domingo, 7 de Outubro de 2007

40 Steps of Kizomba Dance

By Basilio Dias Araujo *)


A Brief Picture of Kizomba Dance

Kizomba is one of the most popular styles of dance and music in the lusophone African countries. Sung in Portuguese or Portuguese creole, it is a genre of music with a romantic flow mixed with African rhythm.

Kizomba is native to Angola, with influences from other Lusophone countries. It is also danced in other Portuguese speaking countries and also in Portugal. It is known for having a slow, insistent, somewhat harsh, yet sensuous rhythm, and is considered to be a fusion of semba (a predecessor of samba) with music styles from the French Caribbean Islands mainly the Martinican Zouk and today kizomba has developed a soul of its own.

It is ideally danced accompanied by a partner, very smoothly and slowly, though not too tightly. A rather large degree of flexibility in the knees is required, owing to the frequent requirement that dancers bob up and down in a manner reminiscent of a music-hall policeman.

The influence of Angolan kizomba is felt in most Portuguese African countries and also in Portugal (mostly in Lisbon and surrounding suburbs such as Amadora or Almada), where communities of immigrants have established clubs centered on the genre in a renewed kizomba style. Kizomba is now also quite popular among non-Angolan people that come to these clubs in growing numbers.

In Angola most clubs are based in Luanda. Famous Angolan kizomba musicians include Don Kikas, Calo Pascoal and Irmãos Verdades, among many others, but Bonga is probably the best known Angolan artist, having helped popularize the style both in Angola and Portugal during the 1970s and 1980s.

The younger Angolan generation has made use of the technology available and almost daily a new kizomba song is in the market. Top artists include Don Kikas, Paulo Flores, Eduardo Paim, Maya Cool, MC Dog Murras, MC Mauro Madaleno to name a few. Lately a new beat has emerged, called tarraxinha and is very much in vogue in the Angolan nightlife.
The Sãotomean kizomba is very similar to the Angolan, Juka is the most notable among the Sãotomeans, but it is also one of the most notable performers in the genre.

The Capeverdean version of kizomba is called pasada, kola-zouk, zouk-love or cabo-love. It is divergent from Angolan kizomba due to the language used (often Capeverdean Creole instead of Portuguese), a somewhat more romantic Capeverdean kizomba is the sub-genre named Cabo love. Although all these varieties are often just known as "kizomba" by the public. Suzanna Lubrano is one of the most successful among Cape Verdean performers considered in 2003 as the best African performer. Other known Cape verdeans are Gil Semedo, Philip Monteiro, Gama and Tó Semedo. Notable emigrant Capeverdean singers within this tradition live in The Netherlands and Portugal.

The Nha África - Paixão e Ritmo (mixed Portuguese and Portuguese Creole for My Africa, Passion and Rhythm) compilation album, launched in Portugal in 2005, is a successful collection of Angolan and Cape Verdean romantic kizomba songs. Other successful former release is Lusodance, Mussulo, Kizomba de Angola and Kizomba Dança comigo are also great choices as compilation

Due to the emigration of many Luso-Africans to Europe, Kizomba Dance has been taught and introduced in many club and club centres around the country and one of them is in Ateneu Dance Club.


How to Dance Kizomba

Kizomba Dance is danced in many clubs in Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde and São Tomé e Príncipe. Kizomba is danced in pairs. The man is the one who asks the woman to dance and he does it by extending his left hand to the woman to invite her to dance. The woman will accept the invitation if she wants to dance or she may reject the invitation if she does not want to dance. But in most cases, African woman (Angolans, Capeverdians, Sãotomeans and Mozambicanas) would accept the invitation if they are not engaged with boyfriends, specially when they are together in a club.

There are two ways of holding the partner/woman. First way, the man holds the right hand of the woman with his left hand. The woman grasps the man´s thumb tightly with her right hand in an upright position or holds it below the hips (which ever is more comfortable). The man´s right hand embraces the woman with his right palm holding the back of the woman right below the woman´s armpit. This will easy the man to drive the woman during the dance. The second way, both the man and the woman embrace each other. In this position, the man positions his right and left palms on the hips of the woman in order to allow him to drive the woman during the dance.

In the start of the dance, the man always start with his left leg and the woman always start with her right leg. The man always gives the signs of variations during the dance either by using his chest to push the woman backward, or uses his right hand to push woman´s back toward his position for man’s backward movements or uses his right hand to push the right or left hip of the woman for right or left movements. The man also uses his legs to push the woman´s leg in many types of movements.

Unlike Salsa or Samba, the foot of both the man and the woman are always in continuous contact with the ground. In most situations, the heads of both the man and the woman are held together, but this depends on how close their relations are (never try to force the woman´s head to get closer to the man´s head or never try to hold the woman tightly unless she lets you to do so, but in most cases this situation happens automatically without any command if the man can lead the dance).


40 Basic Steps Of How to Dance Kizomba

Following are some basic steps of Kizomba that I could catch during a 48 hours intensive course held in Ateneu, Restauradores, Portugal between 9-24 July 2007 and 10-25 September 2007. There are so many movements that can be developed once one knows the basic steps. The steps described below do not include most Semba Dance movements which are also very interesting to dance in Kizomba. But basically, the steps are as follows:

1. Basic One: One – Two (1 n 2) steps movement: The dancers lift the left and right legs interchangeably following the rhythm of the music. This basic step is also known as 1-2 basic steps. With this basic steps, one may move laterally, move forward, make a swing left to right or right to left or can also make a circle or can also just walk forward or backward at ones desire. In most cases, this basic step is used in the opening of the dance to sense the ability of the counterpart whether she/he can perform the dance well. In this step, the dancers hold each other tightly and do some artistic erotic movements by shaking ones hips laterally or frontally touching each other. Please note that in all steps, the man starts by moving the left leg and the woman starts by moving the right leg.

2. Basic Two: One – Two – Three (1-2-3 steps) movement: This is also known as a basic step. The man starts by moving his left leg forward (1st step), then follows by the right leg (2nd step), then followed by the left leg (3rd step). This completes the forward movement, then follows by backward movement by moving the left leg backward (1st step), followed by the right leg backward (2nd step) and close the movement with the left leg (3rd step). This completes the Basic 1-2-3 step.

3. Basic Three - Making a square with 1-2-3 steps movement: The man starts the Basic One and Basic Two movement to sense the counterpart´s ability to dance. Then when he starts to feel comfortable, then slowly turns the woman left side. This movement starts with Basic Two movement forward. So, instead of moving forward, the man turns the woman leftward in 1-2-3 step movement, then repeats the steps to move to rightward, then move rightward again then turns leftward, then leftward again, then the partners will end up in the first position. In this position, the partners may perform the simple Basic One or Basic Two movement. Most dancers in night clubs only perform the Basic One or Basic Two movements for the whole night.

4. Basic Four – Making a circle: with 1-2 steps movement: The man starts the Basic One movement (1-2 steps) to sense the counterpart´s ability to dance. Then when he starts to feel comfortable, then slowly turns the woman left side. This movement starts with Basic One movement forward. So, instead of moving forward or moving laterally, the man turns to the left slowly by advancing the left leg then swings to the right side leftward to form the circle. This circle can be made to turn left or right side depending on the comfortable feeling of the partners. This movement can be ended to continue with the Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement at any time when desired by the partners.

5. Simple Man Out (three steps): In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, the man pulls the woman right side to give space to the man to move freely forward beside the right side of the woman. The partners make the 1-2-3 steps movement forward then backward to return to the face to face stand to start the Basic Two 1-2-3 normal movement.

6. Man Out (three steps) with combination of two lateral steps: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, the man pulls the woman toward the man´s right side to give space to the man to move freely forward beside the right side of the woman. The man moves the left leg forward (1st step) followed by the right leg forward (2nd step), then the man opens the left leg laterally to make the 3rd step, then closes the leg to make the 1st step, then open the left leg again to make 2nd step, then moves the left leg forward to make the 3rd step, then move the left leg backward to start the Basic Two 1-2-3 backward movement normally and push back the woman from right to left to join the man face to face.

7. Man Out (two steps) with combination of leaning the woman leftward laterally then close with Woman Out Three steps: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, the man pulls the woman toward the man´s right side to give space to the man to move freely forward beside the right side of the woman. The man moves the left leg forward (1st step) followed by the right leg forward (2nd step), then moves the left leg forward (3rd step), then moves the left leg backward (4th step), then opens the left leg laterally by leaning the woman left side at one count (5th step), then moves the left leg toward the right leg (6th step), then moves the left leg backward (7th step), moves the right leg laterally (8th step), then moves the left leg forward to join the woman face to face.

8. Basic Two 1-2-3 with Variation A: Start with Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward, then backward, then the man moves the left leg forward to make 1st step, then moves the right leg forward (2nd step), then moves the left leg forward to make the 3rd step, then move it backward to make the 4th step, then move it again forward to make the 5th step, then moves backward to make the 6th step, then move the left leg backward to make the 7th step, then move the right leg backward to start with the Basic Two 1-2-3 backward movement normally.

9. Basic Two 1-2-3 with Variation B: Start with Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward, then backward, then the man moves the left leg forward to make 1st step, then moves the right leg forward (2nd step), then moves the left leg forward to make the 3rd step, then move it backward to make the 4th step, then moves the right leg toward 45º direction besides the woman right leg (5th step), moves the right leg backward (6th step), then moves the left leg toward 45º direction (7th step), moves it backward (8th step), then move the left leg backward to start with the Basic Two 1-2-3 backward movement normally.

10. Man Out (five steps) or Half Square movement: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, then the man moves his left leg leftward laterally by releasing himself from the woman (1st step), then moves the right leg half forward (2nd step), then joins the left leg with the right leg (3rd step), then opens the right leg laterally (4th step), then joins the left leg with the right leg by pulling the woman to face the man.

11. Man Out (seven steps) or One Square movement: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, then the man moves his left leg forward in 45º direction by pushing the woman forward with his chest (1st step), then moves the right leg forward normally (2nd step), then crosses the left leg to the right leg side (3rd step), moves the right leg backward (4th step), moves the left leg backward normally (5th step), crosses the right leg behind laterally leftward (6th step), then joins the left leg with the right leg by pulling the woman to face the man (7th step).

12. Woman Out (three steps): In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, the man moves his left leg laterally with half step (1st step), moves the right leg laterally half step (2nd step), joins the left leg with the right leg (3rd) and pulls the woman back in front of the man. This movement is done by turning the man´s body left side while moving his left leg laterally, the man pulls the woman´s body rightward with the man´s right hand and then pushes the woman´s body leftward to meet the man when he joins his left leg with this right leg. This step can also be done by moving only the woman's body while the man remains standing by just following the rhythm or the woman's body movement.

13. Woman Out (five steps): In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, the man moves his left leg laterally with half step (1st step), moves the right leg laterally (2nd step), moves the left backward (3rd), opens the right leg laterally (4th step), joins the left leg with the right leg and pushes the woman back in front of the man (5th step). This movement is done by turning the man´s body left side while moving his left leg laterally, the man pulls the woman´s body rightward with the man´s right hand and then pushes the woman's body leftward to meet the man when he joins his left leg with this right leg at the 5th step.

14. Woman Out (seven steps): This step is similar to the Man´s Seven Step out. The difference is in the movement where instead of the man pushing the woman forward with the man´s chest, he pulls and turns the woman rightward following the steps as the Man´s Seven Step.

15. Woman Out (seven steps) with leaning variation: This step is similar to the Man´s Seven Step out. The difference is in the movement where instead of the man pushing the woman forward with the man´s chest, he pulls and turns the woman rightward following the steps as the Man´s Seven Step. The variation is as follows: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, the man moves his left leg forward in 45º direction (1st step), moves his right leg forward by pulling the woman out rightward (2nd step), then crosses the left leg to the right leg side (3rd step), moves the right leg backward (4th step), moves the left leg laterally by leaning the woman left side (5th step), lifts the woman up (6th step), moves the left leg backward (7th step), moves the right leg laterally (8th step), then joins the left leg with the right leg by pulling the woman to face the man (9th step).


16. Women Out (nine steps) or Double Women Out Five Steps : This step is a combination or continuation of woman´s Out Five steps followed by Women Out Five Steps.

17. Women Out (eleven steps): This step is a combination or continuation of woman´s Out (Seven steps) followed by Women Out (Five Steps).

18. Women Out (thirteen steps): This step is a combination or continuation of woman´s Out Seven steps followed by Women Out Seven Steps.

19. Woman Out Right and Women Out Left (seven steps): This step is similar to Woman´s Out (Five Steps) rightward with combination of Women Out (Three Steps) leftward. In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, the man moves his left leg laterally with half step (1st step) by turning his body leftward, moves the right leg laterally (2nd step), moves the left leg backward (3rd), moves the right leg backward (4th step). At this step the man pushes the woman's left hip leftward, moves the left leg laterally (5th step), then moves the right leg forward (6th step), moves the left leg toward the right leg direction by joining the woman in front of the man (7th step).

20. Woman Out Right and Women Out Left (nine steps): This movement is the continuation of the Woman Out Left and Woman Out Left (Nine steps) by adding two more steps for the closing, namely: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, then the man moves his left leg laterally with half step (1st step) by turning his body leftward, moves the right leg laterally (2nd step), moves the left backward (3rd), moves the right leg backward (4th step). At this step the man pushes the woman's left hip leftward, moves the left leg laterally (5th step), then moves the right leg forward (6th step), moves the left leg backward (7th step), moves the right leg laterally (8th step), then move the left leg towards the right leg by joining the woman in front of the man (9th step).

21. Woman and Man Turn Left Side (in nine steps count): In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, the man moves his left leg forward (1st step), moves the right leg forward (2nd step) (at this movement the man holds the woman's right arm and pulls behind. The man turns left while moving his right leg forward and turns the woman leftward to the left direction). The man hits the ground with his left leg to make the 3rd step or just make a pause (3rd step), moves the right leg forward (4th step), moves the left leg forward (5th step), pushes the right hip of the woman to make a U-turn (6th step), moves the left leg backward (7th step), moves the right leg laterally (8th step), and then join the left leg to the right leg by turning the right hip of the woman to come in front of the man (9th step).

22. Woman and Man Turn Left Side (in nine steps count) combined with Woman Out (three steps): This movement is basically a Woman and Man Turn Left Side (In Nine steps count) closing with a Woman Out Three steps.

23. Man Right, Woman Left closed with Woman Out (three steps): In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps movement forward and backward, the man moves his left leg laterally (1st step), the man uses his left hand to turn the woman behind and uses his right hand to stop the left hip of the woman (2nd step) (At this stage the man stands at the left side of the woman looking behind the woman and the woman stands beside the left side of the man looking behind the man). The man moves his left leg forward (3rd step), moves the right leg forward (4th step), the man crosses his left leg behind his right leg by turning the woman to his right side (5th step), moves his right leg laterally (6th step), and then moves his left leg toward his right leg to complete the movement (7th step).

24. Tango Style or Pause Style with Man or Woman Out: In steps of Woman Out Three or Five steps or in Man Out Three or Five steps, can start the opening with a tango or a pause style. The man makes a start with the left leg for the 1st step then makes a tango pause for the 2nd step then either move the left leg forward to start a man´s out or makes a start forward to start a woman´s out.

25. Basic 1-2-3 Combined with Bend the Knees Down: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps forward and backward movement, both the man and the woman just bend their legs down and up instead of making the 1-2-3 backward or forward movement, and then followed by the Basic Two 1-2-3 steps.

26. Woman Makes a U-Turn in two steps Turning Her Back to the Man: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps forward and backward movement. The man swings the woman to his right side clockwise when he moves backward, and the woman follows the man by making two steps with her right leg swinging clockwise and left leg moving backward after making the U-Turn. At this stage, the man stands behind the woman and they can perform any movement as they like, then the man turns back the woman counter-clockwise when he makes three steps forward. This style is mostly danced with Semba rhythm.

27. Woman Makes a 360º Turn in three steps movement: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps forward and backward movement. The man swings the woman clockwise when he moves backward, and the woman follows the man by making a 360º turn in three steps moving clockwise. This style is mostly danced with Semba rhythm.

28. Woman Makes a 360º Turn in three steps movement followed by Dancing A Circle behind the Man: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps forward and backward movement. The man swings the woman clockwise when he moves backward, and the woman follows the man by making a 360º turn in three steps moving clockwise, then the man pulls the woman to dance a circle behind him. This circle should count nine steps. The man hits eight steps in his place and meet the woman at the 9th step to make a Basic One 1-2 steps or a Basic Two 1-2-3 step. When the woman makes the circle behind the man, she puts her right hand on the right hip of the man and moves leftward to meet the man´s left hand.

29. Woman Seats on the Left Thigh of the Man: : In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps forward and backward movement. The man moves the left leg laterally (1st step), moves the right leg in 45º direction by pushing the woman´s left hip towards the man left hand to make the 2nd step (the woman moves right leg laterally (1st step), then moves her left leg forward (2nd step), then crosses her right leg with the left leg (3rd step), then seats on the left thigh of the man (4th step), then stands up (5th step), moves her left leg laterally (6th step) and joins her right leg with the left leg to count 7th step). The man moves his left leg laterally (3rd step), bend his knees for the woman to seat (4th step), stands up (5th step), moves the right leg laterally (6th step), then joins the left leg with the right leg to complete (7th step).

30. Man Out five steps with Right Leg Cross in the Beginning for Variation: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps forward and backward movement. The man moves the left leg laterally (1st step), crosses the right leg behind the left leg (2nd step), moves the left leg forward (3rd step), moves the right leg laterally (4th step), moves the left leg backward (5th step), moves the right leg backward (6th step), and move the left leg forward half way (7th step) to join the woman face to face.

31. Man Out five steps with Left Leg Cross in the Middle for Variation: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps forward and backward movement, the man makes the normal Man Out Five Steps, but at the forth step before joining the man´s left leg to the man´s right leg to form the 5th step, the man moves his left leg forward to make the 1st step, then moves his right leg forward (2nd step), then moves his left leg forward (3rd step), then crosses his right leg behind his left leg (4th step), moves his left leg backward still in cross position (5th step), moves right leg backward still in cross position (6th step), then moves his right leg laterally (7th step), moves his left leg forward to start a Woman Out Three steps.

32. Basic 1-2-3 Step with Cross in the beginning for Variation: In Basic Two 1-2-3 steps forward and backward movement, the man makes variation by crossing his right leg behind his left leg before continuing with the Basic 1-2-3 steps.

33. Crossing Styles: In Basic One 1-2 steps, the man moves his left leg forward and crosses his right leg behind his left leg, then moves his right leg forward, then crosses his left leg behind his right leg.

34. Crossing Styles as Opening for Man Out or Woman Out: Like the tango or pause style for opening. Crossing styles can also be used as opening steps before continuing with Man Out or Woman Out movements.

35. Man Out Five Steps Combined with Chacha Steps and vlose with Women Out three steps: At the forth step before finishing the Man Out Five steps, the man moves his left leg forward to make the 5th step, then moves the right leg forward (6th step), then he does the chacha movement as 7th and 8th step (this movement is done by moving his left leg forward followed by his right leg behind the left leg pushing the left leg forward to make the 9th step, then moves the left leg forward (10th step), moves the left leg backward (11th step), moves the right leg laterally (12th step), and joining the left leg with the right while pushing the woman left side to become face to face with the man (13th step).

36. Woman and Man Moving Left and Right Variation: In Basic Two 1-2-3 forward and backward movement, the man moves backward two steps (left and right), then makes another 1-2 steps at this place, then mark the 1st step on his place while turning himself to the left side, then move his right leg forward to make the 2nd step. At this movement the man turns left, but uses his hand to push the woman´s right hip toward his right hand direction, then moves his right leg forward, then moves his left leg backward (3rd step), then crosses his right leg behind his left leg (4th step), then moves the left leg forward (5th step), moves the right leg backward (6th step), cross the left leg behind the right leg (7th step), moves the right leg forward (8th step), and moves the left leg towards the right leg to complete the steps (9th step). Please note that this movement is fast and complicated. Only recommended for advanced dancers only.

37. Simple Pause movements: In Basic Two 1-2-3 forward and backward movement, the man moves his left leg forward then bends the woman behind in a pause movement to make the 2nd step, then stands up to complete the 3rd step. Then the man moves his left leg backward, then he bends backward in a pause movement to make the 2nd step then stands up to complete the 3rd step.

38. Woman Out Left Side three steps: In Basic Two 1-2-3 forward and backward movement, the man moves his left leg forward (1st step), crosses his right leg behind his left leg (2nd), and moves his left leg backward to join the woman in front of him

39. Woman Out Left Side five steps: In Basic Two 1-2-3 forward and backward movement, the man moves his left leg across his right leg while turning the woman out left side (1st step), moves his right leg backward (2nd step), moves his left leg backward (3rd step), moves his right leg forward (4th step), then moves his left leg toward the right leg to join the woman in front of him.

40. Tarraxinha or Terrachinha: This is basically a Basic One 1-2 movement in place where the partners hold each other tightly and doing simultaneous sensual and erotic rhythmic movements together. It will look so artistic if both the partners can shake their hips. This Terrachinha movement has been a target of criticism even in Angola due to its sensual, erotic and streap-tease like movements due to the fact that many youths are caught up dancing only Terrachina in a Kizomba rhythm without diversifying the dance into the rich and diverse movement in the Kizomba Dance.



*) Attended a 48 Hours Kizomba Master Class from the 9th – 24th July 2007 and 10th September 2007. The Kizomba Master Class comprises a 12 hours beginner’s class and a 12 hours intermediate class. It was held by the 1001 Danças Club in Ateneu, Rua Portas Santo Antão, 110 Restauradores, Lisboa, Portugal.

Now is attending a regular Kizomba Class at the same Institution from September 2007 two hours every week on every Tuesdays from 20.30 hours to 22.30 hours.


1 comentário:

uberdonkey disse...

Muito obrigado. Muito interesante. Uma pena que nao ha video!