Stylistic origins Zouk
Cultural origins Late 80's, ANG
Mainstream popularity Angola, and other lusophone countries (Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Portugal, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, East Timor, Brazil and the territory of Macau)
Other topics
Music of Angola

Kizomba is one of the most popular genres of dance and music created in Angola. Derived directly from Zouk, sung generally in Portuguese, it is a genre of music with a romantic flow mixed with African rhythm. The kizomba dancing style is also known to be very sensual.



Kizomba was developed in Angola late 1989 to early 1990s.[1] It is a fusion of Semba (the predecessor of samba) with the Zouk music styles from the French Caribbean Islands[2]. It is also performed in other lusophone African countries and in Europe. It is known for having a slow, insistent, somewhat harsh, yet sensuous rhythm; the result of electronic percussion. It is ideally danced accompanied by a partner, very smoothly and slowly, though not too tightly. A rather large degree of flexibility in the knees is required, owing to the frequent requirement that dancers bob up and down.

Cultural Influences

The influence of Angolan kizomba is felt in most Portuguese-speaking African countries, but also Portugal (especially in Lisbon and surrounding suburbs such as Amadora or Almada), where communities of immigrants have established clubs centered on the genre in a renewed kizomba style. Kizomba is now also quite popular among white people that come to these clubs in growing numbers. The São Tomean kizomba is very similar to the Angolan, Juka is the most notable among the Sãotomeans, but it is also one of the most notable performers in the genre. The exact origins of tango—both the dance and the word itself—are lost in myth and an unrecorded history. This dance is mostly borrowed from Argetine Tango. The generally accepted theory is that in the mid-1800s, African slaves were brought to Argentina and began to influence the local culture. The word "tango" may be straightforwardly African in origin, meaning "closed place" or "reserved ground." Or it may derive from Portuguese (and from the Latin verb tanguere, to touch) and was picked up by Africans on the slave ships. Whatever its origin, the word "tango" acquired the standard meaning of the place where African slaves and free blacks gathered to dance.

In Angola most clubs are based in Luanda. Famous Angolan kizomba musicians include Neide Van-Dúnem, Don Kikas, Calo Pascoal and Irmãos Verdades, among many others, but Bonga is probably the best known Angolan artist, having helped popularize the style both in Angola and Portugal during the 1970s and 1980s.

Kizomba Dance: In Angola in the 50's the expression "Kizombadas' referred to a party.There was no association of the word to a Dance genre or a musical genre.But the dance known as "Semba","Rebita", "Kabetula", "Maringa", already existed in the 50's and 60's. Other dances coming from Europe like Tango, practiced by the Portuguese colonials. The "Plena" from Puerto Rico and Merengue are thought to be brought by the Cuban influence in Angola during the war. The style of Kizomba is now emphasizes a very smooth way of dancing with influences of Tango steps, but one of the main differences is that the lower body, the hip, does forward/backwards and circle movements.People dance on the tempo, as well as playing on the off beat and only sometimes using syncopation steps. In the modern Semba dance, it is easy to observe how so many of the steps have been influenced by Cuban dance and perhaps vice versa, as you can find high similarities in both genres.[3] [4]


Countries where Kizomba is most popular include Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Portugal, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, East Timor, Brazil and the territory of Macau.

Various individuals who feel involved with the Kizomba culture have been seriously promoting it in other countries, such as Belgium and surrounding nations, where an independent Kizombalove academy has been created by José N'dongala.

Kizomba In The UK

Kizomba has since 2010 had a surge in popularity in the UK. Promoters previously involved in Salsa [5] have started incorporating Kizomba in their dance activities and promotions. The contemporary nature of the music has led people from widely varying cultures to adopt Kizomba as their own. Kizomba Addiction was created to promote the dance to non-portuguese people in the UK [6] and was founded by Syed KizombaAddiction to spread and share Kizomba dancing.

KIZOMBA de RODA:- A new way of dancing Kizomba first Showcased, by Christian Jean-Francois of The Latin Quarter, in London UK in September 2011 [7]

Pairs of dancers form a circle, with dance moves called out by one person, a caller (or "Canto" in Portuguese). Many moves will have hand signals to compliment the calls; these are useful in noisy venues where spoken calls might not be easily heard. Many moves involve the swapping of partners.

Commercial Releases

The "Afro Caribbean Mega Mix" is a CD with a mixture of music from different countries. The Nha África - Paixão e Ritmo (mixed Portuguese and Portuguese Creole for My Africa, Passion and Rhythm) compilation album, launched in Portugal in 2005, is a successful collection of Angolan and Cape Verdean romantic songs. Other successful former release is Lusodance, Mussulo, Kizomba de Angola and Kizomba Dança comigo are also great choices as compilation albums.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Afro Latino Promotions". Afro Latino Promotions. 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Dancas
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
 3. (Belgium)

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