Kizomba is...

"An embrace means I don't feel threatened by you, I'm not afraid to be this close, I can relax, feel at home, feel protected and in the presence of someone who understands me. It is said that each time we embrace someone warmly, we gain an extra day of life."

A quote from Paul Coelho (one of my favorite authors) that describes for me what dancing kizomba is like.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thank You Oscar!

Another 1st for Kizomba in Seattle: 3 nights and 2 days of workshops with Oscar BA (an transplanted Kenyan  who now lives in Washington DC).

Spending time learning from him and getting to know him was such a treat! On top of that, our kizomba community is growing and getting better and new people are being brought into its warm embrace. It never ceases to amaze me how welcoming and open our community is and how much fun it can be to learn and dance even though one is sleep deprived through the whole weekend.

My gratitude goes out to Oscar for sharing so much of his energy and expertise; watching him work with everyone and the adjustments he made to dancers as they danced was as enlightening as it was fun. It brought home to me how basic this dance is and yet so many facets to unveil. At its simplest, it is a dance, in a warm hug with two people dancing as one to music that has a pulse like a heartbeat. Since we each are individuals with our own voice, we express different things as we listen to the different strands in the music: every dance to the same song can be different, every dance with the same partner can have a different feel. When one truly embraces the simplicity of it, the beauty of the music shines right through the dancers with no extra effort required except to listen and move together.

The aftermath of the weekend has left me wanting more and excited to share what I've learned. Summer is coming to Seattle and I know that there will be a pull to enjoy the long days when the sun chooses to come out.   The next weekend event is in the first weekend in August with Century Ballroom bringing in Albir Rojas and Sara Lopez. After that, there Kwenda Lima will be coming to Seattle in October (oh yeah!). Make sure to join the Kizomba Seattle page on facebook to get updates classes, socials, music, video's pictures and soak in / share with the kizomba Seattle community.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Thanks Eddy! Next up: Oscar BA

We had a wonderful time with Eddy in Seattle! Not only was it his first time in Seattle, it was his first time in the United States. Seattle weather even blessed us with some lovely days (and with some grey ones) to give him the full spectrum s what its like here. Eddy shared his knowledge and passion for the dance and its origins and in turn was welcomed with excitement and such wonderful energy that we're already planning for his next trip back.

One of the great things about these events is all the "Thanks!" I get to make afterwards:
  • To the growing kizomba community in Seattle (and neighboring cities): thanks for supporting kizomba and welcoming Eddy with such open arms. We had the biggest turnout ever for the evening workshop as well as the social that followed.
  • To the kizomba crazy crew from Seattle, the Tri-cities and Vancouver (CA) that participated in the Weekend Intensive and made it possible for Eddy to come: 8 hours of instruction + practice and social dancing - you guys are amazing and I'm so lucky to have drawn you all together to learn and collaborate about this dance. Eddy can't say enough about how much fun he had with us. [Le Da!]
  • To Eddy (the man himself) who suggested the idea of coming to the US last year in Jamaica: Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and energy with us - we look forward to having you back.

I'm still absorbing everything that we learned: applying it and figuring out how to teach it. What's become very clear to me is how simple and complex this dance can be. The dance steps do not require the same technical precision as executing multiple spot turns in salsa but it does put to the test, one's ability to communicate as a lead and a follow. Its almost as if the simplicity of the steps are a must because the connection between the individuals that are dancing to the music is as different as people are different. To make "magic" one has to adapt and still move as one with one's dance partner. 

I'm excited for the next event coming May 18-20: Oscar BA will be here s don't forget to register and join us for another kizomba-filled weekend. I can't wait!

In the meantime, happy dancing.