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. (Check it out.) That said, those who don’t feel confident in their body movement, or for ladies who would like to learn a few “defensive dancing” tips, a class in social tarraxinha or tarraxinha styling can be quite helpful. Demand has led to tarraxinha classes becoming quite common at kizomba and sensual festivals all over Europe.
There are two schools of thought in tarraxinha. Some say that the ladies take charge, showing off their ginga, as the men follow the movement with their forearms or hands in a relaxed way. Others say that men lead all the movement and isolations in the dance. Certainly both are possible, although learning to do the latter as a man generally takes some time doing the former!