PHILIPSBURG – Master Teacher Jeffrey Kizomba’s journey started 10 years ago in Boston, Massachusetts, where he first discovered Kizomba.
After dancing socially for many years, in 2012, Jeffrey began teaching Kizomba in New York City. In order to further educate himself on the authenticity, culture, and history of the dance, he hosted Mestre Petchu, one of the greatest authorities in the field of Angolan music and dance, on his first trip to North America.
During this time, Jeffrey began dancing Semba, the dance from which Kizomba got its roots. Since then, Jeffrey has taught Kizomba and Semba classes and workshops, independently, as well as in conjunction with festivals, throughout North America and Europe.
Kizomba describes both a genre of music and a dance style. The word Kizomba in Kimbundu language, of Angola means “party.” Semba, one of the traditional Angolan dances is characterized as a dance of steps. It is mostly a fun dance, danced to Semba music in pairs, and in wide steps.
Kizomba described as the “African Tango” is a partnered dance from Angola and has only been around since the 1980s. The dance is known to be slow, sensual, and smooth. Kizomba requires lower body hip movements or “bunda” action.
Semba also describes both the dance and the music. Semba is the traditional type of music from Angola. The word Semba comes from the singular Masemba, which means “a touch of the bellies,” a move that also characterizes the Semba dance.
Visiting Master Teacher Jeffrey, will be teaching both forms here on St. Maarten. Jeffrey has taught classes and workshops in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Miami, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Toronto, Montreal, Israel, Haiti and St. Maarten. Festivals at which he has instructed include the D.C. Bachata Congress, the San Francisco Kizomba Festival, the U.S.A. Bachata Kizomba Festival, the Swimming Festival in France, and the Kizomba Open Festival in Madrid.
Due to his extensive experience with the dance, Jeffrey has been on the panel of judges at the Kizomba Open Championship in the U.S. In addition, he is organizer of the North America edition of AfricAdancar. Jeffrey is also one of the U.S. country representatives of Kizomba Nation.
With his motto, “Trust me, you CAN dance Semba,” Jeffrey has been one of the first pioneers to introduce Semba to North America. His focus has been to promote the authentic flavor of Kizomba and Semba, to educate his students on the relationship between the two, and spread the dance.