What is Kizomba?

Alexius Razbakov
Apr 24, 2017 · 2 min read

Kizomba is an extremely beautiful and sensual dance, besides explosive and contagious, which conquered the world in recent years as a catchy melody and a dance which seduces our souls. Kizomba is for many of the Latin dancers a breath of fresh air, bringing something new and exciting, and perfect for anyone who wants to enter the world of dance due to its softness and easy basic steps, allowing any novice to gradually evolve to more complex steps, and more importantly allowing a beginner to enjoy the pleasure of social dancing much earlier than any other type of dance in pairs.

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Kizomba is a dance that allows the pair to play the music they are dancing to and, according to the couple’s intimacy, becoming an extremely close dance with slow and sensual moves, requiring great leading skills and complicity between man and woman, or a more open dance with faster steps, footwork and tricks. In both cases, dancing Kizomba provides a warm and unique experience that you will want to repeat over and over again.


Kizomba music springs from the tradition of semba in Angola, and takes inspiration from other African music forms as well as Caribbean Zouk. Kizomba was born on 1979-1984.

The word ‘kizombada’ originally just meant ‘party’ in the Angolan dialect Kimbundu. ‘Kizomba’ was first used to describe the style of music and later to name the steps that had been done to quite a few kinds of music.


UrbanKiz (Urban Kizomba, Neo Kizomba) is the European style of dancing kizomba. Traditional kizomba is danced in circles and has mostly the same flow, only direction changes and music interpretation. Neo Kizomba is danced on Ghetto Zouk music, has a lot of leg leading, also interpretation of music and has a line technique, contains change of speed, slow interpretation of music — tarraxa, syncopation…


Tarraxinha is the sexy, percussive cousin of kizomba; the name means “little screw in a bolt”. The music often has little melody and a much heavier-hitting beat than kizomba. Make no mistake, this is a dance to do with someone you want to get very close to. Danced on the spot, tarraxinha has very little in the way of steps and is focused on isolations and two bodies moving as one.


Semba is a traditional type of music from Angola. Semba comes from the singular Masemba, meaning “a touch of the bellies”, a move that characterizes the Semba dance.

Semba is the predecessor to a variety of music styles originated from Africa like Kizomba and Kuduro (or Kuduru, energetic, fast-paced Angolan Techno/House music, so to speak).

Find kizomba, semba, tarraxinha courses and parties on DanceCard and start dancing!

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