2015 has been nothing less than an AMAZING year for Kizomba Harmony, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of YOU, our community, and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your support. However, 2015 has definitely had its share of challenges. Monica and I have struggled and gotten our arses kicked six ways from Sunday in 100’s of hours of training and practice, we’ve butted heads and argued, and we’ve been hated on by folks to whom we’ve shown nothing but support.
But as it happened, even these challenges have worked to our benefit. Because of all the training and practice, we leveled up tremendously in a relatively short amount of time. Because we’ve butted heads, we got to know and appreciate each other’s viewpoints and we can better work together, strengthening our partnership. The haters only strengthened our resolve to achieve our goals and reaffirmed the value of our scenebuilder mentality and approach, and our vision for a quality sustainable and unified scene.
A few 2015 KH highlights:
– KH taught at 13 events in 2015 (not including our own events), and taught or peformed in 6 COUNTRIES this year! And we’re already booked for the 7th country in 2016! Definitely a blessing!
– KH hosted numerous well-attended Kizomba, Semba, and Soukous workshops and weekenders taught by some of the world’s elite talents! Thank you to all who supported our events, we couldn’t do it without you!
– KH taught 100’s of hours of Kizomba, Semba, Tarraxinha (and a little Soukous haha) in festivals, weekenders, and our own workshops and weekly classes (shoutout to my man Gerard Cartwright for teaching our weekly classes and holding down the fort when we were out of town training!), and we have been blessed to be in a position to expose a great many people to Kizomba, Semba, and African dance in general for the first time!
– KH created the first downloadable mobile Kizomba instructional app in the world, Kizomba To Go™, which has already been downloaded in 47 countries by very happy customers! We’re filming new levels now, but if you haven’t downloaded Level 1 yet, go to www.kizombatogo.com right now and check it out, you won’t be sorry!
– I officially became KH’s resident DJ (DJ Billy the Kiz) after training with my DJ mentor To’ Costa. I DJ at our events of course but I will also be DJing at festivals and socials near you! True to our music/dance philosophy, I make it a point to try and play a bit of ALL music played at Kizomba parties worldwide. You can check out some of my mixes at www.soundcloud.com/kizombaharmony!
– We wrote the Kizomba Harmony Manifesto, which lays out in detail our vision for the scene/community. You can check it out here: www.kizombaharmony.com/manifesto!
Geez, even talking about 2015 has me tired. But we are fired up about making 2016 an even better year for KH and our community! We want to take a moment to personally thank all of the artists who have taught at our events and given us words of encouragement, and the many organizers who have trusted us to share our knowledge and passion with your event attendees. We also want to give extra thanks to all those who have taken our festival classes, bought our app, come to our events, or given us words of support. An extra special thank you goes out to the students in our weekly classes who trust us with their learning on a day-to-day basis. We love you and are so proud to be your teachers and see your tremendous growth as dancers. You make all the hard work we put in worthwhile, and we definitely look forward to leveling you all up BIGTIME in 2016!
We are truly grateful and humbled by the support we’ve received from both our local community and the international community. We truly couldn’t do what we do without your love and support. And with your help, we will continue to work towards building a scene/community where instructors/DJ/promoters respect their craft and the history and culture of Kizomba/Semba and offer value to the community because they are held accountable by the community, where leaders in the community don’t let misguided competitive impulses cloud their judgment, where our people seek to understand each other rather than hate on each other (publicly or privately), where we can all come together and enjoy the beauty that is Kizomba/Semba without unnecessary fighting. Where those “of the culture” feel respected, and those “new to the culture” feel appreciated. This is our vision.
We want to wish you all a very Happy New Year, may you all find peace, joy, and fulfilment in the new year and beyond, and we’ll see you on the dance floor soon!