Bridging the Best Between Asia and Africa

Dance & Leadership with Kizomba Concept®

Dance & Leadership with Kizomba Concept®

*KIZOMBA CONCEPT is a Cultural Project of Asiafrica Foundation.

Kizomba, a dance originating from Angola and promoted in Asia as a cultural project by Asiafrica foundation, was used for that purpose.

On July 25th, AsiAfrica had the opportunity to participate in ELLTA conference 2017 and to make a groundbreaking presentation on “Dance & Leadership”. ELLTA is the acronym for “Exploring Leadership and Learning Theories in Asia.”This initiative began in 2009 and received a warm welcome from researchers around the world. The goal of this organization is to contribute to knowledge about leadership and learning in Asia.The first ELLTA conference was held in 2011 in Malaysia.The 4th ELLTA conference was held six years later at the Asian Institute of Technology.The subject of this conference was: Perspective on Leadership, Learning and Social Enterprise in Asia.

*Dance and Leadership* was an innovative and unprecedented vision of leadership in relation to dancing, made by Dr. Roland Amoussou, Co-founder and President of Asiafrica Foundation, Founder of Kizomba Concept and member of the UNESCO DANCE COUNCIL – CID. The presentation was a great success and a unique moment of conviviality with the host and participants. It first came as a surprise that Kizomba Concept could be a new topic for Leadership Programs in Asia. As a matter of fact there is already a massive literature for business schools and Leadership programs on strategy lessons that can be learned from various disciplines.

  • "Art of war for CEOs and managers

  • " Martial arts applied to business"

  • Leadership lessons from Chinese Masters" etc.

But there is nothing yet related to the "Art of dancing for CEOs, managers or leaders.

Dancing offers the most striking and most profound lessons about leadership and following that can apply to partnerships for life and business. What better than dancing can teach how to develop and maintain productive partnerships?

Most interestingly, it's not necessary to be a good dancer or even to be a dancer at all to learn from lessons that dancing can teach for successful leadership and management in a company or organization. Dealing with owners, employees, shareholders, contractors, investors, partners, the business environment, building or shifting alliances, taking opportunities are all forms of “dances”.

The session was divided in two modules. The first module covered various fundamental principles of leadership in relation to dancing and Kizomba dancing and the second module was dedicated to the practice and Kizomba moves and steps highlighting the leading and following elements. During his lecture Dr. Roland started by discussing “Should leaders dance”. While the majority of the audience agreed that leaders should dance, there were also dissenting opinion. The answer to this question came from the USA where the newly elected President has the duty to dance in public to show his leadership style. Outside America, there are many examples of presidents dancing (South – Africa Kenya etc.) After that Dr. Roland covered the following topics in relation to Kizomba dancing.

#1. Connection

There is no partnership, collaboration or business possible without the right connection.

* The first connection starts with ourselves. We need to know what kind of *dancer* we are, where we come from and what drives us. The first connection must be *grounded*. The *ground* is represented by our team, group, family, our base, our community. That's where the energy comes from.

* The second connection is related to partnership. Choosing the right partner is critical. A leader has to stand and invite a follower for a dance. He can look ridiculous or awkward at first. But the first successful follower will attract other followers. That's how a movement or momentum is created.

* The third connection is related to the *music* is the environment and the rules. Dancing slow when the music is slow. Dancing fast when the music is fast. Understanding syncopation...Adapting to be able to change, innovate, survive...

#2.Hug / Embrace

Hug in Kizomba represents the necessary *trust* in leadership and management, especially when it comes to agreements and contracts. There is no partnership or sustainable business without trust. The best contract can't save a bad relationship.


Dancing and especially performing are activities that are intense physically, mentally and emotionally. It is necessary to be healthy and physically and mentally fit. Indeed, the explanations given by Dr. Roland Amoussou gave a new insight into leadership, which is not always thought. After a passionate discussions the audience was invited for practice. It was interesting to see Professors, researchers, leaders from all around the world practicing basic steps of leadership, following and dance combination. The session was lively and was closed successfully with participants cheering and hugging one another.

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