Sensual and stylish, the performers from DSantosVT are showing off Kizomba, a dance that is taking the latin scene by storm.
"Kizomba is a really close body-to-body kind of dance," says Tyler Crandall of DSantosVT. "Salsa is danced way out here away from each other and sometimes it's nice to slow it down and dance more sensually, nice and close with your partner."
Kizomba originated in Angola and made its way through the salsa scene in Europe before hitting Montreal, in part thanks to their teacher, Manuel Dos Santos.
"Three years ago when he started, nobody knew anything about Kizomba. And now you can't go to a salsa party without a lot of Kizomba music," Crandall says. "And now we're bringing it to our socials here in Vermont and having a great time with it."
This is week three of the eight-week lesson series at the North End Studios in Burlington, and we're learning a new pattern.
But for those who've just dropped in, we start by reviewing the basics.
"The basics of Kizomba, when you watch it you're not going to see it as much, but when you dance it, you're going to feel it. You're going to realize that to really work together and to step at the same time, you have to have a certain type of connection," Crandall says.
Connection at the head and hip, allowing both people to communicate where to step.
"Communicate with people in a way that's very unusual, something that's nonverbal and you really have to learn how to read each other," Crandall says.
"When you come together with a partner it's just kind-of relaxed and you kind of fall into it and let your body listen to your leader's body, so it's really easy to move around with them," says Kizomba student Amy Rumora.
And as with any type of dance, it's all about repetition to drill the footwork until you're comfortable with the patterns.
"I really like this class because you get to go and meet people in a very friendly environment and also the music is very relaxing and smooth," says Kizomba student Thomas Freeman. "So it's very comfortable and has a great connected feeling."
The group says word-of-mouth is helping draw people in, and they'll keep holding classes to meet the growing demand.
If you'd like to join the lessons, maybe even before Valentine's Day, there will be a makeup class on February 1 at the North End Studios in Burlington from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. You don't need to bring a partner. For more information, visit: http://www.dsantosvt.com/
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