Episode 22 of the Two Left Feet podcast
with Ela Kiseur the Semba, Kizomba and Urban Kiz dancer and instructor talking
about her dance career.
Hey everyone. Episode I don’t know of the two left feet podcast. This was a really great episode with the wonderful Ela Kiseur. She is a Semba, Kizomba and Urban Kiz instructor teaching right now in Poland, if I’m not mistaken, this was a really cool episode because she’s an amazing lady. She truly has a passion for this. I want to urge her to start teaching again because just talking with her, we discussed so many things about Kizomba and Semba. She’s a really cool teacher because I can tell that she practices empathy with all her dances. It’s something that that’s very important to her. She also understands the difficulty that being a teacher who doesn’t have a partner, a single female teacher, She just like Ms. Lucia Nogueira and Ruana Vasquez, she’s experiencing how tough it is to not have a partner and teach, this is something I’m starting just to hear about going on in the Kizomba world. How it seems to be a male oriented male dominated for teaching. This episode was really cool cause like I said she drops a lot of knowledge. I wasn’t expecting her to know so much. But we talk about going into festivals, learning, and teaching, how learning to lead or follow helps you become a better dancer. We talk about connection, we talk about all things Kizomba and its really good episode. I had thoroughly enjoyed this one, I really did. If you find value in this episode and I want to ask that you leave a like and subscribe and if there is no value to you then don’t even worry about it. But personally, I really thoroughly enjoy talking to her, such a wonderful person. Episode of the two left feet podcast. Please enjoy.
Terence: Okay, awesome. So I am on the line with Ms. Ela Kiseur, who currently lives in Poland and you are Kizomba, Semba and Urban Kiz instructor, is that correct?
Ela Kiseur: Right. Its right beside the fact is now, I’m living in Dublin in Ireland.
Terence: Okay. Excuse me. Well I’m curious what is the key Kizomba scene like in Dublin?
Ela Kiseur: It is quite interesting. Like there’s a lot of people who are dancing here for a while and we’re trying to improve since really long time. But the Kizomba scene is like a baby here. It’s very small and it will take some time but now we are starting to have more projects and people are really willing to learn. There’s plenty of people who are going outside for some festivals but really we need some regular thing happening in Dublin to make people move more. But also people who start totally switch to Kizomba even if they were, because in Dublin we’ve got a lot of dancing people. We get mainly Latin than sick people, so they love to dance Bachata and salsa. But then once they explore Kizomba, they don’t want to come back anymore Bachata and salsa, it is the interest. But this is the case with most of the answers. I would say most of the people once they start getting Kizomba. They switch totally.
Terence: I’m curious are there a lot of teachers, instructors in Dublin?
Ela Kiseur: In Dublin. That’s very funny story. Like there was a lot of people trying to teach. There is a lot of new people trying to teach again. But there’s not many people who really have qualifications. I would say there’s no qualifications, but you know in dancing world like his own Bachata, salsa you don’t have qualifications, you don’t have certifications. Most of the time people who are teaching are those who got some good level of dancing. But in Kizomba there a lot of people who just got the basics, they just started to dance it and they decide, “Okay, I’m ready. I’m going to teach because I’m better than others”. But in Kizomba it’s a bit complicated, because it all depends. Who did you take classes from before and how strong are your basics. Because if you didn’t take it from really good teachers, there’s no way to teach Kizomba, because you think that just because of making the routines, you are fine. You’re very good teacher. But its deeper subject is gets really hard to teach good Kizomba and most of the time you will know who is a good teacher by his students. So that’s the case in Dublin. There is a lot of teachers, there is some classes happening, but people they stay on the same level. No one is improving. And feel a bit guilty because I didn’t start regular classes here yet, so I feel guilty because I didn’t do anything about it. But it was all because of my professional life. I didn’t have time to really invest time into teaching in Dublin. But very soon I’m thinking about launching the classes where I’ll be teaching on my own with my boyfriend who is Angolan. So I hope that it will work and we’re going to do something good for Dublin scene. Because I would love to have a place where I can go out and really enjoy the dances.
Terence: Definitely. I’m curious. How long have you been dancing Kizomba?
Ela Kiseur: For myself I have been dancing Kizomba since four years. And I’m teaching sings three years now.
Terence: Okay. And did you, did you start with Semba or did you start with his own Kizomba?
Ela Kiseur: I started with Kizomba, so the thing is, I was dancing Bachata and salsa before. Then I started to Kizomba but at the same time I was dancing Semba, not even knowing that I dance Semba with some Angolan teacher in Krakow. So I was taking classes of Kizomba, which wasn’t really Kizomba. It was more like fusion, but I didn’t know at the time. And then there was this Angolan dancer, another part. Usually I would be dancing with him. And this is where I started to get better. I fought this because of the classes, but it was more because of dancing with him. And the classes that I was taking were naturally Kizomba, but still I was taking them, I was improving and then I was asked to, to start to teach. And when I started to teach, there was always not enough women for the guys on the classes. So then I started to lead because there was not enough girls, so I was assisting, but at the same time I was also leading and this is how I started to improve my dance for real because once he leading and following this is the way to really improve because you start to understand both sides. So I started with some kind of Kizomba fusion I would say, but then I started to try to find more knowledge about [Inaudible 00:08:08]. So I’m able to dance and teach Kizomba and Semba. But because I was dancing mainly in France and learning mainly in France, the most people consider me as Urban Kiz dancer. So I am the most known for Urban Kiz. But at the same time, that’s why I made my name to make people understand that I dance everything and I put a lot of pressure on the fact that if he want to dance Urban Kiz you cannot do it without dancing Kizomba and Semba before because like this is how it was going cause first was Kizomba and Semba, but then people started to create Urban Kiz. So once they had the good basics of Kizomba and Semba, they started to create something. The music was changing and the people were changing the way they dance mainly Frances and this is how it happens. So most of the best teachers known in other words as Urban Kiz got the band out of Kizomba and Semba. Without that it’s really hard to be honest because then when you go and you dance with people who never learned Kizomba stand by and got no clue about basics, about the music, about the range of Kizomba. It is not pleasant to be dancing with them to be honest.
Terence: Check this out. I was talking to this man named Zhao, I forgot his last name, but he told me that Kizomba and Urban Kiz are essentially two different dances. I was so surprised when he said that cause why do you think that?
Ela Kiseur: They are. I think so. Like I’m dancing both of them and when you dance them it’s totally different. The emotion is different, the feeling, the attitude, the way like the basic seems to be the same. Even when I teach Urban Kiz, I start with the basics of Kizomba. But the way you interpret the music, the way you hold your body, your posture, it’s totally different. And really interesting thing is that people who Urban Kiz, when there is that Kizomba who wants to dance with them, it’s really hard to understand each other. It feels almost from me. For me it feels like, you know [Inaudible 00:10:24] LA, but if you try to put two people who dance of those dances, it’s really hard for them. So it is exactly the same case. They come from the same like Kizomba was first and Urban Kiz was born because of Kizomba but at the end of the day it’s really hard to dance with the person who doesn’t dance Kizomba, and it’s really funny because Kizomba dancer can dance with Urban Kiz. While Urban Kiz dancer like the ladies who are trying to Kizomba without having any, any basics, any explanation before. It’s really not nice for the guy to lead them because the way they follow. It’s very robotic comparing to fluid way of the thing of Kizomba, you know.
Terence: Yeah. I’m curious, tell me about the dancing in Poland. How did you get introduced to it? You said your boyfriend. Is that how you get introduced to it?
Ela Kiseur: No, it was previous boyfriend. It’s really funny because before I started to dance Kizomba, first of all, I fell in love with it because of music. Like first song was the Mika Mendes- Magico. I heard it on one of my first Salsa parties like six years ago. And then I was like, wow, what is that? And someone told me it’s Kizomba. I was like, no clue how you dance it. I want to show with some basic steps. And I was like, it’s really boring. I couldn’t really get it. I was thinking like, it’s just working. And then wasn’t continuing to try to learn it or anything. I came back to Poland, I focused on dancing Cuban Salsa, but then there was one some friend and there was again Kizomba song. And he was like, how did this it? So I showed him the basic steps and it was like, it’s boring. And then we both decided to sign for the weekender to learn a bit more and we took like six hours weekender or eight hours. And then because of the music during classes and the basics that we started to understand better, we started to feel like, wow, does this is really interesting. So then I started to take regular classes and as once I started I just couldn’t stop, the connection between two people. And it’s just the things that comes later when you start controlling yourself. It’s really like something which is magic in Kizomba. You don’t have that connection in other dances. So this is the way it started. So I started taking some kind of Kizomba fusion classes. And then after when I already started to teach, I realized that there was much more to learn in Kizomba and Semba. And then I had a boyfriend who was French, but I was lucky that he took his time to learn from really good teachers Kizomba and Semba, so he introduce me to the basics. And then we started to travel more for the festivals. I went to Portugal to compete in Africa dancer, like so called a world championship of Kizomba. And there was a lot of workshops of really good teachers and this was something like I was already competing and I was taking the most of knowledge actually just before the competition, but I was dancing Kizomba and Semba already, but I was like learning more and more and then just with my boyfriend we started to take more classes. I was lucky because he was living in Paris, so he had some friends, really good teachers. So we started to have some privates of Kizomba and Semba and then we also compete in Paris in [Inaudible 00:13:58] competition. This is the biggest center competition in France. So we were qualified to compete in the first, like the best six capitals in France. It was really good experience because the judge would really like the top class. So that’s the thing. Then later I had the pleasure to teach some Kizomba and Semba with a few really good teachers with [Inaudible 00:14:21]. He was the winner of the same competition. There was competing too. And now he’s one of the best teachers around the world. So, yeah, this is how it all started. And to be honest, since I started to dance Kizomba and Semba, it had a huge influence on my Urban Kiz. So I always say to everyone that I started other way around because I had no choice. But if I could, I would rather start with Kizomba and Semba because this something which is changing your dance and when you dance Urban Kiz, it’s much nicer, much more fluid because you already got this fluidity from the Kizomba. While if you start other way around, it’s really hard to understand it. And people like are very robotic in the way they move because they just wanted to do steps, but they don’t really enjoy every little step they do and the way to make it.
Terence: Yeah. I heard something very interesting from this person you know Eddie Vince, you heard of him? He said something very interesting. He said that Kizomba actually improves your Salsa, your Bachata and your Tango, all of these other dances. He said it because it makes you more grounded. I’m curious, have you experienced at all at that at all?
Ela Kiseur: Definitely. It’s totally my case because I was dancing Salsa for two years when I started Kizomba and I was dancing Bachata and then when I started to ask Kizomba, but like I would say first thing is that you are grounded. Second thing is that you are more balanced, you have more control over your body because when you do that move slowly like in Kizomba you learn how to control every movement. And another thing is musicality. When you dance Kizomba and even more when you start to teach it, you start to really pay attention to the music so it improves your musicality but in Bachata and Salsa plus the last thing is that in Kizomba, but this is a special factor I always speaking about it during my classes is that in Kizomba mainly as a follower but also as a leader you are waiting for the last minute to feel the intention of the other person and you don’t predict, you don’t do on your own, but you always wait. And you know when I started the dance Kizomba, but then I started to teach it and then I went to the Salsa with the people, the same people that used to dance with me before, they were like, wow, what has changed? Like it’s so nice to lead you because you’re always waiting. You’re always waiting for my information. You don’t go, you don’t predict. But she there to wait for the things that I wanted to do. And it’s so nice because I know that whatever I will do, you are there waiting so you won’t miss it. And it’s so interesting because even I wasn’t dancing, I was dancing Cuban Salsa and I was dancing Salsa on one but I wasn’t dancing Manboleo sauce on two hours. Totally. I didn’t get it at all. And then I was dancing with some people Salsa on two. And even though I had no clue how to go with the steps because it’s different counting, I was still able to follow them and they’re like, how could you do that? And I said, I don’t know. I’m just waiting. Of course I messed up with my feet but my upper body was totally following what the person was. I can totally agree with that. Like if you dance Kizomba, it will totally improve your other dances, that’s for sure.
Terence: Awesome. I’m curious, did you grow up in a dancing household and what got you into dancing?
Ela Kiseur: That’s really a funny story because I always love to dance. When I was young, I was always moving my heaps different than Polish people, Polish girls. They usually don’t do that. They just moved from the step from the feet to feet, you know, balance. And I was the one who was always moving, keeps and so on. I wanted to dance, but I started to be a swimmer. I was professional swimmer for eight years and I never had time to dance. But then when I was like 16 I was like, I would like to dance. So I started to take the Ballroom dance classes. This is the most popular. And when you want to dance, you go for Ballroom classes in Poland. This is how it goes. So I started to take Ballroom classes. I was taking it for like half a year. Then I stopped because I had to swim or I didn’t have time. But then I came back again and I did half a year again, which was great because it gave me a lot of knowledge about my body, about controlling, about the way you put your feet on the floor. Really the basics of dancing in general and holding the posture nice. And then I was studying physical education and I had one year of the Richmond Urban dancing. So I was studying all the dances existing, including regional Polish dances, including all them, classic dances, Ballroom dance and so on. And at the same time I started to be interested in Salsa. So I started to Salsa. And when you know the Salsa, you will start to dance Bachata automatically. So all at the same time I was dancing Salsa and taking classes three times a week and going out to party four or five times a week. And at the same time I had my classes in my university about dancing where I was learning a lot about the posture again about the Eurythmic and everything. And this all put together gave me really good basics to be able to dance more and more. So then when I started to dance Kizomba, I was learning really fast. And when I started to teach the fact that I had the basics of physical education, I understood how to teach people the movements. So usually when I teach what is my specialty is that I can explain really with details and give the examples of exercises and explain why is it so important? Because very often people will do exercises but they don’t explain what the purpose is or they just ask people to do things and people don’t really understand it and they don’t really enjoy it because they don’t know what to expect from these exercises. But once you explain to them why is it so important and you make them feel the difference before and after the exercise, they really like it. They start to feel like, wow, this thing really changed my dance and very like my favorite workshops is the workshop is about leading and following, while teaching like how to be the best follower and the best leader. So it means that when you go to the dance floor, you are the favorite one of the people to dance with. It’s not about the steps you can do and so on. It’s about the feeling you give to others. So this is my favorite workshops because I make people enjoy the dance more because of the better technique, but it’s all about the exercises that make them understand better, how to follow and how to lead to make it comfortable and nice. And most of the time after those workshops, I got people texting me a few weeks after and saying, “Wow, after those workshops, my dancing has changed totally”. Because I started to pay attention to the details that I never thought about before because I was just following the steps that I was always taught you, could is that most of the time when you gave workshops, you don’t have time for that. Usually people won’t set some steps. They want to have something that they can show later on the party to impress someone, but no one really spend time on teaching them. How to feel your partner, how to be like together with your partner during the dance because everyone just wants to impress others.
Terence: Okay. Is a partner, dance is a communication between you and your partner.
Ela Kiseur: That’s the most important part. You know, like the way you express yourself. You shouldn’t be just there to do some steps, but you shouldn’t be there to really enjoy and communicate with other person the way you feel the music. It’s like, I always say it’s conversation without the words. When you listen.
Terence: I’m curious, for people myself, people who are unable to take that workshop, how can we become better leads and follows?
Ela Kiseur: That’s a good question. Like first of all, in my opinion, when you come to dance with someone, you should try to totally relax and calm down and try to enjoy the dance with other person. Always find the positive parts. Of course, there’s a lot of people who are just on the beginning of the way and they can make a lot of mistakes. Okay. But when you dance with them, try to focus on the good part. What they’re doing, what you enjoy, and then that’s really the beginner. You can enjoy the death still because you appreciate the good things that the person is doing. So it comes off from you. The way you start your dance, the way you approach your partner, it gives the energy and then the person also feels more comfortable as expressed the same energy, so the same respect the other person. So this is the basic thing. Another thing in my opinion, when you want to improve your dance, you should totally focus on the basics first until you got them right. You should never try to do fancy stuff because you just making it worse. And most of the time I feel our leader and you do that, the lady really doesn’t enjoy it. Sometimes I dance with people who are totally beginners and if they dance only basics, I’m really happy. But once they start to do some things that they saw on some video, it’s just getting really bad. It doesn’t work. So there is moments when it will work, but before you have it, you should focus on the basics. Like it’s really funny because I was thinking once the workshops of Salsa from Olivia Pineda, like his multiple world champion in Salsa. He said we had like after the workshops he sat down and he was speaking a bit about the dancing, about learning how to dance. And he said that he always got the same thing people who are coming to his advanced classes and they can’t do it. And then they’re coming to basics classes and they say that actually once they became kind of advanced, they started to go back to basic classes because they understood that they cannot improve because the basics are not good. They never took enough time to do it properly. So these are the secrets in Kizomba and Urban Kiz, once you have them right, you can improve really fast, but if you have it wrong, you can take as many classes as you want, but you will not improve.
Terence: I want to say, I think you’re going to be like maybe episode 23, 24. And everyone who has spoken to, they always say, in order for you to be to go from an intermediate to an advanced, you have to go through your basics. That’s what they all say.
Ela Kiseur: And it’s really, that’s not only that, even when you are already on a advanced level or intermediate level, when you feel something doesn’t work, something is wrong. Just coming back to your basics and you will see immediately that okay, I unlock it again and it will work. So always when there is an issue, I come back to my basics and then I see, Oh, I changed something over the time. So I had, I needed to reminder, and then I feel like, okay, again, it works. It’s fine. I can really improve again. So the basics is the key, but only the people who are already high, they can understand it. Like usually in the process of learning you don’t get it. Then you start to really work on your basics to improve it. And more so it’s not only for the beginners, it’s everyone to always remember, always focus on them because over the time we started to do more things. When you start to do some tweaks and so on, we forget, but once it’s getting much more easier, always good from time to time to come back. And I’m not saying go back for the basic classes, like mind yourself, try to focus like do some practice with your partner or with your friends where you’re working only on the basics and you will see that it will help to improve again.
Terence: I definitely understand I think in the want to become the best dancer. You know, you want to learn more. You want to learn that the three turns or the, the really cool pattern. But yeah, it’s just best to…
Ela Kiseur: There is start for everything. But sometimes when you student who don’t know that, so it’s good to have good teacher. Like you [Inaudible 00:27:15] in US now we’ve got Lucia Nogueira. I really appreciate her.
Terence: I just had her on the show. I want you to take that out. I definitely, Lucia Nogueira is wonderful. That is a great episode. She drops so much knowledge. Please check that out if you get a chance.
Ela Kiseur: Beside that, she is the extremely like really humble person. So that’s the other point which really makes me like her and appreciate her. So yeah, last time I saw her, she was in Dublin actually one year ago. But she’s an amazing person. So it’s really good that now in US, you got those teachers who can really take time and make you go through this for this way, for this path to make you understand how to dance, how to learn, how to improve. Because there is a lot of places where teachers just want to do the same. They want to give you what they want. They want to give you steps. They want to really take the time to make you understand how to learn it properly. And because of that, I can say that I can really like when I need people from US for a calming and are taking classes from teachers like Eddie, Lucia, they are so good and so pleasant to dance with because they take time to, learn it all. So definitely that’s really important to have good teachers who got a great methodology and they know how to make you improve so they take the time. But at the end of the day you end up being a great dancer.
Terence: I want to ask you this though, for people who don’t have access to amazing teachers, what can they do?
Ela Kiseur: You know like now a days there is some teachers who are doing the online classes. As far as I know there is [Inaudible 00:29:06] you know him, he’s amazing dancer, mainly Urban Kiz. That is very good teacher in general because he is also teaching the Foxtrot on the professional level. So because of that he gets really good methodological to explain. Once I was teaching with him and it was really a pleasure and people always love his classes. So he’s doing the online course right now so you can always enroll to this one. There is Albia as far as I know, he’s also doing regular classes, online classes there. Lauren from France he’s also having Kizomba school my thing on YouTube. Those are really amazing teachers who got a lot of knowledge and they share it with you online. So even if you don’t have a teacher on your place, you can, you can buy their courses and do it through the computer even in the past, like two years ago, I think there was some lady from US, she contacted my ex-boyfriend because he was also dancer we’re teaching together. She contacted the team and she sent us the video of the way she dance. She asked for the feedback and she asked for some exercises to improve the way it’s like kind of online private class. When he asked me about it, I was like, really? I don’t think it can work. But after once when I sent her the videos and he sent her his part of the video, she was really happy. She said like I can feel the improvements. So it’s also possible, but in my beliefs it’s always better when you can do it in person. So that’s why we have festivals. Even if you don’t have teachers based in your place. The problem with the festivals is that most of the time there’s not enough time and there’s not enough classes with one particular teacher because it’s just one or two or three hours with someone. Once I believe it’s better to take more hours from one person to be able to, to really understand it. Like in my opinion, much better than festivals or boot camps. When it got to put boot camps, like when you got to call it in US I think, when you got six or eight hours with the same teachers they can really work on your dance and you are not just one of many people who are staying. But like when you having six or eight hours with the same people, you start to know their faces, you start to know the way you dance. Sometimes you remember the names so you can really focus on them personally and help them improve. So this is the way and during six hours you can work from the basics to building up site aided and this is the way where like for me, the workshops I enjoyed the most were not on the big festivals but we are the boot camps. When I had the same people for six hours and I could really feel their improvement because then you really feel like, wow, my work means something. You know if you do the festival, you did it just one big workshop, two big workshops, full class of people. It’s really hard to make it all in one in one hour. Sometimes people lose focus. You have to spend a lot of time on organizing people because at the end of the day you passing very little knowledge during that. Because you wasted a lot of time on all that. Well, when you do boot camp, people just start know system first hour might be a bit complicated. All the rest of the time people are just, they already know you so you can go straight. And you can create kind of connection with people. You can exchange the energy with them while doing big events. You can’t do it. I’m not saying big festivals are bad. They are very good to practice the dance because you got a lot of hours of dancing. You can take classes from different teachers, different views and different points because all of us get different style. Even if same dance while for me the best is if you got the chance to take the classes, lots of classes from the teacher you decide to is good for you because this way you can really understand and learn it properly.
Terence: That definitely makes a lot of sense. I like going to festivals personally just because it’s very inspiring. You know, you see people who are really good, you know at the dance and this is like wow, I can you aspire to that level.
Ela Kiseur: Like personally I love to go to festivals because when you dance so many hours it’s such a big amount of practice and you can see a lot of people like I love to sit down and just watch others dancing. You can learn, you can and you get the chance to really meet a lot of different personalities, which is also good. It’s not a about dancing, it’s also about the community we are creating together. For me, when I go after to festival and the festivals finish, I’m so upset like I’m like God, why is it finished already? Not really. Not sometimes the festival might be from Thursday, like Thursday night, Friday afternoon, Friday night, and then you do workshops and then you go again for dancing Saturday and Sunday and Monday comes in the morning and you feel like of course your feet are super sore. You feel like you don’t want to stop. It’s crazy. Like it was when I was the big, like at the beginning of my dancing when I was going for festivals, sometimes I was doing, I could dance almost for three days constantly. And I was like, Oh my God, I still have an energy. I don’t even feel like sleeping. I go for it to think for a few hours and I wake up because I want to come back to them. So this is magic. It’s really like, wow, something to be honest. You could think that when in so many hours that you will be tired and wrecked and so on. But actually just because of the amount of energy and happiness it gives you and satisfaction, you end up like, of course you have to sleep over a bit to catch up to sleep. But besides that, you’re super happy insights just because of the serotonin and endorphins and everything. You feel like, wow, you get such a kick of positive energy you get addicted to.
Terence: Of course. Festivals are just such a great time. It’s such a great energy such have means to do, I definitely understand that. I want to talk to you about learning to lead and to follow because in my opinion I think that’s what makes you the best overall dancer. And I think that’s what makes Lucia so good because she knows how to lead and following you as well. Right. You can lead and follow?
Ela Kiseur: It’s really funny. In my opinion. If I would compare leading and following, leading is much harder at the beginning.
Terence: I would say different. I would say following as much harder.
Ela Kiseur: At the beginning you can. Yeah. Because to start to lead so many things you have to do at the same time, you have to control your partner, you have to control your own feet to what to do with your feet and you have to do it all at the same time. So for the beginners it’s always harder. The ladies, you just tell them, you show them the steps, you explained how to connect, how to follow. And most of the time they can do it while the guys are really struggling. But on the higher level, in my opinion, it’s harder to be really good follower than very good leader because once you have the basics of leading, everything starts to become easier and you are the one to decide. So you know what you’re going to do with them. While when you’re a follower in never know. And if you want to become a better follower, you need to really practice hard to be able to switch off your controlling and predicting and being worried or insecure. You really have to trust the other person. This is like higher level. So that’s why most of the time those followers who are really good followers, then they start to lead and it becomes natural for them because while they follow, they learn most of the routine. So then they need to switch it in their head. But because they know how they like to be leaded, they know how to easily apply it and start to lead really nicely. So then like myself and I started to like, I don’t practice my leading unfortunately enough, but every time I’m on the party, like first dance is a bit like awkward. But then when I start to flow I really enjoy it. And most of the time people are saying like, “wow, I didn’t have like you’re the best leader today”. Even though I don’t do a lot of like complicated stuff because I just don’t practice them. So I don’t remember. But at the same time, the energy, the way I lead is pleasant for others. They enjoy it because I lead them in the way like I’m always trying to be in the level of the person who’s following. So then the person is really happy because slowly and her to how the parts, when it comes to musicality and changing the tempo and so on. But at the same time they can feel that they are really being listened too. And this is another part in my opinion, that as a follower or as a leader, you should listen to the other side. Most of the teachers, like on the really high levels when they are the leaders, they give more space for followers and they start to have kind of conversation. Not only that the leader is leading but then the game starts. It starts to really enjoyable when both parts can do something, can add something to the dance and they both listened to each other. This is the nicest part that I really love like this is where you can dance for hours and you feel like, wow, we really understand each other and we can really have a long conversation in the dance without stopping because everything is just going when both people are listening to each other.
Terence: I want to ask you, how can someone get better at listening because in the beginning stages I feel like you’re more so in your head, you’re self-conscious because you’re just thinking about, what I need to do next. Does being able to listen come from just dancing more or like how do you get better at that?
Ela Kiseur: Like first of all, it comes from practice a lot. When you are good in the things that should do regularly like the way you drive the car, when you start to drive the car, it takes time at the beginning to anything else and then you end up driving your car singing sometimes, drink something. Sometimes you pick up the phone, which comes totally natural. You don’t have to think about driving. It’s the same with dancing. Once you master your dance, you don’t have to think about it, but there’s few exercises you can do to become like first of all, to become more relaxed. When you dance, for example, there’s an exercise when you’re dancing with someone and you’re talking with the person, it’s really funny, but when you are taking, you switched the focus. You don’t have to, you don’t think any more about the steps to do at the beginning. It’s really rough and awkward, but later you realize itself that you don’t focus that much on the way you move, but you can switch your focus and once you focus on the other person, it becomes natural. That’s the first thing. So it’s nice exercise. Sometimes it sounds funny, but it’s good to switch the attention. Instead of focusing on steps. You can focus on the person by speaking with the person, but later it will be easier for you to lead without really spending so much attention to what you have to do. It just becomes natural. Right. And another thing is for me when it comes to followers but also the leaders, it’s very good sometimes to close the eyes. I always recommend this. I always like the exercise. I’m not really a fan of closing eyes both at the same time because I believe it’s not really safe, but it’s good for the ladies at the beginning of the learning to close the eyes because then you don’t think about anything else and just the person in front of you and myself when I’m in the really good mood. When I’m dancing with someone and really enjoy it, you will never see me with open eyes. It might be looking like I’m sleeping or something, but I just enjoy so much and it gives you that kind of focus that you cannot reach any other way. Sometimes I started demo and you know demo are always kind of challenge because you got a lot of people watching you and it’s a bit stressful. But I do that like for few seconds and then I am totally with my partner. I can open my eyes, I’m totally with him no matter what because I already focused on him. So it’s just the instance to focus more. But for the leaders it’s also very good exercise. Of course you ask the lady to have eyes open then and you don’t do it on the party. At once you are able to do something with your eyes closed, you can focus on it much better and you can master it to like really good point. So it’s very good exercise to do that. When you are dancing, but not when you’re driving a car.
Terence: I said when I’m socializing with my girlfriend and her dance as well. And I often close my eyes. I’ll go like in the corner. I know I’m not going to bump in to anyone, but yeah, just closing my eyes and just cutting off that extra feedback from everything else. It helps you connect with your partner and it really makes it a good.
Ela Kiseur: It helps you to really focus because you got no other signals hitting and think about or analyze, but you can really focus on thing, which is dancing at this moment. For me it’s really a good way to improve and I always do that to make people follow better and lead better. I make them dance like this for a moment and then they start to like it.
Terence: I want to ask you and you might’ve already answered this question, but when you’re dancing with the lead, what makes that person a great lead? Someone who you want to dance with again?
Ela Kiseur: It’s really funny because it’s also on one question. I always ask people during classes, but I do some exercise, I make them lead and follow. And then I swept the rows. So guys have to follow the girls even though they don’t know how to lead is just about the basic steps moving forward, backward to the side and so on. Just walking, traveling together. And I always ask this question and most of the people are not sure, but for me the most important is that the person leader should be confident no matter what is he doing. Even in the basic thing, you should be confident about what you do. That’s the first thing. Second thing for me is being gentle to your partner. Respecting the way you hold the partner and the way you initiate the move should be always gentle. You shouldn’t force anything if feel like you have to force. It means that she didn’t do it good enough that the person could understand it. So you should be precise, you should be a leader, you should know what you’re doing and be confident about it. But the way you do it, you should be gentle. You should never force it. This is the three most important points for me. And then the last part, which is making the leader like lady, wow its musicality after those tree, but you cannot have physicality before you mastered the true previous people, they want just to keep that. They don’t know yet how to be gentle. They don’t know how to be precise, but they do want to jump straight to musicality because for example, they hear the music very well and they want to show it, but if you don’t build that properly, the true previous points, even when you hear the music it will be just a disaster because you feel like the guy’s pushing you or forcing you, but he doesn’t really introduce you to what he wants to do, so that’s not a pleasure and anymore, once he had all the previous tree and then he’s adding musicality, this is my favorite leaders on the world. I could dance all the time.
Terence: I think that’s a great segue to my next question. When I say the word musicality, what does that mean to you?
Ela Kiseur: There’s a lot of levels for me of musicality. Musicality might be just following the music first of all, being in the music. That’s the first thing and then there’s higher levels. Musicality is being able to express the small elements that you can find in the music, but it’s really funny because there is two kinds of musicality. There’s musicality for Kizomba and Semba and there’s musicality for Urban Kiz because the things that you do in the Urban Kiz, you do them a bit in Semba. Sometimes when you’re doing some tricks in the particular moments of the music in Kizomba you are more fluid. You follow the beat mainly. Sometimes you might swap the bits to the singers, to the melody, but you do it with the same tempo most of the time you don’t switch the tempo so often. But you are like constant. The way you move, you’re just flow. You’re traveling on the dance floor while doing Urban Kiz now, Urban Kiz became very edgy. I don’t know if there was the word like this, like very a lot of breaks, a lot of steps and people are picking more and more complicated songs for the remixes with a lot of action happening. And then the reserve bank is musicality, calming, where you can express every little think which is happening in the music. So this is another level, like if you’re going to check [Inaudible 00:47:45] for me, he’s a master in doing that because he can really express with separate movement what is happening in the music because he’s also, I think he got some music musician background also. This is really good in catching those every little points. This is like higher level, the way music musicians understand the music.
Terence: Yeah. I feel like musicality is very important and I don’t know why but, I dance Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, I do a little bit of Brazilian Zouk as well. I find that I’m able to practice musicality easier in Kizomba than I am to do it in a Salsa. And it’s just something that I’m like just continuously trying to work on.
Ela Kiseur: That when you practice a musicality in Kizomba automatically it will improve your stance and musicality. Because for example, myself, I was dancing a Salsa before I was taking styling classes, Roomba, Paolo, a lot of basic individual stuff that you added into the dance to make it beautiful. But I could never really hear them in the music until I started to work on Kizomba and Urban Kiz. And I focus more on those little elements that makes the music so special and the things that you can express. And then when I came back to the Salsa on the dance floor, everything became, so easy, it’s like I would learn new language that I could understand what will be next and I could predict it even in the songs I never ever heard before. Like I was listening to Salsa and I was feeling that there’s something calling me and there is a space to do something. So other step or some accent and it’s just the how to improve your musicality in my opinion is first step is to listen a lot of music first. Then you start to count. You need to know where is one and where is eight in Urban Kiz and Kizomba is not really important to start with the left or right leg on one and so on. But if you learn the musicality and you understand where his one and eight respect eating at the ending of the phrase where the emotion is changing in the song, you’ll be able to apply to your dance and make it more organized. So people when they will watch it, they will look like, wow, this guy really knows what he’s doing. You know, not just random things like practice it before. And that’s why when you watch the demos, the demos most of the time also to the song that you just picked, you didn’t practice it before, you didn’t prepare the show, but you are ready used to listen to music and react really fast to everything. What is happening in the music, even the new songs and memorize them much faster. So once you go through the first part of the song, the second part will have the same way of going. So then when you do it second time, you’re feel when the elements will come and how can you express them, make them shine. And this is what is making the demos as well when the person is like, but this is really like, this is something like something different. But when it comes to being a leader, it’s harder because when you’re a follower you can focus on the music faster. You don’t have to think so much about following once you master it and then you really better in catching those moments. But as a follower, as a leader myself, when I lead sometimes like, Oh my God, I’m so disappointed of myself. I could feel something coming, but I didn’t know what to do at this particular moment. But the more you dance and the more you listen to the music, listen to the music, you start to be more aware of what will happen and more prepared. And it just starts to flow on its own.
Terence: Yeah. I think the best way to explain that is the music has a pattern to it. Right? And so you listen to it, you start to recognize, you sort of recognize it?
Ela Kiseur: There is the pattern. There is the way the music repeats. You’ve got the music divided in eight, then you got two eight and then have two eight to get made get made up like a small phrase. Usually after 16 the energy is changing four eight, which is 32 and after 32 most of the time we’ll come the [Inaudible 00:52:15]. So the energy will change again. And other songs, which are like intro when you started them as the intro most of the time we’ll be 32 but there are songs which starts after 64 and then energies changing most of the time, every 32 to 16 so that it’s all about eight. That’s why we teach Kizomba. We could count to any number we want with Kizomba is not like Salsa, Bachata, that we need to count in particular way because it’s just one, two, three, four. It’s the same regular way. But we do it in eight because we know that the energy is changing or something is changing. Some new element is coming. Some new instrument, some new emotion is coming every eight or every 16. So this is the way to organize it.
Terence: I think that’s probably, I want to say I think the best dances that you have or when is your favorite song? Right? Because you’re so familiar with it? So for me particularly, I say that for me when they, when the, when the DJ puts like my favorite song on. I love it.
Ela Kiseur: It’s not only because you are familiar with it, I guess that this song just gives you the particular emotion and that’s why you’re already in the good mode when you started that. So of course you enjoy the most. We enjoyed the most, the songs we like, but it’s not about the fact that we are like familiar with it. It’s just the energy that this song brings is the energy we like. So then we are like, okay, I feel like home. Because sometimes you might be dancing and there comes a song you’ve never ever heard before, but it’s really lovely song. And then you really got to dance even though you didn’t really know it before. There’s so many songs. Sometimes I hear them firsthand and it just in my heart and the dance is just magic. So you never know.
Terence: I want to talk to you about, I’m teaching when you first started teaching, is that like for you?
Ela Kiseur: Oh my God, it was super stressful to be honest. When you start teaching like nowadays there’s a lot of people doing the certification courses. Like there is [Inaudible 00:54:35], there is Lucia traveling around the world. Doing that kind of boot camps how to teach. But before when I started to teach there was nothing like this. No one teach you how to teach and you know the dances like Salsa, Bachata are more structurized. They are being taught for so many years that people usually got the methodology while in Kizomba. Like now they got it, they do it and it’s great that before when I started to teach I was trying to figure it out on my own, how to do it, how to make it to make it work for people, how to start, which elements to put later, how to make it not too easy but not too complicated and how to make them go through all these things to achieve the point that I would like. And it was really stressful because every time I was worried if it’s not too hard or how to make it possible for people who are already better and at the same time to make the people a bit weaker enjoy in being able to do it. Beginning it was really hard, but later once you start to do it, you start to see what works and what doesn’t and then how to create your own methodology your own way. And the most important for me is to watch the people, the way they learning. This is the process you teaching them, but they also teach you how to teach. Because you do something and then you see it doesn’t really work. Yeah, but then you change it a bit and it starts to work, but to do it you have to watch the people where you teach them. Like the best thing while teaching, I learned them all while teaching. I didn’t have it time straight away I started to figure them out because I did so okay, I’m explaining it this way and they still do the same mistake. What am I suppose change in my explanation to make them changed the way they take it to make it easy for them to understand. And in my opinion, the best teachers are those who got the opportunity to teach regular classes week after week. Because when you see the same faces, the same people, you see how they improve and you can start to understand how to make them improve faster. Well you teach just from time to time and she never really had the opportunity to teach regularly. It’s really hard to create this methodology or when something doesn’t work, when you do your plans routine, it’s really hard to catch the way to explain this little detail, which is making it impossible for them to do it. So only if you teach regularly and if you watch the progress of your students, it gives you the chance to learn how to be a better teacher and how to teach. Because if you always get this different people, different faces, you cannot doing one hour understand them. If you don’t have the previous experience of really building up the way to explain every little thing. So most of times when I teach, when I see someone doing some mistake, I know straight away what to tell him so he will change it immediately or how to fix it. Like sometimes for me really bad thing is like when the guys are leading with the right hand. It’s very like visible first of all but doesn’t the problem, but the problem is with the follower, the follower has a lot of tension and the back start to hurts. If the guy is leading with the right arm and putting a lot of pressure and stressing, the left arm of the follower, it becomes a nightmare. I feel like I can’t enjoy it anymore because even if his body’s leading nice, the steps are being nice, the connection is good. If I constantly feel the pain in my back. I can’t follow any more like after two dances. I just wanted to change the couple because I feel like its killing my back and a lot of people doesn’t pay attention to that. But then when I see that I can see immediately when the hand is tense and then I come to them and I apply a few exercises, few things that they have to do during next for dances and then they start to think about it and they lose the habit of using this arm. This is just one example, but there’s so many things which are making the dance less uncomfortable and following less pleasure that it’s really like, but you have to watch it a lot to understand that it’s happening. Then when you are used to watching the dancers and help them with improving, then when you watch the dance floor you see immediately what is the mistakes and how to fix them, but of course is not the place to to say to people what they should do to them.
Terence: its two things. One. It sounds like what you’re saying is that, you know, it’s obvious that teaching is a skill and you have to improve it over time. And second thing for leads who are moving their right hand, how can they stop doing that with drew’s, do you have them do?
Ela Kiseur: So for me, one exercise is that I asked them to totally drop it down and eat with one hand as the first thing. And the next point or another point is that, for example, I asked him to lead just holding the fingers like this. And other thing is what I do, I ask ladies that if the guy is putting the pressure on the left arm with the right arm or if they’re leading with this arm just to squeeze their hands, keep them because they’re that aware about it. And I’m like, okay, you don’t have to show me where the fingers who is doing that, but just give him small signal every time you will do that, it will be like a reminder for them. And they went about it. And it’s the same for ladies, ladies sometimes they tense the left arm, they’re so stressed that they hold it really tight and it’s also not nice sense thing every time. All like this is one of my biggest thing that I put the emphasizes on. I’m saying every time you think you, you notice that your hand is tight and stressed, relaxed, relax and let it go. And this is something myself, like this is something my ex-boyfriend taught me. And even myself at the beginning when I wanted to become better follower, every time I would be just thinking about relaxing my arms, relaxing my arms all the time I was dancing. But all I was thinking about is to relax my arms and have them gentle.
Terence: Yeah. Relaxing it makes a huge difference cause I’ve, I’m pretty sure you’ve led before and I’ve led you know the difference between a tight follow and a relaxed follow is a world’s difference.
Ela Kiseur: It’s the biggest difference really. And you as a leader you can say that because sometimes you’ve got, it’s not only about how advanced they are, it’s just the way they can relax. But also the partners they dance with. Like the thing is about the followers that usually they are adjusting to the partners. But when you are dancing very often with the people who are leading with forcing, you become a bit tougher to follow.
Terence: Do you react to that energy?
Ela Kiseur: Exactly. And then when you go to dance with really gentle, then it’s really hard to switch the energy if you are not aware of the fact that you are a bit harder to lead. So the only way is to do that, to change it is to do it. You have to start to think about it. Someone has to tell you.
Terence: It’s hard to fix the problem you’re unaware of.
Ela Kiseur: Because you don’t know about it and people want to tell you, hey, you’re very hard to follow. Like to lead on something like no one will tell that because you don’t want to tell that. That’s why it’s important in my opinion to take classes like, I like to do about leading and following because during that class you start to understand how important are those little elements to make the dance nice and then you go to the dance floor and you think about them for the first few days or weeks after the class, but then they become natural for you and then you’re able to dance with every person and be a good follower or a good leader and enjoy the dances. You already thinking about the things that you are doing wrong instead of getting angry on the next person like, Oh he leads so strong, maybe you are not easy to be leaded. So then you start to think, Hey, and it’s other way around when the guy’s leading strong and he’s like, Oh my God, she doesn’t follow. Start to lead more gentle and she will be the one to adjust to you, but it has to be you change the way because if you push her strong, she will react like strong because she’s worried that if do that strong impulse, she might fall or something. She feels like really insecure. So it’s about learning each other but also working a lot on your own body control for ladies, like the stability to be able to stand on your own, to keep your balance. This is something that will improve your dance no matter who you dance with.
Terence: I hate to admit this, but I danced with my girlfriend and sometimes I get upset with her and I just now realize that it’s probably me, it’s my lead. That’s the issue.
Ela Kiseur: While dancing with your partner you also have higher expectations so many times. Like it’s really hard to dance with your own boyfriend, like your life partner because you expect from person sometimes more than she can do at this moment, at this stage. And then getting disappointed. But actually you’re getting disappointed because of your own expectations. It’s good sometimes to relax and try to not think about her as your partner, but just regular dancer that you meet on the dance or because from another person you wouldn’t expect that I believe. But it’s like sometimes you just have to distance yourself a bit from relationship when you’re dancing with a partner with your girlfriends or boyfriends. And it really helps to calm down the energy because it’s much easier to have a fight with someone that you know very well. Then with some of those who don’t know, and I experienced it so many times. Trust me, and also when you say something, sometimes you say something to the person you know because you think it’s okay. She, she knows I want to help her. But some things you say, they heard her much more because it’s from you as to be that kind of stage of disagreement. You’re getting angry at her. She’s getting angry at you. You don’t like to dance to get it anymore because you feel the tension every time you come to the, then you feel like, Oh my God, how can I not like to this, to my old girlfriends? Yeah. Because of the tension and implement at the beginning. So you should just try to relax and have lower expectations. Try to treat her like a regular person and don’t try to teach her, don’t try to help her speaking, but you can do it while leading, making it easier for him to and to hear, to understand what you want to do instead of telling her. Because when you say something, it always hurts and always hurts when it comes from the person who is your partner.
Terence: I’m feeling really bad about that, so I’m like, damn, the word that keeps coming to me when I’m talking to you is empathy. That’s the word been just going through my mind, this whole conversation with you. I need to be more empathetic with her. Sometimes I can be harshness. It makes me feel terrible right now. Because I have, I have high expectations ever. Like you said. That’s completely true.
Ela Kiseur: Yeah. Empathy is really important in any aspect of your life. Whatever you do like emo, emotional intelligence and empathy is the key. Once you really try to think what is the feeling of the other person, you’re always better to interact better with this person, no matter if it’s the everyday life, if it’s any complex situation or if it’s the dancing on the dance floor. Once you try to see the other side, it’s always better because you can behave in different ways, feel more comfortable, more welcome in your dance. So yeah, this is the key for me, no matter what you do. But in a dancing mostly you should always try to understand the other side.
Terence: Yeah, that’s so true. I love what you said it’s so true. I want to ask you this, for beginners who feel like they’re stuck in a beginner’s rut, what can you tell them to help them with that?
Ela Kiseur: Practice. In my opinion like you can take like, I had this like in [Inaudible 01:08:18] we had a lot of people coming for regular classes and we would never see them on the parties because they were always feeling like that not good enough. They couldn’t improve. We were like, Oh my God, how is it possible that they’re not improving? Of course they’re not because they would just one hour doing the class a week, but then we thought about making some more like practices after the class, like few more minutes and it started to work and then the best you can see the best improvement on the people is when they start to go to festivals. Not because of the classes they take because there’s a lot of people who just go there and they skip a lot of classes about it. They just don’t remember what they did during those classes. Social dancing is the key like Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba there are social but Kizomba is the most social dance I would say. Because in Salsa and Bachata that there is this kind of unwritten rule when you are changing everyone to max three the dances, it’s the culture of the dance. When Kizomba sometimes you dancing with the same person. Like if you change before three dances, the person is like, Oh, I’m not sure if it was okay if someone changed after one dance, I feel like wow, he must be really unhappy about the way I was dancing with him or something or not in the mood. When it’s two dancers still feel awkward when it’s three dancers you feel like okay, it was just fine. And then if someone is giving his time to dance with you for five, six, seven songs, one hour, you really enjoy it because you feel like, wow, I achieved this point where the person really enjoys dancing with me. And like when even myself, when I started to get better and I started, I was still always going to dance with all artists and when I was dancing with them and then someone would tell me, like I love to dance with ladies, I love to go to dance with ladies. I can understand better the way they dance so I can better myself on the copying, but stealing the feeling and you know, sometimes I was dancing with some ladies, teachers, really amazing dancers and they would say, “Do you mind if I lead you a bit longer? Like after four songs because I enjoy leading”. You will give you such a kick of confidence. It makes you feel so good. Like wow, there’s so many people waiting for this person and it’s to give you more time and then switch do because she appreciate the way dance. It’s so nice. And that’s why dancing Kizomba is the most social dance because sometimes when the connection is right and you understand each other, you can dance so many songs together and you don’t want to change. The only reason why I want to change. Sometimes that’s you get to party were so many good dancers that I just want to try evidenced motivation but not because of the dance on its own. It’s just evidence. It’s so good that if I could, I would just dance with this person constantly. So yeah, it’s really amazing.
Terence: Yeah. Kizomba, it’s a much closer connection. Bachata that you can get pretty close. But you know, Kizomba just has that such a close connection.
Ela Kiseur: Bachata has more physical connection where you are physically really close. Kizomba you are close, but on a different level it’s like you never end up touching with your hips, like partner on it or being, having the leg of the partner between your leg and so on. But you got such a good connection here. And no one feels like it’s something awkward anymore to just hug each other. And then if the dance, I found myself that sometimes I’m starting a dance and I’m like, my head is a bit back from the other person. And then after like 20 seconds, if I feel comfortable, I’m just putting has on the chin of another person and I’m feeling so comfortable no matter if it’s the person that I never met before, you know, I don’t feel like it’s something bad. I don’t feel scared that the person might have some bad intentions because at this moment I feel that the person is there to dance. I feel good just being connected with this person and being able to relax my head and just be belated, it’s a really nice feeling. Why do you don’t have it in Bachata or Salsa? You cannot just another person like dancing Bachata of course sometimes you are very close, but you all the time moving and never really calm connection.
Terence: Yeah. I think, isn’t it like Kizomba you’re dancing as one. I think that’s with it. That might be the difference.
Ela Kiseur: And sometimes you feel like you understand each other so good. It’s just like sometimes when you’ve got a good dancer and you get a good connection, the same energy and you feel the music in the same way because it’s also about the way we interpret the music. Actually like, wow, how is that possible that even before this person makes the move, are you ready feel like, what will be like I do it exactly in this and it’s just like same intention and the same fault and it’s such a nice feeling that you can understand with someone. So just like that.
Terence: That is a beautiful feeling. I know fun and I love it. I really do appreciate you taking the time out your day to talk to me. I really do appreciate it. I want to ask you what are some of your upcoming events? What do you have going on?
Ela Kiseur: So at this moment I don’t teach that regularly anymore. My main key point is not that I would like to start to develop [Inaudible 01:14:47]. So in the nearest one month I would like to launch the new classes as the first thing. But the next week I’m going to Poland to Krakow. It’s my first school when I was teaching for over a year, I was teaching regular classes and I always love to come back to there. So I’m going there this time I’ll be teaching a Tańca Crema for three hours. I’m really excited about it because I’m in Krakow we don’t do Tańca Crema on the regular classes. I know that because my ex-partner is still teaching there regularly and I know that they don’t do that often. And this is something which is really important. So when I went to Poland, I was teaching lady standing because there’s also no one who, who would take the time to do it properly and take the time to do it was this time I want to focus on Tańca Crema. So I’m really excited about it and it’s my school. So, but it’s really funny because every time I come there, most of the people who are coming and not people who are from my school, but people from other schools, it’s even better to be honest because then I can give an example and I can show them how it’s really being done outside of Poland. I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to travel so much and to learn from so many different people that now I can, I can bring it back and show it to people. And not only this, but also when I’m dancing with them, it’s just I’m really happy about it that I can show you this. Many people, they don’t travel, they don’t explore that much Kizomba. So they don’t really have an opportunity to see how it looks outside of the picture. So happy when I can come back. So that’s the event I have right now. Besides that, I don’t have any bookings to be honest because I don’t promoting myself. If you check my profile on Facebook before I was always posting regular thing and so on, not the moment because I changed the country and the city. I focused a lot on my professional life because I was developing the side, but I really miss it. And another part is that I don’t have the partner. I’m constantly thinking about having one. I had for some people, but because of the, I had recently in Dublin and because of like making myself comfortable here, I really didn’t have time. So at the moment, I hope that very soon I will find some partner and I would like to continue because to be honest, once you start to teach and you start to show your knowledge and you start to see the improvement of others and then you don’t do it, it’s it feels like, Oh my God, it’s such an empty there’s something missing in my life. This would like come back to my lifestyle where I can do it very often and share and get to know new people. It’s such a pleasure. Like every time I’m doing some workshops, I’m always so happy after because of the energy that people give me that I got. It’s such a satisfaction to keep improving. I really love it and I love to see like I got some pictures from some workshops and the smiles on the faces of the people. It’s like I have them as a background of my laptop and I’m like, wow, I’m always so happy to say now I travel less but I want to come back. I want to do more because I feel like it is a part of me and it’s something a lot of people are asking me why don’t teach you such a good teacher? And I’m always like, I didn’t have time recently like ashamed from myself because I should, I should take more time for myself to develop this part. So I hope that very soon I’ll be back more as a single lady, maybe you talk with Lucia about it or not, but as a single lady in Kizomba, it’s really hard to be booked, to be respected, to be appreciated. Like I was thinking about it with Lucia last year, one year ago, and I tell you, I was talking that I would like to find a partner and it’s really hard to find a person with the same energy, with the same emotions with the same attitude and the same motivation to teach, different people, different reasons why they want to teach. And it’s really hard to find someone who will be really having the same point of view on the teaching and like to do it. And then another side is that even when you’re teaching with someone, like sometimes I was teaching and I had before I was always assisting other teachers and when I had my own assistant and what Lucia said last year, she said that sometimes it happens to her that she’s teaching in new place, that they don’t know her that well and she has an assistant and at the end of the class, even though she did almost all class people come to her and say thank you, come to the boy because they think they’re so used to that it’s the guy who makes all the job that even if the girl does the most part, they are not able to proceed it and understand it and appreciate it enough. And it happened to me many times that I was teaching with someone and then after the class, no one would come to me to say thank you. Even though it was me who spent the most time during the class to do it. It’s so common. That’s you are doing something and there are a few people who will see it and appreciate it, but very few people who really want to come to you and tell you that it was good and so on. That’s why like it’s really scares me. Now when you look at the lineup of the festivals, I don’t really pay attention how it goes in us so much, but in Europe most of the festivals got the single guys, like you got the lineup and you got 20 guys and maybe two with the partner. They’re like, how is it possible? In my opinion, Kizomba is the couple dance should be taught as a couple because if you don’t do the ladies, they can’t really take anything from the class and they getting bored and they stop going to the classes and then the guys, the classes and no one in Europe now, it’s a big problem that most of people, they just go for festival, they dance. They don’t even go to classes anymore, first of all, because guys are having just a assistance who don’t know how to teach. So there’s no value for the ladies. And then like you just don’t, if girls don’t come, the guys also doesn’t enjoy the work. And so like now you’ve got the festival where it’s 1000 people or even more and you having all the classes, 30 people. It is so awkward for me and then you go, then it goes, [Inaudible 01:21:50], is not developed so much summary in Asia, in Malaysia, and you’ve got festival room and it’s packed. All participants’ festival is small. It’s 150 people, let’s say, and all on our own, the workshop. Because they all want to learn. And I think it’s a big mistake Kizomba should be taught by the couples. It shouldn’t be taught just by the guy or just by the girl because it doesn’t, you’re not really able to give all the information to everyone.
Terence: I had, do you know Ms. Riquita Alta, she knows Lucia and everything. They very good friends, but she said the same exact thing. And Lucia and Riquita. They told me it’s more so an issue in a Europe. America doesn’t seem to have that issue of employing solo female leads, you know, so it’s a teacher works out or anything. They said it’s more of an issue in Europe. So I definitely understand what you’re saying.
Ela Kiseur: It’s really funny because I can see that in US, you get Lucia, I get a lot of the ladies taking leadership really alone. And then in Europe there’s some ladies who does it, but they don’t have power to really be appreciated because it’s all about the guys. It’s like a man run the world and no matter how good job you do, you’ll never be appreciated as much as the guy at this point, at this moment. And it just scares me because really if you’re going to check few festivals, like very good few festivals, most of them are just guys, no partners and it has changed over a few last years because before it was always couples. You’d have eight couples and then you would have maybe one single teacher and now you’ve got mainly guys teaching on their own traveling around because it’s easier to arrange than one single person to travel than couple. And sometimes they got some lady styling teacher for the ladies and then this lady is assisting all the guys or the guys are picking up the girl from the crowd and she’s assisting them. But it’s not the same because when the couples was teaching regularity together, they got their all methodology, they got system of teaching and the class can be for like can be done really good, but if they don’t know each other it’s really hard to make it smooth and nice. Like even myself, I was teaching sometimes with some teachers for the first time and with some of them it was really easy and it was going. We were like finding the points to complement each other. And to some of them I was feeling, it doesn’t work because he never did or we can no rehearsal how to teach together, how to give the time to another person. Some guys were really surprised, but I got something to say because most of the girls doesn’t say anything. I was getting better. But before most of the classes, the guy would be just standing there like a decoration. It’s changing and it’s really good job of Lucia. She’s making huge effort to make women understand that they get the power, the ticket and the knowledge that they can feel they should share it. So I really appreciate her and I had some conversation with her and I think she’s very right about it. That we should, we should try to build up more deposition of the women in Kizomba also would like to do. And I’m trying to work on it every time I have the chance to teach summer, I’m trying to show that women actually take that really a lot of knowledge that they get. They look beautiful. They are really important part of this dance.
Terence: I think it’s very important for you as well because you follow but you also lead. So you, you know, both spectrum. So I want to say, I hope this conversation kind of spurs you to start teaching cause you, I put you need so you have, you know, you have so much knowledge and information don’t hold it, share it.
Ela Kiseur: What is really interesting about me teaching, because I do both, most of the time the best explanation. Like let’s say there is a move that the guys has to get familiar with and the most of the time if it doesn’t work, it’s me, not the man who’s paying attention. And finally the way to explain them, because I had to go through the same set that sometimes I’m on the class and there’s a move I didn’t know. And then I tried with someone and I’m like, okay, this is the missing point because myself, I got a lot of experience so I could find a way to do it really fast. That’s because my partner never mentioned this little part, little detail guys. They can’t do it. They can’t make the step. And then I’m coming in like, okay guys, try to do this. Like this. Adding this little element in the like, okay, it’s so easy now. But I do it because I have to get familiar with them, move on my own. And because I know the techniques of leading, I can figure out the way to do it and then I can show the way I do it. When you teach something that you know really well when you are a leader and you know something, put into small parts because you don’t realize himself how hard it might be for someone because you’re already so fluent in it. There’s a lot of teachers, I don’t want to criticize anyone, but there’s a lot of teachers who are so good and they forgot how it was to be a beginner that they are not able to put themselves in the role of the person who’s just starting and they prepare hard routine made of 32 counts for the beginners and the beginners are totally lost and they don’t enjoy the class. And trust me, they don’t give good feedback afterwards when I told them, because they are actually, they supposed to learn something, but they end up knowing nothing and definitely like they just wasted the time.
Terence: Yeah. It’s so true what you just said. Like I said, I really want to thank you for just taking time much today to talk to me. Can you let people know how they can contact you, how people can get in touch with you?
Ela Kiseur: So if you want to get in touch with me, the best way will be the way you did it actually for the Facebook page Ela Kiseur, if it’s hard to understand what it’s Kizomba, Semba, and Urban first letters of reach. So that’s the first way. I’m also on the Instagram, I’m also on the YouTube, so if you’re going to type in YouTube, Ela Kizomba most of the time and I believe it will be me on some video with someone and most of videos, if they were posted on my page on YouTube, there is the link to my Facebook page and I believe to Instagram maybe too. So this is the ways to contact me and always feel free to do that if you want to ask them question. Like I got some people sometimes texting me from some countries where ketone bodies naturally develop like India or Asia and they ask them some questions and I’m really happy to answer and to help them try to put them in touch with some teacher from this region of the world because I was traveling quite a lot in Asia because of that. I get a lot of connections in different places and even if I can’t be there on my own, I can still put you in touch with someone who might help you to improve. I’m always happy when someone is texting me to try to get some knowledge or try to find a way to learn Kizomba, even if the place is, are not really developed yet.
Terence: That’s awesome. That’s a great thing you do that. Like I said, thank you so much Ms. Kiseur. I really appreciate, I really enjoyed this conversation. Before you know I messaged you, I honestly do nothing about you. So to get the chance to talk to you and it’s to get the chance to talk to you and hear your story and hear what you know, you’re amazing person. I love what you’re doing and I want to urge you to please start teaching please. I feel you should definitely do that.
Ela Kiseur: Thank you very much.
Terence: Yes, I’m not going to hold up anymore of your time just enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you again.