It’s 10:20 on Monday night and Edd shouts that the next song is the second last, but everyone knows it’s not. The 20 or so Kizombies will ask for another song, and another. Until the speakers are disconnected, they will continue dancing.
We – the Kizombies – eventually leave Parker’s Grill at 10:40pm. Tomorrow is Tuesday, after all. Edd was fooled into playing more Zouk, Semba and Kizomba tracks. He enjoys playing the music as much as we love dancing to it. He’s also an awesome dance teacher.
It’s this love that brings me back to Baila Afrika on a weekly basis. The people, the music and this hypnotic dance from Angola, called Kizomba, are addictive. I’m addicted. I’m a Kizombie.
The classes start at 7pm, but some of us are there from 6:30, because we want to Kizomba as much as we can. We are slaves to this dance, to the people and the music. We’d stay until midnight if Edd allowed it.
Did I mention this happens on Mondays? The day most people hate because it signals the end of a weekend and the beginning of a work week. It’s human nature to hate Monday. But for kizombies, there is huge expectation and excitement about Monday night. Even if you’ve had a crap day, you know you can head to Parkers Grill and dance the blues away. It’s like balm for a battered spirit.
There’s even a hashtag, #whywelovemondays, and judging by the number of people who attend classes, the Monday love is growing.
Edd and his wife, Tash, are the initiators of this weekly event. Their attitude, consistently pleasant and welcoming (for the past two years), has helped forge an appreciation for Kizomba and the creation of many friendships.
Friendships that lead to laughter, dancing, talking and counselling. See, it’s not just a matter of dancing, it’s the essence of Baila Afrika that prompts you to connect with people from as far as America, Congo, Rwanda, Morocco, Mozambique, Soweto and Lenasia.
Your level of proficiency does not matter, neither does your age. Last night I danced with an 18-year-old chick and a 60- something grand lady.
We are here to dance, and we’ll rhythmically move until the sweat soaks our clothes, and, in my case, until my bald head glows. Just dance; there are enough ladies and gents, to make you feel at ease so that you experience the simple joy of moving in unison to this African inspired music.
Dancing with a stranger, feeling that beat and moving together as if it were practised, is simply awesome. Did I mention it’s addictive?