KWENDA LIMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE INTERVIEW

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

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

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

Kwenda Lima: Yes

Why do you particularly of all these dances teach kizomba?

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

What is the message?

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

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

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

Like salsa?

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

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

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

Do people miss closeness in their real life?

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

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

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

If you don’t know, who knows then? 🙂

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

So, the first immigrants to Europe brought kizomba.

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

My generation was growing calling this dance “pasada”.

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

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

Who?

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

Oh, I was recommended to go there tonight!

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

Did you learn from them?

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

I don’t know any of those names!!

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

So, it was your first teaching experience in London?

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

Really?

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

You mean Albir?

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

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

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

The Jazzy’s one?

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

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

You think so?

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

What is the main difference?

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

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

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

The commercial part, you mean?

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

Do you dance Urban Kiz?

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

To prove what?

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not taking anyone’s side.

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

Well, some people don’t have much choice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who are they?

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

So, he dances with awareness?

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

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

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

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

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

To dance kizomba?

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

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

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

Kwenda Lima:  Are you sure you cannot do it?

Jajaja I don’t know!!!

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

Really?

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

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A hug. Now I know why I dance

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

Break

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

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

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

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

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

Change

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

I overcome it.

I won.

I got rid of my drug.

I could do without it.

I never had believed I would be able to.

Nostalgia

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

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

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

The place

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

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

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

Hug

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

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

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

Merry Christmas guys!

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

Big big HUG

Kizomba Dance and Woman´s Lead

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KIZZAFRO impressions 5th Edition by european DJs and artists

Saïdou Saï Saï Mangane:

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

 

Jazzy Cubango:

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

 

Stefanio Lima:

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

 

Gwany VVK:

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

 

Kizzy:

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

 

Joe NiceLife:

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

 

Lucien Noten:

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

 

Hicham Lokito Elbanbino Movemintos:

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

 

Kevin Vidjai:

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

 

 

Dance friends: my kizomba co-pilot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mila

Now you know who my co-pilot is)

DANCE FOR IT – a movie about three kizomba dancing couples

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

 

What is this project about?

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

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

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

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

What does DANCE FOR IT stand for?

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

How the idea was born?

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

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

Why did you choose particularly these dancers?

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

 

When does the Crowdfunding start?

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

 

How can we collaborate to it?

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

LINK TO THE PROJECT:

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

 

Link to the trailerAlbir

https://youtu.be/-RVnd8TQVPc