Kizomba Konnection

I am in love… His name is Kizomba, and he has swept me off, and sometimes on, my feet. I wish I could wake up to him every morning and sleep to him every night. His embrace is like nothing I have felt before, his beat in unison with mine. We are two people moving as one, and it is easy to lose myself in his arms.
Eyes closed, I surrender. Kizomba.

– Tasleem

Earlier this year, I fell in love with a dance called Kizomba, whose roots are from West Africa and Angola. One night, I had so many thoughts that I wanted to share about the dance, that I created a facebook group called Kizomba Konnection to do just that. I think, without realizing it, the idea also came out of a conversation I had with a friend Peter Lu who a few days prior had said something about starting a facebook group for Vancouver’s kizomba scene.

I decided I wanted my page to konnect people from all over the world, and to teach me and others more about the dance, since I was still fairly new to it. I wanted to keep the information organic, fluid, poetic, philosophical, inspiring and maybe even spiritual, similar to the kizomba music and dance itself. Not so much about Vancouver only, although that’s where I live. But more about kizomba and how it is flowing through the people who dance it and finding its way to the hearts and souls of so many different countries. I wanted my group page to be less about promoting and more about sharing the love of kizomba and getting to know others who love it too.

I had never formed a facebook group before, so I hardly knew what I was doing or what I was getting myself into. And really, I didn’t know if anyone would join or get into it. But, to my surprise, it became quite popular very quickly, and it is now something I look forward to reading every day. Because it’s not just about me sharing what I learn about kizomba anymore. But instead, the posts from all the members on it have just gotten me even more excited about this dance, has given me more knowledge into the music and history and artists, and I love the way I can feed off of that. It’s amazing to see the konnections between people that are being made through the page.

At first, I was considering forming a Kizomba Konnection website of its own. But I now realize that it fits perfectly as a page on Dance Me Free. Because kizomba lends itself to all that this website stands for- the power of dance to heal, to free, to love, to konnect, to listen, to believe, to trust. It’s just that kind of dance. So… I will reserve this page for any particular updates on my Kizomba Konnection facebook group and to just remind all of you readers that Kizomba Konnection is out there. If you’d like to join the group, to be a part of all the fun and learning and inspiration, click here- Kizomba Konnection

But what exactly is Kizomba Konnection about you ask?

If you love Kizomba, or if you think you might love it, or if you have a inkling of a hint of love for the dance and music, join this group. Share the Kizomba love and help it ooze into the bodies, hearts and souls of dancers everywhere.

It’s about many layers of connection (or konnection) – between the two dancers, between the dancers and the floor, between the dancers and the music, between each dancer and him or herself, between the dancer and the energy created between the two bodies, and the energy they emit outward. Inward and outward Konnections, including how magically the dance itself konnects kultures, people from all over the world, and konnects us to who we really are… and how we are all konnected, even to some sort of higher spirit. (It’s also about how many k words you kan kome up with!) :p

This page is dedicated to the spirit and spirituality of kizomba and that which kizomba brings out in all of us. Thank you to all you kizombeiros and kizombeiras out there for keeping that energy alive.Kizomba, you make me feel alive.

Why the kraze over kizomba? Check out the excerpt below from an article I wrote about the way kizomba kaptured me 🙂

Kizom-what?

Kizomba. What is it, and why are more people talking about it? The word itself seems to stir up a whole range of reactions from those who have never danced it. Some of my favorites are:

“Oh, is it related to Zumba?”

“You’re referring to that NEW dance, right?”

“Yeah, I think I’ve seen it and it reminds me of high school dancing. Not much to it.”

“Oh, I can’t do THAT, being glued to a partner that way?”

I laugh, not just at the reactions, but at how I can relate to them because, before I started learning kizomba myself, I’m sure some of those thoughts ran through my head as well. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that there is so much more to the dance than what it appears to be from the outside. In fact, all of those perceptions above disintegrate when the magic of the true kizomba takes a hold of you. The small, subtle movements, as well as the close connection, require a control and sensitivity, as well as a trust and surrender that are not as easily attained as one might think.

And as far as the “newness” of the dance, tell that to the kizombeiros and kizombeiras, as they are properly referred to, who have grown up with the dance in their families for years! What makes it ‘new’ to us is our lack of familiarity with the dance in this part of the world. But to the dancers in areas of Angola, West Africa, where the dance originated, as well in Portugal, where kizomba later spread, kizomba has a history. It is not just this dance that we have come to have a fascination for most recently. It goes back much further with roots from dances that a lot of us here have never even heard of.

That must have been why it didn’t sit right with me one day when I heard an organizer of a dance studio refer to kizomba as simply ‘African tango’. A couple had walked into the studio inquiring as to what was going on that night. And after seeing a sign for a kizomba social, they asked, “What is kizomba?” Of course, I understood that the organizer was trying to give the couple something that they were more familiar with to relate to, in order to picture this ‘mystery’ dance in their mind. And having danced some tango myself, I could see some of the tango nuances that were often used by kizombeiros in the dance. But I also knew kizomba was not tango and that not all kizomba dances had tango elements in them. I definitely did not have all the answers. In fact, I had very few. But knowing how kizomba had affected me very deeply in such a short period of time, I felt like it deserved to be recognized for what it truly is.

Kizomba made me feel so alive, in a way that was different to anything else I had experienced before. So I knew it had to have a life blood of its own, an identity, a history, and an essence that was individual. I was touched that kizomba had invited me in, embraced me, welcomed me with open arms and heart, without even having known me. And so, I felt I owed it to kizomba, to get to know it, not for what it might resemble, or what people might guess it to be. But for what it really is. I wanted to learn its story, and help share it, because with every dance, I could hear it whispering that it had a story worth telling. And the whispering just seemed to get louder the further I was drawn in.

Check out the rest of this article called Kizom-what? for more of my thoughts as well as those of other dancers – including the amazing kizombeiro Eddy Vents- on this dance.

 

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7 thoughts on “Kizomba Konnection

  1. Hi
    my experience of Kizomba is special. I live in a French contryside little town, remote of major cities. So for me dancing Kizomba is roughtly every over month. As a man is a struggle to learn Kizomba : You need to lead your own body as your partner’s body while listning the music and ,with no thoughts, interpreting what your couple might do. So I manage fews training in Paris and Lisbon. After that, my love for the music and its rythm, the feeling of beeing away from your own body while dancing did the job. I started to practise on my own, with a chair as a harm support and for hours I was dancing alone. I realize now that this time spent slowly built up my abilities to walk while dancing, to stop while dancing; to breath while dancing, to listen while dancing. And one day I shared my feeling : It was like our dance couple were one. My patner felt what i was feeling ; laught when I was smiling. The time stop for somthing like 6 or 7 songs. The friend how introduce me to the dancer said to me after : ” I ask you to dance not to get married “. And that’s true , for this magical time we were husband and wife. A real couple bounded by the link of Kizomba. I wish you the same feelings.

    • Wow! This was an amazing message to wake up to today. And as I read it for the second time right now, I get goosebumps at the obvious passion and feeling that I can sense in your words and in your thoughts about dance. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. This was especially meaningful to me right now because we just had two amazing instructors come in from out of town- one from Paris and one from London to teach kizomba. And it has been a very inspiring weekend because of all that the instructors and the dance brought to us. I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to use some of what you said in this reply as a quote on my website. If you’d like me to site it with your real name attached, please let me know, and I’d be happy to put your name next to the words. otherwise, for now I’ll use your email name. Thank YOU! 🙂

  2. Thank you for your contributions! I came to Kizomba in a round about way as well, and did the exact same thing for Miami’s growing Kizomba community. (Kizomba Miami) I am so excited to see everyone coming together around this amazing dance, history, and culture. It is truly beautiful. I look forward to corresponding to you through Kizomba Konnection and will hopefully meet you at an upcoming workshop soon! All the best in the dance, Alcyone 🙂

    • Hi Alcyone,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to connect. It is so great to hear about all the kizomba happening everywhere and I love meeting people who share a similar passion for the dance. I have to check out Kizomba Miami sometime soon. I’d love to go out there and see what the dancing is like there, and just … see Miami! lol! I really appreciate your message. Take care, and yes we’d love to hear from you on Kizomba Konnection 🙂

  3. Hello, I was writing to follow up on the workshops with Kwenda Lima in Feb or March…I believe it will be in Vancouver BC or possibly San Francisco as well. Can someone please fill me in with any updates, such as the exact dates (when known) and location, as I am planning for a short trip, want to find out areas and hotels, etc; and I am arranging my work schedule. I am so looking forward to this! I wanted to be sure the level will also be appropriate for beginners of Kizomba technique–I hope so! Thank you for info!

    • Hi! Great to hear your excitement about more kizomba and workshops with Kwenda Lima. The Vancouver International Salsfestival will be in Vancouver from March 7-10th. Kwenda will be teaching at this event. If you’d like further information about the event and scheduling over those days, here is the website link: http://salsafestival.ca/ As far as the other events where Kwenda will be teaching, I am not the event coordinator for that, and I do not live in those cities. So it’s best if you google the event or get in touch with Kwenda or the team that organizes for him and speak to them.
      I hope this helps!

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