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.
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 🙂
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.