It Takes Two to Kizomba

A sexy dance craze slinks into Seattle.

By Mallory Peterson


April 2, 2013

This article originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of Seattle Magazine.

You’ve swung the West Coast swing, spiced up your salsa and topped off your tango—what’s next? Time to kiss up to kizomba. This Angolan dance style first caught fire in the 1980s, and has since spread across Europe and recently landed in Seattle, at venues such as Century Ballroom (, which offers drop-in classes for returning students and five-week series.

So what does it look like? At first glance, it’s similar to tango—certainly it’s as sensual—but where tango is all sharp postures and straight lines, kizomba emphasizes soft knees and circular motion. Seattle kizomba teacher Frances Tee explains, “It’s a dance that feels like being in front of a fireplace with a warm blanket in a comfortable embrace.” A tango/salsa/swing dancer who learned about kizomba in 2009, Tee has since become a prominent proponent of the Seattle kizomba scene, teaching workshops and bringing in masters from abroad (read her dance blog at She also organized the Seattle Kizomba Semba Camp (3/22–3/24;, a weekend of workshops and social dances at Century Ballroom that are guaranteed to put a spring in your step.


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