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 the party late. Most kizomba nights won’t even have doors open till 10pm, and people really don’t start showing up until after midnight. The upside is you can say “yes” to other social engagements, work late, or take a nap, and still party right. Of course you will have to face the morning…possibly on your way home.

2. Dance a few songs with each partner. Songs are usually mixed seamlessly, encouraging you to lose yourself in an extended moment with your partner. There’s no hard rule (as for tango dancers), but three is a good average number. Five certainly wouldn’t be remarked on. Of course, in scenes where there are many more leaders or many more followers, changing more often is courteous.

3. Ladies, choose attire that’s interesting in the back. Most of the night your front will be stuck to someone else’s. Shirts or dresses with interesting cut-outs, lace or crochet panels, and other details are always popular. So are all skirts or jeans that fit snugly over your bunda! Make sure your garments are the sort to stay in place, though – kizomba demands so much connection that you are unlikely to have a discreet opportunity to pull up a strapless top or tug down a mini skirt, except when changing partners. Be sure also to put any hair accessories on the left side of your head!

4. Gents, the current fashion runs toward brightly colored fitted jeans, often rolled up to the calf, when you’re not dealing with theme parties. I care more about comfort – it’s best to avoid itchy materials like wool, or anything that will expose your partner to contact with sweaty skin. Consider a handkerchief or small towel to wipe off your forehead, the better to invite full connection with your partner. Looking sharp is always a plus, but avoid shoes that have an extended hard toe – they make it too easy to hurt a lady’s foot.

5. Listen to the music. Your dancing should change not only for major genre changes but also in response to the tone, rhythms, and instrumentation of each individual song. Anyway, that keeps things interesting!

Feel free to add additional tips you have in the comments below!