For many people, kizomba is an evolution of traditional Semba dance.
Since the 1950s, Angolans have danced the Semba. This tradition remained unchanged, even when the Kassav group from Guadeloupe Island (French Caribbean) performed Zouk music in Angola during the 1980s.
Another of the dances of that time was Brucha Brucha, a mixture of Semba and other African dances that were sometimes danced with Kassav’s Zouk music.
In the 1990s, when Kizomba music became more popular, dance began to take on the form it has today. Semba dancers began to adapt the steps of this dance to the rhythm and taste of Kizomba music.
It could be said that at the beginning of its development, the Kizomba was danced the same as the Semba but with a slower rhythm. Over time, certain movements typical of the Kizomba have developed.
Due to the Cuban presence in Angola during the civil war (1975-2002), dance has been influenced by some elements of Cuban dance. On the other hand, Milonga and Tango were also very appreciated in Angola, some people call the Kizomba “Angolan Tango”.
One of the most famous dancers Semba and Kizomba is the Angolan Mateus Pelé. He has inspired many young dancers.
There is a considerable difference between Kizomba music and Kizomba dance. Dance has no influence from Guadeloupe and Martinique, so when we hear that Kizomba has influence from Zouk, it refers to music and not dance.