If you want to know how kizomba dance differs from urban kizomba or Urban Kizz as some call it, I'm going to help you see 9 main differences between the types of kizomba there are when you dance this wonderful dance style.

I'm not the first one to do it, nor will I probably be the last, and it's really a very subjective task, as some dancers prefer stylistically one way or the other, and sometimes they lose the ability to see how good the other style can offer. But under my humility and purpose of showing the benefits of dancing around the world we will try.

Before continuing, I make a "parenthesis".

At go&dance we believe that the most important thing in learning and enjoying any style of dance is that you try it, practice it, enjoy it and in doing so, over time, you will form your own style and live it in your own way. But we always advise you to learn to dance with professionals. You'll learn faster, on a better basis and in a more fun way.

In fact, the best way to discover the benefits of kizomba and know which one you like best is to try both styles and take a personal stand.

When you start dancing kizomba, you will most likely have the chance to live with both of them simultaneously on the dance floors, and to practice one or the other indistinctly.

In reality, they are two dance styles that, although very different, are born from the same reality: the taste for African music.

To understand their differences, let's briefly explain where the kizomba and urban kizomba come from. (All this content has been provided by Dj Scan)

Origins of the kizomba, the Urban Kizz and how it is music

Where does the kizomba come from?

Rather than beginning with the origins, we must distinguish kizomba as a dance from kizomba as a musical genre.

As a musical genre, the kizomba is essentially a style that was born in Angola in the 1980s, from musicians who had a musical tradition inherited from the semba and who were influenced by the zouk of the French Antilles (Guadeloupe and Martinique), as well as Cape Verdean musicians who had a tradition inherited from the morna, the coladeira and other traditional rhythms of Cape Verde, were equally influenced by the z

The dance of the kizomba as we know it today was defined in the 80's when Angolans began to dance the new, slower musical style with the same semba technique.

Where does Urban Kiz come from?

Urban Kiz was born as a need to adapt the dance of the kizomba to new styles of music fused much more varied and modern, and with a greater freedom of expression and movement.

It can be said that the foundation of the new dance (Urban Kizz or Kizomba Urbana) is that it is performed in a straight line, while the kizomba has traditionally been danced in a circle.

Like everything new (or evolution) the Urban Kizz generated controversy when it was born

In its origin, around 2014 in Paris, the appearance of Urban Kiz generated a great controversy with the African community of the kizomba (which came from far back).

The execution of the Urban Kizz is essentially very different from that of the kizomba, and this new style of cultural appropriation was therefore accused.

How is the music for dancing kizomba?

In general, at a kizomba party you will hear music (almost always ghetto zouk-style) with a very pronounced complex percussion, called batida, with a lot of presence, and a series of melodic arrangements performed with modern instruments (synthesizers, keyboards, samplers), very suitable for dancing this beautiful dance.

The rhythm of the kizomba is usually slow and quiet. You can dance for a long time without getting exhausted. The lyrics, generally sung in Portuguese, usually deal with topics such as love, lack of love, desire and the joy of living.

In recent years kizomba as a musical genre has evolved a lot and there has been an enormous proliferation of producers and artists who have filled the music scene with songs with greater or lesser acceptance.

This has caused the range of musical styles to diversify enormously, from the quietest with traditional instruments to the most psychedelic and electronic.

How's the Urban Kiz dance music?

The ideal music for dancing this style is the more electronic fusion of kizomba, ghetto zouk and tarraxa with other styles such as R&B, Rap, Dance and Hip Hop.

Also some instrumental music, sometimes with a very slow cadence, or very fast music such as ghetto zouk remix and pandza (of Mozambican origin).

With ghetto-zouk music, one can dance kizomba or Urban Kiz indistinctly with one's partner; it's a matter of personal choice.

However, with some types of electronic fusion, kizomba dancing becomes practically impossible if the rhythmic component is lost in music, since kizomba has smooth transitions and a continuity in movement that the Urban Kiz does not need, as we will see later on.

The DJ must have everyone happy with his or her musical selection for kizomba dancing.

And now yes, let's tell one by one how urban kizomba differs from the more traditional kizomba at the dance.


9 differences between kizomba and Urban Kizz when dancing


#1. The closeness of the torsos when dancing

In the kizomba, it is a hug with a closeness of the torsos and the hip. In the Urban Kiz, this is a much more separate dance position.

#2. How to guide the girl in the kizomba

In the kizomba it is guided with the torso, hip and legs. In the Urban Kiz it is mainly guided with arms.

#3. The movement of the couple and the figures

The pattern in the kizomba is circular, while in the Urban Kiz it is a linear pattern.

#4. The cadence of dance

The cadence in the kizomba is very smooth and harmonious. In the Urban Kiz there are frequent stops, dry changes of direction and acrobatics.

#5. Weight bearing on the ground

The projection of the weight is towards the ground in the kizomba, supporting the entire sole of the foot, while in the Urban Kiz is danced' light', sometimes on the tips.

#6. Smoother vs. more sharp movement types

Rhythmic dialing is more regular in kizomba, in which the sensation is transmitted to the woman on a certain slow rhythmic basis with few jolts.

In Urban Kiz, the performance component of music goes to extremes, with long pauses and rapid changes of rhythm, and the use of counterpoint steps constantly.

#7. Feelings of man and woman dancing

The general feeling for the man in the kizomba is robust, simple, unadorned, smooth and with changes to the beaten rhythm. It is very easy for the woman to dance in this way, since the guide is clear and not very complex.

In Urban Kiz, the sensation for the man is one of expressive and creative freedom, with a sophisticated and technically elaborated guide, while the woman must have a rigid posture and also focused on free corporal expression, as in contemporary dance.

#8. Body posture

The body posture in the kizomba is relaxed, and the flavorful expression of the' ginga' or typical movement results from a great plastic beauty, both in men and women.

In the Urban Kiz, the posture is straight, rigid and somewhat tighter. It is necessary for the woman to be little dissociated (rigid as a board) to allow guidance through the arms and very rapid rhythm changes.

#9. The acrobatics at the dance

In the kizomba the tricks or acrobatics are very limited, while in the Urban Kiz we are looking for imbalances, brakes and very spectacular accelerations.


Videos of kizomba vs videos of Urban Kizz

Videos of artists dancing kizomba

So that you can watch more moves and be inspired by international kizomba dancers we show you the following videos.

Mestre Petchu y Vanessa 'Pura Ginga'

Mr Tecas Ms Jo
Afrolatin Connection (Ricardo y Paula; Bruno y Catarina):
Evaldo Ceita
Tomás Keita


Bonifacio Aurio and Maysa:

Miguel and Susana
Marcio Junqueira and  Kimi
Paulo & Lana
Chavy & África

More videos of Tarraxa's examples (always accompanying the kizomba in the festivities)

Albir rojas

Isabeele and Felicien
Sara Llopez

Where to learn to dance kizomba and Urban Kiz?

One of the best ways to learn to dance kizomba is to visit Lisbon, where there are several schools of kizomba, where festivals and events are organized very often, by the hand of great teachers well respected in the Kizombera community. Little by little you can enjoy its presence in festivals such as the Sensual Dance (December) or the Kizomba Open Festival (October) in Madrid.

To learn how to dance Urban Kiz, one of the best options is Paris, where most of the representatives of this style live.

My personal advice is that, regardless of the style you like, you should always try to attend kizomba classes with professionals and also try several different teachers, to contrast their criteria and the way they teach kizomba steps. The more sources of information you receive, the more you practice and go out to dance kizomba, the sooner you will start preferring quality classes and abandoning vices and bad habits in dancing.

The truth is that there are a multitude of schools and dance academies where learning kizomba around the world have begun to teach both styles. Our opinion is that you should try and find out well who teaches the kizomba courses.

As one learns and gets in touch with music and dance, one observes the differences of styles, quality and talent in dancers, instructors and event organizers, and each one naturally develops their preferences and tastes in a very personal way.

And now tell us in the comments...

 Which dance style do you prefer, where did you learn it and why do you like it?