Sonja first got in touch with Luso-African dances in 2006 during her studies of languages, international relations and history in Coimbra/Portugal. As a devoted Salsa dancer she initially suffered from the lack of Latin dance opportunities until she discovered the African night clubs. Fascinated by the rhythm and sensuality, she became addicted to the Kizomba music and dance, not missing a chance to join those parties. In the years to follow she continued to travel back and forth to Portugal.
In October 2011 she was encouraged to share her growing passion and to start teaching in Leuven/Belgium. In January 2012, together with her Angolan partner from Sambila.net, she founded the KikiZomba project. With the aim to establish Kizomba also in the Southwest of Germany, they organised 9 weekends together. Apart from her African dance partners in Portugal, Sonja owes a special tribute to her main mentors that over time had huge influence: Helio Santos, Miguel Monteiro, Mestre Petchu of whom she received the official certificate of Semba and Kizomba instructor in 2012, and most recently Paulo Isidoro. This determination has born fruit and until this day Sonja has been invited to teach, apart from numerous cities in Belgium and Germany, also to France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Tunisia, Switzerland, Egypt, Tenerife, Mauritius, Italy, Portugal, Estonia, Finland and the Congo. She has been appointed to the Jury of the Kizomba Contest of the Belgium Bachata Night and AfricAdançar competition in Germany. In November 2014 KikiZomba was awarded by the Angolan organisation Zinga event for preserving and promoting Angolan culture in Belgium and has been interviewed by kizombacommunities from the US.
Since June 2012 KikiZomba has the pleasure of having Elisa joining as co-teacher and co-visionary. From Cape Verdean origin and from a family of musicians (her grand father is Morgadinho from the legendary band Voz de Cabo Verde), she is bringing Cape Verdean culture, lady styling aspects and a lot of fun to the classes. Over the last one and a half years, Elisa has been significantly shaping the path of KikiZomba. In 2013 the teaching team grew even bigger with Kevin and Joana joining in and ensuring the assistance in Antwerp, Ghent, and Leuven. Kevin has now taken over the teaching of level 1 and level 2 classes in Leuven completely.
In 2013 KikiZomba organised the first and until now only Kizomba Festival in Belgium, the ‘KIZOMBA CONTINUA’, a milestone for the community in Belgium and surroundings, which was followed by the GINGA NO PONTO weekends.
Apart from putting Kizomba in the spotlight of the Belgian dance scene it has always been dear to KikiZomba to include the cultural side, including language classes, conferences about history of dance and music, gastronomy, etc. Whilst de Kizomba Continua Festival was dedicated to the patrimony of Cape Verde, Ginga no Ponto focussed on Angolan culture.
For KikiZomba the beauty of Kizomba is the harmony and the connection between the two dance partners, the captivating music and the natural yet sensual flow of movements – a beautiful experience which is a pleasure to share.