Expand your dancing horizons: Semba

Semba: Semba is a dance of African descent that comes from Angola. This dancing style influenced and spread to all other Portuguese speaking countries. Semba gives origin to Brazilian Samba, Kizomba, Kuduro, and other dancing styles in Africa that also had influence from Zouk.

Semba like Kizomba is also danced and played in many different ceremonies in Africa:

Family gatherings: People in Africa have the culture of getting family and friends together and sharing food and drinks. Each person brings something to the party, often the women bring the food while the men bring the drinks.

Nightlife: More recent with the urbanization of African cities and the end of civil wars that affected these countries is the dancing of Semba and Kizomba in nightclubs. This has introduced more sensual versions of the dance like Taraxinha and Urban Kizz. This is also due to the popularization of these styles in Europe, thus leading to the influence that comes back and forth from European countries and their dancing styles.

Funerals: Something that may be a bit of a financial burden for the widow or widower is the culture of making big parties when someone has died in the family. Mozambique, for example, has the culture of calling family and friends to eat and drink in the house in which a family member as passed staying 7 days at that house. The people who have to work during the 7 days come and go while others have every meal in that home.

Like seen above these countries have a very socialist background where social classes mix and dance together with no regard to status, with Semba and Kizomba in the center of it all.

The parties are split between the tables for the adults and the tables for the kids eating and drinking in different places. The dancing stage being in the center of it all.

The dancing stage is only opened once everyone had enough to eat and drink. This is the time that people show off their clothes and moves in the dance floor

On the next post, we will dive more into the African social scenario and parties. Regarding specifically the role that dances play in these settings.

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