Her own dance school, that was always Motsi Mabuse’s dream. She is well-known through the German dance show “Let’s dance” on RTL. On September 2nd 2017 her dream came true. She wanted Kizomba to be part of her offer and therefore she invited JD & Chrissi, two internationally well-known Kizomba artists, to be her partner. We met Motsi in her dance school in Eschborn (Frankfurt), took a look at the school and her offer and report about it in the following article.

Interview with Motsi

Motsi, you were an active Standard-Latin-dancer and you became famous far beyond the dance scene through the RTL show „Let’s dance“. What motivated you to open your own dance school?

It was always my goal. During our active dancing times we were on tour a lot, we performed or trained. But you don’t really earn a lot of money with this. I love the dance and made my passion my profession. Furthermore, I wanted a second mainstay.

How was your path to your own dance school? Were there any obstacles?

I started my active search four years ago. I had many problems to find the right space in Frankfurt that is suitable for all dance styles. That was very important for us as we worked for a long time on our current concept.

Next to the well-known ballroom and latin dances you offer also special courses like West Coast Swing or Urban Kiz. How did you come up with this idea?

I fell in love with the different dance styles. They are lots of fun!

What do you like most about Urban Kiz?

I love Urban Kiz! I danced it a few years ago in South Africa and already decided there that I absolutely want to teach it in our dance school.

Do you dance Kizomba yourself?

I’m a huge fan and I am learning, so… yes! J

For Urban Kiz you hired two internationally well-known external trainers. How did this cooperation start?

JD & Chrissi approached us when we started searching for dance teachers. I think they are both very likable and very good teachers.

Which regular Urban Kiz courses do you offer?

Every Tuesday from 7 – 8:30 p.m. a beginner class and from 8:30 – 10:00 p.m.m an advanced class. Unfortunately, JD & Chrissi can only come on Tuesdays that’s why our Kizomba night is always on Tuesdays.

You organize a monthly Kizomba Party with well-known DJs – what can we look forward to?

I always look forward to these parties in my school. Today on Halloween we invited DJ Narc6 and on November 28th DJ Lenhy from Paris.

 

Partyreview – Halloweenparty on October 31st 2017 with DJ Narc6

 

The dance school

Motsi Mabuse HalloweenSince September 2017 “Motsi Mabuse’s Taunus Tanzschule” is located on the 9th floor in the middle of an industrial area in Eschborn.  It offers a breath-taking 360° view onto Frankfurt and its surroundings. Especially at night, when the lights glow in the dark, you almost rather take a look out of the window than to focus on your dance. Two big wall mirrors, a great foyer with a big bar and seats as well as a cloakroom is offered by the dance school as well as their attention to detail. Thus the dance school was decorated entirely in Halloween style to create just the right mood. Just the high beverage prices were a bit shocking gut maybe not unusual for a big city. A cuba libre costs 7,50 € and a coce 3,10 €.

Workshop with JD & Chrissi

JD Chrissi Kizomba JD & Chrissi gave their Urban Kiz Workshop (open level) before the party from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. The participants brought very different skill levels, from beginner to advanced. The ratio was quite balanced with just a very small surplus of women. More than 50 people participated in the Workshop, before the official party with DJ began at 9:00 p.m..

Kizombaparty with DJ Narc6

More than 125 guests arrived from all over the place: Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Mannheim – even a dancer from East Frisia found her way to Motsi Mabuse‘s Kizomba Party. Narc6 played a diversified mix, from soft sounds up to harder Tarraxa-Beats he offered something for every taste. He has a knack for the audience and adapts his music accordingly. The atmosphere was very personal and jolly. A true feel-good program for the Kizomba soul. Even after the official end of the party at 1p.m. the people kept on dancing.

Our conclusion

A great dance school with a diverse offer and a set Kizomba program, lead with lots of love by Motsi and her husband Evgenij, who are both present at their parties. The location on the upper floor of a multi-storey building with the view over Frankfurt expresses a lot of charme. All thumbs up from our side. KizzMag looks forward to coming back.

Don’t miss it!  – the next events takes place on November 28th with DJ Lenhy from Paris.

Gallery

 

Party video

He is one of the old stagers in Germany when it comes to Kizomba. Music and dance are in his blood from childhood on and it was always part of his life. In 2010 he founded Germany’s first dance school offering exclusively Kizomba and ran quite a risk doing it since Kizomba was still quite unknown at that time. He gained acceptance, but it was a tough fight until today, as you can read hereafter…

His path to dancing

Tony Gomes und AlenaThe native Angolan danced already from childhood on as his mother – as opposed to his father – loved dancing passionately. He encountered the dance Salsa and learned the first steps through locally based Cuban soldiers who were supporting Angola at the time. Already at the age of 12 he danced Semba and Passada on a concert and impressed the local mayor with his talent. A stimulation for Tony to focus on dancing.

He learned especially Zouk which then incorporated Cap Verdean elements. This is how Kizomba slowly developed, which was danced to Zouk music though. The Kizomba at that time was played live. There were no electronic mixes at the time just like there were no mobile phones. Nevertheless, everybody knew when and where there was going to be a concert. Tony was working as a DJ already in Angola – the payment? A bottle of liqueur!

Kizomba in Germany

Kizomba appeared in Germany already in 1996. Tony already danced a lot during that time, Samba or even Lambada-shows amongst others and he was already well-known in dance schools at that time.

Tony was mainly as DJ in Stuttgart, in the so-called “Schützenhaus”, the “Jaba Daba Du” and other locations and put on Salsa music but always and on principle also Kizomba music, even if it was only 2-3 songs.  Even if in a room full of 800 party guests the dancefloor was immediately empty as soon as Kizomba was playing, Tony still insisted on his freedom and on presenting a piece of his home culture and music, although the people asked him not to play Kizomba. They liked the music but nobody knew how to dance to it. Tony had to deal with a lot of setbacks. By today he could fill a big book only with the complaints in diverse online forums about him playing Kizomba music.  Still, Tony staid persistent and kept on playing Kizomba music on his parties.

Germany’s first Kizomba school

Tony wanted to teach, he didn’t want to teach Salsa though. In October 1996 Tony dared his first try. He also taught Tae-Kwon-Do in Nürtingen (close to Stuttgart in Southern Germany) and he offered first courses in his „Afro-Southamerican dance school“. However the people were reserved when it came to Kizomba. “The dance was too close for them. This kind of proximity was not desired.” The interest grew with time and all of a sudden, the Kizomba boom started in Portugal. The Africa Dançar festivals started in 2007 and Tony joined them 2008 and 2009.

With his first dance partner Alena he pursued the goal to teach Kizomba in Germany. He wanted to build up a real teaching structure and to teach it comprehensively. He met Petchu in a club and asked him for help. Petchu supported him to create a course concept and how to teach Kizomba properly. In 2010 he founded „AfroMoves“ and together with Alena he built it piece by piece up. Alena was a very important part of AfroMoves because of her great organising ability and contributed a lot in creating AfroMoves. After five years she had to leave the school 2013 for health reasons. At this time, Justy was already Tony’s student and he began to teach her to become Alena’s successor. Privately they are a couple and they have a little son.

The AfroMoves Team grew over the years and consists of around 10 people by now. “I’m very proud of the team and thankful to be able work together with these great people”. He admits that he himself is not the specialist in organizing things. His profession and passion is the dance itself. That’s why he is very thankful that his team supports him in these things.  

AfroMoves‘ offers

Alongside the regular courses that go from beginner classes to the Master Club, Afromoves also consistently offers special workshops. To offer a possibility to dance and practice, they offer their so-called “KizZonntag” every Sunday in the bar “myemy” at Ufa-Palast in Stuttgart. There you can dance in a cozy party atmosphere and finish your week in an atmospheric set-up.

Every fourth Saturday of the month their big Kizomba-Party “Noit de Kizomba” takes place, usually also at “myemy”. This event series is one of the firmly established and bigger Kizomba-Parties in the greater area of Stuttgart with its changing guest DJs and free “Just-One” Workshops at the beginning.

Only recently, the so-called “The Gomes-Party” takes place every second Saturday of the month. By turns, Tony himself and his son Joany – who is likewise a professional dance teacher – pride themselves as DJs and ensure to offer diversified Kizomba music in Esslingen (close to Stuttgart, in the dance school SabroSalsa).

Furthermore, organized dance travels to Portugal in cooperation with viaDanza dance travels are part of AfroMoves’ repertoire. They take place twice a year in May and October and are comprised of special workshops combined with a holiday feeling.

The yearly AfroMoves Kizomba Festival mid-March ist he event highlight oft he dance school and will take place already for the 7th time in March 2018.

Discussion about traditional vs. Urban Kiz

Tony who is described as “traditional” Kizomba dance by most people explains to us that there is essentially no such thing as “traditional” Kizomba but that almost everything can be seen as fusion. Absolutely “traditional” is rather the solo dance, the couple dance on the contrary is fundamentally to be seen as a modern dance.  There were always developments in dances, especially in Kizomba and they should be accepted. “It was necessary to invent more steps in order to be able to present something interesting on stage. Many figures and steps exist only since the development as started. Kizomba is not a trend, it is culture.“  Of course  we shouldn’t forget the origins and the traditional beginnings, but we should also tolerate the developments.     

Tipps for all dancers

Don’t go for the figures and combinations right away. Develop a feeling for the music firstn

Value the basics – they are the foundation

Dance with different dance partners in order to become flexible in your dance

Try to dance to the music and develop your musicality

Women need to learn to let go

Women need to focus on following their partner, to feel what is being led

 

Tony Gomes is dancer with heart and soul. We thank him for the pleasant interview and the insight into his starting time as Kizomba teacher.

Ehemalige Tanzpartnerin Eva Fischer & Tony Gomes

An interview from Silke Wiedenhöft

Brass-band music, Portugal, Hip Hop, Paris, Kizomba – DJ Radikal is multifaceted, that’s for sure. Also his artist’s name “Radikal” is rather surprising when listening to his typically rather soft sounds. We met him on the „Noite de Kizomba“ in Stuttgart and unveil his versatility. We also found out how he ended up with his artists name “Radikal”.

His performance in Stuttgart

Kizomberos/as from Dortmund, Munich and of course from the wider area of Stuttgart found their sometimes quite long way to Stuttgart to the „Noite de Kizomba“ in order to see DJ Radikal life. With a pleasant mix of classical and modern Kizomba, he created a great mood and many hours of dancing pleasure. The guests thanked him with the appropriate applause. But Victor Silvestre wasn’t only convincing as DJ. He presented himself as a very humorous and interested person to his host Afromoves. Thus, he asked us a lot about the German culture and about Stuttgart over a hearty white sausage breakfast and accompanied by brass-band music. We were not allowed to film or mention that he swayed to the music (he has a reputation to lose). 😉

Hip Hop origins

DJ Radikal was born in 1974 in Paris as son of Portuguese parents. His roots are in the world of Hip Hop for which he has a great passion. 1997 Radikal decided to emigrate to South Portugal in order to trace his origins. He established his reputation in the Hip Hop scene as DJ, producer and concert promoter. Hence his artist name “Radikal”, inspired by the French Hip Hop magazine “Radikal”. He kept his artist name from that time when he decided to play Kizomba.

He discovered Kizomba, Kuduro and Semba in Portugal through friends who brought him to the African clubs. He was in a relationship with an Angolan woman and due to her listened to Kizomba music every day. In his circle of friends are many Angolans and Cap Verdians, which helped him to understand not only the Portuguese but also the lyrics of the Creole Kizomba songs.

Return to France

In 2013 when he returned to Paris, Kizomba was still relatively new in France which was his motivation to start mixing and deejaying Kizomba there. Ever since then you can’t imagine the Kizomba scene without Radikal. Everyone has at least one Radikal song in his repertoire.

Victor is not full-time DJ. Nevertheless, it’s a very time-consuming activity. It’s not only the time behind the DJ desk. You need to find new music, make new mixes and publish them and all of this in a very high quality. He invests several hours daily for this.

Critical points in the DJ scene

Victor is a bit critical about the current developments in the scene. Many “new” DJs play music for free or nearly nothing in order to become famous, to travel for free or to “be seen”. This leads to dropping prices. Therefore, the effort stands in no relation with the remuneration, especially if your focus is on quality. There must be a balance between passion for Kizomba and Business.

Also, the payment morality leaves a lot to be desired. Some organizers of big festivals (with high ticket prices and focus on masses) don’t want to pay (much) while organizers of small festivals often pay but make less money themselves.

„I can stand out from the crowd with my work“, says Radikal, especially with his mixes, surprises and novelties that he presents repeatedly. He chooses his music according to his gut feeling and own taste. Of course, he also pays attention to the guests’ wishes, but when a song does not trigger emotions in him, he doesn’t play it. “You need to bring across the personal passion”.

Developments in the music

After the foundation of Kizomba in Angola in the 90s, a lot of influence came from Cap Verde and more and more songs were sung in Creole. For a long time, it was seen as “music of the black” in Portugal. Just after the first Portuguese produced album, the boom started and white singers followed. Then Kizomba slopped over to Paris. Until then, there were no mixes, no Urban Kiz and hardly any teachers or DJs. All of this only started in the past years with the starting point France and nowadays whole Europe. This seems to be necessary though, since “the people always want new input”.

What you personally like is in the end a matter of taste. He sees the development of Kizomba as positive, interesting and versatile. There are many new styles and new creations. The expansion towards Asia and Latin-America grows and with this there will be again more innovations and developments.

Radikal: open, likeable, a man who can see things critical and open addresses them. Despite the Kizomba topics we found out a few personal details about DJ Radikal and we find he is a real asset to the Kizomba scene.

An interview from Eva Fischer

Jumping rolls, catchy beats, a unique style and their own clothing label – yes, exactly! – we are talking about Jojo / Mickaela! Like a hurricane they appeared in the Kizomba world and quickly became indispensable there. Their unique powerful style, high professionality and ambition distinguishes the dance couple from others.  On the Luxembourg Kizomba festival, the two took the time to speak with us and to tell us about their careers and what’s important to them in Kizomba.

From Sweden to Paris

Between workshops and their sale of their „Let’s play Kizomba“ dance clothes, we met Jojo & Mickaela on their sales booth. The interview was a bit challenging since they are much sought-after by their fans. Potential buyers came by to check the shirts or fans asked for a selfie with the Kizomba stars in a minute cycle. But both of them are easygoing and we had first the pleasure to speak with Mickaela about her career.

Mickaela gathered her first dance experience at the age of 10 in Ballet and Modern Dance. So dancing is an integral part of her life already for a long time. She then added dances like Salsa and Bachata, like most Kizomba artists. Just four years ago she discovered Kizomba and learned it mainly on parties, festivals and socials. Her experience from the other dances helped her a lot.

She first met Jojo on a party and they danced on the Paris Kizomba Congress several times. “The chemistry was just right from the beginning”. Mickaela had already taught smaller Kizomba courses in Sweden when she decided to move to Paris in order to teach together with Jojo. A brave step since Jojo already had a dance partner at the time. But it was clear for Mickaela that she only wanted to teach Kizomba with him. Her courage paid off and both of them can’t imagine anymore to have other dance partners anymore.

Mickaela is a full-time dancer. They exclusively teach on festivals and events though and additionally sell their dance clothes. They don’t have their own dance school.

Professional school for „Jumping Rolls“

Jojo owns his own professional school for Jumping Roll and trains daily 3-4 hours for this sport – so it should be clear what his inexhaustible energy source is. He was seeking for an additional challenge and Kizomba was exactly the right thing for him. He learned from Isabelle & Felicien and trained himself with YouTube Videos. He developed his own distinctive style which also presents his sporty nature and he participated in the competition “Africa Dançar”. He reached second place in Paris and in the national competition he reached second place one time and fourth place the other time. With this, the foundation for his steep Kizomba career was set.

Inspiration from sports and other dance styles

But where do the two get their ideas for their unique style? What inspires them? Mickaela doesn’t look at other artists for that. She often takes her inspiration from Bachata. “Bachata is danced technically very well.”

For Mickaela, the special thing about Kizomba is to „play“ with the music. “You have a lot more freedom in this dance in comparison with Salsa. Kizomba is very creative.” From that perspective they created their very own label “Let’s play Kizomba”. They sell T-Shirts, pants, dresses and skirts on their clothes stands on festivals. A good business that they have discovered for themselves. Every two minutes there is another person interested in snatching a piece of Jojo & Mickaela’s Kizomba world. I myself already have two “Let’s play Kizomba” all-time favorites in my closet.

Steep career

There are very few artists who managed such a steep career in such a short time. Both are very professional and their classes are more than recommendable due to their didactic quality. You realize that both of them had experience in teaching before starting to teach Kizomba. Their success shows it. Their workshops are always packed like they were in Luxemburg. Way more than 200 participants visited their workshops. A good coordination from their side was crucial in order to divide the many participants efficiently and fast because the content of their workshops is strictly structured.

Mickaela’s tips for dancers

You should develop your techique. Of course, the fun is important, but you should really also pay attention to a correct technique. Many start dancing Kizomba and then only sway from left to right.

Don’t mix too many other elements but stay with the origins

Jojo’s tips for dancers

Go dancing as often as possible

Dance with everyone. Don’t only look out for the good ones, also dance with beginners, because it will also help you too improve.

No big changes in the Kizomba scene

Both share the opinion that there won’t be mayor changes in the scene anytime soon. The current styles will develop a bit further but they don’t expect some very new styles to come up. They also don’t encourage to generate too many mixes as we will risk to lose the basics and the origin. Their own formula is: 80% Kizomba and 20% other styles / experiments.

Jojo’s personal Festival Tipps:

Luxembourg, Barcelona and Mexico are Jojo’s Festival favourites. They themselves can be found as artists amongst others on the following upcoming festivals:

22.-24. September: Kizomba Life Weekend 3rd Edition

29.-01. October: Tchuna Kizomba Festival 3rd

20.-22. October: KiMa Kizomba Marche Festival

Beside their special dance style and professional instruction they are also very likeable and own a great sense of humor.

An Interview by Eva Fischer

Albir, who is well-known for his special dance style which he combines with Hip Hop elements, talks with us on the Luxembourg Kizomba Festival about the necessity of mutual respect and mutual support between the Kizomba artists who have different dance styles. Furthermore, he tells us about his career up to now and his new project „Randomroots“.

Did you know?

Albir Rojas was a professional and well-known dancer already in his home country Panama. His specialty was first and foremost Hip Hop for which he developed a big passion already at the age of 15 and which he still integrates clearly nowadays in his dance style. Beyond that, he included Jazz and Latin American Dances in his dance repertoire. In order to further develop his dance professionally, he learned ballet techniques and he danced in theatres and even TV shows!

In 2001, he departed for a whole year from the professional dance scene and moved to Madrid in order to study media management. He realized quickly tough that he misses the dance and decided for a comeback. He focused then on Hip Hop as well as Salsa and Bachata and started to teach these dances.

His student brought him to Kizomba

A Portuguese student introduced Kizomba to Albir. After a lesson, he asked Albir if he ever heard of the dance Kizomba. Shortly after he brought some Kizomba Music to class to show it to Albir and he was hooked immediately.

Kwenda Lima – one of the experts in the Kizomba world – became his teacher and the foundation stone for Albir’s Kizomba career was therewith laid. Albir developed his own dance style straight away and mixed it with Hip Hop elements. These make his style so unique and brisk.

At this time, he participated in the dance competition “Africa dançar” together with Sarah Lopez and made it onto second place! He then complemented his class portfolio with Kizomba and meanwhile, he exclusively teaches Kizomba. Dancing and teaching are his passion and that’s why he is a full-time dance teacher.

 

Random Roots – Albir’s newest project:

You can’t be present on the whole world. Therefore, Albir makes use of the modern media in order to reach as many interested dancers as possible. He offers choreographies under the label “random roots” and he created his own concept for this.

Interested dancers can chose between two options.

  • As dance teacher, you can book his online class for four months to be able to pass on Albir’s steps and sequences to their own students. Like this, he reaches more students via other dance teachers. Especially many new dance teachers take this offer in order to expand their own portfolio of steps and sequences.
  • The „Express Choreo“ is for dance groups. With this option, you can buy a video with a choreography in order to learn it with a team. Afterwards you can send a video with a demo to If he likes it, he makes an appointment with that team on a festival. He practices with them for 2-3 hours and is then on stage with them for a show! This also happened on this year’s Luxembourg Kizomba Festival.

You can find Albir’s streaming classes and choreographies on www.randomroots.com

Random Roots sample

 

 

Development of the dance and the Kizomba scene:

As we all know, there are meanwhile a lot of different styles and mixes of styles under the name „Kizomba”. Dancers and musicians seek for inspiration in other areas (other dances and other music styles) and develop with it new steps and sequences and expand their portfolio. We already know this type of development from other dances.

As probably most of us have already realized, there are a lot of discrepancies and arguments due to this development. A few “traditional” dancers don’t want to know about the “modern” and some dancers who introduce new ideas into the dance become sometimes a bit pretentious and think, they are better.

Albir tells us that he experienced a lot more mutual support and unity amongst the dancers of the scene in the past. He thinks it is sad, that there is less and less cooperation and instead more selfishness now. He advocates for more acceptance and mutual support in the Kizomba scene, amongst dancers as well as amongst teachers. You can’t and shouldn’t try to prevent developments but accept them. At the same time, we should respect the roots and heritage of the dance. Without it, there wouldn’t be anything to develop! Furthermore, dancing is something beautiful and positive. We dance because we love it and because it’s fun. For the artists, it should be a beautiful and positive work. It should stay like this and we should handle it accordingly.

We, the KizzMag team can only agree with Albir’s opinion. Let’s enjoy the dance and all its facets!

 

Albir’s tipps for dancers:

Enjoy the dance, feel good and positive!

Don’t talk down on others and forget about the arrogance!

We have enough space for all styles and all levels!

Everyone can dance what brings him joy. It doesn’t hurt anyone.

If you don’t like something, don’t look and don’t comment.

 

 

Albir’s „must-go-to“ festivals:

  • Luxembourg Kizomba Festival
  • Summer Sensual Days (SSD & CSSF) in Rovinj
  • Amsterdam Kizomba Festival
  • Mixtura (in Cullera bei Valencia), beginning of September under his command

Thank you Albir

We were very impressed by Albir’s warmhearted, calm and thoughtful nature. He took a lot of time for our interview and we could sense how important it was for him to form his message in the right words in order to reach dancers and artists. Our conclusion: Albir isn’t only a great dancer, he is also an appealing figure who has his heart at the right place! We look forward to the next festival with him.

 

Albir around the world:

You didn’t have the chance yet to visit one of Albir’s workshops? You will have the chance to do so on the following festivals:

25.-27. August 2017 – Kizomba Xperience – Disneyland® Paris, Frankreich

31. August – 4. September 2017 – Mixtura Kizomba Festival, Spanien

8.-11. September 2017 – KIFE, Italien

22.-25. September 2017 – Like Festival, Portugal

20.-23. October 2017 – Amsterdam Kizomba Festival, Niederlande

14.-18. December 2017 – K I Z M I, Italien

He is one of the old stagers – Doumb – who teaches Kizomba already since 2008. He tells us in our interview about his life before dancing, his personal development as well as valuable advices for dancers and gives us some insights into the Kizomba “generations”.

If Doumb wasn’t a dancer, he would be … accountant!

Who would have thought about that? Doumb took up advanced studies in accounting because he wanted to make a career as accountant specialist. He realized though during the in France compulsory internship that this was not what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He already dances and gave classes at the same time and realized that it was hard for him to manage the accountant job and the attendance at festivals at the same time. He often had to take Fridays and Mondays off for the festivals which was hard to arrange in his job. He decided to quit his accountant job and to focus to one hundred percent on the dance and the teaching.

Development from Salsa to Kizomba

Like many other dancers, he was first Salsa and Bachata teacher (as of 2001). Doumb, who taught initially only Cuban Salsa learned about the NY style on a travel to the USA. It was love at first sight and he started teaching also this dance style. He experienced a similar development with the prevalent Kizomba styles. Initially he learned traditional Kizomba and Tarraxa from Portugal and he loves the smooth movements of these styles. He also really likes the modern style and combines both to “Kizomba Fusion”. At the same time, he incorporates other dances, e.g. his partner incorporates movements from “Contemporary”. He loves it to play with music and styles. For him, not only one or the other exists. The most important is that the movements match the music and that it feels good.

On festivals, he exclusively taught Salsa at the beginning. At that time, only the first renown Kizomba teachers from the first generation taught Kizomba on Salsa festivals.

Doumb started teaching Kizomba in 2008 in Bordeaux. Soon he was very successful and moved to Paris shortly after. There he taught in a location called “Bateau” and other locations. Very soon after he started teaching Kizomba he was only booked for Kizomba classes by festival organizers.

Doumb about the development of the Kizomba „generations“:

Highly renown Kizomba teachers like Petchu, Kwenda Lima, Avelino Chantre und Tomas Keta belong to the “first generation”. Many of the present Kizomba stars learned their first steps from the teachers of this generation. After them, already the first Kizomba dance groups like „Afrolatin Connection“ emerged on the international dance floors.

The “second generation” presented people like Doumb himself, Albir Rojas, Tony Pirata, Morenasso and others. Quickly, other stars like Felicien & Isabell or Curtis followed and aleady introduced first novelties into the dance.

The „third generation“ with dancers like Enah introduced the so-called „Urban Kizomba“, a new and harder style.  Until today, the “Urban Kizz” style has developed radically and also leads to quickly increasing number of new teachers in the Kizomba world.

Doumb’s advice to the dancers:

„Stop always wanting to be the best. Nobody will be the best. Whoever understands that will finally start enjoying the dance.”

The 4 most important tipps:

Watch out for your partner! Adapt to the level of your partner!

Forget the audience. Dance to enjoy, not to brag

Listen to the music!

Pay attention to the space and the dancers around you

Thereby he emphasizes the importance of the connection with the dance partner.

His advice to the women: don’t guess and don’t try to predict. Wait for the actual lead of the man.

His advice to the men: learn your steps and combinations before you dance them on the dancefloor. Lead clearly but smooth and soft (not rough!). A light and smooth lead is sufficient!

His advice to all: listen to the music, adapt your style to the music (hard urban steps don’t fit to happy Semba music or romantic Kizomba).

If women and men heed this advice, the result will be the perfect dance. A dance that both enjoy.

 

Doumb around the world – 2017 you meet Doumb on the following events

29. September – 2. Oktober – Tchuna International Kizomba Festival, Frankreich

6.-9. Oktober – Berlin Salsa Congress, Deutschland

15.-20. November – Paris Kizomba Congress, Frankreich

14.-18. Dezember – X-Mas Gala Kassel

Doumb’s festival recommendations:

  • Obviously the „Suave“ festival (Paris, end of January) under his own direction
  • X-Mas Gala Kassel (well organized, familial and warm-hearted)

Generally, Doumb recommends rather medium sized festivals. If festivals are too big, you lose each other, it’s more difficult to have conversations and people are more stressed. Of course, we go to festivals to dance but also to meet friends and to communicate.

Demeter gardener, performance swim, the azores and cold showers. How does that fit together? I met Daniel and Jasmin, who tour to festivals as Kizomba teachers in whole Europe since November 2015, at a small event in Horb am Neckar. I used the opportunity to ask the two Kizomba young stars about their origin, their plans and tips for dancers.

Ballett classes at the age of three

Jasmin discovered her passion for dance already at the age of three when she took her first ballet classes. She danced ballet until she got into a defiant phase at the age of 13, when she broke out into a completely new direction. She became performance swimmer and participated in competitions. Who would have assumed that?

With 16, Jasmin was drawn back to dance though and attended the usual standard dance courses. She immediately developed a big enthusiasm for it. Her goal was clear pretty soon – she needed to do formation dance! Quickly she realized her ambition and danced latin dances, amongst other also competition dance. This part of her dance career ended when her dance partner moved abroad. Since she already danced Salsa and Bachata, she first encountered Kizomba about two and a half years ago in Paris. She was hooked immediately and learned Kizomba on parties and festivals. Her longstanding dance education and experience in ballett and latin dances helped her a lot and you can see it in her smooth lady styling.

By the way, in her normal life Jasmin is consultant at Ernst & Young and she models occasionally. So, she is not only pretty and a great dancer, no, she also has brains.

From organic gardening to professional dancing

Did you know? Daniel was Demeter gardener for 7 years until he decided to become a full-time dance teacher. But how did he even end up with Kizomba? Daniel’s family emigrated to the Azores. Years later in Germany, he discovered Salsa at the age of 20. He immediately detected his passion for dance.  He also found out about Kizomba and immediatly he knew: „I want to do that!” He quickly learned Kizomba and developed his ambition to teach. The first opportunity to teach was provided to him at the „Kizomba Kings Festival“ in Strassbourg. He gave his first class together with Jasmin in 2015 at the „Kizomba Festival Stuttgart“. Since his dance partner was prevented for other reasons, he spontaneously wrote to Jasmin, with whom he danced already several times on festivals, and asked her if she wanted to teach with him. Since then the two tour together as dance couple under the name “Daniel & Jasmin

When asked, if he also thinks about the future as full-time dancer, Daniel admits that naturally these thoughts come up frequently. Especially when it comes to family planning. The life as artist means many travels especially on weekends. This requires a lot of tolerance and trust.

Clear and structured lessons

Daniel & Jasmin’s workshops are clear and structured. This is very important to them. They don’t only teach sequences of steps but also the technique. Furthermore, it’s important to them to explain it comprehensibly. It’s not enough to explain the steps, they also explain the proper leading and necessary signals in order to lead the woman. They also explain a lot for the women, amongst other things how the woman can support the man and how she can apply ladies styling properly. The part of the woman is unfortunately often neglected in classes of other teachers since there is a stronger focus on the leading of the man.

A good atmosphere is also very important to them in their classes. They want the people to have fun and to have a great experience.

All these qualities and a good promotion inevitably bring success. Daniel & Jasmin are almost every weekend on festivals and smaller events. With that, is there any time left for other hobbies? Hardly. Most of their time goes into dancing. In their little free time, they meet family and friends. When asked if it’s sometimes too much for them, both answer “No” without hesitation. Dancing is their passion. On festivals, they usually stay until the party ends and they just accept the lack of sleep, even if they have to give the first workshop in on the next day’s morning. How to make yourself fit for the early morning class? Daniel’s solution: he always takes cold showers!

Tipps for dancers

Go dancing as often as you can. Go to events and dance with many different dancers and different styles. That makes you flexible and it improves your dancing.

Listen to the music! Especially the male dancers. This improves your musicality. While listening, imagine how you would dance to this song. Music can become predictable and your body learns with time to react to it quicker.

Find your creativity and your own style

Pay attention to a good connection & feeling

Daniel often dances the female part and he likes to ask dance teachers for that. It is a good practice in order to understand the female part better and in order to be able to explain better. Daniel & Jasmin both like to give tips to the women. And anyhow, Daniel cuts a fine figure as female dancer.

Traditional vs. Urban

Daniel & Jasmin are relaxed concerning the discussion about dance styles. There will always be developments and that’s good. The “traditional” dances shouldn’t talk down on the developments and the “modern” ones shouldn’t claim that theirs is better and totally intuitive. The origin is important and we should all respect each other. Dancing is a part of human life and it’s their for everyone. It should be fun and no reason for discussions.

Development of the Kizomba scene

Kizomba will keep on booming. Especially, it will fully spill over to Asia, America and South America. At the moment, it’s extreme how many new festivals and teachers appear. At some point, there will be an oversaturation and not everyone will “survive” then. None of the two believes that Kizomba will see a declining development. Kizomba will be worldwide a permanent feature in the dancing world.

Recommendations for festivals

For Jasmin, the Luxemburg Kizomba Festival is a highlight and a clear recommendation, since the Social Dance is especially good.

Daniel recommends especially to the male dancers the festivals in eastern Europe like Zagreb, Moskau etc. Male dancers are especially welcome in  eastern Europe and the ladies have very good dancing skills.

Conclusion

Daniel & Jasmin are young but very professional dance teachers who spice up their workshops with a lot of good mood and humor. They manage to meet their students at their level and to balance out the compromise of different dance levels. All thumbs up from my side!

On which festivals can you meet Daniel & Jasmin??

9.-11. Juni – Bachateando Nürnberg, Deutschland

16.-19. June – Touch Kizomba Weekend, Frankreich

16.-19. June – Strasbourg Bachata Festival, Frankreich

20.-24. July – Salsa Festival Hamburg, Deutschland

27.-31. July – Paris Kizomba Connection, Frankreich

12.-15. August – Salsa&Sensual Nature

8.-10. September – Marrakech Salsa Congress

22.-24. September – Kiz’n Your Nancy Festival

6.-8. October – Berlin Salsa Congress

27.-29.  October – Straßbourg Kizomba Kings Festival

2.-6. November – Kizomba Festival Stuttgart, Deutschland

1-3. December – Latin Festival Stuttgart

29.-31. December –Paris New Year Eve’s Festival

 

Daniel & Jasmin’s contact details can be found in our Kizz-Index.