When I was a stranger to Rooftop (Arts on Main) I watched people dancing and was in awe of the slick footwork, the control the man has of his lady, the sensuality of the woman, and the synchronicity of a couple moving to the music.
I knew little of posture, weight distribution and musicality. I was convinced that they practised, regularly, together. But that’s not the case.
Today, I sometimes stand in wonder of these dancers as I’m one of them, people watch me, they smile and point. It’s an awesome feeling when strangers show their appreciation.
Then they see this guy apparently doing Salsa, directing the ladies with his hands, pointing them in this direction, then the other. It looks sleazy, but to those who don’t dance it seems he is a master. They show their appreciation.
Then there’s this guy that apparently does Kizomba, he leads with his hands and his steps are next to the beat, or off it. It looks messy. But because he knows a routine and always does it, it’s apparently entertaining and they show their appreciation.
It’s this bastardization of these dances that have those that know shake their heads in disbelief.
I can see this guy and that guy counting, concentrating on what to do next, and what makes it worse is that some ladies accept a dance or two from these gents. I wonder if they hear the music?
They think they’re uma boss and with the crowd’s appreciation, it further boosts the gents to continue their version of dancing to Salsa and Kizomba tracks.
To add to the debasing, Kizomba is seen as a sexually explosive dance and the way guys drool at the hip movements of Nadia and Roch are hilarious. But they get a specific idea, and he who leads with his hands, adds to this corruption.
Look here, the People of Angola created it as a celebration and that is how it should be. They created basic steps, they created movements of flair and it does allow for sensual movements if the connection is felt.
I blame the instructors for creating these incorrigible ‘dancers’, and I blame these dancers too. Where is the celebration? It seems it’s all about executing that sequence.
See, I did my examination about anything Edd, Tash, Paciano, and Patrice said about Kizomba. I’ve watched over a thousand hours of Kizomba videos, and Tony Pirata, Sophie Fox, Morenasso, Albir, Sara, Isabelle and Felicien, Eddy Vents and my favourite Lucia Nogueira do the same basics that these people of BailaAfrika do.
It’s not that difficult to copy a dance, the basics are passed on from father to son to brother, from mother to daughter to sister, over decades it’s thrived. Decades my people. And now we have YouTube. And distorted instruction.
We are the recipients of the genius of pioneers, so in their honour and the welfare of Kizomba let’s stick to the basics. That’s how a culture endures change, this is our culture, let’s respect the pioneers.