Not sure exactly why I seem to have deprived myself from proper dancing for a few years.
It was time to change this… and go for something I want to try despite the countless times I will have to deal with setting my boundaries, learning something from scratch and probably sucking at it for quite some time. So I took my own advice to try something new (more advice coming up later on 🙂 ).
So, dear reader, turn the speakers on: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=whH2oDg28-k
This was the first kizomba song I got to hear a few years ago and it is still one of my favourite (I’m always open to suggestions 🙂 ).
So many stories in my life seem to be coming to an end (or better said, some are ending before they would have even fully started).
Projects, relationships, ideas about myself and the world, …
Layers by layers they are appearing and quickly leaving.
And in the cemetery of all these I spontaneously started something new: kizomba.
(Reading the 5 lies about it beforehand was very useful: http://latindancecommunity.com/5-lies-youve-been-told-about-kizomba/)
The word kizomba (or quisomba, this term was used already before the Angolan independence in 1975) literally means party and has its roots in kimbundu, language spoken in the northern and middle parts of Angola.
While taking a class we can often hear that kizomba is all about walking. Already in the beginning we can get enchanted with the amazing flow just while making our first steps on the dance floor. Nevertheless, with time we can get surprised with the depth of this dance (honestly, I am not in that phase yet after taking only a few classes but I am already sensing it 🙂 ).
When checking the list of parties for a night out in Stockholm I asked my friend if he knew kizomba (3 years ago I had literally no idea about it, not even where it comes from) and he replied: “of course, I am Angolan!” He mentioned how he hasn’t been to his homeland for over 11 years and that he usually doesn’t listen to this kind of music because it brings back a different mood. Indeed he had a special expression in his face when we were listening to kizomba songs later on…
It is important to be aware of its social dimension; to those who grew up with it (specially in Angola) it represents way more than just a nice childhood memory. In a certain time it was also a way to get away from the every day life attrocities of the Angolan Civil War. We can be grateful for having access to such an intimate part of one’s tradition.
I have danced it only once, 3 years ago, very briefly with the friend I mentioned and this week I felt ready for starting completely from scratch as I found a course with truly great instructors. If my day 1 motto was “let’s try something new“, on the 2nd I thought “what a straight yet nice way to really get out of your comfort zone” and of course: “I love the beat!” …The huge smile when you click with your dancer and really make it flow is priceless.
When the instructor came to give me an advice on how not to step on my partner I was immediately calmed down by the person in my arms: “forget about stepping…You can step on me!” and we both laughed. Such a small thing really matters, it makes us feel that whatever we do, it is going to be OK.
After one round of changing partners we can wuickly learn that just like in life, with some we click and with some we don’t. But we can still make it look nice. And the most we can do is to accept this fact and enjoy the beat of the music, the beat of Life 🙂
Some of my friends are a bit… Let’s say suspicious about this dance. By giving ourselves the chance to learn kizomba we automatically face various stereotypes. Yes it is sensual and yes it can be sometimes challenging to set and keep the boundaries but just like any other dance or activity it is decent and respectful if you let it evolve and glow in that way!
Today we got to dance a bit with the advanced group and I felt happy to be a beginner. I was open to learn, open for their ideas on what to improve. I shared 2 dances and this is it, regardless the level we can feel equal, when you really just want to dance the hierarchy disappears and both merge with the music.
It was a very interesting day with a lot of new lessons about myself and I love how Life still manages to surprise us! By sunset I discovered a completely new path to the river, pure magic. And in last minute of day 3 of my kizomba class I received 2 great tips that made me leave with my mouth open – I can so easily apply them to other situations that I am currently facing:
1. Take time.
To do every step properly, fully, don’t rush it.
2. Don’t assume.
Don’t predict what your partner’s next step will be. Just let go and follow.
To be honest, I don’t have a plan (just like with most things). Maybe I will not continue much after this course. Currently I am (sort of) managing the basic steps, sometimes stepping on someone or being stepped on, fully enjoying the music and simply trying out something new in good company. It doesn’t matter where this road takes me, I’m glad that I dared to take it.
And while dancing it hit me:
There is space for new beginnings.