Orlando and Rodchata are excited to host the 2nd Kizomba, Zouk Lambada, Bachata party at the Cafe Cocomo!
We're gonna have two dance lessons for beginners:
7:00 PM - Kizomba w/ Yair and Chalianna
8:00 PM - Zouk Lambada w/
Girish Giris and Annita Lambadeira
Girish has been dancing since 2004, starting with West African dance and eventually finding passion in Salsa where he became a member of Ricalsalsa dance company. He took his first Zouk class over a year ago and immediately fell in love with the contagious energy of the Brazilian dance. Girish has been studying Zouk under Shani Meyer of LA, and he also attended Berg’s Congress in Porto Seguro this year. He teaches Zouk basics with a focus on fundamentals -- timing, connection, and technique.
Annita was always surrounded by older cousins who happened to watch MTV religiously, and soon became fascinated by the Lambada (also known as "The Forbidden Dance") after having seen Kaoma's music video when she was 5 years old. What particularly captured her attention were Chico and Roberta, the child dancers featured in the video. Coincidentally, the song was particularly popular within the Vietnamese community. Therefore, as a Chinese-Vietnamese American, Annita remembers her parents and their friends playing the song often at home and at family functions. For Annita, not only does the Lambada evoke images of beautiful people dancing on white beaches, but it also brings about feelings of nostalgia of her childhood , having grown up between the 80's and early 90's.
In college Annita developed her musicality and appreciation for Salsa and other styles of Latin Music as a music major and as a singer in the Afro Cuban Ensemble at San Francisco State University. Therefore, this led to her start in Salsa as a social dancer. However, Annita always wondered what had happened to the Lambada. In 2010, she searched far and wide for instructors, and to her frustration couldn't find any. Although, by this time, after doing some research on the internet, she discovered that the Lambada had evolved into Zouk Lambada (also known as "Brazilian Zouk" or simply, "Zouk"). This dance was even more beautiful and sensual than she ever remembered, and even though she always loved the original Lambada, she fell deeply in love with Zouk Lambada.
Annita finally took her first Zouk class at the Second Annual San Francisco Bachata Festival, which was organized by Rodney "Rodchata" Aquino, the first person ever to feature Zouk in the San Francisco Bay Area. Shortly after that, along with her friend, Monica Heidlberg, Annita co-operated the first San Francisco group on Facebook as a way to promote Zouk locally and for people in the community to communicate with one another. Soon she began to communicate with national and international instructors which led to her decision in 2011 to travel all the way to Porto Seguro, Brazil to meet them.
It wasn't too long after meeting Shani Myer (a dancer whom Annita has long respected and admired) in Brazil that Annita and Monica would organize and host monthly Zouk events featuring Shani as a guest instructor. During this time Annita began training with Shani privately. It was also during this time when Annita devoted most weekends to staying at home and practicing. Nontheless, Annita considers it an honor to have trained with Pablo Schmoller (from Buenos Aires, Argentina), and to have met and learned from some of the pioneers of Zouk Lambada at Berg's Congress in Porto Seguro, Brazil. These include brothers, Didi and Braz Dos Santos, Patricia Didi Lambada, Romina Hidalgo, Bebe Genivaldo Moreira Duarte, Gilson Damasco, Josy Borges, Mari Hodges and last but definitely not least Berg and Solange Dias, for without whom the biggest Zouk Lambada festival in the world wouldn't be possible.
Annita considers all of these instructors to be some of her biggest influences as they continue to inspire her everyday. She hopes to share her passion with others and hopes that they too may discover the beauty and joy in dancing Zouk!
Chalianna and Yair are Kizomba Performers & Instructors in the Bay Area. After having met in SF on a dance floor, and dancing their first Kizomba together, they grew passionate about sharing this movement of two bodies as one with others.
Originally from New York and coming from a Haitian background, Yair spent his whole life dancing to the sounds of Kompas bands, as well as Cabo Zouk and French love Zouk styles. He was introduced to Kizomba a few years ago in New York City and fell in love with its movements, sensuality and gracefulness. Yair was fortunate enough to take workshops with Iris DeBrito, Cymeone, and Riquita.
A native New Yorker as well, Chalianna's dance background began with her heritage and culture stemming from the Dominican Republic. Having experience as a Dominican style Bachata dancer, Chalianna has expanded her knowledge of dance into area such as belly dancing, ballet, and Afro-Brazilian. Recently Chalianna has fallen in love with the essence and beauty of kizomba. Now Chalianna and Yair continue to share their love for kizomba music and dance by teaching Kizomba classes in the Bay Area.