In light of several heated discussions held on Facebook recently regarding what’s kizomba and what’s urban, we decided to post 2 videos that hopefully illustrate that these are 2 different dances; each has its own distinct elements in terms of upper body posture, lower body movement, footwork, musicality, ginga (or lack thereof), pongue, precision and rigidity of execution, connection to the partner (or lack thereof), linear vs circular motion patterns, etc, etc…even the music feels totally different.

In our understanding, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with urban – it’s just a different dance that has taken its own path, shape and form. As such, it should be neither taught nor advertised/promoted as kizomba in order to avoid any further confusion to newbies who cannot easily identify how worlds apart these 2 dances are.

Arguably, the creators of urban were – to some extent – inspired by kizomba at the inception of their movement but it is incandescently clear that urban continued to evolve on its own right and today one can barely notice any similarities with kizomba. Just because famous urban instructor A or popular urban dancer B steals a step, a move, a trick from kizomba, doesn’t make urban = kizomba.

Feel free to dance kizomba, urban or both. But let’s get into the habit of treating and calling each individual dance what it is and not mesh them as a single entity or, worse, treat them as “relatives” from the same family. They ain’t. And there’s nothing wrong with that either.

Special thanks here to Eddie Hercules (urban) and Pablo Nzo Conzo (kizomba) for kindly giving us permission to post these videos on our page. ????

Rui Djassi MoracĂ©n is the founder of theUniversity of Kizomba “, a non-profit educational initiative that aims mainly at promoting and preserving Angolan culture as well as the essence of its dances.

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