Guest Bios


Kizomba Teacher

Shaïna Kalila is a Kizomba teacher based in London, who fell in love with this beautiful dance back in 2016. Her journey into the world of Kizomba and Semba began with an accidental discovery that quickly turned into a profound passion. Since then, she has been sharing her love for the dance with students, teaching at various venues and creating her own workshop-style Dance Experiences several times throughout the year.

Shaïna is deeply passionate about the unique qualities of Kizomba and Semba, both as a dance form and as a cultural expression. She adores the music and thrives on the social aspect of the dance, where connections are built through shared moments on the dance floor. What captivates her most is the powerful communication that unfolds through body movement, and the enchanting interaction between masculine and feminine energies.

Her dedication to the dance and her infectious enthusiasm have made her one of many beloved figures in the London Kizomba scene. Shaïna has nurtured some of the newest members of the Kizomba community with her founded Kizomba Dance Experience (KDE) where dancers can experience the joy of Kizomba in a fun, intimate & interactive environment. One thing you cannot miss with Shaina is her gleaming smile, lighting up the dance floor and not to mention her infectious laugh!

She can be found on the following social media handles:
@shainakalila_ (Instagram) 
 Shaina Kalila (Facebook) 
@kizombadanceexperience (instagram)

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Kizomba Teacher

Born in Benguela, Angola, in the early 1970s, Riquita is the youngest of four siblings with an Angolan mother and a Portuguese father. As Angola gained independence from Portugal in 1975, the ensuing civil war forced Riquita and her family to flee to Portugal, where they lived until she moved to London in 1989.

In Portugal, amidst the influx of Angolan refugees, the government inadvertently created immigrant communities where cultural heritage thrived through music, dance, and food. It was in this vibrant environment that Riquita's love for dance and music blossomed. The neighbourhood would gather for "Festas de Quintal" (backyard parties) every weekend, where dance and music were the heart of social life. Everyone danced together, including the children.

Back then, Kizomba music did not exist, but its precursor, Passada, was danced to music by artists like Bonga, Africa Tentação, Os Kiezos, Duo Ouro Negro, Bana, Elias Dias Kimuezu and Teta Lando.

In 1984, Riquita heard "Zouk La Se Sel Medikaman Nou Ni" by Kassav, sparking her lifelong passion for Retro Zouk. Zouk's influence on Angolan culture was immense, and Passada began to be danced almost exclusively to Zouk music. Riquita's return to Angola in 1986 deepened her understanding and passion for this dance style, where a life-long bond was formed and she honed her skills attending numerous parties & clubs. 

By the mid-1980s, with the arrival of more immigrants from Portuguese ex-colonies, the demand for dancing venues grew, leading to the opening of the first Kizomba clubs in Portugal. In addition to parties, Riquita danced at places like If Club, Maiombe, and Globo. During this period, artists like Eduardo Paim started blending Zouk with Angolan Semba, creating Kizomba music. 

Riquita's teaching journey began by chance in 1989, when she taught her reluctant best friend to dance Kizomba in one afternoon, igniting her passion for teaching. Moving to London later that year, she joined a small but growing PALOP community. Like in the early years in Portugal, all dancing was done in house parties. The first Kizomba club in London, Club 79 on Oxford Street, opened by Alex Gurgel, became a pivotal place for Riquita, where she won her first Kizomba competition in 1992. 

As Kizomba's popularity grew, so did the demand for classes. In 2004, recognising a gap in the market, Riquita partnered with Kwenda Lima to become the first Kizomba teachers in London. Many of her early students have since become successful teachers themselves. In 2009, Riquita and her then dance partner Guimas represented the UK in ÁfricaDançar.

Over her 30 year career, Riquita has become one of the most sought after and respected Kizomba teachers in the UK, known for her emphasis on strong foundational skills (basics & foundation), giving her a reputation as a Kizomba Purist. To her, being a Purist merely means that if one has a strong foundation, one becomes a better dancer... And the results speak for themselves. 

Riquita's passion for Kizomba is unmatched, and she has a love for sharing it with others. Her teaching method, known as "The Riquita Way", focuses on strong basics, ensuring her students become confident and skilled dancers. For Riquita, Kizomba is not just a dance–it's a way of life. Kizomba is a part of her soul. If you wish one thing for yourself today, wish that you get to learn and be touched by Kizomba... The RIQUITA WAY!!

Connect with Riquita on the following social handles:
@riquita.bailunda (Instagram)
Riquita Alta (Facebook)

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Kizomba Teacher

Ricardo Graca, widely known in the African dance scene as 'Rico Suave', was born and raised in Guinea-Bissau. Growing up, Rico was immersed in a rich cultural environment filled with music, dance, and family gatherings. This early exposure introduced him to Gumbe, Passada, and eventually to Kizomba, Semba, Kuduro, Soukous, and Copuè Decalè.

In his twenties, Rico moved to Portugal and quickly became an integral part of the Afro dance scene, where he began competing and organising dance events. His passion for dance continued to flourish after relocating to London, England, where he embarked on his teaching journey. Since then, Rico has been a prominent figure in the dance community, regularly teaching and organising events.

Rico's career has taken him across borders, allowing him to teach, perform, and organise events internationally. He is notably the co-organiser of the 'Sardinia Afro Beach Festival' in Italy. Known for his smooth and elegant dance style, Rico Suave also brings a positive, easy-going nature and infectious happy energy to his classes.

Rico Suave is a beloved and respected dance teacher both nationally and internationally, renowned for his expertise in Kizomba, Semba, and Afro dance genres. His classes offer students a unique blend of first-hand knowledge, creativity, and a teaching philosophy rooted in his rich cultural heritage and extensive experience. Attendees can expect a fun, engaging, and passionate learning experience that truly reflects Rico's dedication to dance and teaching.

Connect with Rico on the following social handles:
@ricosuavekizomba (Instagram)
Rico Suave (Facebook)

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Kizomba DJ

In 1999, Sabura settled in Lisbon, where his journey into the world of music and dance began. During a casual boys night out at Mussulo nightclub, he was captivated by an unfamiliar yet irresistible beat that kept him moving all night. Despite facing a few awkward rejections on the dance floor, he embraced the music with a Cuba Libre in hand, his trusty companion.

In 2003, his passion found a new outlet. While hanging out at Paulinho and João's Carib Club, the DJ failed to show up. Paulinha, a longtime friend, asked him to step in and change the CD. That night marked the beginning of his DJ career, and he hasn't looked back since.

He has since gone on to become one of the most recognisable, well respected and sought after DJs on the scene. To name just a few, he has played the decks at events such as:

- Show after parties for Bonga, Don Kikas, Tito Paris, Dany Silva, and Tcheka
- Africadançar (Portugal, Italy, and Germany)
- Like Festival (Lisbon)
- Keta Festival (Lisbon)
- Back-to-Basic (Paris)
- Loucura (Paris)
- Kizomba Roots (Belgium)
- Tabanka Party (USA)
- Luxembourg Kizomba Festival (Luxembourg)
- Warsaw Kizomba Festival (Warsaw)
- Afro Retro Sessions (Lisbon)
- Sabura (Paris) etc.

He is a former resident DJ for both B'Leza and Jazzy Dance Club, as well as being the co-founder of Fame, Regra's, and Mercado da Ribeira. Other clubs he has played at include Mwangolé, Terra da Música, Sussussú, Kalema, Luanda, Kretcheu, and of course the one that started it all - Club Carib.

Connect with Sabura on the following social handles:
@dj.sabura (Instagram)
African Tour DJs (Facebook)

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Kizomba Promoter

Seyi is a Kizomba event organiser / promoter. An early interest in club photography led him to falling in love with the sounds, movements and culture of Kizomba in 2012. 

After spending many years enjoying himself watching the community connect to the music and express their musicality through their steps, he now organises Kizomba events to promote and celebrate a culture he has grown to love. 

His events aim to provide a safe space that feels like home. Somewhere to surround yourself with a community of people that share a love of music, dance and a positive vibe that uplifts you. 

To connect with Seyi, check him out on Instagram:

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Kizomba Teacher

Mistre MeuSemba is an accomplished dance teacher based in Bristol. With a strong musical background that began with piano, acoustic and bass guitar, his passion ultimately led him to become a certified drummer in his teens. Now, he is a vital contributor to the local Kizomba/Semba scene, both through weekly classes, monthly "Noitada" (all night parties) and periodic intensive workshops that feature internationally recognised guest teachers.

In addition to his work in Bristol, Mistre MeuSemba has taught across the UK and internationally at some of the most highly regarded events in the Kizomba calendar. His teaching methodology has been developed in line with the highest standards held by leading teachers in the scene. He remains dedicated to immersing his students in a complete cultural experience of the dance, sharing nuggets of knowledge and insight to help dancers become comfortable with their steps while building the confidence to interpret the music and express their individuality on the dance floor.

Mistre MeuSemba exudes a contagious love of life, music, dance, and people that shines through in his classes and on the dance floor. He is a dedicated and passionate teacher who strives to share his knowledge and experience with his students. With his engaging and effective teaching approach, Mistre MeuSemba is committed to helping his students achieve their full potential and gain a deep appreciation for the cultural richness of Kizomba/Semba dance.  

To connect with Mistre MeuSemba, check him out at: 
@mistremeusemba (Instagram)
emmanuel.aji.54 / Mistre MeuSemba (Facebook)

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