Music and dance are a very important part of Angolan culture, and that’s why we have a big section of this site dedicated to them. If you don’t know much about Angolan dances, you’ll want to read about the different ways people are dancing nowadays in parties, and this is your place to start: just click on a picture to read a description of that dance and to see a short video showing you how it’s done.

Bear in mind that the differences between semba, kizomba and tarraxinha can – at times – be very subtle. All three dances are extremely inter-connected (a lot of semba and kizomba steps are exactly the same!) and it can be difficult, even for an Angolan dance professor, to distinguish precisely. Often, people dance a combination of at least 2 of these styles.

However, we tried our best to give you a description that will allow you to differentiate them, and we hope you enjoy it!





The word kizomba means “party” in Kimbundu.



Semba is the most classic one among the 4 modern Angolan dances presented here. For this reason, it is called “the dance of the kotas” (“kotas” in Angola defines older people – anybody who’s not “youth”)



Tarraxinha is a dance that requires very few steps, because it is actually more about the “paradas” (=“stops”) and it is even more sensual than Kizomba.



Kuduro is a musical dance genre originally from Angola.