Rui Djassi Moracén
Angola / USA
Rui Djassi Moracén is a chemical engineer who has been teaching kizomba as a hobby and promoting it outside of his home country (Angola) since 2001 when he was part of a small group of Angolan students at the University of Cape Town who decided to share their country's music and dances with other students on campus.
Over the last 18 years, Rui's passion for kizomba and its precursor (semba) has evolved from teaching folks the correct body mechanics of these dances and shifted towards emphasizing the importance of understanding the socio-cultural dynamics associated with kizomba on much wider and deeper perspectives.
His kizomba research interests lie at the intersection of music, musicality, dance, influences (historical, political, geographical, etc) and how the combination of these elements contribute toward the unique soul-satisfying bliss that kizomba provides to everyone on and off the dance floors across the globe.
Rui is the founder of the "University of Kizomba", a non-profit educational initiative that aims mainly at promoting Angola at large, preserving its culture as well as the essence of its dances. Under that umbrella, he has taught workshops and/or participated as a panelist at major kizomba events across 3 continents – a few examples: Las Vegas (Afro-Latin Festival), Houston (Tabanka Texas Festival), Washington DC (Sawa Sawa Festival), Dallas (Muzongué Weekender), San Diego (California), Seattle (Portland), San Francisco (iSemba Festival), Charlotte (Queen City Kizomba Festival), Italy (Roma Kizomba Festival), Germany (Ginga Kizomba Festival), Canada (Toque Kizomba Festival), Kenya (Kizuri Kizomba Festival).
He spends considerable time in Angola where he continues to uncover and gather more interesting materials on kizomba/semba, which he then shares online and/or in person.