02 Jan


Kizomba as a dance and music genre originates from the African country of Angola. The term "kizomba" comes from the linguistic expression Kimbundo, which means "party".

Kizomba was born in the 1980's in the capital of Angola, Luanda, after major musical influences from Carribbean Zouk (not to be confused with Brazilian Zouk) and has its origins from Semba, a popular Angolan music genre. In the 60's big parties between friends were already refered to "Kizombadas" since Kizomba didn't exist as a dance or musical genre at that time.

Since the 50’s, Angolan people used to dance Semba, the precursor to modern Kizomba. In the 90’s when actual Kizomba music started to gain popularity, Kizomba dance started receiving more and more credit and began to take the form it has today. Angolan Semba dancers started to adapt their Semba steps according to the tempo and flavour of the Kizomba beats. Technically speaking, Semba danced in a slow way to Kizomba music is the basis of the Kizomba dance we know today.

Bachata Timetable
Next course Where Cost Register online

Kizomba Beg (L1)
Mon 15-18 Jan 8:00pm

Candy Lane Studios
44 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden
4-day intensive
Pre-register $85
OR $95 @ door

Kizomba Imp (L2)
Mon 29 Jan-01 Feb 7:00pm

Candy Lane Studios
44 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden
4-day intensive
Pre-register $85
OR $95 @ door
Wanna try a class OR
do them casually? No problem!
Candy Lane Studios
44 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden
Try a class OR casual
$25 cash only please @ door

Kizomba today

Milonga and Tango were much appreciated in Angola as a result of globalization. A newer generation of dancers, primarily based in Paris with students all over the world, have taken inspiration from tango to add new vocabulary to their kizomba. It is possible to see a whole range of steps that are very similar to those in Argentine tango. Some people describe Kizomba as “African Tango”.  Tango's emphasis on form, beauty, control and passion can be seen in Kizomba. Additionally, Cuban elements can be found in the Kizomba dance as well due to the Cuban presence in Angola during the civil war (1975 – 2002), their overall culture and especially dance culture strongly influenced Kizomba.

The base for kizomba steps and ginga (ie. body movement) derrive from semba, however the character of dancing has changed. Kizomba has a very close connection through the torso, and couples wrap their arms quite far around each other. Similar to tango, the upper body is in some ways dissociated from the movement of the legs. Furthermore, kizomba doesn’t have one or two basic steps that are repeated throughout the dance. It has “three basic steps” but this is more of a starting point rather than a basic pattern. Instead, kizomba has a large vocabulary of steps that can have any number of counts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…) which can be put together without necessarily having to look for a “1” or “2” to start on. The feeling and connection with your partner as well as music is what matters the most.

 Did you know: Kizomba has 3 different rhythms. The slow one (Tarraxinha), the intermediate (Kizomba) and the faster one (Semba)"

Characteristics & Basics

Kizomba is characterized by an undulating movement. Not to be confused with shaking or bumping or otherwise creating a sexy display. The movement is functional and serves to create an aesthetic of continuous, controlled motion that remains relaxed.

  • Basic 1 (basic on the spot)
  • Basic 2 (Side step)
  • Basic 3 (Walk forward & back)
  • Saida men
  • Saida ladies
  • Ginga (Ladies body movement)

Kizomba vs. Urban Kiz

Urban Kiz is a more modern and new style which originated primarily in France and soon became extremely popular on the international scene due to an incredible number of YouTube videos. At first it had many names such as French-style, Evolution, New-style, Urban, Modern etc. This style is danced to more electronic music, including ghetto zouk and remixes of mainstream pop, hip-hop, and house music. It is characterized by more linear movement, more frequent syncopations, breaks and an upright stance.

For a some time, the kizomba community was not too bothered with this new way of dancing; after all, kizomba has been evolving from the very beginning. However, complaints started to surface, that basics were being ignored and these dancers could not dance to real kizomba music and that there should be no “traditional kizomba” label, but only “Kizomba” and “something else.” 2015 saw an attempt to end the dispute over the label “Kizomba” by giving the name “Urban Kiz” to the more linear and upright style first popularized in France. Influential teachers have successfully pushed for it to be formalized as “Kizomba” and “Urban Kiz".

About Latinissimo

Latinissimo was first founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 specializing in street Latin dance. 2005 Latinissimo relocated to Auckland, New Zealand.

Directed by World Salsa Champions Giancarlo & Masha, Latinissimo as a school has performed, taught and competed across 4 continents, are multiple international and national champions and have produced two World Amateur Salsa Champions.

  • Latinissimo Dance New Zealand
  • 0210 29 88 164 l 0210 29 90 667
  • Email us HERE
  • Candy Lane Studios, 44 Mt Eden Rd, Auckland

Auckland Location

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