Barbara Pavlin


How did you get into dancing?

Dancing has been a part of me as long as I can remember. I grew up with love for dancing since my parents and grandparents love to dance. I started with classical ballet steps, but after three years I fell in love with high heels and glamorous dresses of ballroom dancing. Salsa came into my life later, after University, and by learning Cuban style I realised I really like African rhythms and dance. In search for African flavour, together with my partner Matej, we found kizomba in 2010. This dance changed our lives for good.

What projects are you currently working on? is our (Matej & I’s) biggest dance project since 2012. With this, we want to share our love for this beautiful social dance and culture. Beside regular weekly classes, we’re currently working on regular kizomba parties in our hometown Ljubljana.

Together with our team we organise Kizombadas every now and then, but would like to have them on a more regular basis in order for kizomba lovers in Slovenia to have a proper place to dance. And of course we are also working on developing a new generation of kizomba teachers to carry on our work and also add some of their spice.

What’s been the most memorable moment of your journey as a dancer so far?

Huh, this is a hard decision. But if I have to choose I would say … First most memorable moment for me as a kizomba dancer was our first journey to Lisbon in times when kizomba was mostly part of PALOP community and dancing in kizomba clubs was really a privilege for us. So then we decided we want to go as close to roots as possible and found Mestre Petchu and Vanessa Ginga Pura and their teacher courses spiced with African culture.

This dance experience in 2012 changed everything I knew about my body mostly as a classical dancer. It also got me aware of the heritage of this dance and made me a part of kizomba family. And of course the most memorable moments were our two trips to Angola, where we could taste, see and listen to everything we heard or read about kizomba and semba before. It was really an unforgettable journey. It made us understand the culture and dance even deeper so we can share out knowledge further with our students.

What advices would you give to up & coming dancers looking at you for inspiration?

Although at the first glance it might seem simple, with kizomba you need to be patient. Invest into your basics. Take time to learn them properly. Once you master them it will be easy to play with them on music later on and for sure you will never be a boring partner to dance with. But of course it’s not just steps. Listen to your partner (this goes for both sides ladies and gents), explore the music; it will enrich your dancing. Search beyond the steps and explore the body movement to add this special note to your dance. Go to the source. Respecting the culture will bring you more than just steps.

What can we expect from you for the rest of 2018?

We’ll spread our love for kizomba in Slovenia for sure and also abroad. Hopefully our well-known Kizombadas will grow and maybe we’ll also organize something else… and visit Africa again.

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