I’m usually writing about an upcoming event … this time, let’s try something different
I am not a native kizomba dancer – I learned about the music and dance 3 years ago. It touched me in a way that other dances have not and I wanted to share that with others. My back ground in dance doesn’t have just one root. I grew up in the Philippines and learned folk dances. In my teens I danced ballet and jazz until I discovered partner dancing. Nowadays, I dance salsa (on1, mambo, casino), bachata, lindy (ever hear of swango?), blues, basic ballroom, tango (still learning) and west coast swing (still learning). I’ve had other dance influences: belly dancing, African movement and a little bit of hip hop. I love bringing people together to accomplish something positive. I’m someone that isn’t always interested in history though I’m always curious to know how things came to be.
I am a person who enjoys immersion in learning and doing different things at the same time. Some might argue that this might cause one to loose focus. For me, the variety energizes me and keeps me from putting blinders on. Learning helps me see new things and reminds me that there are always nuggets to uncover. This state of being also leads me down a path where I’m continually growing which is exciting in how limitless it can be.
Kizomba has given me the chance to teach, learn, grow and enjoy music and dance even more than I already do. With Kizomba, I’m also on virgin ground. This dance is young in its own evolution and its even younger in its exposure here in Seattle and in the US. I’ve been lucky to know some key people that shared my enthusiasm and together, we’ve been able to sow some seeds and see some wonderful flowers sprout up!
Well, now that We have this nice little garden, what to do?
I started to answer this question by asking myself what kizomba means to me:
For me, Kizomba is a dance where the steps are simple and the challenge is how to dance it so smoothly with a partner to music. It’s a dance where I’m in a hug: one that feels warm and cozy. The music puts me at ease because its base beat feels like a pulse, a heartbeat. When I’m dancing, I can enjoy the closeness of the embrace with another person, while listening and moving together to that pulse. Every dance is different because I’m dancing with someone else who hears different things in the music than I do. The same song is a new dance when I dance it with a different person. The same song with a familiar dancer can be danced differently because we hear different things depending on how we feel and what we choose to express.
It’s a dance that’s at its best when you relax, hold yourself up naturally and comfortably, listen and move. You don’t have to know how to spin on the spot. You don’t have to understand about how to create the right tensions with an anchor step. You don’t have to know what a channe turn is. You do have to be comfortable giving and receiving a warm hug. You have to know how to walk sometimes slowly, shuffle and move to the music you hear with your partner. All the extra body movement, all the fancy steps, leans and dips: that’s just like adding extra icing to a cake that already has the right ratio of icing to cake.
That’s what it means, so now, what do I want? [Some of this is already here, I just want more of it
I want to continue to teach it and share it with other people. I want to continue to grow as a dancer. I want there to be so many great dancers that every new person that learns about kizomba will feel welcome and happy to stay. I want to be part of a community that also shares in keeping kizomba thriving so that it is not just some passing fad but something that is here to stay.
It would be great to have kizomba played in different venues: by itself all night long, alongside other music with similar feel or even as a way to wind down from an evening of energetic dancing (like after a night of salsa or swing). It would be awesome to see the dance floor fill up with dancers whenever a kizomba song came on.
And while I’m thinking wishfully… wouldn’t it be awesome to have it as a featured dance on Dancing with the Stars?? Wouldn’t it be cool if some kizomba artist teams up with a popular US artist and a kizomba song became a top 20 on the US charts?
Now let me ask you the same question: what are your thoughts on how kizomba should grow?
Please feel free to post your ideas for an event, for a venue, for anything that you think would help this lovely garden take root all over
If you’re shy of public commentary, feel free to email me directly using firstname.lastname@example.org
HAPPY DANCING!!! Don’t forget that Albir and Sara will be coming in a few weeks (Aug. 4-5)
to share more kizomba with us!