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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Styling concept in kizomba by Inna Jadore

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

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

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

————————————

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How many people on average would attend your workshop? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival

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

FACTS AND FIGURES

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

The chronographs year by year:

1st Edition – 500 ppl

2nd Edition – 800 ppl

3rd Edition – 1500 ppl

4th Edition – 2300 ppl

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

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

 

OFFICIAL ORGANIZERS OF

KIZOMBA LUXEMBOURG FESTIVAL

IN FACES:

IMG_0538

THE INTERVIEW

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

The beginning…

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

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

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

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

 

The way you work?

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

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

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

 

Who does what?

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

Dj PINGUSSO    Sometimes we share tasks, we exchange tasks.

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

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

 

What’s your favorite part of the organizational process?

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

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

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

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

 

How do you deal with lessons learned?

Dj  X-TRA   there are 3 types of mistakes:

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

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

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

 

What´s the key of KZL success?

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

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

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

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

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

 

Anyway, do you make good profit on it?

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

 

Plans for further growth?

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

Dj PINGUSSO   Nooo, I guess we are good.

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

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

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

 

Team rules?

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

 

Team meetings

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Dj X-TRA   getting better, creativity, family

RODNEY   family, enjoyment, friendship and happiness

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ATTENTION

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

FOR THE FIRST TIME Luxembourg International Kizomba Festival PRESENTED:

The Unique Pass

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

NO taxi-dancers

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

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

 

ATTENTIONWhat is the idea behind this decision?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Official KZL T-shirts all over 5 years:

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