named Auepavillon. (Source: wikipedia).   
Web: https://orangerie-kassel.de/

 

Facebook event:

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

https://www.facebook.com/Kizomba-Gala-Kassel-1305845642824715/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polina Kostromitina – official I´M YOUR DJ kizomba photographer

There had always been many photographs in Polina Kostromitina´s house. It was full of developing machines and photo equipment, because her father was very keen on the photography. At the same time, Polina was attending an Art School, which helped a lot to create a further vocation.  Polina thanks her parents: her dad who instilled in her a love for photos, and her mom who developed her good artistic taste.

The start

Her first photo camera appeared in 2009. It was a New Year’s gift Nikon 450 D. There she started shooting. She did not go to any courses and was not shooting very often at that time, but already then, she was particularly interested in people, their portraits and bodies.

How did you start shooting dancing events?

  • In 2012, I started dancing Salsa and Bachata in Chelyabinsk, the capital of the Southern Urals, where I am from. Over time, I understood that dance is not that interesting as the atmosphere itself! I began to shoot at local dance parties in my city. In 2014, kizomba came into my life. Then I went to my first kizomba festival in Saratov (Russia), where I took some pictures that many people appreciated. After that, I got invitations to other cities. In 2017, I moved to Moscow and already there I turned this hobby into my main job.

What is your theme in kizomba dance?

  • Sensuality, emotions, intimacy, touching, looks, intertwined with music. You see how people dissolve into each other in music. You realize that they are gone into space and they are already not here. When I see such a couple on a dance floor, I can do pictures of them endlessly.

There is a myth that photographers shoot at parties only their own acquaintances and friends?

  • This is true. I did that earlier, but now I try to shoot absolutely everyone. Although, I always have my favorites that will definitely be in my album)))

Do you dance often kizomba yourself?

  • When doing photos, one or two dances for the party. I like more shooting the dance itself and listening to music.

What are your favorite parts of body?

Polina.hands

  • Hands and eyes

Why are your famous for shooting asses then?))

  • Most of dancing girls have a very nice bunda! However, many photographers do not convey so completely the beauty of this part of the body. But, again, my thing is the hands and eyes, touches and looks. And bundas…, it’s because I manage to show them in the very best way). It is a pity, that European men do not wear clothes, which emphasizes their bundas, otherwise my photos would have more men’s´ bodies.

What is the most important thing in an album?

  • The most important thing is the atmosphere! In my photos, there is always a history: something that captures the look. I see beauty in people and I can convey it. I can find something beautiful in everyone. I love to show beauty, although not everyone sees it in himself or herself. I am for sincerity and for true emotions. So, I try to take a photo before I will be noticed with the camera and people start posing.

In addition, I´d like to say that in parallel with the dance shooting, I lead a studio photo shooting. In addition, more often I photograph famous people with a small amount of clothes on them, especially because some simply have incredibly beautiful bodies, and in clothes, no one can see them.

Who would want a NU-session? People normally cannot publish this kind of photos. Alternatively, those who would, what is this crave to show yourself off?

  • I believe that nude photo shooting helps people to see themselves differently, in a new way, to gain self-confidence, to love oneself, to discover the source of sexuality. This is work on their complexes; this is the moment of full acceptance of oneself.

Is there any difference between Russian and European festivals?

  • Yes, there is, in the atmosphere and the people. Everyone knows that in Russia, girls are very beautiful and in Europe, there are many handsome men. However, there are many similarities as well, like high level of dance floor and of the music, as at big festivals in Russia mix the same Djs.

What are your plans for the nearest future?

  • I want to develop myself further as a photographer. I want to go to kizomba festivals in Europe. This is a slightly different view and a different atmosphere. I need new faces.

Polina.siluet

Polina.shoes

Polina.ruki.spina

Polina.Margunn

Polina.happyface

Polina.hands.PKC1

Polina.golova

Polina.feeling

Polina.faces1

Polina.faces

Polina.emotions1

Polina.emotions

Polina.details

Polina.bodies

Polina.bantik

Polina.back.beaty

Polina.ass.PKC1

Polina.ass.PKC

Polina.ass.hands.PKC

Polina.ahand

Poli.a.grud

Contact POLINA

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/KostromitinaPolina

https://www.facebook.com/KostromitinaPhoto/

Instagram: kostromitinaphoto

Vkontakte:https://vk.com/kostromitinaphoto

Santa Barbara

It is that big kizomba festival, one of the best in Europe, where everyone goes, and where among the crowd you do not even meet your friends in 3 days, as there are too many people. But there´s always That Person you´ll see through the bunch of people, you will figure him/her out even if you are lost in an ocean, you will follow him by the smell, you´ll grow a third eye on the back of your head to watch him. That special person you want to dance with most, the one you were thinking about while getting ready for the weekend, the one you called and made sure he/she would come.

Now you are nervous, having your second mojito (caipirinia, wiski-cola, etc.) to relieve stress. He/she doesn´t pay attention to you, hardly said “hey” and all the time busy dancing with others… You take a deep breath and invite her/him for a dance. In two songs, he/she says “thank you” and disappears in the crowd again. You are upset, frustrated, trying to enjoy the party, getting distracted by the music, friends, etc.. But nothing works out for you. So,

Option 1: you get drunk and smoke outside complaining about the shitty weather, festival and life in general. The night is gone….

Option 2: you call your ex… During the night/social, you are high and distracted somehow. In the morning, you feel empty and sometimes regret what you did.

Option 3: you dance with someone else, unexpectedly you have an incredible connection in the dance and an interesting conversation afterwards, and your stomach is filled with butterflies again, you smile, you are excited, you feel the atmosphere, inspired for new improvisations. Everything around is magical. Then you realize – you switched and you MOVE ON! (Doesn’t happen every time, but in the kizomba world much more often than anywhere else in “normal” life)

Polygamy

On this scene people can fall in love 5 times a year, they can feel connections with several partners at the same time, they can be in love with all of them at the same time, or want all of them at the same time, or even have sex with some of them together at the same time!
I´ve heard many stories, which seem incredible, but have their right for existence. Threesomes, foursomes, in all possible combinations, mixed genders, nationalities, ages. Guys filming their sex experiences secretly (or even openly! with the agreement of a girl) and sending snapchats to their friends to show them what a nice ass they could fuck tonight. Sometimes there are more than one ¨movie¨ per night. Yeaa, this is not any news already for anyone. The most popular guys are able to get 5-6 different sex partners in one night, especially in festivals like Rovinj.

Girls do not lag behind

They are even more emancipated! They offer themselves! A normal dancer, not even a teacher or a taxi dancer or a famous artist from Paris, can receive several invitations per night (I mean invitations for sex, indicating the hotel room number). This is more common for Easten countries, where black men are very in demand, but also often found in Europe. Girls can also have several partners in one night, and they agree to do it in the same room with partner´s friends, and even invite his friends to join them in the act!

What I am trying to say is that they are no better than men.

Real talk when a girl from a small town makes thousands of kilometers in order to have sex with a famous kizomba artist or Dj. She would book a room and preview every little detail to make it easy and comfortable for him. She would wrap her around his neck and beg him to go with her to the room. Sounds incredible and humiliating, but it is so. People hungry for sex, insecure, with very low self-esteem, those who do not know how to control themselves, who have lost their last principles and dignity, ready for a minimum, picking up crumbs after dinner, donating their bodies, without self-respect, without thinking about the consequences.. I can enumerate indefinitely!!!

What is wrong with them? What is wrong with all us? Psychological traumas? Lack of love in childhood? What leads us to blurring our own boundaries? To the loss of the inner core? What causes us to lose ourselves?

Some are engaged in debauchery openly, they don´t care what people say. Others play games: beloved girlfriend and a number of mistresses behind her back. Very often you have conversations of two girlfriends, telling each other their love stories, and after a while finding out that they speak about the same man.

Moreover

The most interesting thing is that THEY ALL KNOW EACH OTHER! Moreover, they TALK! Don’t just do all above-mentioned things, but talk about them, discuss in little details, attaching photos and screenshots of conversations. That´s why this is a whole Santa Barbara thing. Even Santa Barbara is not in any comparison with Santa Kizomba! So, maybe the recently popular slogan “Raconte pas ta vie!!!” (“Don´t tell about your life”)  is the best advice ever and you should take it serious.

Pregnancies, tears, scandals, promises, break-ups, revenges, etc. – all this is part of our wonderful world called the Kizomba dance! Who said this is a fake world? I see nothing fake in it. It is a huge vibrating organism, a Family, particular one, but as real as everything else in this world where we live, suffer and rejoice, change and grow.  This is the most real thing I have ever experienced in my life, on all levels- physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual.

Kizomba in Russia -I´M YOUR DJ Moscow edition

For sure, many of you were thinking of visiting Russia at least once in a lifetime and most of you were asking yourselves how kizomba in Russia is. However, Inspite of curiosity to explore new places and cultures your life routine hasn´t let this dream come true yet! This year you have a great opportunity to make it happen thanks to the first edition of I´M YOUR DJ in MOSCOW city.

Obviously you´ve been asking yourself a lot of questions about kizomba dance in Russia. In order to help you to decide whether it worse going or not, first of all, I have spoken to Svetlana, the organizer of I’M YOUR DJ- Moscow directly from Russia:

–         How it all started? How the idea of the festival was born?

When I took a decision to stay in Paris as much as my visa allows me, I realized I did not want to dance in Russia anymore, because the level of kizomba dancers and DJs is low, not taking into account those who often dance or mix in Europe.

Many dancers wanted to know why I stopped going to local kizomba parties in Moscow.  How could I transmit all those emotions I have in France, to people, who (some of them) have even never travelled abroad in their lives due to whatever reasons? They do not know another kizomba atmosphere, how it feels to dance with the best dancers and to the best music.

Then I had a genius idea: why not to transfer that entire atmosphere to Russia, particularly to Moscow so that people themselves could experience it all on their own, but not based on someone´s stories!

I decided to introduce to them a new concept, which is a non-stop kizomba festival. Therefore, I went to talk to Mike (e.g. Mike Evens), who already had such a festival in France!

When exactly a year ago in Paris our conversation took place, we did not have to persuade each other to do I’M YOUR DJ in Moscow! Hence, to organize the IMDJ-Moscow Edition it was a mutual and quick decision! Mike wanted to go out with his brand outside France, and I wanted to make my dream come true – to show Russian dancers, who do not have a foreign passport, what it’s like to dance to great music with quality dancers! Thus, we started together preparing for this festival!

–         How is the preparation going?

In kizomba in Russia everything is different! Since I am Russian and often live in Moscow, I am more involved with organizational issues of here, when Mike Evens and Alex in Paris. Sometimes it can be difficult to solve something quickly and accurately, because the European mindset is very different from the Russian people! The way of thinking and concepts are different, but the goal for all of us is the same – to get the best result!

–         Is it difficult to get a Russian visa?

Many Europeans are afraid of visa problems. And in vain! In order to get a Russian visa, you need to collect no more documents than we Russians do for a Schengen visa! Believe me, there is nothing terrible in this! You can always ask for help the I’M YOUR DJ team or any travel agency to learn how to hand over all the documents, if you have no time to collect and file them yourself. It can take you to make a visa only up to two days! Therefore, we very much hope that there will also come to Russia a large number of excellent dancers, not just taxis, who will perform their duties on the dance floor for 24 hours a day!!!

–         What is the current situation in kizomba in Russia?

In Russia, there are a lot of girls who perfectly dance kizomba, especially those who travel regularly to different European festivals. Nevertheless, Russian men rarely travel abroad. They prefer to stay at their level without improving it, believing it´s quite enough, which is very sad. Even for them European taxi-girls are invited now for the first time to Russia! I really hope that after I’M YOUR DJ, the Russian guys will have the incentive to progress!

–         What place does kizomba dance take in your life? 

Until I started living in Paris for months, kizomba was an integral part of my life. I have visited more than 40 festivals in 2 years in different countries! Now I am back in my real life, and kizomba became more like not even a hobby, but my job.

I completely plunged into kizomba as a job, because I decided to organize not only large-scale festivals, but also with another organizer in Russia to do every first Saturday of every month a mini event! My goal now is to improve the quality of kizomba in Russia.

I take it easy, not as a drug addict, who I was before! :)) Visiting every day in Paris good parties, I began to be overwhelmed with it. Therefore, now I can easily do without dancing, when I return to Moscow. I have a lot of work with the festival, and thus kizomba, as a dance, took a backseat! The festival is on the first place.

–         What is for you the compensation of all the effort and time spent on this festival?

My dream is, as I already mentioned above, to bring a Parisian atmosphere to Moscow and show Russian people who do not sing it from Russia what it is like to dance in Europe to the best music with high-quality dancers! This is what motivates me and makes me happy! My compensation is my personal emotional satisfaction!!!

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   Aaaaand… afterwords I asked some of my earopean friends – kizomba teachers, DJs and taxi dancers – who are going to Russia for this 1st edition, what their expectations are and how they imagine this trip. Let´s see what they say:

 

Harvey Bkl:

I do not have any specials expectations. I mean, I know I’M YOUR DJ (the concept)

The fact that it is in Russia is of course exciting. New country I have never been to, so it is quite like holydays. I know that the organization will be ok!

I just hope that the venue and the places where the kizomba parties will take place will be beautiful. Because I think it’s part of the adventure: people go to dance kizomba in Russia, I think in their minds it is linked to something different that they seen before in other festival. They want to live a special experience. In association with the concept of IMDJ, which is non-stop dancing festival, I think that the expectations are high.

I imagine this very well, I love to travel and discover new things and new environments.

Nico Viet-Marron:

I hope and I expect from this trip to exchange, share with a different culture, history, and a different mentality, but with a common passion, the Kizomba dance! I was invited to come to this festival. I accepted with pleasure, to meet new people, to discover, to visit a country, an atypical city.

Lucien Noten:

  • Do you like dancing kizomba in Russia?

Yes. Very good level of the followers. Great atmosphere and nice people.

  • Is it somehow different from European parties and festivals?

It is different. In Russia, they really love to dance and respect the dancers.

  • What are your expectations?

I don’t expect anything different then the other parties. Just more dancing.

  • Is it difficult to get a Russian visa?

It’s not simple to get the visa. But if you got all the papers, you are usually not denied.

  • Some advice to your colleagues who will go there for the 1st time?

Do not abuse the Russian courtesy.

Jesse Bruno:

I am going to Moscow because I am curious to see this country, as I love travelling.
Moreover, I´m sure that I’M YOUR DJ is a sure bet. It has been a year since I work as a taxi dancer for them.

The festival falls on my Birthday (October 16). There is nothing better than this to have a memorable birthday!)

This is the first time I travel to Russia. It´s easy and fast to a visa; it takes about 10 days.

Yoann Soares:

This is my first time in kizomba outside France and first time to dance kizomba in Russia. I expect a lot of novelty for this festival especially on the level of women, their way of creating music and their way to move. I have always dreamed of going to Russia, so it is the perfect opportunity. I also hope to discover new kinds of vodka because I like this drink very much.

My journey will be summarized in 3 crucial points: kizomba, vodka and the mentality of the Russians. Finally, for the visa it is easy, a structure called “Action visa we help from A-Z”, so no problem on this side.

Ryan Blanken (DJ Ryze):

My expectations as a DJ are to be able to challenge myself, since I am on a line-up with so many other great DJs. Therefore, I really want to do my best, and hopefully will be able to be invited again. And as a dancer, I just want to enjoy myself.

I imagine it to be an amazing festival, because for me Mike Evens (and his group) are one of the top organizers in the Kizomba scene.

It is my first time dancing kizomba in Russia. It was not very difficult for me to get my visa. Of course, I did not know how to apply for one, but they had people helping me do so.

Rovinj SSD & CSSF. My review

Well, dreams come true… I’d looked forward to get to Rovinj SSD & CSSF, and finally I did! And I don’t know what to say… I have really mixed feelings right now, because SSD is absolutely NOT what I have imagined it would be.  But before I explain, let’s make an allowance for my personal state of mind & soul at the moment I got there. I had quite a difficult time just before the festival, and I needed to be “out of service”.  I wasn’t actually ready for a big crowd of crazy kizz-acquaintances, endless kizomba parties, etc., because Rovinj is all about SOCIALIZING, more than anything else (so seemed to me at least).  And, don’t get me wrong, I was very happy to meet my friends and make new ones, but it’s just that I was a bit more reserved and tired than usual.

First impression

The first 24-hours – my impression – why is it so small????  I had imagined 5000 people all around the island, dancing in every corner, huge party locations, madness in the air.. But it was modest enough.  At day time everyone was on the Paradise Beach till 7 pm,  afterwards moving to Mulini Beach till 22 pm. At night everybody was at the Old Factory.  The beaches are smaller than any kizomba dance floor.  If there’s a Pool party –everyone is there.   Which is not bad either, but not the scale of the dance event I had imagined. Actually that was a good thing, creating a cosier atmosphere.  Maybe because it was just the 1st weekend, with mostly the urban kiz audience, which I was looking for.  Maybe all the madness and scale was at salsa scene.. I don’t know. But as far as it concerns the urban kiz scene, to me, it seemed not bigger than other kizomba festivals.

My thoughts on the Rovinj SSD & CSSF

  • Croatia is a beautiful country, BUT I don’t like its beaches!(( I will never trade them for my Spanish ones with the soft sand and smooth entrance in the water. The nature in the North of Croatia (all the Pula region) is somehow similar to Russia, let’s say “to other eastern countries”, which makes it less attractive to me personally.

There are so many stones and rocks inside the water that you cannot bathe without special shoes. Nobody warns you about it! When I just arrived, I was sweating like hell.  The first thing I did was jump in the water and as a result hurt 3 toes on each of my foot! The cuts were at least 1 cm deep. Obviously it there was blood everywhere but nothing to disinfect & close the wounds. The next morning I couldn’t even walk from pain, not to mention dancing!  So, my first advice – put on special shoes to bathe in the sea.

  • Too many girls for not too many high level male dancers. And too many Eastern girls among them. So:
  1. If you are a guy (any level) –GO THERE!
  2. A girl (beginner) – YOU CAN ALSO GO
  3. An intermediate/advance level girl, “spoiled” by Parisian kizomba dancers & an often guest at “Park Futbol”) – DON’T GO THERE!  You might be waiting for hours to get a good dance (on the urban dance floor).   There are not many high level dancers, and they are sooo busy, sooo tired, sweating and actually don’t care about you with all those eastern “fresh meat” ladies.

I was wondering if it’s as bad as dancing in Russia. I was told that in Moscow there are 10 girls per guy. In Rovinj SSD & CSSF I’ve heard slightly better statistic, only 4 girls per guy. Jajaja

  • The SSD guys are very straightforward. Never in my life I got so many invitations to pre-parties and after-parties at the same time, also for Tet-a-Tet ones. So, if you are looking for sex, Rovinj SSD & CSSF is an easy place to get it. If not – no problem, you just say “no”. They probably won’t even be sad or feel offended about your refusal, as there are many other women who would say “yes”.

PS:

Maybe they become so straightforward particularly with me, when they ask me about my nationality. There’s a lot of talking among men about Russian girls. You know what I mean: they love sex & alcohol, and they are easy to get, sometimes even offering themselves.  –  

I don’t know so many Russian girls in the kizomba dance world. But those few that I DO know, are not like that! They are sensitive, they have feelings, and if they agree for sex, they truly believe to develop some relationship out of it, they expect that to be continued.. not just a one-night stand. These are the girls I know. So, I’ve decided not to tell anyone any more where I come from. I don’t like to be taken for a slut or whatever – “easy-girl” you call this. I’m not offended, but I hate generalising… 

 

  • This is also a perfect place to lose weight. There are many up- and down- streets, which gives a bigger load on the legs. Many rent bikes to move around, which is also a good exercise, additionally to swimming, dancing and maybe , for some, sex. All those mentioned above, mixed together would make you lose at least 2-3 kilos or more in a few days, depending on how much you walk, dance or f* J))))

 

  • A good idea would be to take this trip to Rovijn as a holiday, not just for festival. Book time off work and take it easy, find time to just lay on the beach, read a book, visit around and get together with your friends. And…. Dancing will compliment the picture! Anyway it’s difficult to dance a lot, because you can’t stop sweating!!! )

 

  • If you are a Latin dancer (salsa&bachata), Rovinj SSD & CSSF will be your paradise, I guess. If I seriously come back to salsa dancing one day I will definitely plan my trip to Rovinj again. But at the moment I’m not very convinced about next year. I have to set my priorities well, but I don’t exclude SSD, although I didn’t absolutely fall in love with it.

Finishing…

Sorry if this review sounds a bit critical, again, must have something to do with everything else going on in my life at the moment. But I keep some nice memories of the Roving SSD & CSSF, and I met some good people, I made new friends, I got a little tan, an amazing dance on the beach (one), in the water (two), and on the dance floor (3 more))))

Have a Happy Summer!!!

pre-party & after-party kizomba concepts

Today I speak about concepts. Those who have been dancing for a long time would wonder why. Well, there are always people who don’t know, like the beginners’ category. We have to consider them, and explain things. When I worked at Kizomba Luxembourg Festival I had a situation that made me think it over: a girl approached me with a question “What is a kizomba Taxi-dancer? How can I identify him/her? Do I have to contract him to dance with me?” Then I suddenly realized that not everything what is so obvious for you is clear for others. So, this time, instead of putting on a paper my own thoughts, I made it different: I held a small survey on the Pre-party and After-party subject, asking my friends and acquaintances in random order how they would describe to a beginner what pre-party and after-party is, their opinions, attitude, etc.… And this is what I got:

Enjoy the reading!

XXX

Pre-party is a get together with your friends and friends of your friends to get in the mood for the party. After-party is a small party after the party to continue dancing but then more in a relaxing way (with chiller music and chiller clothes/shoes). After-party arranged in a hotel room only happens when the organization didn’t organize an official after-party. I find this okay, because dancers just wanna dance as much as they can. Personally, I’m not a fan of having people over my room, so I prefer to go somewhere else. But also I’m not a huge fan of an after-party in a room, its too small that it makes me uncomfortable to dance. I like an official after-party with a real DJ and real floor.

XXX

Pre-party is a kind of warm up to get ready for the bigger Party coming up

After-party is when you don’t have enough of dancing… Enjoying the connection with the partner and you want more dancing until no end

I like private parties …being a participant

XXX

For me, there is a difference between private kizomba parties and official parties.

Private PRE-parties: personnally, I go this pre-parties to have a drink with friends/known people, to have a talk, maybe to dance a bit, it’s more like a warm up! just to prepare myself for the “party-mood”.

Official pre-party: they often happen on Thursdays and most of the kizombeiros are coming on Friday! For me, it’s like a normal party, in the week, because you see all the luxembourgish face, that you already know 😛

Private AFTER-Party: the occasion to continue dancing in the good mood, with you frieds, talk about the party, continue drinking. But some other songs (for example funana), just for fun, do some “tarraxha-battles” and crazy stuff like this.

Offical AFTER-party: I really don’t like this after parties, 90% of slow songs and I have the impression that this goes more on a sexual way …

XXX

What a girl thinks: nice I have been invited to a pre-party / after-party, let’s try to get to know the people/ dancers/DJs/ organizers better

What a guy thinks: great! Which girl would probably have sex with me before/ after?

XXX

I think a pre-party is good way to gather people together to chat before parties, don’t prefer to stay myself too long as usually involves a lot of drinking and might miss most of the party and dancing, wouldn’t want to have it in my room as involves some effort for the host plus sometimes more people show up than expected and get out of hands.

After-parties not my thing as usually by that time it is more like a match making event .

In general a pre-party is are good way to get into the mood for the dance party by gathering people if anyway staying in one hotel or if scattered around, parties usually too loud to properly talk and people in different corners so a pre-party is a nice way to begin the evening.

after-parties are good if main party finishes too early and want people want more to dance, chat etc but usually as I said too late hours make it much more of hooking up with somebody rather than dancing etc

XXX
I personally don’t see any problem neither with pre-party nor with after parties. I think it’s a good way to continue the party or to prolong it in case organizers finish parties very early or start it very late because of shows, animations etc.
It’s usually small parties either organized by official promoters/organizers or by private person who invite people they know and these people invite people they know. The atmosphere in pre/after-parties is more relaxed, girls often don’t wear dancing shoes and its often more about hanging out, chatting and drinking together than ‘hardcore’ dancing
I prefer ‘official’ after-parties in an extra room and DJs than on a carpet in the hotel room and with a speaker.
I like the pre-parties at the hotel rooms – meeting some people, having a drink and only then going to the main party.
But it always depends on people who invite. In some case these kind of parties are seen as a green light for the further ‘activities’, so I prefer to do these kind of parties only with the people I know to avoid the uncomfortable situations
I don’t organize pre-party or after parties. I prefer to keep my hotel room as my private sphere. If my friends invite me, I usually attend them.

XXX

Pre-party are ok. I like it (if there is enough time) .. to get in the mood, socialize, have some fun, drinks something.. it’s really nice..

But the after parties if I have to explain them..; It’s a party after the regular party.. if you are not done dancing you can go there but mostly those after-parties (depending where they are) are all about sex ..

In my opinion an after-party is not necessary.. Most of the time the regular night party ends at 6 in the morning.. why would you continue dancing ..

So after parties it depends on your mood.. If you are horny go for that intention.. of the party stopped to early you can go dancing.. But it all depends on the concept and location.

I don’t go to afters because I think it’s for whores, if it is in a hotel room.

Unless I have a relation/romance with someone who invites me.. and if it’s just socializing nothing trashy then it’s ok lol

XXX

In a room with mixed feelings, officially organized in big room really good idea. Cause its not really about dancing

XXX

For me an after-party means dancing. For many people it means kissing, touching, sex?
Well, if you fit very well with somebody it can be more close. But that can also happen on the normal dancefloor. That can be very nice as long as you know the boarders. Well, some people do not have boarders
I think after-parties are more dangerous because often its dark, slow music, cozy atmosphere…
Normally I am invited for those parties.
The good thing: most of the time it´s the same amount of boys and girls. And: only good dancers and its really relaxed, no showing off.
No-go for me are those parties in the pool… not my style.
Pre-parties are more for warming up, drinking… they are fine. Nice to have.
Oh and just to mention: the official “afters” are nice to have but the smaller private ones are more exclusive most of the time

XXX

After-parties I only did once so Ii can’t really tell. Nevertheless I didn’t like it much because there was a break between the party and the after-party and difficult to get back in the mood .
Private room after-parties Ii never did, but I don’t think it would suit me . Everybody is tired after a party ( if you danced a lot) , also normally there is no space and most people go there “pour coller”/ or have another chance to finish the evening with someone. So for me it’s not so much about dancing anymore .
On the other side I like pre-party , it’s like an ” ouverture” to the main party , not too much people / everybody exited to see again and what the main party/ festival will bring .

XXX

Pre-party for me as a warm up before a Party if you don’t wanna go there early but still want to chat dance drink and chill with people you know. It is also a way of get to know new people, since you don’t get to talk and chill at the party. It is a good way to socialize since it is relaxed. At the party there is not much time for socializing. People are stressed, want to look good dance, impress or whatever.

After-party for me is for those who are not tired yet and still can dance or haven’t danced at the party. I am aware that many people see/use it for other purposes.
I think girls should be aware of that too when they go to an after-party. It doesn’t mean that all after-parties are the same. Actually all the after-parties I have been to didn’t end up with naked people. But I have heard stories

XXX

When I first heard about the pre-party /after-party my initial idea of this was that people gathered together to have few drinks, a chat, a laugh, some dancing before or after an evening party at a festival.

After few years in kizomba scene, I can tell you that for me pre-party and after-parties are now about an actual party only with my own group of friends… If it’s just girls we can get ready together, have few drinks, laugh, talk about things etc.…ifs it’s a mix between girl and guy friends then we can also include some dances to the above list..

If however, you are invited to a pre or after party by a kizomba teacher, DJ, taxi or just a guy you don’t really know but danced with once or twice, then expect that you will be seduced into more than just dancing! Or the dancing will become to sensual, too close, it will get too hot .. No wonder why most of the people now associate after parties with sex. If you are arriving to an after party and find yourself with the guy alone, then definitely expect that he is expecting to sleep with you. If you arrive to an after party and there are other people, and you dance with one guy most of the time or the whole night, and exchange some smiles and sweet words, then even if you don’t sleep with him people will be talking that you either already did, or definitely will J

XXX

TANTRA vs KIZOMBA

I first learned about Tantra when I was 12. My neighbor next door did tantra practices, which made me very curious about the subject. I knew it was related somehow to sex, although not exactly. It sounded mysterious to my young inexperienced mind,  so asking myself lots of questions it stuck in my memory till I discovered kizomba dance. That´s when I realized “It sounds familiar to me… hmm… Tantra?”

Once my neighbor told me: “It’s when you can have orgasm without even touching each other

WHAT IS TANTRA

The original concept of Tantra comes from Sanskrit तन्त्र, which literally means “continuity”, “connection”, “thread”. Tantra is an art of interaction on different levels: body, energy and consciousness. It is a conscious work with energies – internal and external.

The basis of Tantra is the classical Indian dance. Hindu dancers know all of the energy channels that are included under a certain position, their interaction with the partner, the flow of energy throughout the body. This dance, for the most part, is purely improvisational, activates the chakras, and the harmony of this depends on the skill of the dancer. Ancient and modern Taoists call this process the interaction of Yin and Yang.

It gives a greater degree of intimacy, adjustment to each other and mutual understanding, the ability to listen and hear each other, a new way of communication.

This is a practice for those who want to study emotions at a deeper level, to communicate with oneself and with a partner. Working with energy throughout the body is one of the most important components of this path. It presents the techniques of breathing and self-regulation, active mental and motor practice.

TANTRA DANCE

   Sacral, spontaneous, energy dance! It does not matter what movements we do, the main thing here is the awareness of the process, the process of creation, the creation of space. The tantric principle expressed as the interaction of two universal opposite principles, who are in their essence, as one.

Tantric dance is a meditative exercise for freeing the soul, increasing vitality, preparing the mind for the state of deep trance and the way to make the body more mobile. Tantric Dance helps to bring emotional balance, joy & well-being into daily life, relieve you of internal stress, raise the energy of kundalini; relieve tension in the genital area, which positively affects sexual relations; awaken spiritual forces, creativity & eroticism, the ability to feel energy within oneself, etc…

TANTRA vs KIZOMBA

   Does anything sounds like KIZOMBA to you??

Since I dance kizomba I’ve always been comparing it to Tantra in my mind… But obviously we, kizomba dancers, don’t know anything  about chakras, energy channels, how to activate anything, etc… (well, I know because I have studied it, but a normal person doesn’t). We don’t know, but we FEEL!!! We just DANCE and FEEL… This is the unconscious knowledge that drives us to dance more with one partner or another.

Men could wonder why I dance sometimes so closely.     Does this mean I “invite” them for more?   Is it the “Green Light“?    Am I a dissatisfied woman looking for some warmth and affection?

You know what?  Some people don’t need to be that close to feel the energy of a partner. It’s like in Reiki: I can physically apply my hands on your body, or I can just keep them over the body at a short distance – the effect is the same. But some people don’t mind me touching them; they even ask for it in order to feel better the energy flow, because they simply enjoy physical contact. While others prefer to avoid it. We are all different! What one likes and considers “normal”, “acceptable”, “decent” – someone else considers as “too much”, “extravagant” or “vulgar”. Each person has his own ideas about the same thing, and they may not and need not to coincide with the opinion of another.

Example:

How many times I’ve heard from some girlfriend “Oh he’s an AMAZING dancer!!!”, then I danced with him and was disappointed, because I didn’t feel half of what my friend told me. Each of us attracts certain type of energies. This is for sure.

Importance of the body contact

I like to be touched. I like going to the hairdresser and having my hair washed…uumm yummi!!! I like visiting Beauty Centers and having treatments for my face and body, applying all kinds of scrubs & masks. I Love all types of massages. Even just when my back is scrached:))

Obviously, I don’t let everyone to get that close in a dance, but for me personally it’s difficult to understand the leading from a partner when he is too far from me. I lose control of my body. I need to have more body contact. There are really few dancers able to lead so well that they can stand quite far and I will understand what exactly they want from me. To me they are the best dancers ever!!! (no names here LOL).  But the rest is for “douceur”! In other words, for Tantra!

So, is it so bad to enjoy the way a partner makes waves with his belly? For me it´s magical!!! For me sometimes a dance is better than sex.

EMOTIONS

What really makes me wonder, is the emotional part, that is different from Tantra. Unfortunately this part is very poor in Kizomba. There’s no deep emotional connection. Inspite all its intimacy, sometimes there’s no emotional connection at all in kizomba… Should I think it’s because we haven’t gone far from animals?   And,  given expriences of some friends,  even when it comes to sex, there’s nothing else but physical part. It still surprises me a lot.

the WHY

Thinking of WHY…   Too much choice? Too easy? Too much diversity? Too much rotation?  Does it make us less sensitive? Don´t we have time to dive deeper? Are we scared to make it right? Scared to GIVE? To TRUST? To GO FURTHER? Or we just DON’T CARE?

All these contradictions, the paradox of such a strong connection in the dance and such a poor connection in sex, are still issues to be analyzed… We still have a long way to perfection and true feelings.

But this article is written to make you think about it, to be more conscious of our bodies, and especially, not to separate them from our souls!

Dj Saï Saï – The walking legend – about himself and the Kizomba

Dj Saï Saï Interview – ENGLISH VERSION: 

Version française en bas ⇓

If you know what is “kizomba” than for sure you know who is Dj Saï Saï, as this person is one of the pioneers in the Kizomba dance world. Those who would like to know how it all started should ask him. He was there! Now I was lucky to hear some of these stories, and proud and happy to share them with you!)

I remembered his music before I remembered his face and his name. He has always been an often guest in Luxembourg at our local parties and obviously our festivals. When I started dancing DJ Sai Sai was the first European DJ I met, as I wasn´t going on dancing trips yet. Since I talked to him for the first time, I could always distinguish his irresistible smile and positive vibes. Hope that explains a little bit why he is the first kizomba DJ in my blog.

Dj Saï Saï or Saïdou was born in Senegal 34 years ago. When he was 6 months old, he moved (better say “was moved”) to France. From the conversation, I understood he considers himself a French man. Bla bla bla… The official part is over. Surely, you all can find this information somewhere in social red, but let´s start

the interview:

  • When you don´t work, what do you do in your real life?

When I don´t work I sleep… go for sport, compose music, playstation with my friends.. – sitting comfortably in front of me, smiling, with a drink in one hand and a Voice Recorder in another one. He had promised to speak slowly so that I could understand his French. 

  • Playstation?

FIFA

  • What´s your favorite team?

PSG (Paris St.Germain).    My ordinary life:  I spend 90% of time on my own. I can spend 4 days locked up at home without any problem. This is what I do when I don´t work. Voila! 

  • When you are on your own, do you listen to music?

All the time

  • What kind of music does Dj Saï Saï listen to? Kizomba?

Kizomba or French variety. French music like Goldman, Celine Dion, Johnny Hallyday. I don´t listen to RAP, because I don´t like it. I listen a little bit to American music, Reggy and Soal,  I adore Zouk…  But I don´t listen to RAP. I don´t like RAP.  I like French music.  Upon my inspiration.

  • On Facebook you have two accounts as Dj Saï Saï. Is there any difference between them?

There´s no difference. It´s because on Facebook there are 5000 contacts per account and once you hit this ceiling you cannot receive more requests. So I had to create a new one in order to be able to accept everyone.

  • And you are that Good Guy to accept everyone?))

Yeaaa, I´m the best of the best! In fact, 90% of my contacts in Facebook are from Kizomba, and the rest 10% are my friends. And I don´t have many friends. Thus, that´s why I created two accounts. I had to do the cleaning. I removed “friends in common” and I made some space for others. Because at some point I arrived at 5000 on each account, so I had 10000 in total. I deleted 1600 to make some space. The problem in fact is that when I mix at a festival, like today (the interview took place during a festival) I get 50 requests. When I mix in Luxembourg I can get 100 requests.

  • Each time?

Yesss! All the time. People don´t know me. They listen to music, but they don´t know me. They want to know what I am. If they want to know what I mix, they start following me on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, etc…

  • I have a question about friends. Do you have real friends in Kizomba world, those you can really trust and rely on? Do you separate you professional and your private life?

In Kizomba I have acquaintances. It´s called “acquaintances”. Many of them I appreciate and others I don´t trust. However, I have more friends than non-friends in kizomba, but they are anyway your acquaintances. Once the party is over, everyone goes home and “Salut!”. Well, whom I really appreciate in Kizomba from DJs that I´ve known for a long time are DJ Gass. We met when we were 15 y.o. We were mixing in the afternoons at the time in Paris. It´s Madiss, who helped me develop myself.  I also have a good relationship with Leda and, I get on very well with everybody in general, but I´m more close with Gass and Madiss, with whom we talk a lot, we call each other, we meet outside Kizomba world. It´s been also years since I know Valet.

  • Are they those who you can tell about your personal life?

As I said, my personal life I keep only for myself. No I don´t. It´s more like when we meet, we have fun together, we work together, but in my personal life I manage myself from A to Z.  If I have a problem, I don´t ask my family to help me. If I have a problem, it is MY problem. I do everything myself, on my own, like managing my planning, my database. I manage my taxi dancers team…

  • This is exactly my next question!

I manage my artists. I have two artists.

  • What do you mean by “my artists”?

In fact, I have a music label – I produce. I have already produced a track with Sandro “Já Não Sei”(2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If62kZ7aS2c , who recently was No.1 of Top 10 for 1 month in Portugal. Now I´m working on a production of a new artist. I take care of everything myself.

  • You are very artistic with a lot of imagination.

It´s my work! I was a musician when I was young. I played battery for 5 years and, at the same time, I played professional handball.  

  • You do like sport a lot!

You can see it! Jajaja LOL  (demonstrating me his biceps)

  • Well, let´s get to your taxi team. Why did you decide to do it? There are so many, especially in Paris!

Yes, there are many teams. However, there are Teams and there are “teams”. You have the Kiztrotters, who are well known, who work very very well!  (Kiztrotters, catch a compliment from Dj Saï Saï! LOL) Then you have SK Team, Gwany´s team VVK, Ludo´s one LS Kizz, and now you have SS Team – SaiSai Team. Why I did it? Because I have a couple of guys, Shawn and Will, who go everywhere with me when I travel by car, like Luxembourg, Belgium, etc… They are good dancers.  In addition, when I get calls I´m asked if I could bring some dancers with me. So, I was asked once, than twice…

  • Oh then it was not your idea? You were “pushed” to create it?

Yes, it was also foreseen. I will explain you: I´ve been mixing for 19 years. I´m 34 now. When I was 23 yo, I bought a pub and I was its owner for 7 years. It was called “Tropical Bar” .

  • Dj Saï Saï seems to be a real Business Man! LOL

I took it after my father. And, well, I my pub there were courses of salsa, kizomba, bachata, etc… And I started kizomba in 2008, in the pub.

  • Tony Pirata wasn´t even famous at that time yet!

He was the person with whom I started working. The first course he gave in France was in my pub. I also met Isabelle and Felicien for the first time there at that time. I will show you the photos! Everything is here! (We spent some minutes in his mobile, so I re-confirm, he has a proof to his words!)

  • Do you have so much space in your telephone to store all this stuff? LOL

I have everything here! Wait! Don´t move!  I´ll show you one video

I was wondering how can Dj Saï Saï keep all this information in his mobile, and find it so easily every time. I have waited for 2 seconds. It was in front of my eyes – his lunch with Pingusso, Rodney and Pirata, who started talking to the camera. He explained that long time ago the place to be was a Tropical bar, but it is in the past. Everything has changed and now it is AM Restaurant, “Vamos Dançar Yvelines” (https://www.facebook.com/letropical.bar ) and he made a little promotion to their current weekly parties and workshops.  (https://www.facebook.com/events/1395831560428344 )

Dj Saï Saï continued:

It´s just to say that I´m one of the first. Now it´s AM Restaurant. I rent it and I mix there.  So, in kizomba I was there one of the first. And also thanks to Atim, the singer. Atim is my best friend. He is my neighbor. He lives near my house. We grew up together. We meet every day, going info sport together and doing many more things.  So how it happened: Atim came to the Tropical Bar and he told me “Sai, there´s something you should try!” What Kizomba is I didn´t know. I knew Le Passade. At the time, it was that, in 2003-2004 it was La Passade Cabverdienne. My bartender was a cabeverdian girl. He invited her to dance. That´s how the piece “FOFU” (CABO LOVE) with MARiSA was born. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_r_y4GMFHo . So he invited her for a dance, and they danced kizomba in front of me. I said “I don´t know what it is, but I like it very much!” I was dancing bachata, but to me it seemed even better. And it´s him who introduced me to Tony Pirata. That´s how it all started… For one year it was just us, me and him.

  • You and Tony?

Yea, and afterwards he invited us to Metropolis (one of the first night clubs in Paris with Kizomba) when he composed “Gosta Bue”  And afterwards, well, there was everyone else, but for me the pillar is Tony Pirata, Symeone, Morenasso, Tecas…

  • Is it how it all started?

Yes! Everything has started like that. Then you have Moun, Curtis, Enah, and all that…that´s it!

  • Now how many taxi dancers do you have in your team?

 Thirty. Twenty SS team1guys and ten girls.

–  I´ve never seen them. Where do they dance?

Everywhere! For example, tonight they dance in Paris…  (If you are interested in more information about Dj Saï Saï team, there is an official page in Facebook with all photos and details about each member of the team: https://www.facebook.com/sst78/?fref=ts )

 

He changed subject by showing me again the first kizomba song of Atim; we listened to it for a little while;

 This is the song, which showed me kizomba! This song is the starting point!  Then, this is the artist that I told you I had produced –Sandro – Dj Saï Saï played me another song, which I realized I knew very well, –

 This song was born in my living room. I am currently working with a new artist. This is the future! – He turned his mobile screen again to me and I saw a nice girl, rehearsing in front of a microphone, –

It is in my place. She is my singer. This is the test, we continued to listen a bit more…

  • One more question: your music for me is very romantic. Are you in life as your music is? Are you a romantic person?

Saïdou is like this. When I compose, it is me, Saidou. At home it is simple. There is no alcohol. I do not drink alcohol.

  • Jajaja )))

I only drink at weekends. I do that to relax, to be Dj Saï Saï, to make myself visible to people, to talk to everyone. This is my work; we must not forget about it.  As weekend-festivals are tiring: days – nights- days- nights, socials- night parties-socials-night parties, I have to mix, than I have to talk a little bit, dance a little bit, to do this, to do that,  alcohol helps me smile to everyone and be more relaxed towards people; also to understand better in English LOL. I try to make an effort to speak it when I drink alcohol. It makes me be more sociable, more out-going.  The real Saïdou is a very reserved and quiet person. I´m also a little bit sentimental. I am what my music is. I like a lot French variety as I told you.

  • You have your own Dj Saï Saï style. I can always recognize your music.

Every Dj has its own style. My melody is like this. I am more “douceur”.

  • I see. Especially the last Senegalese composition “The Beauty Of Sénégal Kiz”. To me it’s very beautiful, but not that comfortable for dancing. I thought that the main instrument was a guitar, by the way.

No, it was Cora. It is like the Arphe in France, we have the Cora. In fact, I wrote this song for Midi Station Festival (Brussels, December 2016). As I was asked to write something exclusive for them, and at the same time as I am from Senegal – voala! Done!  As everyone re-mixes everything, why wouldn´t I write something myself? As I am Senegalese. That’s why I did it.

  • That is when I got interested in Senegal! I listened to it and I told myself “Hmmm, would be interesting to visit this country one day”

Yea, there is a festival very soon in Senegal – Dakar Kizomba Congress! (https://www.facebook.com/groups/943298679094448/?fref=ts 25-31 October 2017, Dj Saï Saï will be present there!!!!) I am going to mix in my country. You can come if you want.  You won’t regret it! Everything is included in the Full Pass: airline tickets, accommodation and the entrance fees. And the food is very cheap over there.

  • Are you taking part in its organization or just mix?

I’m a Dj. I also present the festival, obviously, because I am Senegalese.

  • Is it the first time?

Yes, it’s my first time.  In addition, my family lives there.

  • Isn’t it dangerous for me to go there on my own?

Oh no, not at all!!  There are many white people. It’s absolutely safe. For them, by the way, I’m white. Because I live in France, I work in France. When I go to Senegal, they know that I’m not from there. They know it. And they see it. They see my piercings, my style, how I am dressed.

When I speak Senegalese I have a French accent. When I walk, I walk like French. They see it. Piercing does not exist there. For them I am French.

  • Do French people realize that you are from Senegal?

Of course! You only have to see the marks here (he pointed out at the temples on his face). They were made for purification.  It’s the culture. It’s our religion. All Senegalese who you would meet in France have those marks. My elder brother and I did them as well.

  • Do you have brother or sisters?

We are five brothers and one sister. And the others didn’t want to do it, they don’t have them (the marks). I did it when I was a baby. You have to do it when you are a baby. It’s like a tattoo, it stays forever. It brings luck, for purifying, for the future.

  • You seem to be lucky! LOL

I have worked for that. When I started mixing, I was very young. At the time, I was mixing for nothing. I did not have much money.

  • Have your parents ever helped you?

No. I have done always everything myself. Absolutely everything: from A to Z.

  • Great! Now, what is the best part of your Dj Saï Saï life?

First of all, it’s my passion. It´s like a hobby and I do it for living at the same time, but it has always been my passion. Recently there are many DJs who come to Kizomba, because they would like to be recognized, well known, to travel, to take advantage of all what includes to be a DJ. Basically, to be a Kizomba Dj you have to be first just a DJ. And there are not many real DJs, those who have worked for 10-15-20 years. I have mixed cabo love, zouk, dancehall, house, reggaeton, hip-hop, funk; everything, all the styles! I had my room from 10 pm to 6 am, where I had to mix on my own all the night long. Meanwhile in Kizomba you mix only for 1-2 hours. For me to mix the whole night is not a problem.

The problem now is with all that new technology, small control machines. Everyone wants to become a DJ. They buy a MAC, a controller and they already can mix as well, but they know nothing about music. It’s a job one must know. Now you have plenty of false Djs. It became very accessible to everyone nowadays. The majority do it because it’s cool (“A la mode”), ‘cause they can travel, etc… They only see this in fact, but I don´s see it like that. That’s how you recognize a real DJ –  by the way he mixes, by the way he observes clients, etc… If everyone had this passion to mix, they would have started to mix well before the Kizomba. When Kizomba has appeared, it became very fassionable, and everyone got into it, because there are girls, travel, money, … go! They say: “Ok, I’ll be a DJ, because I like Kizomba”. However, they come and they do not know how to mix. It is not good.

  • Have you ever refused a job offer because you are tired of travelling, and you just preferred to stay home in order to have some rest?

Never.  As I have told you, I am a very solitary lonesome person.

  • Is it the same feeling to be in a hotel room as at home?

It is similar. If there is a TV, music, a computer and additionally a play station – it’s the same. That is what I do usually at home. But there’s something else when I travel: I meet people, I improve on my English, I share what I’ve created. Thus, it is important for me to travel in order to share out what I have done, what I have worked on. When people listen to me in the internet it’s great, but in life it’s even better.

  • Do you have favorite festivals?

Yes! Luxembourg! I was wearing its T-shirt today.

  • Yeaa, I paid attention to it! Bravoo!!!

I will tell you what my favorite festivals are: Luxembourg “International Kizomba FestivalKZL”! For me it’s Number One.  O’KIZ, I adored it. It was magnificent!! I will go there again this year. It’s also PKC (Paris Kizomba Congress), which is also magnificent. Then, “I’M YOUR DJ”, it’s in my Top5. At this moment, it’s all. There’s one more, which is becoming one of my favorites – Universal Kiz. This year I loved it. Although there was a weird planning, in Belgium it was quite good.

  • Why Luxembourg is the best? I consider it the best for myself as well. Trying to compare it objectively with others, I find it super good.

It’s the best festival for all artists. Why?  Because the organization and the location are perfect. And it’s comfortable. The first edition took part in the Novotel Hotel. Everything was happening in that hotel. There was a shuttle that took us to night parties’ location. In the mornings, everyone had breakfast all together, and afterwards we all played FIFA, because there was a playstation with TV. And the rooms were Suites. Every 5 seconds we were asked:”Dj Saï Saï, is everything OK?”, “Do you need anything else?”, “Anything to drink? This? That?” Etc… There was a dressing room, there was everything! KZL is the best festival! The best!  O’KIZ takes the second place. In fact, it is simple, it depends on the Meteo: in spring it’s KZL, in summer it’s O’KIZ, in autumn I’M YOUR DJ and in winter PKC. They are my Top 4.

  • Let’s switch to your Playlist now. When you go to a festival, do you always prepare it in advance or improvise on place? Does it depend on the county or a type of a festival you go?

I never prepared any playlist.   

  • Inspiration?

That is! Inspiration! I´m always updated, trying to find new music.  I adopt myself to other DJs all the time. This is what is called experience.

  • You come and see what others have just mixed before you and you continue with a different thing? And you have all the music always with you?

Yes. That´s how I work.  Yes, I have absolutely everything with me. If the previous one mixed tarraxa I would mix douceur.  So I adopt myself. I never know what will be the next. I think meanwhile I´m mixing.  While I mix, I have a motor in my mind, thinking what to play next, so there is a smooth transition. This is my work. This is what makes me to be here. When you listen to my complete mix, you will see that everything mixes by itself.

 

With these words I´m finishing the conversation, thanking endlessly Dj Saï Saï for his time and for his willingness to answer all questions.

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

VERSION FRANCAIS:

La légende Dj Saï Saï

Si vous connaissez le mot « kizomba », vous connaissez surement qui est Dj Saï Saï, car cette personne est l’un des pionniers dans le monde de la Kizomba. Ceux qui voudraient savoir comment tout a commencé devraient lui demander. Il était là ! Maintenant, j’ai eu la chance d’entendre certaines de ces histoires, et je suis très fière et heureuse de les partager avec vous !

Je reconnaissais sa musique avant que j’ai commencé à reconnaître son visage et son nom. Il a été souvent invité au Luxembourg à nos fêtes locales et évidemment à nos festivals. Quand j’ai commencé à danser, Dj Saï Saï a été le premier DJ européen que j’ai rencontré, car je n’allais pas encore aux dancing trips.

Depuis que je lui ai parlé pour la première fois, je pouvais toujours distinguer son sourire irrésistible et vibes positives. J’espère que cela explique un peu pourquoi il est le premier DJ dans mon blog.

 

Dj Saï Saï o Saïdou est né au Sénégal il y a 34 ans. Quand il avait 6 mois, il a déménagé (ou je dirais mieux qu’il « a été déplacé ») en France. Après cette conversation, j’ai compris qu’il se considère comme un homme Français. Bla bla bla … La partie officielle est terminée. Sûrement, vous pouvez trouver toute cette information quelque part dans le net, mais commençons l’entrevue :

  • Qu’est-ce que tu fais quand tu ne travailles pas dans ta vie quotidienne ?

Quand je ne travaille pas c’es do-do, sport, composition music, PlayStation avec mes amis, …– assis confortablement devant moi, souriant, avec un verre dans une main et un enregistreur vocal dans un autre. Il avait promis de parler lentement pour que je comprenne son français.

  • PlayStation ?

Fifa, Call of duty.

  • Quelle est ton équipe préférée ?

Le PSG (Paris St-Germain).

A la base c’est ça ma vie quotidienne. A la base je passe 90 % de mon temps tout seul et je peux rester 4 jours enfermé chez moi, il n’y a pas de problème. Voilà, ce que je fais.

  • Quand tu es tout seul, écoutes-tu de la musique ?

Tout le temps.

  • Quel genre de musique Dj Saï Saï écoute-t-il ?

Kizomba ou variété française. Les chanteurs français comme Goldman, Céline Dion, Johny Halliday, tout ce qui est chanson française, je n’écoute pas de rap, j’aime pas. J’écoute un peu de musique américaine : Reggy, soul, zouk – j’adore. J’écoute beaucoup de variété française pour l’inspiration.

  • Tu es né en France ?

Non, je suis né au Sénégal. Je suis arrivé en France quand j’avais 6 mois, donc c’est presque pareil – je suis né, j’ai pris l’avion et je suis venu en France. Sénégalais de nature et de nationalité Française.

  • Sur Facebook tu as deux DjSaï Saï comptes. Y-a-t-il la différence entre les deux ?

Il n’y a pas de différence, à Facebook tu as 5000 de contactes et tu ne peux plus recevoir d’invitations. 90 % de gens sur Facebook, c’est kizomba et tout le reste c’est 10% ce sont des amis, je n’ai pas beaucoup d’amis. Donc, c’est pour ça j’ai crée deux comptes. Il fallait que je fasse le nettoyage pour libérer de la place pour les amis quand il y avait un moment quand les deux étaient bloqués à 5000.

Cela faisait 10000 contactes, donc j’ai dû enlever 1600 personnes pour faire de la place. Après les festivals, par exemple comme aujourd’hui, quand je rentre il y a 50 invitations. Quand je mixe à Luxembourg, je vais avoir 100 invitations…

  • A chaque fois ?

Oui, je vais tout le temps avoir des nouvelles invitations. Les gens ne me connaissent pas, la plupart écoute ma musique mais ils ne me connaissent pas. Dès qu’ils voient le personnage, ils écoutent ce que je fais en mixe, forcement ils s’intéressent donc ils me suivent. Ils me rajoutent sur Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., …

  • Concernant les amis, j’ai encore une question. As-tu des vrais amis dans le mode de Kizomba, à ceux que tu peux vraiment faire confiance ? Sépares-tu ta vie professionnelle et ta vie privée ?

Dans la kizomba j’ai des connaissances, on appelle ça « des connaissances », beaucoup que j’apprécie et d’autres je me méfie. Mais j’ai plus d’amis que « pas amis » dans kizomba. Cela reste quand même plus de connaissances. Tu vois, quand la soirée est finie, tout le monde rentre chez soi – « salut ! ». Après vraiment dans la kizomba vraiment ceux que j’apprécie beaucoup – Gass, quand on s‘est connu on avait 15 ans, mais c’était que des après-midi à l ‘époque à Paris. Madiss, qui m’a aidé à me développer. C’est aussi Leda, je m’entends bien avec tout le monde mais après les affinités pures c’est plus avec Gass et Madiss avec qui on parle beaucoup, on s’appelle, on se voit en dehors. Après Valet ça fait des années qu’on se connaît.

  • Est-ce que tu peux leur parler de ta vie professionnelle ?

Non, comme je t’ai dit ma vie personnelle ça ne regarde que moi. Non, c’est plus on est là, on va rigoler ensemble, travailler ensemble. Moi je suis quelqu’un qui se débrouille tout seul d’A à Z. Je ne demanderais à personne même si j’ai un problème je demande pas ma famille, c’est mon problème. Et je gère tout tout seule, comme je gère mon planning à moi, je gère mes dates, c’est moi qui gère tout. Je gère mon équipe de taxis, j’ai 30 taxis, …

  • C’est justement ma prochaine question !

Je gère mes artistes, mes deux artistes…

  • C’est quoi comme artistes ?

En fait, j’ai un label de musique, je produis. J’ai déjà produit un morceau avec Sandro « Jà Nao Sei » (2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If62kZ7aS2c, ça fait un moment que je l’ai sorti, mais qui était numéro 1 dans le Top 10 pendant un mois au Portugal. Je produis des nouveaux artistes maintenant. Je produis moi-même, je me débrouille tout seule.

  • Tu es très artistique, tu as beaucoup d’imagination.

C’est mon travail ! J’étais musicien quand j’étais jeune. Je jouais de la basse et de la batterie. J’en ai joué pendant 5 ans et à coté j’étais un handballeur professionnel.

  • Tu aimes bien le sport !

Ça se voit ! hahaha

  • Ok, revenons à ton équipe de taxi. Pourquoi tu as décidé de le faire ? Il y a tellement, surtout à Paris !

Oui, mais il ya Teams and il y a « teams ». Kiztrotters qui sont connus, qui travaillent très bien. (Kiztrotters, attrapez un compliment de Dj Saï Saï! LOL) Après tu as SK Team, Gwany’s team VVK, Ludo’s LS KIZZ et tu as maintenant SST – Dj Saï Saï Team. Pourquoi je les ai créées parce que j’ai deux gars à moi – Shawn et Will qui viennent partout avec moi ou je me déplace – Luxembourg, Belgique et tout ça. Ils sont des bons danseurs. Et quand j’ai des appels on m’a souvent demandé : « Est-ce que tu peux ramener quelques danseurs avec toi ? ». Donc à force de ramener des danseurs, …

  • Donc c’est parce que tu étais obligé de le faire ?

Non, je voulais aussi le faire. Cela fait 19 ans que je mix…

  • Tu es vieux ! haha

J’ai 34 ans. A 23 ans j’ai acheté un pub, j’étais patron pendant 7 ans. Il s’appelait « Tropical Bar ».

  • Dj Saï Saï est vraiment un businessman ! haha

Je tiens ça de mon père. En fait, dans mon pub, on donnait des cours de salsa, de bachata, kizomba etc. J’ai commencé la kizomba en 2008 dans mon pub.

  • Tony Pirata n’était même pas encore connu à cette époque !

C’est donc avec Toni Pirata que j’ai commencé. Toni Pirata a donné le premier cours en France c’était chez moi, dans mon pub. J´ai également connu Isabelle et Felicien dans mon pub à cette époque. Attends, je te montre les photos.

  • Tu as de l’espace pour toutes tes photos ?

J’ai tout ici. Attends, bouge pas. Je te montre la vidéo.

Je me demandais comment il peut avoir toute cette information dans son téléphone ans s’orienter aussi facilement. J’ai attendu 2 secondes. C’étais devant mes yeux – son déjeuner avec Pingusso, Rodney et Pirata, qui a commencé parler sur la caméra. Il a expliqué qu’il y a longtemps l’endroit était « Tropical Bar » tropical, mais c’était dans le passé. Tout est changé, maintenant c’est AM Restaurant, « Vamos Dançar Yvelines » (https://www.facebook.com/letropical.bar ) and il a fait un peu de la pub pour leur soirées et workshops. (https://www.facebook.com/events/1395831560428344 )

Dj Saï Saï continuait :

C’est juste pour montrer que j’étais tout au début, l’un des premiers dans la kizomba. Maintenant c’est AM Resaurant. Je loue et je mix là-bas. Aussi grâce à Atim, le chanteur. Atim est mon meilleur ami. C’est mon voisin. Il habite à coté de chez moi. On se voit souvent et on va au sport ensemble, on fait tout. Ce qui s’est passé : Atim est passé chez moi et il m’a dit : « Sai, j’ai un truc, il faut que tu essaie. Je lui ai dit que je ne connaissais pas Kizomba. Je connaissais Le Passade. A l’époque c’était ça, dans les 2003-2004 c’était La Passade Cabverdienne. Ma barman était cabverdienne. Il l’a invité danser. C’est comme ça que le morceau « FOFU » (Cabo Love) avec Marisa était crée. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_r_y4GMFHo Il a dansé la kizomba devant moi. Je me suis dit : « Je ne sais pas ce que c’est mais j’aime bien ». Je dansais bien la bachata donc pour moi c’était un plus. Et c’est là qu’il m’a presenté Tony Pirata. Et là on a commencé et pendant un an on était tout seul.

  • Toi et Tony ?

Oui, après il nous a invité à Metropolis (l‘un des premiers clubs de nuit à Paris avec Kizomba) quand il a composé « Gosta Bue ». Et après il y avait les autres, mais pour moi les piliers c’étaient Tony Pirata, Symeone, Morenasso, Tecas,…

  • C’est comme ça que tout a commencé ?

C’est ça. Tu as aussi Moun, Curtis, Enah et tout ça… et c’est tout !

  • Combien de taxi danseurs as-tu dans ton équipe ?

Trente. Vingt gars et dix filles.

  • Je ne les ai jamais vu. Ou dansent-ils ?

Partout ! Par exemple ce soir ils dansent à Paris…   (Si vous êtes intéressé par plus d’informations sur l’équipe de Dj Saï Saï, il y a une page officielle dans Facebook avec toutes les photos et détails sur chaque membre de l’équipe : https://www.facebook.com/sst78/?fref=ts)

C’est le premier morceau de kizomba de Atim, c’est celui là.

Cette chanson là qui m’a montré la kizomba. C’est avec ce morceau que tout est parti. C’est l’artiste que je produis – Sandro. – Il me fait écouter une autre chanson, que je connaissais bien.

Cette chanson était née dans mon salon. C’est moi qui le produis.  C’est l’avenir ! – Il a tourné l’écran de son portable et j’ai vu une jolie fille en répétition avec le micro.

C’est chez moi. Ma nouvelle artiste. C’est le test.

  • Pour moi ta musique est très romantique. Dans la vie tu es aussi comme ça ? Es-tu une personne romantique ?

Saidou est comme ça. Quand je compose, c’est Saidou. Quand je suis à la maison, je suis simple. Il n’y a pas d’alcool. Je ne bois pas d’alcool.

  • Hahahaha

Je ne bois que le weekend. Pour me détendre, pour être Dj Saï Saï, pour être visible aux gens, pour parler avec les autres. C’est mon travail, on ne doit pas oublier ça. Vu que festival c’est fatiguant – jour/ nuit/ sociale, soirée/ sociale, … On mixe la sociale l’après-midi, le soir après il faut aller danser un peu, parler avec les gars, faut faire ci et ça. Donc alcool m’aide à suivre mon rythme et à me lâcher par rapport aux gens. Je comprends mieux l’anglais, je suis plus social, ouvert. Le vrai Saidou est très réservé et calme. Je suis aussi un peu sentimental. Comme ma musique. J’écoute beaucoup de la variété française comme je t’avais dit.

  • Tu as ton propre style. Je peux te reconnaître facilement.

Chaque DJ a son style. Ma mélodie c’est comme ça. Je suis dans la douceur.

  • Je vois. Surtout la dernière composition sénégalaise « The Beauty Of Senegal Kiz ». Pour moi c’est très beau mais pas très confortable pour danser. Je pensais que l’instrument principal était la guitare par contre.

Non, on appelle ça la cora. C’est comme harpe en France on a la cora. A la base, je l’ai fait pour Midi Station Festival. Ils voulaient que je fasse un morceau exclu pour eux. En même temps, vu que c’est Sénégalais aussi, je me suis dis, vas-y, tiens. Pourquoi ne pas mixer un morceau de chez moi ? Parce que je suis Sénégalais. Et donc, j’ai fait ce morceau là.

  • C’est là que j’ai commencé à m’intéresser au Sénégal. J’écoutais cette chanson et je me suis dit : « Mmm, ça pourrait être intéressant de visiter ce pays un jour ».

Il y a bientôt un festival au Sénégal – Dakar Kizomba Congress ! (https://www.facebook.com/groups/943298679094448/?fref=ts 25-31/10 2017, Dj Saï Saï sera present la) Il y a beaucoup de monde qui vient. Je suis obligé de mixer dans mon pays. Tu peux venir si tu veux. Tu ne vas pas le regretter. Tout est inclut dans le Full Pass : 1000 euro tu as tout – les billets d’avion, l’hôtel. Le manger ce n’est pas cher du tout là-bas.

  • Tu organises ou t’y vas juste pour mixer ?

J’y vais comme Dj, mais je représente aussi le festival vu que je suis Sénégalais.

  • C’est la première fois ?

C’est la première fois. Après j’ai ma famille là-bas.

  • Tes parents habitent au Sénégal ?

Mes parents – oui.

  • Ce n’est pas dangereux pour moi d’y aller toute seule ?

Non, pas du tout. Il y a beaucoup de blancs au Sénégal. Moi où j’habite c’est cité avion, là où il y a l’aéroport. Après tu as les Almadis, coté touristique où il y a beaucoup de blancs. On a aussi cité AirFrance ou on tous les résidents français blancs qui habitent là-bas. C’est chic. Des belles résidences avec des gardiens devant les villas. Là il y a beaucoup de blancs qui travaillent et vivent là-bas. Tu ne risque rien. Moi-même pour eux je suis un blanc. Vu que j’habite en France, je travaille en France. Quand je vais au Sénégal ils le savent que je ne suis pas de là-bas. Par rapport, à mes piercings, mon style, comment je m’habille… ils le savent. Il y a aussi l’accent français. Comment je vais marcher, comment je m’habille – ils vont le voir. Piercings ça n’existe pas là-bas, ils vont le voir.

Dès que j’y vais, ils le voient. L’été dernier j’y étais, j’étais avec mon cousin qui habite là-bas, on marchait et tout le monde se retournait dès qu’ils nous voyaient.

  • Comment les Français voient que tu es Sénégalais ?

Juste avec mes marques ici  (il a souligné aux tempes sur son visage). Quand tu es né là haut, on fait ça pour te purifier. C’est une coutume. Moi et mon grand frère on a ça. C’est comme un tatouage. C’est religieux et c’est une coutume chez nous. Tous les sénégalais qui sont nés là-bas et sont venus en France ou n’importe où après, ils ont ça.

  • Tu as beaucoup de frères ?

On est cinq garçons et une fille.  Moi et mon frère on a, mais les autres ils n’ont pas, parce qu’ils sont nés en France. Mon grand frère travaille à la mairie…

  • Quand ils font cette marque ?

Ils font ça quand t’es un bébé. C’est comme un tatouage qui reste pour toute la vie. C’est une coutume de purification, pour porter de la chance, pour l’avenir, pour tout.

  • Tu as beaucoup de chance !

J’ai travaillé pour, J’ai commencé à mixer quand j’étais jeune, au début je le faisais pour rien du tout, je n’avais pas beaucoup d’argent, j’étais là avec mes potes. J’ai toujours fait tout tout seul d’A à Z, jamais demandé de l’aide.

  • Qu’est-ce qui est le meilleure dans ta vie de DJ ?

Pour moi c’est une vrai passion – passion. C’est comme mon hobby. Cela me fait vivre aussi, mais ça a toujours été ma passion. Il y a beaucoup de Dj qui viennent maintenant et ils ont marre. C’est plus qu’ils veulent profiter – être connu, voyager, faire la fête. A la base être Dj Kizomba tu dois avant être juste un Dj. Il n’y a pas beaucoup de vrais Dj, qui ont travaillé pendant 10-15-20 ans. Moi, j’ai mixé cabo love, zouk, dance hall, house, reggaeton, hip-hop, funk – j’ai tout mixé, tous les styles. J’ai travaillé dans les discothèques où j’avais une salle que je devais occuper de 22 heures à 6 heures du matin. Ça veut dire que je mixe tout seul toute la soirée.

Tandis qu’avec kizomba tu mixe juste 1-2 heures. Pour moi mixer la nuit entière n’est pas un problème. Le problème maintenant avec des nouvelles technologies, même les filles deviennent des Dj, toi demain t’achète un Mac, un contrôleur et tu peux mixer aussi. C’est devenu accessible à tout le monde maintenant. La plupart fait ça par rapport à la mode, voyages etc. 

Ils ne voient que ça en fait, et moi je ne vois pas comme ça. C’est comme ça que tu vois un vrai Dj – sa façon de mixer, comment il voit les clients, etc. Si tout le monde avait cette passion de mixer, ils ont remixé bien avant la kizomba. C’est juste kizomba est arrivé, c’est la mode et tout le monde veux mixer – il y a des filles, voyages, de l’argent, … allez ! Vu que la kizomba est devenue mondiale et il y a des Dj partout, ils voient le flyer – voyage etc. Ils achètent un mac et contrôleur mais connaissent rien en musique, c’est un travail. Il faut connaître, maintenant tu as plein de faux Dj.

  • Est-ce que tu as déjà refusé un travail parce que tu étais fatigué de voyage et tu voulais juste rester à la maison tranquille ?

Jamais. Comme je t’ai déjà dit je suis quelqu’un de solitaire. Je suis tout le temps tout seul chez moi, le fait de voyager, … Tant qu’il y a la télé, l’ordinateur, la musique et une consomme – la PlayStation, c’est bon. Chez moi c’est pareil, je pose mes affaires, je ne fais rien de plus. Mais quand je voyage je rencontre du monde, je vois des gens, j’approfondie mon anglais, je partage ce que je fais. Pour moi c’est important de voyager pour partager ce que je fais. Parce que m’écouter sur Internet c’est bien, mais me voir un vrai c’est mieux.

  • Quels sont tes festivals préférés ?

Oui ! Luxembourg! Bah, déjà c’est celui-là. J’ai mis la T-shirt aujourd’hui.

  • Oui !!! J’ai remarqué ! Bravo !!!!

Luxembourg, pour moi c’est numéro 1 –  Luxembourg International  Kizomba Festival (KZL). O’KIZ je l’adore. C’était magnifique. J’y vais encore cette année. C’est aussi PKC, qui est aussi magnifique. Après, « I’M YOUR DJ », dans le Top5. Pour le moment, c’est tout. Celui qui commence à rentrer gentiment c’est – Universal Kiz. J’ai aimé. Même si on avait un planning bizarre, nous les Dj français parce que les hollandais ils ont pris le dessus. Mais on va dire, en Belgique c’est pas mal aussi.

  • Mais pourquoi Luxembourg est meilleure ? Pour moi c’est comme ça aussi. J’essaie de le comparer objectivement avec les autres, je le trouve super bien.

C’est le meilleur festival pour tous les artistes parce que l’organisation est carrée. L’organisation, les lieux sont parfaits, c’est convivial, malgré que ça soit grand c’est convivial. Mon premier festival c’était dans Novotel Hôtel. Tout se passait dans l’hôtel. Il y avait un bus qui nous ramenait dans une grande salle pour la soirée. Et nous le matin, après le petit déjeuner, jouons au FIFA, parce qu’il y a la PlayStation avec la télé. Les chambres sont des suites ! Chaque 5 secondes on nous demande : « Dj Saï Saï, Ça va ? Tout se passe bien ? Vous voulez si, vous voulez ça ? ». On avait nos loges, on avait tout. C’est le meilleur festival. KZL est le meilleur festival. Cela dépend aussi de la saison – pour l’hiver c’est KZL, pour l’été c’est O’KIZ, pour l’automne – PKC, pour le printemps – le Luxembourg festival, pour l’hiver c’est PKC et pour le jour de l’an et même pour le printemps – I’m jour DJ. Tu as mon Top 4.

  • Passons maintenant à ta liste de musique maintenant. Quand tu vas au festival, tu te prépares toujours à l’avance ou t’improvise à l’avance ?

Je ne fais jamais de playlist.

  • Inspiration ?

Inspiration et moi je me fais à la page sur toutes les musiques. Et après j’ai des exclusivités, j’ai tout. En fait, je vais m’adapter par rapport aux autres DJ. Tout le temps. C’est ce qu’on appelle expérience.

  • Tu viens et tu regardes ce que les autres font avant toi et tu continues à ta façon ? Et tu as toute ta musique toujours avec toi ?

Voilà ! Si l’autre a joué de la Trans, moi je vais jouer de la douceur. Je m’adapte. Je ne sais jamais quelle musique va enchainer après, je réfléchis pendant que je mixe. Il y a un mécanisme, il y a des sonorités dans la musique qui font que quand tu les mets ensemble ça se mélange bien. Quand tu écoutes une mixe complète de chez moi – tu vois que tout se mélange tout seul.

Avec ces mots je termine la conversation, remerciant sans cesse Dj Saï Saï pour son temps et sa volonté de répondre à toutes les questions.

 

What is a kizomba PROMOTER?

I never paid attention to this subject until I met a kizomba promoter Saba, a nice smiling girl from Berlin, whom I got to know for the first time at the Brussels Kizomba Festival a few days ago.  As we became friends easily, taking into account her open-minded and very sociable character, I started wondering how she happened to become a promoter. Then actually, I got curious about what this activity is.

We all see daily in Facebook someone’s familiar face announcing future dancing events with their promo-codes. How do they happen to appear on these flyers? Would YOU like to be one of those people? Would you like to know what they exactly do?  Let’s get to Saba and see what she’s telling us!

  • I guess, at first, you became a kizomba dance addict; otherwise, you wouldn’t go so far with all this promotion stuff, right?

Yes exactly! I started dancing first in my city, then abroad… I knew more and more people, then, one day; actually, someone asked me if I wanted to be a taxi dancer and a promoter at the same time in his team in Paris. I was told I could do it really well! I have never thought that my dancing was so great that I could ever be a taxi dancer; neither had I known that women also could be taxis. Therefore, it was not really my initiative. I started working with that team for a while, and afterwards some other organizers came up to me and asked me if I wanted to promote their festivals too. In the end, one by one I was making my own deals… and became a kizomba promoter.  That is how it all started.

  • How much time do you generally dedicate to your promotion work? Let’s say, in hours per week?

It depends on special promo offers… Sometimes I post a little bit more, it depends on team groups, and they can post often or seldom. Right now we have Christmas promotions, so I do it a bit more. Sometimes teams give you more information as well. Actually, it takes time, yes. However, I do it with my cell phone now, so I am connected all the time in-between my everyday duties, I never count the hours. Wherever I am I can do it, but it takes some hours a week for sure. In addition, I try to get new ideas how to do it, in order not to annoy people. There are too many promoters! Therefore, I want to be more creative, put some funny pictures, videos, and I try to do funny wording in my texts. I mix all that with my personal posts, so people can get entertained with everything altogether.

  • What about that promotion group which you have created in Facebook? What is it about?

-It´s called “Enjoy Saba’s kizz discounts” and it is particularly for my discounts, because sometimes people have to scroll in my normal account to find the information they need. I also get many questions in Messenger, where people ask me information regarding travelling and other issues. It takes always more and more hours…  Moreover, at the same time my crowd is growing, LOL.  Of course, unfortunately, I get many messages from kizz guys who are not seriously interested in promotions, but wanna just to flirt with me. With the time, I have started quickly identifying what the real intention of the message is. In any case, I always stay friendly of course!  (Laughing) – “but it’s about the promotion!”- I tell them.  

Therefore, this is just an internet promotion part. The other part, which is also very important, is to be at festivals!

  • What exactly are you doing apart from internet promos and assisting festivals?

I wear t-shirts, we install banners at festivals, and I give flyers, cards to other dancers. I also have an experience of recruiting taxi dancers for the Valentine´s Dance Festival in Berlin.  Nevertheless, I want to highlight that it is super important talking actively to people, not only putting banners and wearing t- shirts.

  • Do you consider kizomba promoter a real work or just a hobby?

–  It’s of course not my main work, it’s not that much money, but it’s a job, yes, of course, I don’t do it for nothing. But, it’s also for fun, because I love kizomba, I want to share my passion, especially with people who have never been to festivals. I can imagine how it feels like! It is so cool to meet more and more new people each time, they also become friends of mine; it is like creating a family. I really love that. I love dancing, the music, the feeling of the connection I have during dancing and especially with all the people around the world! For example, this year I danced kizomba in Malaysia and in the Philippines, and apart from that, I was at 18 festivals only this year!  It is a great movement of amazing energy and happiness!

  • What personality one must have/what kind of skills in order to become a promoter?

 I think it´s important that you are any euphoric and happy person. That attracts a lot of attention from people. You also should have many followers on your Facebook account, which makes it easier. I have already a big “clients database”=)). In addition, it is always good to speak different languages. It´s always better not to be shy. You should have a kind of sales mentality, or experience in sales also helps a lot. Oh, and don’t forget that having been at many festivals, knowing many organizers, dancers, teachers and DJ’s, knowing the crowd and how it all works is essential!

  • How can you actually become a kizomba promoter and start taxi dancer activity?

You can start on your own by contacting organizers of some festivals. This year I have worked as taxi dancer only three times. More men are needed, because there is a whole “battery” of women waiting for a dance! It´s so sad, as men realize their importance and they can sometimes abuse the “Special Status” they have by being a taxi dancer. Especially Paris is like a “taxi dancers´ factory”. Everyone wants to become a taxi dancer or teacher, nobody wants just to dance!  (Laughing)

  • Any recommendations for those who would like to try it?

Don´t start because we are too many! Now the market is full jajaja (laughing)

  • And… to say Goodbye to my followers?

Please, feel free to join my group “Enjoy Saba´s kizomba festival discounts” in Facebook, especially these days. There are some interesting offers, which might be appealing to you. I´d be happy to assist you, in case you have questions about the upcoming festivals. And….of course, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I wish you all to meet many cool people in 2017 and have many nice dances with them!)

We laughed a lot more after the interview and, obviously, we left a lot out OFF record LOL

So… have you decided to become a kizomba promoter, a taxi dancer, a teacher, a DJ now or to be that special strange person who just enjoys the kizomba dance?))

The Dark Side of Dance Addiction

Lovely and very teaching article about the dance addition, that must be shared in the dance world, but moreover – taken into consideration! even for myself:)

We love to joke about ‘dance addiction’.

We’re even proud of it. We glorify flying to other continents to pursue our hobby. We see world-famous dancers with 2 or 3 full Facebook accounts full of fabulous people. We laugh about spending more time on dance-related activities than our day jobs.

I’m one of them – and I’m happy to be. It has given me an international network of great friends. It has challenged me physically and mentally. It has given me a sense of purpose and discipline. I honestly can’t imagine my life without dance as a major focus.

But, this wonderful addiction has a dark side.


Social Isolation

Social dance is a very social activity. But, there are dance addicts out there who are incredibly, profoundly lonely – especially in large scenes.

Social dancing is somewhat like living in a city. You may be surrounded by people – but that doesn’t mean you know them. You can touch, interact with, and talk to people around you without actually engaging in a relationship.

Some of the most die-hard dancers substitute dance for interpersonal connection. Sometimes it’s because they feel awkward in social contexts. The touch and physicality of social dance doubles as a substitute for potentially awkward conversations. Developing dance skills becomes a form of ‘social credibility’, with dance desirability replacing real friendship.

Even worse, many new dance addicts end up losing touch with old friends as they become more ‘serious’ about dance. In addition to not developing strong connections with their fellow dancers, they let their old friendships deteriorate.

Eventually, the dance addict realizes they don’t really  know anyone – even if they’re one of the most sought-after dancers in the room. That can be an incredibly lonely realization.

When you venture into the social dance world, build friendships. You don’t have to be friends with everyone (no one is, even if they seem like it). Even having 2-3 actual friends can alleviate the isolation.

No matter how addicted you are to dance, make sure that you still have people you can hang out with or talk to. It’s incredibly important to nurture friendships that exist outside the dance hall.


Escapism

Dance is exhilarating and engaging. It’s very easy to run away from responsibilities in order to dance.

The dance floor can become our escape from reality. While this is great in some situations, it’s deadly in others. It’s great to be able to escape from a tough situation for some fun – but only if you’re able to return to the problem re-charged and ready to deal with it.

But, when there’s dancing every night of the week, it becomes easy to run to dance rather than tackle your problems.

Whether it’s financial, interpersonal, professional or other problems, don’t let dance stand in the way of managing your life. Dance is only a magical, wonderful thing if it doesn’t cause your life to go up in flames.

Think of it like alcohol: it’s great if you drink socially for fun once in a while. If you use it every night to forget about your tough day, it’s hurting your ability to cope with reality. When it’s alcohol, we call it alcoholism. We just don’t have a word for it when it’s dance-related.

This issue isn’t specific to dance. It applies to any super-involved hobby. Hobbies and activities are supposed to add value to our lives – not cause our lives to fall apart. Dance shouldn’t ruin a fantastic relationship, job, or other opportunity.

A Note on Finances

Dance should never bankrupt you. It sucks to miss out on some opportunities that you can’t afford, but it’s necessary. I may love Ferrari’s, but I don’t go buy one if I can’t afford it. Similarly, I love private classes. But, if I can’t afford it, I don’t take one.

In most cases, you can find teachers and events that are willing to work with you. Some need volunteers. Others have scholarships available. Or, you may be able to find a practice partner.

Regardless, you need to be able to afford your dance habit. If you can’t, you need to cut back or find a more affordable avenue.


In conclusion

As wonderful as dance is, it’s either a hobby or profession. It can’t be a substitute for other parts of our lives. Dance is simply not everything.

It can’t be. Dance is not human. As therapeutic and social as dance is, it can’t fill in for interpersonal relationships on its own. It can’t make your health and financial security woes disappear. It can’t come to rescue you when your car breaks down at 4 a.m. on a highway and you have no way home (though the people you meet through dance might).

I wouldn’t trade my dance ‘addiction’ for the world. It’s one of my driving passions, and I’ve accomplished so much since I began dancing.

But, I keep my eyes open now. I’ve used dance as an escape before. I’ve also found myself incredibly lonely at times. I’ve seen both the hurt and the healing that dancing can provide. When I use it responsibly, it is one of my greatest tools for happiness and growth.

Being aware of the dark side doesn’t negate the good that dance ‘addiction’ does. It simply makes you more aware of how to use it for your benefit – rather than be controlled by its darker side.

(by Laura Riva)

O’Kiz Festival in Croatia – my first Kizomba beach experience

O’Kiz Festival

Since I first saw on Facebook videos from kizomba boat trips in Rovinj I started dreaming of one. It looked so exciting and so thrilling!! This year I was determined to dance kizomba on the beach, considering it my top priority. The easiest way was to join my best kizz-friend for an O’KIZ Festival in Croatia, which is a relatively small event (comparing to Miami or Rovinj) on the Hvar Island near Split, organized by Ozy Shyne and his team.

It lasted for 5 days, but I only managed to make it for a weekend. I was told that small festivals are much better than big ones, because you have an opportunity to really get to know people, having this home feeling,  like living a short life in a new family. I had been to Croatia before, and I loved the country. So I knew in advance that it least I would like the location for sure.

Complicated but amazing

Although all about my trip turned out to become really complicated (wrong name on my flight ticket, critical days at work to leave for holidays, my horrible aerophobia, no tickets left for ferries to catch up my buses on time, etc..), I felt like doing it anyway! Finally I spent more time on the road getting there and back, than actually dancing on the beach, also it cost me more money that any other big festival, because of the bad and late organization from my side, and I was there just for 1 day and a half. But this 1,5 days were AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!  I would repeat all of my journey to be there again, to have this incredibly positive and beautiful experience! (yes, a tip to myself for the next time is to plan it well in advance!).

The music was so good, the dancers were such a high level, the location needs no comments at all, the weather obviously as well. JUST EVERYTHING WAS SO PERFECT!!!

The evening program

After a lovely dinner with my friend in the little port of Hvar we enjoyed an evening walk around the Island. It was magical with all those lights on, the sunset and little uncountable boats watching us from the sea. Soooo romantic!)  I was already happy, even before dancing)).  In a couple of hours, when we got back to port to take a taxi-boat to an even smaller Island, where the kizomba party took place, I got a bit scared, because I cannot swim.  And when I saw this little boat to get in and sail in the night sea I thought I would die! I definitely needed a drink to relax!

When we arrived I forgot about my difficult day, about the whole world and everything else… I got into nirvana and my personal ZEN, lying at night on a sunbed, watching the black sky full of August starts falling down, the marvelous panoramic view to Hvar Island, savoring my cocktail and listening to Dj SaiSai kizomba mix in the background……  Wooow!!!!!!!!!! In that very moment I knew that it was worth coming!

A couple of things beforehand

There were a couple of things that had worried me a lot beforehand (maybe stupid ones, jajaja), like

  • It was difficult to imagine myself dancing in a swimming suite with a guy, too intimate thing, I thought)))

or

  • I was afraid to be thrown into the water during the dancing boat trip, as I cannot swim I would just die there)))

or

  • I could be seasick on the water as sailing would take many hours. Especially if I got drunk, and it could finish ugly)))

But, well, all these questions to myself were solved positively!)

The Boat trip

And what about the Boat Trip itself? (let’s say “the purpose of my visit”) –  I HAD FUN! Continuous feeling of happiness, incredible sunset, bathing in the open sea among small islands, dancing on the roof and absorbing crazy positive energy from everyone around was such a drive shot! I didn’t notice how six hours passed by… flying.. The only inconvenience was to dance kizomba for me. With the movement of the boat it was difficult to keep right balance. On the other hand it was a quite a challenge!  I think I even wasn’t enjoying myself that much when I was 18, night-parting in Saint-Petersburg on water (also amazing, by the way!).

PS:  Oh shit! saying this I’m betraying my hometown)). Conclusion> totally recommended! If you go to this festival, don’t miss the boat!

I know, that it’s only the first Kizomba Sea Festival in my life and I have nothing to compare it with, but for me it will always be the most special one, like the First Love. The emotions I got from it were intensive and I’ll keep this warm feeling for myself forever!

Special BIG THANKS to Ozy Shyne! Without knowing me at all, he’s been always so kind to reply to all my messages, answer all my questions, trying to help to make my dancing  trip as smooth and as pleasant as possible. And also Special Thanks to Lucien Noten to help me make my dream come true!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Addicted to kizomba

I’m a very curious and addicted person. I had a lot of hobbies in my life, starting with the topic ones like Musical School and Scout association, ending with Reiki and Astrology.   Although I really enjoy my favorite activities and I love all of them, nothing can be compared to dancing kizomba. I have never gone so crazy about something! Being the addicted type of person, I start things putting much energy in the beginning and then losing interest very quickly.. I have a long list of unfinished hobbies like that.

But Kizomba dance is special. It’s my DRUG…  It’s the thing I cannot live without right now. When I dance a lot, I feel great, I look great, I radiate happiness!  When the intensive moment is over I get sad, becoming a bit apathetic.. (post-festival syndrome).  Obviously, there are things in this world that make me happy as well, but they cannot substitute kizomba to me.

I remember very well my first months attending 1 hour lessons once a week, on Tuesdays. Tuesday was the D-Day of 2015! I waited for it all the remaining 6 days of the week, like a count down to the best moment of my existence. Every Tuesday morning I woke up in a wonderful mood!!! I was “flying” all day long, like there was something magical about to happen that day. All my friends knew that Tuesday is MY DAY. I think that the way I drove my car I could do even with closed eyes, even totally drunk or physically unable.  It’s been months since I dance and I still love it and I’m still addicted to it, still want it all the time and every minute of my life. I still consider it my best private moment, my meditation, one of my energy sources & good mood.

Right now I am just in the very moment of the doldrums. My summer trips, as it happened to me in spring after my European Kizz tours (Rotterdam/Amsterdam/Geneva/Brussels/ Luxembourg), has come to its end, and I feel a kind of empty… I’m coming back to my normal real life, trying to work hard, cope with my duties, enjoying sunny weather…..  but actually the only place I’d love to be is at some dance floor, rubbing calluses on little fingers, sweating, moving my body in unison with the music beat. Is this any kind of disease? Will this addition ever end?

The level of destruction from a normal life is coming to an extreme point. Addicted, I forget about really important issues, related to my family, work and health. Sometimes I get scared of myself for being so absorbed by the dance, so involved in it, letting it so much space in my heart.  When I go home on holidays to visit my parents, that I haven´t seen for 2 years, the only thing I think about is to dance kizomba over there, to find a nice store of dancing shoes (they are life 2-3 times cheaper in Russia) and to write a new post about my Russian kizz-experience. I´m no longer interested in Irish pubs with my old beer-friends. Even though I try to control myself, my life has definitely changed since this amazing dance knocked at my door…

Kizomba teacher – Aimé from Luxembourg

The first person, I dedicate my post to, is my first kizomba teacher – Aimé.

Many of you know him. In Luxembourg he is a Kizomba Man #One for me. But the day I met him I didn’t know that. Anyway it doesn’t change anything. His fame hasn’t changed him, he’s still the most considerate teacher I’ve ever known. There are dancers/taxi-dancers who became really arrogant and rude in the light of their Glory, but it’s not the case of Aimé; and this was the first thing I wanted to highlight about him.

When I started I had no criteria. I could not compare. I didn’t realize how lucky I was. Because a kizomba teacher is not just a very good dancer. It’s also a person with a great ability to explain, patience, good discipline and sense of responsibility, who knows how to transmit correctly information or skills to others. Not everybody can teach.

Unfortunately there’re too many courses appearing recently out there like mushrooms after the rain and closing at the same speed, because  kizomba people are so artistic type, they are gone with the wind depending on their inspiration and mood. When they start a course and then go travelling every 7 lessons out of 10 per month, I don’t see any point for them to start a course. Even if you are the best dancer in the world, but unable to be responsible for people who rely on you, willing to learn, it makes no sense. So, my kizomba teacher was all the contrary.

What particularly makes his teaching so good for me?

  • he speaks English very well so he can perfectly explain everything to foreign people and and expats whose French is still a shit.
  • he is very steady regarding the place, the time and day of lessons. He seldom makes changes, so you always well know where to go, like a clock – no mess in plans, no unexpected surprises.
  • if there are many people he doesn’t forget to change lines often so that everyone could see and hear him very well (I refer myself to workshops)
  • he’s joking all the time, which makes his lessons a lot of FUN, so you are sure to have a very good time in warm home-feeling environment.
  • even if you know nothing about kizomba and want to start from zero, you don’t have to wait until September, but you can directly join his lessons whenever you want during the year, because every lesson (Beginner Level**)  starts in the same way – basic steps and moves. So you are always able to catch up on the most important stuff.
  • at the end of lessons he gives 5-10 minutes time for free couple dance in order to IMPROVISE on what has been learned during the lesson. He asks gentlemen to mix up moves as they wish (changing order, rhythms, etc.) , make more or less steps than it was shown in the “combination”,  which develops their OWN IMAGINATION and helps them to better cope at parties.
  • at social parties he will invite you for a dance. Even if has to refuse you at a point in time – he has a good reason for that, and he will do it in the nicest possible way. Also he never forgets about that person he refused – he will invite you back the moment he has a chance to do so. At least according to my experience and to what I’ve been observing him for months and comparing with what I’ve being told about other teacher… This definitely gives him a big score!

I have tried hard to interview him for this post, but in the light of the third edition of our Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival he was so extremely busy, that I realized it could be some time before the interview happens. However, I felt right to publish my thoughts on him just after the Festival, so you could see for yourselves what a great organizer he is and what a great projects and events he is capable of putting together, with the help of his team.

This post is not about Luxembourg Kizomba Festival, it’s just about my kizomba teacher Aimé.

To finish this positive feedback I’d like to personally THANK him for everything he has taught me!!!

THANK YOU

 

 

 

 

The first Kizomba Festival in my life

The first Kizomba Festival in my life

My first kizomba festival wasn’t actually a Festival. It was a Congress. After 4 months of regular group lessons once a week I had an opportunity to make a further step – attend a festival. I had absolutely no idea of what exactly was waiting for me out there. I just saw an ad, called my teacher and said: “Do you have a place in your car? I’m coming with you!”  No information, no gossip around, I had no kizomba-friends yet at that time.  I even didn’t have a pair of dancing shoes yet!!

 

GET STARTED

After a 6 hour trip I wasn’t even tired from all the excitement I was feeling. It felt like the time passed by in a minute, chatting  about music and dancing with my newly-made friends, all the way listening to kizomba!!! (*Paradise)  I remember I was checking the workshops program and trying to make up my mind about organizing my dancing schedule, and I was seriously planning to visit salsa  & bachata rooms, because that’s what I had done before, that’s what I was sure I liked the most. That day, in that car I announced to everyone: “Salsa is Number One in my life”. I realized how wrong I was three days later, on my way back…

 

MUSIC EVERYWHERE

I had never been to Switzerland before,  nor after)))  because in the whole weekend I haven’t seen it and I don’t even remember if the weather was good or bad. I had my accommodation in the Hotel where the kizomba dance congress took place, so I didn’t have to go out outside at all. And why would I?? If everything I needed was right there – THE MUSIC! I’ve never heard so much non-stop music, it was coming through my ears, my mouth, my heart, it was exploding my head. It must have been very good music to be listening to it for 72 hours straight lol. So, imagine, how much one should like kizomba to be able to take it for days with no rest or interruption!

I found myself in a different world, full of absolutely different people, sharing the same passion. I haven’t seen so much positive energy from a crowd  of people, gathered in one big place in a long time! It was like living a dream… you open your eyes and the first thing you hear is the sound of your favorite music… you go for lunch,  you look at people on the dancefloor, and again and again listening to this music…  anywhere you go! No escape even in my hotel room, the sound was drilling my walls all the time. And that was just fucking amazing!!! The only word to describe it – EUPHORIA….

 

IMPORTANT – WORKSHOPS!

Apart from my constantly good mood, positive emotions and joy, I’ve really learned a lot when attending workshops, and I think that was the point at which I progressed (in my opinion of course, some say I’m still a beginner)). But I could feel the difference. I even remember very well all information I took in that weekend, I remember my first teachers, their words and their demos, when I discovered “slow motion”, “acceleration”, “saida”, etc..

I loved Laurent explaining about musicality. He was such an interesting narrator. He gave very clear examples. I was totally hypnotized by the way he danced with Adeline, so special..  And the funny mix of languages of Albir made me laugh a lot! His French, which was actually Spanish or whatever, give his workshops a special unique color, his own elegant footprint.

 

NO MEAL NO SLEEP

I won’t even begin to say how tired I was, not to mention my destroyed feet and toes, I’ve lost a couple of kilos in 3 days, ’cause frankly speaking I had no time to eat – I used every minute of my life to dance, I wanted to be in all rooms at the same time, to catch every detail, to dance with every different dancer from whom I could learn something new. I could sleep back at home, and I wasn’t going to miss a moment of that wonderful world I found myself in!

Advice:

  • bring with you comfortable shoes, at least 2 (for ladies 2 different heel heights), and something like ballerina full sole shoes or even snickers. You could wear them at day time for workshops and let your feet rest.
  • don’t forget toe patches, as many as possible, especially if you have new dancing shoes.
  • if you had no time or forgot to buy dancing shoes before the festival, or if you don’t know where to buy them, all kizomba festivals usually have a stand, where you could do that.
  • make sure you have water in your room, enough water!!!, and make sure you don’t forget to drink it!  If you travel by car it makes it easier…

 

SALSA vs KIZOMBA

Salsa turned to be a bad idea, because after trying to switch a couple of times between kizomba and salsa, I realized I wouldn’t do any of them well. I wasn’t a good salsa dancer, therefore starting two things from basics at the same time would be a total failure. It’s like learning two different languages from zero at the same time. It’s easy to mix them up in your head. I’ve worked as a language teacher and I always recommended getting some level in one, and only then starting to learn a new one. So I’ve stopped and decided to give all of me to kizomba dance, until I could feel more confident. Besides, the energies of these two dances are so different that it made no sense for me to try them both at the same time.

 

DRESS CODE

I was sharing a room with a girl who had brought a huge suitcase full of clothes. Mine was small ’cause actually I had no idea what to bright with me. I had no idea about the Dress Code issue either!(( For a girl like me it was really the lack of valuable information. I had to wear same jeans all the time, and I envied my roommate so much!(   So, guys, if you are going to your first festival, be well informed about dress code for each night and make sure you have your costumes ready, as it’s a lot of fun to follow!

Some dancers say that they never follow a dress-code, but in fact what they do is exclude themselves from this big family party-feeling which is in the air, when the rest of us play by the same rules. Let yourself step into the role of a “doctor”, “sportsman”, “glamour Gatsby gangster” or an “African beauty”. Even if it’s just for an awesome photo – it’s worth it!

 

PERFORMANCE

A few words about the Concert on Saturday night. To my surprise, this event wasn’t just about a group of people getting together in order to simply dance and do whatever they want. It was a very well organized group of people. I could feel a huge deal of hard work and a lot of preparation went into the organization. Even the artists didn’t rest, working all the time, first giving workshops, later in the evening rehearsing their piece of  art-work for the later performance. And, when all that was finished, they were still there for us on the dance floor dancing with simple people like me, tired or not!)) The show was great! I appreciated the fact that they had taken care of costumes, and made it interesting.

If it’s your first festival, I would strongly advise you not to miss the Show! You’ll always have time to chill and drink in you room. This cannot be compared to any pre-party in the world.

Generally take part in everything you can, so you will have your first kizomba festival experience under your skin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction to my mind

brainI’ve decided to share my thoughts and feelings on something I really love doing, on my biggest passion, a must part of my life, my meditation – on KIZOMBA DANCE. When I discovered it,  over a year ago, I have gotten a second breath,  I realized that was a start of a new chapter in my life.

For an emotional girl like me, who has too much energy, who rushes to live, rushes to feel –  this dance is a perfect exercise to learn how to do all of these things. It’s all about learning to concentrate, to relax, to enjoy yourself, to develop your feel for music, and first of all – to live in the moment!   There’s no past, no future, no time at all when I dance. Time doesn’t exist.   Fore some people, a moment like this happens while taking a shower, for others when they swim, or paint, or read an interesting book. For me it’s when I dance.

Since I started, I’m totally addicted to it. It’s my best drug. In this blog (which is already the third blog I have) I’m going to write everything I know about the dancing world, I will publish interviews with kizomba dancers & teachers, sharing their dancing experience, how they’ve come to KZ, how they feel about it, why they keep doing it, how they combine it with their ¨real¨ lives.

I’m a writer since I was 11. I have a couple of poem books and a long blogger history. This is my first blog in English, because I want you all to be able to understand me, in every little part of the world where kizomba is played and danced, to feel yourselves identified, to comment my articles, open discussions, suggest new topics and recall your sad and funny stories.

This dance is so popular now, it’s evolving so quickly, spreading all over the world, it’s taking different styles and concepts. Sometimes for beginners it’s difficult to understand which movement is correct, what teaching or technics are true. There are too many countries & islands involved, too many opinions, directions,  improvisations, a great mix of ages and sizes, searching for joy, fun & pleasure in the kizomba dance.

Let us all together solve this puzzle! I hope you will enjoy my writing and I hope you to become my active & pro-active readers and followers:)

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