The kizomba dance is the latest popular dance craze in the United States. Particulary, in the Latin and Caribbean dance clubs in the U.S. and around the world. Historically, it originated in Luanda, the capitol of Angola in West Africa in the 1980’s. Generally, the word kizomba means “party” in the national language of Angola, Kimbundu. Historians believe the kizomba evolved from an earlier dance genre, semba, which developed in the 1950′ and 60’s. In addition, it is also the predecessor of the zouk dance genre.

Kizomba by Isabelle & Fabien – Soho Mil Pasos

Semba music uses African rhythms from the French Caribbean Islands while the kizomba music is slower and more sensual rhythm incorporating electronic percussion. While similar, the semba and the kizomba use different types of music. However, kizomba songs are often sang in Portuguese or Kimbundu (one of the national languages of Angola) while zouk is often sang in French.

Influences on the Kizomba dance genre

Globalization has greatly contributed to the  present day style of Kizomba today. However, when tango spread through Europe it influenced the Kizomba, hence it is sometimes called the African tango. Also, there are strong Latin and Afro-Cuban influences from the Cuban presence in Angola from 1975-2002. In addition, the kizomba incorporated movements from other dance genres like salsa, bachata, merengue, samba and lambada but uses a slow music tempo. Zouk and Argentine tango music and movements  have influenced the kizomba in recent years.

Best Kizomba Dance 2012

Characteristics of Kizomba dance

The body position is similar to the Argentine tango with the upper part of the body leaning forward with head touching at times. In addition, the lower body, particularly the hips, are very fluid using forward/backward and circular movements in connection with a partner. Also, like the salsa, the dancers can break apart and perform solo movements.

Kizomba Dance Goes Global

Show Kizomba & Semba by Isabelle & Felicien 2013

The kizomba dance spread from its origin in Luanda, Angola to other lusophone (Portuguese speaking) countries like Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, East Timor, Brazil and Macau. Also, European countries including Portugal, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden have kizomba dancing. Additionally, kizomba can be found in East European countries like Belarus, Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Serbia, as well as Canada, Egypt, Australia, Malaysia and Ghana.

Zizomba by Isabelle & Fabien – Asty-Durti ma mi 2014

Kizomba Congresses

Countries like Spain, Poland, France, Portugal, Latvia, Hungary, UK, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Ghana and the United States have held kizomba congresses in recent years.

Musicians include: Neide Van-DúnemDon KikasCalo PascoalIrmãosVerdades and Anselmo Ralph and Bonga.

Felician & Isabelle performing a kizomba dance

Felician & Isabelle peforming the kizomba!


  • Wikipedia  “Kizomba”
  • Kizombalove  “History of Kizomba”
  • Kizomba NYC “History of Kizomba”
  • Kizomba Dance “What is Kizomba”
  • Mountain View Patch “Kizomba – a new dance style hits town!” by Cheryl Burke
  • Pattie Wells’ DanceTime “Kizomba Dancing Goes Viral”