Kizomba & Semba Lessons

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Kizomba dance invokes the feelings of connection, smoothness, sensuality, just to name a few!

Currently a dance craze that has been taking the world by storm, becoming emensely popular in Europe and growing in popularity in North America and everywhere else, kizomba is a dance originated from Angola. Its direct predecessor is Semba, with which shares the foundations and all the basic steps, which we are proud to be the first school in Toronto also offering it.


Both kizomba as well as semba are dances inherently African in character, that have been incorporating over the years some steps or concepts from other dances such as tango, Cuban salsa (casino), Cuban son, etc. Kizomba dance has evolved over the years as a slower variant of semba, that requires a high degree of connection and technique between the dance partners.
In our kizomba lessons in Toronto you will learn the framework, technique and feel of kizomba, in a progressive and structured way, always keeping in mind the cultural background of the dance. Our new program structure will be offering semba as a natural progression from kizomba, designed specially to show the intricate connection of both styles of dance, or rather presenting kizomba as a sub-style of semba.


Kizomba dance has been taking the world by storm, having emerged from Angola in the 80s. Extremely popular in most European countries, kizomba's wave has now hit Toronto and is here to stay! A partner social dance that is best known by its sensuality and smooth flow, it became first popular in the 80s in Angola and from there in the other portuguese-speaking African countries. It was only in the 90s that it started taking Europe by storm, first Portugal (for obviously having the biggest Angolan expat community), then gradually the UK, France and Spain.


The word kizomba was in use back in the 50s in Angola, more specifically in the region of the capital Luanda, as a word from kimbundu, one of the local dialects, simply meaning party. With time it became associated with a musical genre that emerged from the blending of Angolan semba rhythm with French Caribbean zouk, specially after the visit to Angola by zouk superstar band Kassav, in the 80s. Kizomba these days is the name for both the musical genre as well as the dance that is often associated with it.


Kizomba was born in the 80s from the blend of traditional Angolan semba music with French Caribbean zouk rhythms, giving it that smooth romantic feel. Mainly sung in portuguese or kimbundu, many people these days confuse kizomba with zouk, ghetto zouk, cabo zouk and zouklove.


Toronto kizomba, semba classes, lessons, parties
Kizomba dance has evolved mainly from semba, an Angolan traditional dance that emerged and became popular in the 50s. For Angolans there is no big distinction between the steps used for kizomba and the ones used for semba, other than the usual slower tempo dictated by kizomba music which tends to be romantic. For many Angolans kizomba sinply uses a subset of the steps that semba has, where some of the more extravagant/playful elements are not present. It is worth noting that even semba has had over the years some infusion of ideas and steps from tango as well as Cuban partner dances such as Son. Some of these influences have naturaly made their way into kizomba as well. Angolan traditional kizomba emphasizes heavily on smoothness and fluidity, using the music as a steady compass.
In the last years a new style of kizomba has been emerging from Europe, where the interpretation of the music and dance has taken a more edgy/hip-hop approach. In this style, now called Urbankiz, there are more influences of tango as well, and the couples are often seen pausing and changing the tempo of steps.
Our Kizomba lessons in Toronto will introduce you to Angolan style.

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