I met VersuS at the Black Forest Kizomba Days in Horb. The likeable Italian Kizomba dancers are known from several videos circulating on the net. One of the most well-known one is “Kizomba With a Statue”, in which Valentina dances as a statue with Stefano Marzioni.

Learn more about them in our interview! From Eva Fischer.

VersuS – the people behind the name

VersuS, these are Stefano Marzioni, Valentina and Sonia. The music and dance talent already began to dance in early childhood, at that time with a preference for Michael Jackson. During his dance career, he added Hip Hop, Reggaeton, Cuban Salsa, Salsa L.A. style and Bachata to his Michael Jackson style. In Italy he was especially known as an acrobatic salsa dancer.

Stefano dances with two dance partners, Valentina and Sonia. Valentina professionally dances Ballet, Modern and Contemporary, Latin-Jazz and Reggaeton. At the Black Forest Festival he was accompanied by his dance and significant other Sonia, who previously danced mostly Latin American dances. The three work together very harmoniously. Most of the time one of the two ladies accompanies him to festivals. They even plan a show for the three of them. The premiere will be performed at the Star Touch Festival in Corsica in June.

Both dancers study academic degrees: Sonia in Philosophy, Latin and Greek. She completed her studies in April and teaches at the high school. Valentina studies dentistry.

What is “Evo-Kiz”?

Stefano saw Kizomba for the first time in 2011 at a salsa festival. The dance immediately inspired him. At the same time, it triggered his creativity and he wondered how he could make his contribution to this dance. He learned classical Kizomba but wanted to bring in his own style. He started composing Kizomba music himself and added European sounds from R&B and Hip Hop. In his dance style he also incorporates various dances such as Hip Hop and the musicality from Contemporary. He called his own style “Evo-Kiz”, which can be compared to Urban-Kiz.
In 2016 he demonstrated his creativity. Together with his dance partner Valentina, he presented a show that was a mix of Michael Jackson and Kizomba moves at the Feeling Festival in Madrid. At that time, many critical voices were raised. Today, of course, different styles are mixed with Kizomba, especially in shows.

VersuS philosophy

Versus from Italy. Photo: Photoart Eichin

Stefano and Sonia desire openness and tolerance for new things. They themselves had learned Kizomba with many rules. Already today, there are many new things to discover and the new Kizomba style needs new rules. They plead for openness for the developments and the new influences. We should complain less and instead of trying to define what “real Kizomba” is and what not, we should dance more.

At the same time, they emphasize the importance of the basic steps, the essence of the dance. Despite all developments and all the novelties, the basics have to be danced properly, otherwise the dance would be completely lost.

VersuS around the world

Stefano is a multi-talented musician and dancer. He composes music for himself and other artists, teaches every day in Rome and weekends at festivals, is a choreographer, produces videos and has a YouTube channel with 16 million followers.

His goal: to dance around the world. He does not seem to be far from this goal. This year he is already fully booked and travels through Europe, Asia, Russia and America. You can find out where you can see VersuS on the VersuS facebook page under “Events”.

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