In this article we follow the unprecedented success of the dance called Kizomba.  Noteably, this dance has gone viral in Latin dance clubs around the world. Also, it has gone viral internet channels like YouTube. Recently, it has become particularly popular in the United States. In fact, this dance has been popular in Africa, Portugal and many other European countries for years. Meanwhile, it is skyrocketing in popularity in the United States.

(Fernanda Andrea & Manuele Poggia Dance to “Don’t You Know”)

Kizomba Popularity

In the last five years, this dance genre has spread all over Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. Hungary, United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, United Kingdom, Croatia, Greece, Denmark, Malta, Lebanon, Italy, Portugal, France, India, Mexico, South Africa, Slovenia, Hong Kong, Belarus, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Serbia, Egypt and the United States all held kizomba festivals in 2015.

(Pakito & Elisa, dance to “Open Road” by Chris Brown)

In the past, this dance style has been about one-on-one connection with a partner. However, in recent years, it is becoming a popular show dance. So, now it is included at many Latin dance festivals and competitions.

(Luca Fabris & Stephania Donato, Dance Performance, Scuola Pura Vida, Italy)


The characteristics of this dance includes 4/4 timing. Also, it uses a repeating pattern in 4 measure cycles. Generally, this dance uses eight beat movements. In addition, walking steps (weighted steps) that move forward, back or side and holding steps (unweighted steps) or ball flats that press into the floor on syncopated movements (cha cha), e.g. 1, 2 3& are used in this dance.

(Alexander & Elena dance, Bailando by Enrique Iglesias)

In recent years, many other dance styles have influenced the kizomba.  For instance, kizomba dancers might incorporate Brazilian samba, zouk, Argentine tango, merengue and salsa movements. Hence, this is called kizomba fusion. So, this category of dance is referred to as a Afro-Latin dance.

(Isabelle & Felicien, Dance Show Israel, 2015)

Other related dances are semba, which was popular in Angola in the 1950’s. Also, the Tarraxinha, which is the more sensual (even sexual) of the dances.

(Lety & Dani, Dance Performance, Spain, YouTube)

Lety & Dani Kizomba on the beach in Spain kizomba dancing

(Photo of Lety & Dani dance on the beach in Spain, YouTube)


  • Most Influential in Kizomba @ Dance Planet Daily
  • The Sensual Dance From Angola by Shannon Sims @
  • 5 Lies You’ve Been Told About… by Rachel Cassandra
  • Kizomba Community – A kizomba resources website
  • World Dances to Angola’s Tune
  • How to Dance… by IASO Records
  • What is the Kizomba Dance @

kizomba dancing by Felicien & Isabelle

(Felicien & Isabelle Perform @ Festival, 2015 YouTube)

Watch & read more about this awesome African dance here!