Author Archives: kizombacommunity

About kizombacommunity

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Dúnia Pacheco: African Solo Dance Interview

Dúnia Pacheco is an Angolan dancer of African and Brazilian dances currently teaching in Warsaw, Poland. She was the first to introduce kuduro and mapouka to Poland. Dúnia is know as a choreographer and also as the organizer of the first ever European festival focused on Kuduro and Afro House. When my former partner Florian Tep heard about the new solo African dance interview series, he immediately recommended that I speak to Dúnia.

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New Interview Series: Solo African Dance

If you caught my most recent article on Latin Dance Community, you know that I’ve had a growing enthusiasm for solo African dances in the last few years. Kuduro and Afro House came into the picture for me early on in my kizomba dancing, and I’ve since tried Afrobeats, azonto, coupé décalé, ndombolo, soukous, and various classes just labeled “West African.”

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Courage & Compassion in Kizomba

By Keya Bhagirath

Just before I started dancing, I enrolled in a program called Engaged Compassion. Engaged compassion is a practice of awareness through the lens of radical acceptance of self. It creates an intention of non-judgement that allows for safe introspection. This program required that I spend time weekly looking inward; one could call this a self check-in. Some methods of introspection included retreats, guided meditation, journaling, creative art projects and group discussion, all engineered to give me a glimpse of my inner world. I went through a transformative experience that showed me that I was not living a life that satisfied my soul. I craved a life that was expressive, spontaneous, free, beautiful; a life that felt more authentic to who I was discovering myself to be.

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Antarctic Kizomba

This January I embarked on a trip I’d been planning for years: a cruise from Chile to various places in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands. Although I managed to get sick, and then seasick on top of that, it was still an incredible trip.

Being on the Antarctic continent feels like being on another planet. The landscape is dramatic and surprisingly colorful within a limited palette. The sky seems especially alien – the light filters dreamlike through heavy clouds or reflects dazzlingly off gleaming icebergs.

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Finding Joy in the Moment

This year has been a little precarious for me so far. In January I took my coolest trip to date…but spent half of it sick, including 9 days where even reading a book or watching a movie felt taxing. I almost passed out from the pain of walking across an airport terminal.

In February I moved to Stuttgart, aiming to have applied for my work permit by the end of the month. Here it is the end of March and I only just managed to submit my completed application today. I love it here! I’m eager to be nesting, dating, putting down roots…but until I know I can stay, that’s tough to do. The uncertainty eats away at me. I’m constantly trying to balance my activities with contingency plans, because I can’t ignore the possibility that I might have to leave in a month.

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Kizomba Newbie

My Kizomba-versay is July 24, 2016. That’s the day that I met the dance that would change my life in ways I would have never imagined! Kizomba is not just a dance for me: it is my dance, true love and soulmate. It speaks to my being; it is a living metaphor for my life. It is the place in my life where all the things that I love converge. It has been one of the sweetest surprises of my life thus far.

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