With multiple dance workshops being conducted across the city every week, there’s no longer any novelty factor in the day-long salsa, bachata or jive sessions. But Kizomba is not your run-of-the-mill dance form. So, we head to House of Wow in Bandra to meet Swedish artist Kristofer Mencak, one of the proponents of the dance form. This weekend, he will host a five-hour-long boot camp on Kizomba.
Surprisingly, the 41-year-old confesses that he didn’t train to be a dancer. “I have a business degree and I was a marketing professional. But I always enjoyed dancing. In fact, there came a point in my life when I was too tired to do my job. That’s when I decided to quit and make dancing my career,” says Mencak, who also claims to be “the most-travelled dancer in the world”.
Kizomba originated in Angola, South Africa in the 1980s. The close dance, Mencak says, is different from salsa and bachata, as the couple uses their upper body to lead instead of their hands. Over the years, the performing art spread across Europe, and is now making its way to Asia. “It’s peppy, fast and the beats are easy to love. Besides, it’s an intimate dance. Imagine hugging a person for five hours. Who wouldn’t love such a dance form?” laughs Mencak.
On his maiden visit to India, Mencak performs a quick routine for us to an upbeat number, and tells us that he can perform for six hours at a stretch at boot camps. While it is not a fitness routine per se, the artist believes that he feels energised and it seems like “taking a six-hour walk”.
Ibox: Kizomba Boot Camp by Kristofer Mencák will be held on December 3, between 2pm and 8pm
At House Of Wow, Bandra (W)
Entry fee: Rs 3,500.
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