What is KIZOMBA ?


Kizomba is one of the most popular genres of dance originating in Africa. It is often referred to as “African Tango”. The dance originates in Angola and Cape Verde. It is a derivative of traditional Angolan Semba and Cape Verdean Coladeira. Kizomba is an evolution of the traditional dances of Angolan Semba and Cape Verdean Passada, however, it is evident that Kizomba dance as we know it today evolved after the vogue of Kizomba music. Since the 1950’s, Angolan people used to dance Semba. In the 1990’s, when the actual Kizomba music got more and more popular, Angolan Semba dancers started to adapt their Semba steps according to the tempo and flavour of the Kizomba beats.

At the beginning of its development, Africans were dancing Semba or Passada/Colladiera, and other dances at a slower tempo according to the beat of Kizomba music. Technically speaking, Semba danced romantically to Kizomba is the basis of the Kizomba dance. Because Angola was a colonial province of Portugal, the dance found popularity in Portugal where it evolved into it’s own style, often called ‘modern style’. The dance migrated to other European countries, and in Paris the dance has evolved into it’s own delivery; often called French style or ‘Urban Kiz’.

At Paradiso Academy, we teach with respect, the cultural foundations; right through to the fashionable styles from all three popular Kizomba styles (traditional; urban; modern).