Lucia is one of the most active Kizomba instructors and she’s also giving Kizomba instructor’s course.
She is coming from Portugal but now teaching all around the world. I met her at Ginga Festival in Hamburg. Her lessons were very full and I could understand why, the material she has chosen, the way she taught it and the atmosphere in her lessons were all great.
She also used her visit to Hamburg to give a Kizomba instructors course that was open for women only. I was curious what was the reason for it and asked to interview her about her courses. As I suspected there are interesting ideas she holds about Kizomba, and the part of women in that scene.
Hello Lucia, please tell us about your instructors’ course.
I have a regular one for male and female and I have the one which is closer to my heart, a course which is just for Women. It was created out of urgency because I was eager to see more and more female instructors being recognized for the quality of their work and not just for other attributes that are unrelated to passing on the knowledge.
Is there a difference from your experience in the dynamics of a mixed course comparing to a women-only course?
There are of course benefits to both courses. As you can see frequently in workshops the female instructors are not being considered for their knowledge but instead for their body or ability to move, but when it comes to the classes very few have in fact gained a voice. In fact, you can see sometimes events with only male instructors in the lineup and not one single female instructor teaching.
If you have a Women that has a lot of experience teaching, especially by herself, knows how to run a class on her own and loves crowds I would advise her a regular teacher’s course.
However, if that is not the case then the program for Women would is more appropriate, as it provides a safe environment for growth. Being a female instructor in the Kizomba scene, which is so much focused on Men’s value, brings the role of the “follow” to a very low category and it results in some strange kind of objectification of women.
You often hear in class instructors saying “Women just follow”, which is very discouraging as it is the same thing as saying they came to class when they could have simply go to the social to “just follow”, but also on the other side you don’t have male students who get to have feedback from a female perspective, sometimes leads think they are doing a great job when in fact they are one step away from dislocating someone’s hip.
This project is so dear to my heart because it is an attempt to even the scale, to open the way for female instructors who want to go one step further, but this is only possible through awareness and knowledge.
Fair enough, I understand the reason to promote women in as Kizomba instructors. But just to challenge this approach, if a guy would claim he is feeling discriminated by not being able to register for your course, how would you answer that?
I’d suggest him to email me and sign up for the general course 🙂
I’ll have one happening in Portugal and another in the UK in the beginning of 2018. By the way, I would love to do a general training in Hamburg both for Men and Women 🙂
I don’t promote it as much because in this ferocious market Men usually don’t “need” as much focus and visibility as Women do. Having said that, I have promoted, gave training and gave visibility to several male instructors in the past. It’s time to shift focus at this point simply because nowadays women’s self-image and self-value require a change of mindset.
Maria (Tudokizomba) did ask me if I wanted to, the reason why I chose for Women is that I believe there is still a lot of work to do in terms of changing the mindset in the Kizomba scene. That is what I mean by focus and visibility, which is not to let things slide further into looking at women like some kind of “objects” for the eyes, where your value is only attributed depending on how well you shake your hips, but there’s no need to say a word or even know much about Kizomba. Basically, it means to show the world that we as women do have a voice, we do provide a valuable contribution, we can do more and be more.
As you can tell for me this goes way deeper than the dance, it is tied up with who I am. I am not too vocal on Facebook about what I think it is not right, I believe more in doing whatever you can than talking too much. In this case, we are talking about dance and about raising female instructors that can be strong role models to other Women. However, in general, I care about any kind of injustice I see around me and always think in which way I can help make things better. If it’s within my reach I will not talk too much but will definitely do something about it.
When you teach, you end up becoming aware of your students’ deepest issues and you spend time thinking about the root causes of those issues. We say we teach a dance but at some point, it becomes a 24/7 job where you are also a coach, a psychologist, a friend… simply because dance touches so much of our humanity that we cannot completely set ourselves apart from what we do.
Great, now I understand better your point of view and I like this way of changing by doing rather than by speaking. When is the next instructors’ course?
For the moment there is only Module 1 and 2 of the General Teachers Course already planned for September/October in Montreal which will most likely the last one in 2017.
Thanks Lucia for her answers, it was interesting for me to hear her point of view about the role of women in the Kizomba scene and about what instructors course is for her.
If you’re interested in registering for her next Kizomba instructors’ course you’re welcome to keep in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.