Although I haven’t lived in the United States for quite a while now, there’s one American lady who is always popping up in my Facebook newsfeed in posts related to Afro House and kuduro: Shafeeha Monae. I reached out to her to discuss her personal dance journey and her thoughts on the role of African solo dancing in the kizomba community in the US.
As usual, what follows is my adaptation of Shafeeha’s words from our interview. Any mistakes are my own.
Lucia Nogueira is an international kizomba teacher with the distinction of being one of the very few women teaching on her own merits. While she has partnered most famously with Eddy Vents, she has a huge number of solo projects, including training programs specifically for female teachers.
By the time I met Lucia for the first time, we had already had several extended conversations online. From the role of women in the kizomba world to teaching strategies to business development, we had so much to talk about!
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.
Mike & Melissa are the powerhouse duo known as Steel City Kizomba. They took some time out from a busy schedule of teaching and training at the White House Kizomba & Zouk Summit to record this interview with me. Get to know a little about them here, and be sure to look them up if you’re ever in Pittsburgh!
The footage from this interview was all done back in April at the White House Kizomba Summit, but I got the push to get it edited together when I saw Ezri again at the Sawa Sawa Kizomba Festival last weekend. Find out about more kizomba in DC from Ezri!
This interview has been a long time in the making! I first started asking David and Guida about doing this video more than two years ago. They were willing but they are quite the power couple, so it wasn’t until this year’s White House Kizomba Summit I managed to get them together in front of the camera – with the added bonus of little Mellie, known as “the Kiz Baby.” You’ll get a real sense of their delightful warmth and quiet passion in this long-awaited video!
I first met Benga in San Francisco. At the time of this interview, we were partying at the White House Kizomba Summit 2016. Benga happily took a break with me to answer some questions. Enjoy his inimitable style!
Anaïs Millon is one of the top kizomba dancers in the world today. She travels the world constantly, appearing in festivals to teach workshops and perform with Morenasso, in addition to running her own weekly classes in Paris.