Finding kizomba has meant a lot to many of us in the scene. Falling in love with kizomba is easy – and magical. But what are the consequences? How does it change our view on human relationships?
For me kizomba opened up a completely new door to something I never thought I would spend so much time on, and with people I would never have met otherwise. It has for sure enriched my life, it has added joy, pleasure and pure happiness to dull weekdays, and to life in general. It swept me off my feet and it has certainly taken a special place in my heart that I have protected and cherished. However I’ve been around a while now and I guess the honeymoon is over and you start seeing the faults, or at least seeing it differently. Nevertheless, I remember the excitement as a beginner, my first festival in Stockholm and the musicality class with Albir. He was my first kizomba inspiration and is still one of the teachers I respect and admire the most.
He enters the room with an aura that’s hard to explain. He is shining, filling the room and all participants with loving energy instantly. He looks so cool and stylish, but acts so kind and humble. I remember that I listened carefully to every word he said and every tone he played, like a kid on Christmas Eve. I got so inspired and amazed by this instructor as he made us sit down on the floor while he was sitting on the edge of the stage explaining to us how the songs were built and what it really means to dance with musicality. The kizomba music went straight into my heart and after that weekend in Stockholm, my festival life took off with the desire to learn more. And festivals – they deserve a separate post I reckon (here is a previous post about how it works), however – they are our escape, our way of cutting out the world and just absorb the dance purely. They give us a chance to fully give our selves to the dance floor, to the culture, to the mind-set and to the connections.
Our friends have seen us juggling work, studies and late social nights, resulting in a constant lack of sleep. They’ve heard us saying no to clubbing and choosing kizomba parties in a sober, ran-down building in the industry area instead. They have noticed our habit of always carring with us dance shoes in our hand bag in case you feel like joining the social. They’ve heard our hesitation and fear of going on a normal vacation without the chance to dance during one week. They’ve seen us travel every other weekend just to do what we love. They have also heard us talking about that connection with that French guy that made our whole night. That made us feel like “now I can die”, cause we felt like the happiest person in the world that hour. They have seen our pictures and videos on Instagram and they have all asked if people fuck around a lot because it is “such a SEXUAL dance and you dance soooo close”. And we have answered: yes and no. It happens but it’s not the goal for everyone to get laid, but rather to create that magical feeling when dancing, that conquers every concert, every cool club, evey vodka redbull – and maybe even a relationship.
So, our friends outside the scene, and the singles outside the scene, how do we handle them? We keep on choosing our dance and spend less and less time with our real friends and in the real world. For me those choices start to feel painful. I know that I haven’t nurtured my friendships as much as I should have. And it has also disconnected me from the hunt of finding a partner, and taken away the need of finding love. I’m happy for this though, as I feel extremely free and satisfied with myself and my life situation, and I live without the stress of finding a man and I don’t believe that a love relationship necessarily would make me happier than I am today. But how much of this is shaped by the dance lifestyle? And how much is pure self-development? I don’t know. But I do know that many of us in the kizomba world find it hard to combine love with dance. Because we already have a relationship; with Miss Kizomba. She leaves very little space for another person. And she gives more than she takes, most of the time, so it’s easy being with her. We choose connection, music, water and late kizomba nights before clubbing and Tinder dates. Because we love it, we get energized, and we also know that love might kick her out, which we find scary.
One friend said if he would fall in love and start a proper relationship, he would quit kizomba. Just like that. And this is a real dance addict and teacher who lives and breathes kizomba.
We have couples in the scene that proves the different, who actually can handle the relationship with each other and the dance. And I admire that. But usually when people get into relationships they disappear from the dance scene. I don’t say there is something right and wrong here, it’s just an attempt to understand what the dance does to us. Does it prevent us from finding human love? Are we afraid of letting love in? Or have we lost faith in monogamous relationships because we value our freedom and want to be able to dance as long as we want with whomever we want? And maybe because we’ve seen too much drama and examples of human behaviour in the festival world.
In Gothenburg at DJ 48, I talked to some people who are pretty new in the scene. Their eyes were sparkling when they talked about their love for kizomba and how it made them feel, how it had changed their lives. They didn’t need anything else, no sleep, no girlfriend, just dance 24/7. I smiled and I said I can relate to that feeling, but I also told them to be careful, and as with everything in life, try to balance your interests and contexts. A person who spends all the time with his girlfriend might miss out on friendship, and might even lose himself. I think there’s a risk that the dance absorbs you with all it’s power and keeps you away from your other rooms, such as career, friends and family. So how do you find life-dance-balance? I have no good answer, only that I think it’s important to try.
The dance can make us feel vibrant, vivid, invincible, but sometimes also dreadful and worthless. And when you put all your time and resources into the dance and you for some reason feel uninspired, when you have to stand cause there are too many girls or when you don’t like the music, you need the other rooms, or it’s going to be a painful fall.
This blog post is inspired by this article that I read today, about the fact that everything changes and that love might not last forever but still can be worth so much, no matter how short it is etc. And also this amazing blog post about the dark side of dance addiction by The Dancing Grapewine.
Keep on dancing – but don’t forget your other rooms.
Love – Anna