Are you new to Kizomba? Is this your first time hearing of it, or you’re quite familiar with it? In any case, you’re in for a treat. African dances continue to garner immense craze day after day, transcending borders, regions, and ethnicities as people everywhere continue to fall in love with the moves and the excitement they offer. Kizomba is no exception to this phenomenon, and if you’ve ever experienced the dance firsthand, you’d understand why it would unquestionably be such a sensation. At Fitness 1 Gym, we have woven the dance into our workout sessions to let you experience the fullness of the Kizomba spirit on your fitness journey.
Kizomba – Origin of Dance
Kizomba is a genre of popular dance and music which originates from the Southern African country, Angola. It is a Semba derivative, an Angolan traditional dance, and music that blends African moves and some European styles. The dance has been around since the early 1980s. In Kimbundu, one of the widely spoken Bantu languages in Angola, Kizomba means “party.” The dance has, over the years, also metamorphosed into different contemporary forms such as the Kizomba Fusion and Urban Kiz (or Kizomba Urbana), which integrate such dance styles as Hip-hop and Acrobatics.
Apart from Angola, Kizomba has been popularized in several other Lusophone countries such as Cape Verde, Mozambique, Brazil, Portugal, and Guinea-Bissau. The popularity of the dance and its culture are similarly sweeping the global space, and people in Europe, Asia, and America are all paying attention with admiration and enthusiastic participation.
The Kizomba Dance
Kizomba dance is intimate, mesmerizing, sexy, classy, and smooth, and all rolled into one. It usually involves two partners, companions, or friends who engage in synchronized and intricate footwork and sensual hip movements with fluidity, coordination, and expressive attitudes known as Ginga for the ladies and Banga for the gentlemen. The leader guides the follower’s steps on the dance floor with his right arm and torso, and the design of the dance is such that the partners feel closer to each other and share a connection. Kizomba dance has a slow and deliberate yet rhythmic tempo set to equally suave and rhythmic African music or Kizomba songs. The steps could be tricky for a beginner, but with the right instructor and guidance, you should be able to nail it. Besides, among the dance perks is that its slow and quiet delivery makes it easy for you to flow effortlessly for hours without feeling an iota of exhaustion.
Why You Should Dance Kizomba – Fitness Benefits
It has become common to find dance teachers, trainers, and gym instructors, including Kizomba, in their dance sessions due to the direct correlation between dance – like most African dances – and fitness. Let’s check out some of the benefits you stand to reap from signing up for Kizomba dance sessions at the gym.
Excellent Stress Reliever
Dancing, as universally acknowledged, is one of the best medicines for a stressed body, mind, and soul. Stress brought on by back-to-back activities, tight schedules, and life’s dramas can introduce new or worsen pre-existing illnesses. According to webmd.com, it is considered responsible for about seventy-five to ninety percent of doctor’s office visits. However, regular doses of Kizomba can cure or be a preemptive remedy against this troubling ailment, even for a couple of hours. Hardly do people dance and simultaneously worry about their problems, whatever they may be. Moving your body and swaying to the sound of soothing Kizomba music or other African beats (and with a partner!) inadvertently relieves you of your cares and resets your body and mind to a state of composure.
Improves Emotional and Psychological Wellbeing
In addition to helping you relieve stress, growing evidence exists to prove that taking up dance classes coupled with being regularly exposed to good music helps combat depression, tension, feelings of loneliness, and anxiety. Researchers identify that levels of some “feel good” and “happy hormones,” as they’re called, such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin, are significantly raised when you dance, the results of which reduce depressive symptoms and make you feel happier, relaxed, and contented. These are especially more gratifying with Kizomba, which is about sharing that overflowing sense of composure and elation with your partner. Nothing beats that.
Keeps Your Physical Health in Check
Regular Kizomba sessions can also make you, as the good old saying goes, fit as a fiddle. For people of all ages, shapes, and sizes, dancing is a perfect activity to help put your health on a higher pedestal, and it’s even better when it is Kizomba. The dance strengthens your hips, calves, thighs, and torso, helps regulate your pressure levels, boosts your cardiovascular endurance, rids your body of toxins, and leads to stronger muscles and bones, hence, reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Dancing has also been shown to prevent the possibility of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and a myriad of heart diseases.
Fosters a shared connection
To a great extent, Kizomba is about feeling closer to your partner and sharing a sense of connection through your movements and body expressions. After all, the dance isn’t described as the “art of connection” for nothing. Its nature and delivery require good chemistry between the partners to make the flow even more effortless and enjoyable. For these reasons, Kizomba fosters an excellent relationship between the individuals engaged in it, whether they’re old friends or acquaintances who just met at the gym. Couples, this is also a perfect opportunity for you to spend some quality gym time together with your significant others. What are you waiting for?
Improves Cognitive Capacity
For Kizomba dance classes, as is typical of all dance classes, your gym instructor will most likely start you off with some basic and easy steps, which eventually evolve into more complex ones as you progress. Practicing these steps over and over again constitutes great mental exercise, builds your brain muscles, and enhances memorization and recollection skills. These reasons also account for why dance is a defensive mechanism against Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Excellent for Weight Management
Kizomba is also one of the great and healthy ways to burn some calories, shed off excessive lipids or fat, and lose or manage your weight. Around 250 to 400 calories can be burned in about an hour of continuous dancing, and the best part is, you’re having fun while doing it.
Apart from the above, Kizomba dance also improves your stamina, agility, sense of balance, and coordination, making you feel more confident, calm, and happy.
Bonus – Finding a Kizomba Class
Would you love to take up this smoldering dance? As already mentioned, some gyms have included it in their dance sessions and fitness routines; all you have to do is to find the right one. The good news is, the Fitness 1 Gym center on One Airport Square in Accra offers Kizomba and Ginga classes which are aimed at helping their members appreciate and reap the full benefits of the dance, simultaneously developing a unique sense of community, and having their emotional and physical fitness levels boosted. So get your Ginga and Banga spirits on, get out there and be ready to shake your groove thing. Sign up for their sessions and give yourself the treat that your body and mind deserve!
Kizomba Community, What is Kizomba? kizombacommunity.com
The Effects of Stress on Your Body, webmd.com, December 10, 2017
Liz Meszaros, Researchers Identify Exercise for Optimal Health of Body and Mind, mdlinx.com, August 8, 2019
Elite Dance Studio, How Dancing Benefits Mental Health, elitedancestudio.net, December 27, 2019