Listen To Find That Release

I have absolute admiration for the dance instructors I’ve come to know. Their passion requires them to be frustrated on a daily basis.

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How many of us experience frustration daily? Did you choose it? How many do a job for the sole purpose of fun?

According to Facebook, I know about 20 dance instructors from the 2500 friends I’ve got. Which means there is… nevermind. There’s a few of them (dance instructors) and more of us (students).

So, in class, some people tend to chat while the instructor is explaining how you take a step back, forward or to the side. Yes, people have to be told when, how and even why they have to step. I mean hello, there’s music to move you, but that’s clearly not enough and that’s why we have instructors.

Now I’ve been doing Cuban Salsa lessons for like six months, on and off (mostly), so I’ve got more experience than the rookies and I use it against them – if you know what I mean.

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But I listen, cause Tash gave me a dirty look –  but also because of something I missed about a basic, and other times she says something profound. No, wait, that’s Edd, Edd says the clever things, like: “It’s July, half the year is gone and it’s downhill from here but not in a bad way, let gravity take you.”

Anyway, repetition is fundamental as there are shines in Cuban Salsa that can make you look flirty or mischievous. A Suzie-Q after a basic mambo, a roll of the shoulders during a basic mambo or just bouncing to a beat (soft knees) seems easy right, but explain it and see who follows.

As I do basics regularly I get annoyed that a partner can’t seem to get it, so can you imagine how your instructor feels?

Now watching the intricate moves make me dizzy so I choose to stay with the beginners class because why must I twist my arms and yours and my feet are moving rapidly and then my body no no no, it’s too much.

Nevertheless, it’s really fun if you do it well, to the music, and with a lady that knows how to. Whether you watch or dance, it’s an entertaining outlet after a long day at the office.

BUT You cannot have this fun if you do not listen to instruction, and while all instructors insist the music should move you, I disagree, your instructor told/showed you how to move so just do as they say/do.

Just for a week, or a month, unless you like Netta, she catches any sequence in a minute. Not all of us are like her, so again listen, watch and copy to the best of your ability.

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Let me add, it is not because of natural ability that guys like Shaun (Indian South African) and Pius (Nigerian South African) can do the Enchuffle or the Dile Que No, they listened, they dance regularly and now they are the belles of the ball.  They can’t merengue though.

Shaun and Pius are competent Salseros but it took them years, like dog years to get where they are. Just kidding. They watched and listened (still listen) to Edd and Tash, and now they just follow the music.

You Are Not Channing

Some guys are overly confident, as soon as a new lady enters the dance arena they make it known that they are interested.
Now check this, there are new ladies every week and you making moves every week, every week?  Bitch please.
With Kizomba you learn that one of the fundamentals of this sensual dance is a connection, and if you dance for a while you will realize that there is a different connection with every woman. And so it goes with attraction.
You cannot possibly be attracted to every attractive female, you can appreciate all of them yes. But you cannot want them all, at the same time, in the same community, every week?
You are no Channing Tatum. And even if you was, curb that emotion of want, not every lady wants him. Or do they?
The ladies already outnumber us and most are not inclined to ask certain guys for a dance, and recently I was told why.
I don’t know why I was surprised, but apparently, no wait definitely, there are several guys who hit on the ladies consistently – that is they don’t take no for an answer – and it’s for this reason that they avoid you, and you and you.
First thing, they’re here to dance. Secondly, and most importantly, they’re not feeling you. It’s as simple as that. And the third thing is they’ve told each other about you. So right there, with that gossip, you’re out.
Now be a gentleman, just dance and let the connection and music guide you. She will reveal her interest in time if there’s any.
Look I like the fact that there are more women than men, I’ve got about a dozen favorites to dance with at any venue – but at the same time, it discourages them to attend classes and parties because they know they’ll be sitting, waiting, just for one dance. See what I did there?
Plus with you acting on sexual impulse; that is a major turn off for potential dancers becoming Kizombies or Salseros and it’s a debilitating factor to spread the love of dance.
Gentleman, you are now informed that dance connection does not relate to physical connexion so let’s hone this shared interest of dancing.

Let’s Be Real To Our Women

There are many good reasons why a man would abuse a woman, whether it’s emotional, physical or psychological, he always has a good reason to let her know who the boss is.

“I backhanded that bitch,” a former friend once said about how he disciplined his wife for smiling with another guy one time too often. Another guy I used to know berated his partner in front of friends, “Look at how you look, that’s a kak outfit”.

“I pay the rent here,” another said to his wife. Yes, he knew who was in control until he begged her to stay.

Men, we know that women give us shit, whether it’s your grandmother, mother, sister, daughter or girlfriend, this beautiful species comes with a built-in function of how to ‘make a man mad’ every day.

But we love them, don’t we? We have to, it’s our duty to love and protect those who are in our lives and those who we choose, or should I say those ladies who choose us to be part of theirs.

So why the abuse, the degradation, the brutal murder of this fairer sex?

I don’t know.

When it started, I don’t know. Will it stop, I hope so.

See there is no good reason, was and never will be to hurt a female.

Some men are just born with this understanding, my grandfathers, my father and some of my uncles and most of the friends, they know and do better, I’m thankful that they set such respectable precedents.

I had to learn this mentality cause I too am guilty of abuse. Her crime, rocking up to my rooftop with another person. The embarrassment, I said some harsh things, I should have… I’m glad I did not.

The thing is this, having this woman was not a problem despite the shit she gave me, not having her and seeing her with another, now that’s the real dilemma.

And as I see it, the problem that abusive men have or had with their women is that they don’t have “control” over this sentinel beings.

But, they are not ours to control, but to work with, live with, be happy with, as all humans should regardless of age, creed, colour or sex.

But no, the craving for that petty power is relentless. I see guys that don’t know how to Kizomba or Salsa or Bachata, they look hungrily at the ladies.

Some, after a few drinks, attempt to pull the women aside and if she shows him less than a smile, their lewd approach quickly turns to disdain, “fuck you bitch”.

They don’t realise that she is just there to dance, to have fun and to get that high from endorphins.

They also don’t understand that she allows me to get close to her, I am the lead, but I certainly need her permission to be that. And that’s what we as men should accept, to be that man, the man, somebody’s man, you need the approval of a woman.

But NO, when you don’t have what you think you ought to, then aggression and condescending remarks are the next natural steps.

And it’s natural yes, but not progressive, because as a man you never have, never will and don’t have the authority to tread on that lady.

In 1997 Tupac Shakur recorded these words:

And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women

Understanding The Music

Most Kizomba songs are sung in Portuguese and like most RNB tracks they are about love, relationships, partying, break-ups and getting down.

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Although I don’t understand the language, the rhythm and bass move me. I’ve found that understanding the lyrics at least has added value to my life.

I’ve had to use Google Translate to understand the songs that make us Kizomba, or Tarraxha.

Recently I was told, “If you knew what this guy was singing then you wouldn’t be here.” So this ‘2em1’  by Christian Lyd is that take-me-home kinda track. Think R.Kelly’s Your Body’s Calling, Feeling on Your Booty, 12 Play, Sex me, You Remind Me. Anyway…

The lyrics are channelling sexual healing and some are just awkward. Let’s take a look.

The first verse of 2em1 goes:

Sinto a tua respiração no meu peito

Mordo os teu lábios bem daquele jeito

Que te deixam doida sem resistir

E pronta para o que vem a seguir

Don’t try to sing it if you dunno the song – it will just sound stupid.

Roughly translated into my second language it goes:

I feel your breath on my chest

I bite your lips well like that.

That make you crazy without resisting

And ready for what comes next.

Now we’ve all been there and done that (Ohk not all of us, if there’s still virgins out here HOLLER) and as adults, I don’t need to explain more or do I? Wait it gets better.

The chorus:

No sofá quero amm, amm, amm

Quando me encostas amm, amm, amm

Sou amante e namorado como eu não há nenhum pra ti sou 2em1

Are you ready for this:

On the couch, I want amm, amm, amm

When you put me on amm, amm, amm

I’m a lover and boyfriend like I do not have any for you I’m 2em1.

Now I don’t necessarily agree with the amm amm translation, it’s more like ah ah ah, it will get you going ah ah ah if you know what I mean.  But surely a boyfriend should be your lover. I mean why is he stating the obvious. Or wait a minute…

You don’t have to imagine the melody, get it on YouTube, this song is lit.

My point is… Now that I understand the lyrics, I know not to move on the dance floor at 100 miles per hour. Although you can step quickly to the beat, this song demands that you move methodically and sensually.

But some guys are lifting their partner off the ground with little restraint and no respect for the music. Anyway, that’s a topic for another day.

Understanding the lyrics is advantageous, to say the least, but not a necessity to dance.

Coisas Da Terra by Paulo Flores can get anyone jiving. It’s smooth, happy melody just does that. But once I Googled the lyrics I was like “wow”.

This song is from the heart and it speaks of the goodness of Angola and its people, humanity in fact. Delightful to say the least.

Then there’s this robust Salsa track Vivir Mi Vida by Mark Anthony. If ever there’s a song that I did not understand that makes me happy then it’s this.

The eclectic beats will get you in a party mood in no time. This song is a celebration of life, and we need it every day, a celebration that is.

In conclusion, it comes down to connection, it always does, and how that melody makes you feel, how you translate it on the dance floor because the power of a good song transcends language.

Ladies, Ask A Man.

It’s the norm that ladies outnumber men at dance classes and parties. I’m not sure what the ratio is but as a lead for Kizomba, and sometimes Bachata and Cuban Salsa, I hardly get a chance to sit down.

 

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Don’t wait, ladies, make that move.

 

But the ladies, sitting on the couch against the wall, standing, watching waiting. I can’t get to all of them as my favourites come first.

Some ladies even look disinterested, or maybe they lose interest as the beat goes on. That look of neglect does not belong in a space where physical activity is converted into endorphins.

What’s the solution then? It’s simple, ladies, just ask a man. Don’t stand there, go up to him and I can promise you that he won’t say no.

Now I know it’s a daunting task asking a lady to dance, especially when I started. My bald head gets hot, my palms are clammy and my heartbeat races until I can utter the words “would you like to dance”

It’s not that melodramatic actually, but it does take confidence and courage to step up to a woman and ask, and I can imagine the same applies to you lady. But you have to do it.

Sarah said: “I’m not as good as you and that’s why I don’t ask,” and that’s exactly why she should. The only way to improve your dancing is to dance more. So, in a world where women outnumber men your first task is to make that request.

A tap on the shoulder, a firm hold on the arm all coupled with a smile and of course making the request is as simple as it sounds.

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Outnumbered again. 

And if he says no. Well then move on. I’ve been rejected and three seconds later given permission by another. That’s just how it goes. The worst rejection though is on the dance floor when she looks at you with incredulity after making a mistake (usually in salsa), but that’s another topic.

And look interested please, that sullen face with that bright red lipstick is just not appealing. Look as if you are enjoying the music, make eye contact with someone that moves smoothly and make your intention clear.

If he gets the wrong idea about you watching him, then well it’s his plight. You came to dance, so ask, get your groove on and before you know it you’ll be someone’s favourite and you won’t have to ask no more.

What you see is what you don’t get

Blonde hair, green eyes, slender body, shapely legs and a see-through skirt. From the front, she exuded class in that black outfit but the rear showed something not often seen on the streets of Joburg.

Yes, her derriere was exposed to all; given that her skirt was made of lace and that she wore a black, waist-high cheekster.

Men gaped, women too, an elderly lady’s face squirmed at the unmistakable crack shining through this black lace. Younger ladies took videos and the boys well, obviously, they snapped away too.

This lady– let’s call her Deborah – was oblivious to the commotion around us. As I led her forward, back and around, people’s faces grew from surprise to disgust to what the hell.

I came to Kizomba, so did she, but with an added benefit. I’m sure the lack of material helps cool her down quicker.

Most, or rather all of the comments and questions posed to me about Deborah were salacious. Yet this woman just did not give a shit about who said what. Wearing that outfit was bold and clearly, her confidence was or rather is sky high.

The guy that I assume she is with showed no signs of jealousy. Better than anyone else he knows he is going home with her and will get to see that Versace on the floor.

Well, I hope it’s Versace.

What’s this got to do with Kizomba?

When a new lady comes on the scene, like bees on a honeycomb, the boys buzz excitedly. Whether she is with her boyfriend or not they don’t care. They see her move, they see her enjoying herself and as if Kizomba is a spell, the boys are bound to approach.

This thinking is not only stimulated by Kizomba or Cuban Salsa or Bachata, a pretty face and PHAT booty are all a man needs to act on his primal instinct.

Thing is, they don’t see the end result of the night; they don’t see that Deborah is still going home with him despite what she revealed.

She gave you a little bit of her, to be nice, friendly, cause that’s what ladies do, they nice, it’s standard and compelling.

It does not mean she wants you. If she holds you close, laughs with you, looks into your eyes during a Kizomba session that is not compelling evidence to say she wants you. Don’t mistake her kindness for consent.

Most boys won’t get it though. Let him be that guy talking her ear hot, buying her drinks, thinking he is in with a chance, always taking chances.

Connection, my friends of Kizomba know, is different with each and every person. 99% of the time it’s a good feeling, few are awesome and there is the occasional bad dance, but it’s rare to get that take-me-now feeling.

Even if she’s wearing skinny jeans, a skin tight mini or a Versace lace skirt… what you see is what you don’t get.