Have you ever begun a dance with a total stranger, or maybe someone you know back to front and inside out, and just felt an overwhelming ‘safe’ feeling come through your body ? Have you ever started a dance with someone, and just felt awkward and clunky, sort of like you are both hearing different songs? Have you ever begun dancing with someone , and just felt a little bit creeped out, not necessarily by their way of dancing buy by their general vibe during the dance? Have you ever danced with someone and felt like you were floating on a cloud, could express yourself totally whilst still being connected in an awesome dance?
I have experienced all of the above many times, as both a leader and a follower. And I have always been curious to see how this initial feeling we give to our partner can be changed and grown in a positive direction. I see Kizomba as a “Mood dance”, your dance will wave and change depending on your mood or state and the state of your partner. It is not uncommon to see someone waiting for a dance looking totally miserable, only to dance with them a moment later and feel pure joy coming out of their body. And vice a versa. In my experience as a teacher I find this particularly prominent in private classes. I have often had a perception of someone's nature and dance style based on their social dancing, only to find that in a private class situation all the walls come down, and the layers of their dancing, comfortability, insecurities, dreams and ambitions come to the fore front, and are expressed through their bodies. I see this as exceptionally beautiful and count myself very lucky to be trusted by my students in guiding their kizomba journey, which is always about much more than just learning some dance steps.
So if Kizomba is a mood dance that means our dance, like our mood will be unpredictable, cyclical and ever changing. For that reason it is both very exciting and very confronting. For followers a night out prefaced with feelings of insecurity, unhappiness or stress could go one of two ways; We could really sink into the medicine of Kizomba and allow these feelings to leave our bodies, and end up in a blissed out joyful state. Or, we could just not be able to shake that mood, and our dancing would follow accordingly. We could get caught up in our heads, unable to really connect with our ‘ best dancing self’, and probably have a night of seriously clunky dances. Both of these options is perfectly Ok, and we need the both to appreciate those amazing kizomba buble moments. Equally, those average Kizomba nights can provide valuable light bulbs into our deeper world, alerting us to what might be off balance and need a little more TLC.
As a leader the experiences above are pretty much the same. Heading out to a social party feeling confident, creative and relaxed are no doubt going to allow you to create some pretty special dances. You will feel calm and grounded, which will translate to your partner and create an easy connection point for the dance. On the flip side, if you are feeling insecure, stressed or worried about your dancing, all of these things translate directly to your partner and will make it harder to establish the connection, or try and of your new moves and musicality. Both of these outcomes are also perfect. We need that awkward night out to make us appreciate those times when we bring our A game, and share some incredible dances.
Kizomba is not only a mood dance it is a reflective dance. If Kizomba was a light it would be a high beam reflective surface. There is no hiding when you are chest to chest and belly to belly with someone, sharing a dance connection, and creating a flow together. Kizomba is a bright light and source of joy, happiness, connection and growth for thousands of people across the world, it allows us to reflect upon ourselves, and that bliss we feel when we dance Kizomba is reflected back in our sleepy, happy faces.
So if Kizomba is a mood dance does that mean we can't control the intention we bring to the dance? Absolutely not. I love to set an intention for myself every time I dance, teach or take a class. I spend a few moments focusing on my breathe, acknowledging my current state, and then I set an intention for myself. If I am leading It is usually something like “ groundedness’, “calm”, “safety” or “creativity”. As a follower I usually go for something such as “self love”, “expression”, ‘ trust”, or whatever I feel needs the most attention at the time. I have seen first hand the difference this small process can create in a dance.
Having awareness about the energy you are bringing to a dance such as Kizomba is beautiful, and will allow you to change your state when you feel that you not feeling the best. The dance will take on a new level of connection and flow when you take the time to centre yourself and dance with intention.
On this note, if you feel someone's intention is not something you are comfortable with, i.e you feel a strong sexual or invasive energy and you are not wanting this, do not be afraid to exit the dance, or try changing your own state to create a clear boundary within the dance.
Intention is everything. Kizomba is a loving, healing, sharing dance. Check in with yourself, ask yourself what attracted you to Kizomba? and what is your intention when you go out dancing? Notice your state when you next have a dance, and try setting an intention and see if you notice a difference.
The potential for love, growth and healing within you is infinite, Kizomba is one beautiful tool you have found to access this. Have fun and enjoy the journey.
~ Genevieve Rogan ~
FB: Genevieve Rogan dancer/ teacher / writer
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I would love to hear from you, comments, thoughts or enquiries