The first May weekend was in the focus of the Kizomba world. 

The Luxembourg Kizomba Festival was organized the fourth time and attracted more than 2000 Kizomberos to the LuxExpo close to Luxembourg airport. We hit the road to Luxembourg and checked out event, organization, choice of artists, the location as well as the parties. We experienced a top event as you will see below:

Top Line-Up and great location

Line-up: unbeatable! The who is who of the Kizomba scene was represented, from Albir to Felicien & Isabelle (with beautiful baby tummy), Laurent & Adeline, Jojo & Mickaela and further top artists of the scene who gave very diverse workshops over 3 days. You really can’t complain about the quality of the workshops with such an array of artists.

The location was well chosen. The fair grounds of LuxExpo provided sufficient space for the numerous festival guests as well as sufficient parking (partially fee required). Especially positive was the climate in the rooms. It was never too warm even during the parties. This is rare when there are so many guests. Critical were here the high ceilings and the good air conditioning.

Experienced organization and passion for details

The organization had this very big and complex festival fully under control. Everything worked out smoothly or at least that was the impression outwardly – and that counts! There was enough staff for everything and also the design of the location was well done according to the several themes. The organization strove to really live the different themes and not to create a theme for the sake of it. Thus, we were suddenly facing a Roman in complete gear on the Olympus evening. The theme feeling was topped off by sceneries like Greek columns or the football table on the World Cup evening that attracted sometimes more men than a good Kizomba song and quite some play instincts were played out extensively at this football table.

Solely the workshop timing was in our view not well-chosen. There were no breaks in between workshops and they started directly after another. The participants had to literally run to the next rooms in order to arrive as quickly as possible to the next workshop. The situation became even more stressful since some artists overran the workshops – even up to 15 minutes. Short breaks between workshops make sense.

Great musical performance

The music receives an extra bonus point. Top DJs like Morelasoul, Stefano de Lima, Leda or Madiss drew on unlimited resources and the result was the best mix of Kizomba music we have heard for a long time. Consequently, you could hardly stand still and wanted to dance to virtually every single song. Here we come to the one biggest negative point of the festival.

A big surplus of women

On March 15th, the organization wrote on the website: “Because our goal is to have the most possible the balance between women and men. Sale of WOMEN PASS will stop today at midnight. “

This sounds promising and created hope for a balanced ratio of male and female dancers. This is the reason why tickets are even sold gender separately. The ticket sale was reopened for women on March 28th though.

Just arrived, we found contrary to our expectations during the social dance, as well as on the parties, cues of women, even double rowed, and waiting for dancers on the side of the dancefloor. The result: women who haven’t danced more than 10 songs over the whole festival days. At the same time, male dancers / taxi dancers were totally exhausted because they danced virtually without a break in order to put as many women as possible in a happy mood. I talked to female dancers who told me they didn’t dare anymore to ask taxi dancers for a dance because they looked so exhausted.

A gender specific ticket sale is pointless in our opinion if ultimately an absolutely uneven ratio is permitted. Many guests were very angry exactly because of that since they bought a ticket due to the expectation that there will be a well balance gender ratio.  Aside from exhausted dancers who hardly allowed themselves breaks to avoid a bad conscience. The organization should improve this point, since there are many female dancers who won’t join this festival anymore under these circumstances.

A plea to the taxi dancers

I observed and from many sides I was told that numerous taxi dancers have missed the point of their role. Young, pretty and talented dancers were entertained on the dancefloor while less experienced, elder or not beauty ideal female dancers had to wait an hour or more on the side and were “overlooked”. This is not surprising since the event is too big and complex to keep track of this and to intervene quickly.

These two negative points lead to a bad mood for many guests. One can only hope that the organization will provide a remedy for the next event. Then it would be one of the best Kizomba Festivals to visit.

Festival too big?

Luxembourg Kizomba Festival Workshop Laurent & AdelineIf you like such big festivals or if you prefer smaller ones is a matter of taste. In Luxembourg, I had to search for my companion for a solid 2 hours because I couldn’t find her in the crowd of people.

On the other hand, there were respectively many great dancers on a really high level and a fantastic line-up with great stars. Only festivals of that size can even afford such a line-up. At the same time, the bigger and more complex such a festival, the more impersonal it becomes. The group size at workshops of e.g. Albir or Laurent & Adeline exceeded by far 200 participants. One can question how much sense it can make to try to see the steps from a 30-meter distance.

Some like it, some don’t. Here I can only say: To each his own!

 

Conclusion:

Luxembourg festival is great for whoever wants to attend a preferably big festival with a good organization and a top line-up as well as the best DJs of the scene. The dancing standard is very high and the location is great as well. However, the surplus of women needs to be reduced drastically. Ladies who have generally rather a hard time to get invited for a dance will go home frustrated under these conditions.

Who want to safe a cheap ticket for next year, will find the event by following link:

https://kizzmag.com/event/official-luxembourg-international-kizomba-festival-5th-edition/

A report from Silke Wiedenhöft

„Ronie Saleh – his workshops are very worthwhile”: was the cumulative response of several dancers at the Afromoves festival. Ronie Saleh, with help from his brother Armanch, taught his moves at the 6th Annual Afromoves Kizomba Festival in Ludwigsburg, Germany. After so many good reviews, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to join a workshop with these sympathetic Stockholm guys, so we signed ourselves up. We found out at the end that the work shop wasn’t just a normal Kizomba work shop, but rather an inspiration for life.

“Connection & Flow”

was the name of Salehs’ two hour workshop. His workshop concentrated on the connection between two dancers, and the defining role of a leading man. The Saleh brothers said the most important part of the dance is to reach a good flow. We were really impressed with how they were able to easily change who takes lead and who follows. In one moment Ronie was leading and then a half of a turn later his brother would take the lead. To top it off, they did this all with a good portion of humor.

Kizomba mixed with philosophy:

Ronie Saleh is very connected with his body and soul, thus his workshop didn’t only offer good dancing skills it also concentrated on answering the following questions: how do I live my life? Do I do everything right?

Saleh told a story about a survey in a hospice, in which dying people were asked what they would have changed in their lives, if they could live it a second time. The most answers were:

  • Live more for your passion
  • Live more your own life and not the life of others
  • Work less and take more time for the beautiful things in life

This insight awakened us all to the fact that the desire to live and passion for life itself should be the highest priority in everyone’s life. We only have one life to live, and no matter what you choose to do in it, do it right and with your heart. If you dance Kizomba, dance it right – with fool and heart.

His words silenced all of the workshop participants. The room became really quiet as everyone took a moment to reflect. No one had expected a workshop with so much depth.

Ronie Saleh & brother at 6th afromoves festival, Ludwigsburg

Conclusion: The workshop was very worthwhile, an experience that will remain with us for a long time. This is not only meant with regards to the dancing, but rather also in terms of the self-reflection we take away with us as humans. Thus, to conclude, we highly recommend, with all our heart, Saleh’s workshops, if you ever have the possibility to join one.

An article by Dani & Lene

 

Saleh Brothers & Myrthe / Urban Kizomba Impro Show / AfroMoves

“No human being moves to Kassel – except for Kizomba,” says Sabine Kolle, who has learned to love Kizomba in Paris.

4 years ago, she decided to set up a Kizombaszene in Kassel and she is now in charge of this area. At this point, Kizomba was still completely unknown . Her annual Kizomba X-Mas Gala in December is one of the best quality and popular festivals in all of Germany. What is the secret of her success ?

It starts with Sabine’s basic attitude. It is not about big money or prestige. First of all, the fun of Kizomba and a family atmosphere is the most important detail. Her slogan “Kizomba family & friends” is a big hit and is reflected in the consistently positive response of the festival participants. Wherever you listen, only praises are heard to the event.

Probably the most important success factor is her strict attitude in the matter of “male / female guests. If too many women’s Passes are sold, she stops the sale of these cards mercilessly. A balanced relationship between dancers and dancers is extremely important to her.

Sabine don´t want to see disapointed ladies, who are waiting on the dancefloor, or busy men who are under pressure with dancing because of too much ladies who are without an men .
This atmosphere spreads over the whole festival and should be one of the main reasons for the feel-good atmosphere.

Kizomba Kassel, Xmas Gala, Sabine KolleSabine places the claim at her own organization, which, by the way, is largely almost organized alone – to be without any mistakes.

After each event, she creates an error log, which runs it point by point, to get better and better than the last time.

And if only the desire of the guests, to put a few more chairs next to the dance floor, she will make it happen . A good guide for what she can do better, is also to see the organizational weaknesses of other festivals. Ultimately, the secret of the success lies in the fact, that she really care about everything personally, giving the festival a very personal touch.

Top Location: the Orangerie in Kassel perfect suited for weddings, corporate events and even dance events. The stylish ambience is unique; Only rarely youwill get such a nice location at a festival.

An ingenious mix of amazing DJs like Morelasoul, Valet or DJ Stefanio Lima and many other national and international DJs ensure the best Kizomba music. Unlike other DJs, here they are doing a funny battle in which they can shine. All of them are connected to each other and friends as well. The mutual stimulation heats up all dancers in such a way that no one even comes up with the idea to take a break.

Many other organizers can cut off a slice from Sabine´s organization. Less is sometimes more and the success gives Sabine Kolle the good feedback. She also demonstrates sensitivity by choosing her Kizomba artists.

Since more then 1 year, she is also traveling more internationally to festivals as a Kizombo teacher with her dance partner Stone’s under the label “Stone’s & Sabine” and she knows exactly what is important for the selection of suitable Kizomba artists.

Furthermore, she attaches great importance to a high level of all booked taxi dancer, the highest dance demands. For the upcoming X-MAS gala in December, she has booked for now 8 Taxi Dancer Teams. For example the teams of “KTT”, “Gentle 4 Kizomba” “The Dream Kiz”, “CMD”, “Ultimate Kiz” and “Air Taxis of Rotha Rtpakiz Pak”, “Casanova” and many more are coming soon.

As of April there are already more than 200 tickets sold, 500 is the limit. More quality instead of quantity is the motto. In particular, interested ladies should secure their ticket as soon as possible. There are no special exceptions. More information about the event can be found on our Kizomba event guide or by clicking directly on the flyer.

Festival Kassel, Stone's & Sabine

The X-MAS Gala receives the title “Absolutely recommendable” and should be a markered in every festive calendar of demanding Kizomberas / os.

For those who can’t wait until Dezember to see Stone’s and Sabine live, should pay attention to following events:

Urban Kizz Bootcamp – 6. Mai 2017 in Bremen

Kizombainvasion Stuttgart – 2.-5. Juni 2017 in Stuttgart

Frankfurt Summer Festival – 20.-24. Juli 2017 in Frankfurt