Kizomba has gone global !

Pictured here, groups gather in Washington, D.C., to perform the

Angolan dance.

The leader, usually the male partner, must direct the motion and the pace, holding his partner close as they twist and turn. Both dancers must focus on smooth pivots and controlled movements, keeping each other tight and close as they move their feet. Even so, it’s considered a dance appropriate for family and children. By contrast, a version of the dance known as karaxinha takes the inti- macy even closer and ramps up the tempo; in overwhelmingly Christian Angola, karaxinha dance is considered only appropriate for two people already in a romantic relationship. Kizomba has become so influential throughout Angola and southern Africa that it has changed the traditional dance, the samba, making the slower dance much more up-tempo in some modern interpretations. It’s gone global, furthermore, and dance studios across the world teach kizomba , putting their unique interpre- tations on the gyrating movements. Some critics claim that kizomba must remain uniquely Angolan: A 2012 movement called “Kizomba on the Streets” sought to entrench kizomba in the national culture while also defending it against foreign alterations. Portuguese is the official language of kizomba music, and the dance is most often associated with other former Portuguese colonies like Cape Verde and Mozambique.



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