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

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