Posts by: kizombacommunity

Interview by Women Expats Entrepeneurs Empowered

Interview by Women Expats Entrepeneurs Empowered

I recently joined a group in Germany called “Women Expats Entrepreneurs Empowered” or WE^3. They invited me for an interview to share my journey as an entrepreneur. The interview focused mainly on my work as a language teacher and editor, but of course I had to talk about my dance career as well! I have copied it below with permission….read more →

One Year Anniversary: Rachel’s Life in Germany

One Year Anniversary: Rachel’s Life in Germany

Three weeks ago marked the one year anniversary of my arrival in Germany. I had talked in December about perhaps having a little anniversary party, but 2018 came at me with more than enough plans. Suddenly it was February 1 and I had completely forgotten its significance. Beautifully, two women here in Stuttgart not only reminded me, but made me…read more →

Shafeeha Monae: African Solo Dance Interview

Shafeeha Monae: African Solo Dance Interview

Although I haven’t lived in the United States for quite a while now, there’s one American lady who is always popping up in my Facebook newsfeed in posts related to Afro House and kuduro: Shafeeha Monae. I reached out to her to discuss her personal dance journey and her thoughts on the role of African solo dancing in the kizomba…read more →

Ladies & Leadership Interview: Lucia Nogueira

Ladies & Leadership Interview: Lucia Nogueira

Lucia Nogueira is an international kizomba teacher with the distinction of being one of the very few women teaching on her own merits. While she has partnered most famously with Eddy Vents, she has a huge number of solo projects, including training programs specifically for female teachers. By the time I met Lucia for the first time, we had already…read more →

So You Want a Self-Employment Visa in Germany

So You Want a Self-Employment Visa in Germany

The first time I came to Germany as an adult was for a blues dance festival: the 2013 American Blues Classic in Hamburg, Germany. I had an amazing weekend. I got hosted through Couchsurfing and my hosts were amazing. I got to see the sights, eat delicious home-cooked food and go to an awesome house party in addition to enjoying…read more →

10 Ways to Honor the Kizomba Culture

10 Ways to Honor the Kizomba Culture

By Rui Djassi Moracén One cannot expect somebody who’s never been to Angola – or knows nothing about its troubled past – to fully grasp how the simple act of dancing, singing and socializing has always served as collective catharsis for its people. As Achille Mbembe, highly respected Cameroonian philosopher and political theorist puts it: “Music has the capacity to…read more →

Everything I’ve Been Waiting For

Everything I’ve Been Waiting For

In August I wrote a pair of blog posts: one about getting my visa to stay in Stuttgart (and the challenge of finding an apartment) and one about my ankle/foot injury. Over the summer I spent a lot of time stressing about these challenges, to the point that they seemed to consume my every free moment. Well, here we are…read more →

Injured and Longing to Dance

Injured and Longing to Dance

Today marks two months since I saw an orthopedic doctor for the first time. Two days ago was the first time in that period I went back to dancing. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely knew I missed dancing. It was frustrating to be stuck sitting on the sidelines at…read more →

Rachel’s Staying in Stuttgart!

Rachel’s Staying in Stuttgart!

It’s time for a long overdue update. Here’s the short version: 1. I received a one-year work visa/residence permit. 2. I love living in Stuttgart, in spite of the seemingly endless search for an apartment. If you care to read more, the details follow. I finally got my work visa! I felt like I entered the visa application process with…read more →

Dúnia Pacheco: African Solo Dance Interview

Dúnia Pacheco: African Solo Dance Interview

Dúnia Pacheco is an Angolan dancer of African and Brazilian dances currently teaching in Warsaw, Poland. She was the first to introduce kuduro and mapouka to Poland. Dúnia is know as a choreographer and also as the organizer of the first ever European festival focused on Kuduro and Afro House. When my former partner Florian Tep heard about the new…read more →

Learning with Beginner Leaders

Learning with Beginner Leaders

I received an e-mail a few days ago from a Kizomba Community subscriber, asking for some advice. Normally I answer e-mails like that privately, but I’ve heard this question so many times I thought it deserved its own post. I’ve learned the basics very easily but am frustrated with my progress as the male partners in class, at least most…read more →

Lam LaKiz: African Solo Dance Interview

Lam LaKiz: African Solo Dance Interview

I met Lam at my first festival in Australia: July 2015’s Australian Kizomba Festival in Melbourne. He was hard to miss, what with his brilliant white smile, frequent shouts of “OPA!” and this amazing performance: Note: I couldn’t find a video from that festival but this show is substantially similar. Our friendship grew as I continued to catch Lam at…read more →

New Interview Series: Solo African Dance

New Interview Series: Solo African Dance

If you caught my most recent article on Latin Dance Community, you know that I’ve had a growing enthusiasm for solo African dances in the last few years. Kuduro and Afro House came into the picture for me early on in my kizomba dancing, and I’ve since tried Afrobeats, azonto, coupé décalé, ndombolo, soukous, and various classes just labeled “West…read more →

Courage & Compassion in Kizomba

Courage & Compassion in Kizomba

By Keya Bhagirath Just before I started dancing, I enrolled in a program called Engaged Compassion. Engaged compassion is a practice of awareness through the lens of radical acceptance of self. It creates an intention of non-judgement that allows for safe introspection. This program required that I spend time weekly looking inward; one could call this a self check-in. Some…read more →

Antarctic Kizomba

Antarctic Kizomba

This January I embarked on a trip I’d been planning for years: a cruise from Chile to various places in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands. Although I managed to get sick, and then seasick on top of that, it was still an incredible trip. Being on the Antarctic continent feels like being on another planet. The landscape is dramatic and…read more →

Finding Joy in the Moment

Finding Joy in the Moment

This year has been a little precarious for me so far. In January I took my coolest trip to date…but spent half of it sick, including 9 days where even reading a book or watching a movie felt taxing. I almost passed out from the pain of walking across an airport terminal. In February I moved to Stuttgart, aiming to…read more →

Finding My Authentic Self Through Kizomba

Finding My Authentic Self Through Kizomba

By Keya Bhagirath Personal development is often synonymous with improvement: becoming a better version of who you are. My perspective is a bit different. To me, personal development is not about becoming better; rather, it is about becoming who you really are. I would describe personal development as the process for finding your joy. In finding your joy you become…read more →

When Should Dancers Transition to Teaching?

When Should Dancers Transition to Teaching?

Sometimes people feel hesitant when asked to teach. Others jump in before they’ve thought it through. Charles and I discuss what might motivate you to start teaching, based on an article I wrote last year. Go listen! Prefer a written version? Go check out the original article on Latin Dance Community. When Should Dancers Transition to Being Teachers?

Kizomba Newbie

Kizomba Newbie

My Kizomba-versay is July 24, 2016. That’s the day that I met the dance that would change my life in ways I would have never imagined! Kizomba is not just a dance for me: it is my dance, true love and soulmate. It speaks to my being; it is a living metaphor for my life. It is the place in…read more →

Who needs to learn kizomba technique?

Who needs to learn kizomba technique?

It seems like some people don’t need to learn technique – they just watch and move! So who needs to study technique, and how can you become more creative? This week marks two years since Kizomba Community released the Kizomba Technique Junkie series, a set of education videos I produced with Rachel Meth. At the time we made the series,…read more →

Get a postcard from Germany!

Get a postcard from Germany!

Kizomba Community’s headquarters is moving to Germany. To celebrate the move, we are offering a new reward: contribute $7 to the site and Rachel Cassandra will send you a hand-written, personalized postcard from Stuttgart! Want it to be sent to a friend or family member? Just provide the appropriate name and address. What will your contribution support? – upkeep of…read more →

Rachel Resolves to Learn Zouk

Rachel Resolves to Learn Zouk

I wrote my first teacher bio in 2013. The last line stated that I intended to learn zouk-lambada that year, but I only managed a total of four classes. In 2014 I updated it to say I was determined to learn to dance West Coast Swing and Lambazouk in the near future. I don’t think I did any of the…read more →

Let’s talk about kizomba fusion dancing

Let’s talk about kizomba fusion dancing

Kiz Talks, Dec. 29, 2016 First of all, what is fusion? The word “fusion” has some scientific meanings we won’t bother with here. It is used in music to talk about a mixture of styles, and in cooking it refers to cooking that uses elements of different cuisines together. Similarly, fusion dancing involves combining elements of different partner dances. Let…read more →

Update: Rachel’s Move to Stuttgart

Update: Rachel’s Move to Stuttgart

You might have heard by now – I’m moving to Stuttgart next year. Actually, a lot of you apparently read only the title of my last post, because I keep running into people who thought I’d already left! Well, soon enough. My flight is on January 30 and my going away party will be January 28th. (Message me if you’re…read more →

Fresh Switch Dance Collab in Central Park

Fresh Switch Dance Collab in Central Park

I was back in NYC for a week and went out to my favorite standby social, Kizomba After Work with David Campos at Kana Tapas Bar. “Have you met Litzi?” David asked me. Litzi Bejarano is a kizomba teacher from Cancùn who found kizomba through the Latin scene. Like me, she started with limited opportunities for learning, but was seriously…read more →

How to Assess Your Skill Level in Dance (podcast)

I’ll be honest – I’m pretty level agnostic. I don’t believe in absolute levels. I think it’s always relative to your scene or the attendees of a given dance event. As a teacher, I know that an intermediate class I teach in one city will be called an advanced class in another. As a student, I know that I can…read more →

5 Viewpoints of Sexism in the Kizomba World

5 Viewpoints of Sexism in the Kizomba World

By Tanya Dimitrova Have you read any of the Discworld novels? Terry Pratchet is brilliant! One of the most hilarious recurring characters is a suitcase with 100 legs, called the Luggage. It technically is a living creature but it has no face and nor does it talk. All it does is it faithfully follows its master as he gets into…read more →

How to Keep Up Your Learning (podcast)

Back in January I wrote an article for LDC called “How to Master Your Learning.” A few weeks ago, Charles Ogar and I revisited this topic and explored it further, talking about motivation and learning strategies. There are so many ideas here, something for every personality type and background. Enjoy the discussion! Dance Your Heart on Fire 028: How to…read more →

Ambassadors Feature Goes International!

Ambassadors Feature Goes International!

KizombaCommunity.com is all about helping people connect to kizomba. For a long time we provided an exhaustive posting of where and when kizomba classes and socials were occurring in the United States. Eventually kizomba became widespread enough that this was no longer feasible, or even necessary, as the communities became less and less isolated. So in the last year we…read more →

Community Resources

Community Resources

Kizomba Community is once again adding features we think you’ll find helpful. Here’s a quick update on what’s new! First, we’ve rearranged the menu. Where once finding kizomba events was the main focus of the site, these days we’re more excited about linking you to useful resources, sharing awesome blogs, and connecting you with kizomba communities in various places. The…read more →

Why You Should Invest in Private Lessons (podcast)

Charles Ogar invited me to speak on his Dance Your Heart on Fire podcast on the topic of private lessons. Some of you probably remember my blog post “Why Taking Private Lessons Is the Best!” This covers some similar ground, with additional thoughts from both of us. Listen to the podcast now! For those of you who prefer the quick…read more →

Greg’s Story: the DC Bachata Congress 2016

A note from Rachel Cassandra: I attended the DC Bachata Congress this year as a representative of LatinDanceCommunity.com, and I asked many people what stood out to them about the festival, or why it was significant for them. Greg e-mailed me this gorgeous response. I knew I couldn’t fit more than a tiny fraction of it into my write-up for…read more →

Rachel’s Moving to Germany!

Rachel’s Moving to Germany!

I spent a lovely time dancing at the DC Bachata Congress this weekend. I also enjoyed catching up with some wonderful dancers I hadn’t seen in a while. Over the weekend I realized something. Apparently I haven’t been as public as I thought with this: I am moving to Germany next year. I’ve been planning this for quite a while,…read more →

Kizomba Community Interview Mike & Melissa of Steel City Kizomba

Mike & Melissa are the powerhouse duo known as Steel City Kizomba. They took some time out from a busy schedule of teaching and training at the White House Kizomba & Zouk Summit to record this interview with me. Get to know a little about them here, and be sure to look them up if you’re ever in Pittsburgh!

Troubleshooting for Kizombeiras

By Tanya Dimitrova As magical as kizomba can be, lots of things can and sometimes do go wrong on the dance floor. Based on my own and other dancers’ experience, I put together a list of undesirable situations and how I recommend troubleshooting each. 1) Lack Of Rhythm For some reasons, ladies are almost always better than guys in following…read more →

Back to Basics

Back to Basics

Twice last week (and hundreds of times previously) I’ve been confronted with the question – “Isn’t it boring if I do too many basic steps?” Let’s get the short answer out of the way — NO! Easy as that response is to give, I do understand why leaders ask this. Most of us deal with insecurities when we are dancing….read more →

How to Level Up Your Social Dance Experience (podcast)

About a month ago I was a guest on Charles Ogar’s Dance Your Heart on Fire podcast. Our topic was about creating better social dance experiences. Have a listen! Dance Your Heart on Fire 012: How to Level Up Your Social Dance Experience For those of you who prefer the quick tips version… Beginner dancers: – Be clean – Dress…read more →

Kizomba Community Interviews David Campos & Guida Rei (NYC)

Kizomba Community Interviews David Campos & Guida Rei (NYC)

This interview has been a long time in the making! I first started asking David and Guida about doing this video more than two years ago. They were willing but they are quite the power couple, so it wasn’t until this year’s White House Kizomba Summit I managed to get them together in front of the camera – with the…read more →

How to Be an Awesome Kizomba Follower (part 2)

Part 2: Weight Shifting By Tanya Dimitrova After having a good connection with your partner, shifting your weight correctly is the most important technique for kizomba followers. Although showing how to do that well is a lot easier than telling, there are a few points I can write about here. Body position Overall, the leaders are supposed to stand straight…read more →

How to Be an Awesome Kizomba Follower (part 1)

Part I: Connection Points By Tanya Dimitrova Ladies ask me all the time: ‘How do you move your hips like that? Can I come to your ladies styling workshop?’. I always answer that my hips’ movement is not the reason why guys enjoy dancing with me. There is so much more to being a good follower than the ‘ginga’ (the…read more →

A Look at the White House Kizomba & Zouk Summit

A Look at the White House Kizomba & Zouk Summit

The White House Kizomba & Zouk Festival 2016: 3 days of workshops, 6 nights of parties, national and international instructors, live music, performances, and plenty of hype. In fact, there’s so much hype surrounding dance festivals these days that it can be difficult to sort out which events merit attention (and of course our time and money). Fortunately the WHKZ…read more →

Kizomba Community Interviews Benga DaBeatz

Kizomba Community Interviews Benga DaBeatz

I first met Benga in San Francisco. At the time of this interview, we were partying at the White House Kizomba Summit 2016. Benga happily took a break with me to answer some questions. Enjoy his inimitable style!

Interview avec Anaïs Millon (Version Francaise)

Interview avec Anaïs Millon (Version Francaise)

Read the article in English here. Quand as-tu commencé à danser? J’ai un parcours un peu particulier. Ma mère était professeur de danse classique et de modern-jazz quand j’étais petite. J’ai fais des cours de danse à 5/6 ans pendant 1 an, mais j’ai détesté! Je voulais faire de la gymnastique, des roulades et des saltos. Du coup ma mère…read more →

Ladies & Leadership Interview: Anaïs Millon

Ladies & Leadership Interview: Anaïs Millon

Introduction Anaïs Millon is one of the top kizomba dancers in the world today. She travels the world constantly, appearing in festivals to teach workshops and perform with Morenasso, in addition to running her own weekly classes in Paris. I had my first classes with Anaïs and Morenasso when I traveled to the Paris Swimming Festival in 2013. Since then,…read more →

Why Taking Private Lessons is the BEST!

Why Taking Private Lessons is the BEST!

This post is for all of you who have never taken a private lesson. You know that they are possible; that most teachers offer them. You know that they cost much more per hour than taking a group class. Maybe you even know that the best dancers in your scene make it a priority to take them. But I’m here…read more →

New Year Reflections from Rachel Cassandra

New Year Reflections from Rachel Cassandra

My experiment in August and September of 2014 failed to inspire in me a regular personal blogging habit. Still, as we enter a new year I find I’d like to share a little! Kizomba Community has been going strong now for a full two years. It has gone through a few incarnations, but I’m quite pleased with the present one….read more →

Liquid Leading, or Switch Dancing

Liquid Leading, or Switch Dancing

“Physics doesn’t give a DAMN about your gender!” “What if we could keep the idea of lead and follow, but toss the idea that this was connected to gender? Further, what if a couple could lead and follow each other, and then switch, and then switch back? What if it could be like a conversation, taking turns listening and speaking?”…read more →

Kizomba Community Interviews Brian Lévay of Kizomba Maine

Kizomba Community Interviews Brian Lévay of Kizomba Maine

Last May I had the wonderful pleasure of coming to Portland, Maine to teach. Their scene is so friendly and enthusiastic! I saw Brian again shortly thereafter in Boston, and I managed to persuade him to do this interview. One technical difficulty after another meant the final video is just now being released – but getting to know Brian is…read more →

Ladies & Leadership Interviews: Isa Belle

Ladies & Leadership Interviews: Isa Belle

I met Isabelle (or Isa Belle as she is sometimes billed) at the Ladies Take the Lead event in Los Angeles this March. I had seen a great ladies’ styling video by her, and I remembered a couple videos with Enah, but I knew they weren’t dancing together anymore. That was about the extent of my familiarity with Isabelle –…read more →

All New Layout for Events!

All New Layout for Events!

Announcing a whole new way of exploring kizomba events in the USA! Use the top menu to select “Find US Events” and it will take you to www.kizombacommunity.com/events where you will see a map and list of events. You can choose to change your view. Map – Calendar Month – List – Photo You can use the fields below the…read more →

Ladies & Leadership Interview: Frances Tee of Kizomba Seattle

Ladies & Leadership Interview: Frances Tee of Kizomba Seattle

Introduction I was in Seattle a month ago, and had the great pleasure of meeting Frances Tee in person for the first time. We had been in contact on Facebook for well over a year, and I have admired Frances’ organizational skills pretty much since encountering her posts online. Frances is one of the women I had in mind when…read more →

How to Have an Uncommonly Good Collaboration

How to Have an Uncommonly Good Collaboration

Kiz Talks, April 10, 2015 This isn’t the first time I’ve been moved to write by my appreciation for a great collaboration. Let me start this one differently, though – watch this video and try to guess how long we’ve been dancing together: Believe it or not, this was only the third time Charles and I had ever seen each…read more →

Ladies & Leadership Interviews: Kianda T

Ladies & Leadership Interviews: Kianda T

I first met Kianda T at one of Oscar’s Friday kizomba socials outside DC. She was rocking multi-colored hair and her movement drew my eye immediately. She was a joy to lead as well. We didn’t speak much on that occasion (the music is really too loud for comfortable conversation), but I got a better chance at her Skyzomba event…read more →

Kizomba Community Interviews King Mandume in Atlanta

Kizomba Community Interviews King Mandume in Atlanta

King Mandume spoke passionately with me about his history, growing up with kizomba and moving around the world. He has a real heart for sharing this dance, and also supporting collaboration to build the community. Get a glimpse here: Related

Ladies & Leadership Interviews: Tania Mendonca

Ladies & Leadership Interviews: Tania Mendonca

Introduction I’m embarrassed to say I can’t remember exactly when I met Tania. Certainly it would have been in the fall of 2012, when I was living outside London and frantically trying to learn all the kizomba I possibly could. I saw her several times over the course of that year I spent in Europe, and I remember her being…read more →

Labor Completed: Announcing the Kizomba Technique Junkie series!

Labor Completed: Announcing the Kizomba Technique Junkie series!

Last week I released my first full instructional video series for kizomba. It’s called “Kizomba Technique Junkies.” And I have to say, it’s pretty awesome! I feel a bit like a parent, bringing this into the world. I started planning it 8 months ago. I spent weeks considering what I could best share with kizomba learners, especially those without regular…read more →

One Year Online!

One Year Online!

It’s hard to specify an exact anniversary for Kizomba Community. Like with a relationship – one year since you met? Since your first date? Since your first kiss? Since you made it Facebook official? One year ago today, we finished migrating to our new host under the domain www.kizombacommunity.com. We only had information about classes and events in a handful…read more →

New Contact Option!

New Contact Option!

Kizomba Community now has a new e-mail address: kizombacommunity@gmail.com Now you have even more ways to keep in touch Related

The Joys of Partnership: 2 Rachels

The Joys of Partnership: 2 Rachels

Kiz Talks, Feb. 1, 2015 I have to admit, I like to fly solo. I did my degree in teaching, and I have always felt comfortable up in front of a class full of students. I took my first international flight unaccompanied at age 13. I’m an introvert, meaning that while I love sharing with a class and spending a…read more →

Ladies & Leadership Interviews: Chalianna

Ladies & Leadership Interviews: Chalianna

Introduction I first met Chalianna at Oscar’s first Sawa Sawa Kizomba Festival in 2013, now an annual event in DC. She was the only other woman I saw out on the social floor asking ladies to dance. I was thrilled when she agreed to dance with me as well! Chalianna is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and teaches…read more →

Kizomba Anytime, Anywhere!

Kizomba Anytime, Anywhere!

Kiz Talks, Jan. 26, 2015 Well, I’ll admit there are some limitations. Exercise common sense if you choose to accept this mission. I have personally found it very enjoyable to pass time that would otherwise be spent waiting in boredom (or on a smartphone, for some of you!), or take a break from an outdoor activity, and have some impromptu…read more →

Ladies & Leadership Interview: Riquita Alta

Ladies & Leadership Interview: Riquita Alta

Introduction The first time I danced with Riquita Alta was just a few weeks ago. I was visiting friends in London, so of course I wanted to return to one of the longest-running weekly socials: Chocolate Tuesdays at Gem Bar. Looking at that week’s Facebook event, I noticed that Riquita would be teaching a semba class. I had to go….read more →

Share Kizomba Community!

Share Kizomba Community!

Our new cards have arrived! An easy way to pass the word along about this handy resource. Of course, you can still share the link by e-mail and on Facebook

New Blog Connections!

New Blog Connections!

Our “Blogs” tab now has some new links in it! We want to make it easier for you to find out more about kizomba and semba music, technique, etiquette, and all kinds of other topics. So go to the top navigation bar, choose “Blogs,” and have a look through the options. Have any other blogs in mind? Leave a comment…read more →

Ladies & Leadership Interviews: Sonja KikiZomba

Ladies & Leadership Interviews: Sonja KikiZomba

Click here for an introduction to the Ladies & Leadership series. I ran into Sonja KikiZomba at LIKE Festival in Portugal this September. She had just finished teaching a workshop on Kizomba Advanced Leading and Following. The whole event was tightly scheduled, but I gave her my card and begged an opportunity to speak with her about being a prominent…read more →

Introducing a New Series! Ladies & Leadership

Introducing a New Series! Ladies & Leadership

Kiz Talks, Nov. 13, 2014 Some time back a friend shared a video on Facebook – two ladies dancing together in a kizomba workshop demo. There were no names attached to the video, so I reached out to ask if anyone knew who they were. The answer came back after a couple of days: Sonja and Elisa of Kikizomba. I…read more →

New Video: Rachel Cassandra & Assal T in Hamburg

New Video: Rachel Cassandra & Assal T in Hamburg

I met Assal Ta while working at Kielzomba 2014. Assal was kind enough to assist me in a few classes. When I returned to Germany a month later for the Hamburg Kizomba & Zouk Gala, we met up to dance downtown. This video shows a few excerpts of us, dancing to Linda Tipo Lua by Twenty Fingers. Filming by Yvonne…read more →

Kizomba For the Next 12 Months!

Kizomba For the Next 12 Months!

That’s right, our kizomba event calendar has just wrapped right back around to October. It’s exciting to see the US kizomba scene reach this point! I hope you are all showing support and appreciation to your local teachers and organizers. And keep sparking interest for kizomba among your friends, will you? Related

Festival Accommodations – Where to Lay Your Head?

Festival Accommodations – Where to Lay Your Head?

Kiz Talks, Sept. 23, 2014 So you’ve decided to go. You’ve registered for your pass, planned your transportation, and announced your delight on Facebook. Now – where to stay? Generally you have a few options: 1. Stay in the festival hotel 2. Stay in a cheaper hotel or hostel nearby 3. Stay in someone’s home Here are some questions to…read more →

Dancing in DC! New Video with Florian Tep

Dancing in DC! New Video with Florian Tep

To cap off a wonderful partnership in the US this year, Florian Tep and I took the opportunity offered by teaching together at the DC Bachata Congress to film some new video in Washington, DC. And I finally figured out my new computer enough to edit the first one! Check it out!

Chin Up!

Chin Up!

Kiz Talks, Aug. 24, 2014 I actually mean that in the literal sense. I was chastised in class today by Moun for not doing so. I had been taking the class as a lead and had a question. He had me come try it with him as a follow but quickly interrupted to take me by the chin – and…read more →

They’re Right, Too!

They’re Right, Too!

Kiz Talks, Aug. 23, 2014 I took five great classes today at Batuke! I am a bit tired of people coming up to me and saying “Oh! You’re a man?” and responding “No, but I’m leading.” However, the instruction is great. A strong theme in the kizomba classes was syncopation and rotating through steps. I also did some classic semba…read more →

Taking Care of Your Stuff When You’re Dancing

Taking Care of Your Stuff When You’re Dancing

Kiz Talks, Aug. 22, 2014 Hi guys! I’m off to the first night of Batuke! and sporting a handy little hip purse. Of course we hope when we go out that everyone is a cool member of the dance community…but as someone who has had money and a camera stolen at dance venues, I like to take a little extra…read more →

Dance Kizomba to Get Smart and Stay That Way

Dance Kizomba to Get Smart and Stay That Way

Kiz Talks, Aug. 21, 2014 A while back there were some brief articles making the rounds on Facebook, claiming that dancing makes you smarter. You probably saw at least one – but did you realize that KIZOMBA is especially well-suited to giving you those benefits? The most interesting article I read on this topic came from Richard Powers, a full-time…read more →

Drinking and Dancing – A Curvy Relationship

Drinking and Dancing – A Curvy Relationship

Kiz Talks, Aug. 20, 2014 I was talking to Florian on Saturday about how drinking influences one’s dancing. It reminded me of the first time someone shared a flask with me; Jameson, outside a blues dance back in 2009. I could definitely notice a difference for myself, and over the next few months I decided that it could probably be…read more →

The Amazing Interdependence of Kizomba and Computers

The Amazing Interdependence of Kizomba and Computers

Kiz Talks, Aug. 19, 2014 I’ve been thinking about this since my laptop decided it would be best to start functioning at the speed of a machine from the ’80s. Clearly the kizomba scene once functioned without all of our current conveniences. But try to imagine your local scene without an mp3 collection or Facebook events or Meetup groups or…read more →

How to Travel and Not Be Broke

How to Travel and Not Be Broke

Kiz Talks, Aug. 18, 2014 I’m off to Europe, guys! Keep up with my travels here if you’re interested. People often express astonishment and envy that I manage to travel as much as I do. Here’s the not-so-secret: I work more than 40 hours a week, not counting dance stuff. Get a job that allows you to work remotely and…read more →

Relief for the Dance-Stressed Body

Relief for the Dance-Stressed Body

Kiz Talks, Aug. 17, 2014 Many people come to social dancing from a non-athletic background. I am one such; I never played sports or bothered much with strenuous activity until I began dancing. That leaves us at a disadvantage in knowing how to take care of the new aches and pains that are often the result of long hours of…read more →

Ode to Collaboration

Ode to Collaboration

Kiz Talks, Aug. 16, 2014 I’ll be honest with you. I’m exhausted. My eyes are burning and feet are sore. Yet I’m full of warm fuzzies. There are so many wonderful people at this festival (DC Bachata Congress). It does me good to chat with people from cities I visited over the last few months and see their progress in…read more →

Why Men Make Better Kizomba Teachers

Why Men Make Better Kizomba Teachers

Kiz Talks, Aug. 14, 2014 Kizomba teachers are valued based on a variety of factors. Probably the main ones are: – dancing ability – YouTube power – approachability – teaching ability Sometimes for dance festival organizers, other factors enter the picture: – a choreographed show for performance – titles won in competition – hiring price – travel expenses And of…read more →

How to Have Flawless Connection in Kizomba: A Primer

How to Have Flawless Connection in Kizomba: A Primer

Kiz Talks, Aug. 13, 2014 Here’s how I teach kizomba connection to beginner students. I will leave more advanced concepts of connection, leading, and following for a future post. I have referenced a couple of my own previous posts as well as some comments from the wonderful Tanya Dimitrova, since she beat me to this topic! Be sure to read…read more →

What level should I be in? Taking off your mask

What level should I be in? Taking off your mask

Kiz Talks, Aug. 12, 2014 Today my blog post is going to be a little different. Damon Stone, a dancer and instructor I admire greatly, a founder of the modern blues dance scene, posted a note today on this topic. With his permission I am reposting large sections of it with a few notes of my own. My words are…read more →

Shining Examples of Community Spirit

Shining Examples of Community Spirit

Kiz Talks, Aug. 10, 2014 Today I’d like to talk about how wonderful people make community happen. I have benefited from the kindness and generosity of so many people since I started dancing, but this weekend I was particularly overwhelmed by three lovely ladies in the Philadelphia area. 1. Alexis Mayer is an aspiring film producer who regularly opens her…read more →

Mixing It Up

Mixing It Up

Kiz Talks, Aug. 9, 2014 Hey guys, just a quick post today! I didn’t get into Philly till 1am and I’m off to teach in Media (an hour away) then head up to a party 2 hours north of Philly. I’m headed out to teach at a tango studio, prior to their Saturday night dance. I’m really pleased to be…read more →

On Media and Memories

On Media and Memories

Kiz Talks, Aug. 8, 2014 Today was my last day at my parents’ house, where I have most of my things in storage. That meant it was my last chance this year for data management – sorting through my backup drives, reorganizing my archives, and planning for how to protect my data as I travel. Confession: I’m a ridiculously organized…read more →

5 Tips for Dancing Kizomba Like an Insider

5 Tips for Dancing Kizomba Like an Insider

Kiz Talks, Aug. 7, 2014 Kizomba dancing has its own culture. That culture has obviously changed over time and isn’t exactly the same from place to place, but here are some common points. These are useful to know when you start traveling to dance, or if you want to set your scene up to be like others internationally. 1. Start…read more →

Six Months!

Six Months!

Kiz Talks, Aug. 6, 2014 It’s been six months since I announced that I’d successfully completed the migration to www.kizombacommunity.com. So what? This site has made it possible to bring together information from all sorts of social media and groups and lists. It gives you category views, nested menus, and a very effective search tool. It’s also equal opportunity- everyone…read more →

Why learning kizomba is easy – but you’re still a badass

Why learning kizomba is easy – but you’re still a badass

Kiz Talks, Aug. 5, 2014 Some time ago I heard about the pyramid theory of languages. Here it is, in essence. Some languages are like a pyramid. They have a very large base of essentials you need in order to communicate at a basic level. Examples would be French, with its extensive rules for agreement with nouns, many verb endings,…read more →

Updated Event Views: Cities and Dates!

Updated Event Views: Cities and Dates!

To make your browsing experience a little more streamlined, we’ve made a little change. Now you’ll see city and dates for every event! That way, when you’re looking for a kizomba/semba weekend that suits your travel dates or is near your family, you can compare your options a little more quickly. Related

On Juggling

On Juggling

Kiz Talks, Aug. 4, 2014 We’ve been over how much I love analogies! I may have a ball or two too many in the air at the moment. But tell me, which one could I possibly put down? It’s important to me to: – keep up the day job so I have regular income (I teach English as a foreign…read more →

When Things Don’t Go as Planned

When Things Don’t Go as Planned

Kiz Talks, Aug. 3, 2014 At this time today I was supposed to be hosting a kizomba dance and barbecue on Virginia Beach. The crowning moment of a mini workshop weekend – fun, social, and the essence of summer. But no one can control the rain. People often ask me how I can travel so much, or how I can…read more →

Transforming Your Kizomba Movement (II)

Transforming Your Kizomba Movement (II)

Kiz Talks, Aug. 2, 2014 Section 2: The Two C’s Believe it or not, teaching is a learning process. Seeing what people get confused by and hearing students’ questions makes you better able to anticipate them. And sometimes things suddenly “cllck” and you understand your own dancing in a new way. I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but sometime…read more →

How to Transform Your Kizomba Movement (I)

How to Transform Your Kizomba Movement (I)

Kiz Talks, Aug. 1, 2014 As promised! Unfortunately, as I sat down to write this I realized that providing the level of detail I wanted was going to make this WAY to long for one blog post. So I’ve split it into two sections: Basic Movement and The Two C’s. Section 1: Basic Movement First: How to Stand. Yes, I…read more →

Why I Teach Body Movement First

Why I Teach Body Movement First

Kiz Talks, July 31, 2014 In my last several months traveling around the United States to teach kizomba, for the most part I’ve had the freedom to choose what and how I teach. So, I’ve been championing what some find an unconventional approach: body movement first. In many dances, we begin immediately with steps. Occasionally, perhaps, with partnering hold and…read more →

On Learning Styles

On Learning Styles

Kiz Talks, July 30, 2014 I got my degree in education back in 2010. Among things we studied was adaptive instruction – suiting your teaching to the kinds of learners you have in your class. One way of categorizing students was based on senses – visual, auditory, and tactile. Or, in layman’s terms, seeing, hearing, and doing. As dance is…read more →

On Sharing

On Sharing

Kiz Talks, July 29, 2014 Dear Kizomba Community: It’s my birthday, and the start of a new year of my life seems like a good time to make a resolution. Here it is: SHARE MORE. And I’m going to start with a month-long challenge to BLOG DAILY. This latest tour, traveling around the US by bus to teach kizomba, has…read more →

Kizomba Community Interviews: Charles Ogar, Neo Kizomba

Kizomba Community Interviews: Charles Ogar, Neo Kizomba

I got a chance to talk to fellow traveling instructor Charles Ogar while at the Afro-Creole Mayhem Festival in Miami. Based in Houston, Charles travels regularly to cities around the US to keep growing the community. Learn more about his “Neo Kizomba” style and other ideas! Related

Kizomba Community Interviews: Kimberly Nicole, NC

Kizomba Community Interviews: Kimberly Nicole, NC

I was just recently teaching in Durham and had some great conversations with Kimberly Nicole of Kizomba RDU. What a passionate scene-builder! This interview actually happened a couple of weeks before that, at the Afro-Creole Mayhem Festival.

Kiz Talks, July 4, 2014: Interdependence

Kiz Talks, July 4, 2014: Interdependence

People have been telling me for a while I should share my own thoughts and stories instead of just interviewing other people. Well, here’s my first video blog! I share my vision for Kizomba Community. Happy “Interdependence Day”!

Spring cleaning…hello summer!

Spring cleaning…hello summer!

Kizombacommunity.com has finished its spring cleaning at last- only a little bit late! If you take a look around the site you’ll notice a few changes, meant to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. We’ve fixed the image sizes to be uniform for all category views. We’ve made a new “blog” tab, so you can see more…read more →

Changing Roles: Reflections on Leading and Following

Changing Roles: Reflections on Leading and Following

Florian and I had the idea to do some filming in NYC on a gorgeous spring day. We decided on locations, found someone to film, and were choosing music when I said – “You know what? I’d like us to do one video where you lead and one where I lead.” After all, we’d been practicing both roles together from…read more →

So you want to learn that style…

So you want to learn that style…

Hi everyone! Several people have contacted me recently about buying my styling videos. I realized I hadn’t made that process very clear here on the site, so I’ve made a new page to make it simple. Here’s a summary for those of you who can’t wait to click: Check out the preview and read the video information here. Then e-mail…read more →

New Web Series!

We’d like to help you get to know the amazing people working hard to teach kizomba and organize events for you here in the USA. So, we’ve launched a web series to bring you face to face with them! Each video will have a short dance clip followed by a Q&A session with Rachel Cassandra. Our first installment introduces you…read more →

Image Size Problems – Resolved!

You may have noticed that our lovely category views have become a bit messy, with images now displaying at several different sizes. We’ve been hard at work on a fix for the last week and have finally found one, but it will take a bit of time to get it fully implemented. In the meantime, all the information you need…read more →

Regions in the Menu

Well the growth continues. We’ve contacted a few dozen more instructors, organizers and groups. We added Austin, Flagstaff, and Phoenix today, and that made our “Communities” menu list a bit too long to read comfortably. So, we’ve introduced a region tier to help facilitate your finding what you’re looking for. Remember to keep checking back as we add more content!

Recommend new communities!

In the last couple of weeks we’ve added Sacramento, CA; Virginia Beach, VA; and Nashville, TN – none of which we were previously aware even had kizomba. Let us know if there’s kizomba happening somewhere near you, and who we can get in touch with about it!

Kizomba Styling: Freedom for Followers?

Kizomba Styling: Freedom for Followers?

Recently, some people looking at the preview video for my series on styling in kizomba began debating on Facebook just how much freedom a follower actually has for expression. This is a topic that is close to my heart, and I’m glad that people in the community are thinking about this critically. I’d like to start out by saying that…read more →

How do I find stuff?

Now that we’ve got a fair number of events and cities up here, how can you find what you’re looking for? First, check out the menu at the top of the page. We’ve divided things into “Events in the USA” for one-time or annual events, and “Communities” to help you find regularly occurring events. Then you can choose a city…read more →

Hey there DC

Check it out! We’re live! http://www.kizombacommunity.com/portfolio-category/community+washington-d-c/ Did we miss anything?

Hello New York!

With all the data together in one place, you can really see that New York City is a happening place for kizomba. We’ve got classes at least four nights a week and socials five nights a week (if alternating). Rochester‘s classes and socials are now listed as well. Let us know if we’ve missed anything!