Ever heard of tarraxinha? It’s the hot new dance move taking the world by storm! Well, maybe not exactly “new” – this saucy little something has been simmering in the African dance scene for a while. But it’s finally getting the global recognition it deserves. Take a look at this demo from Iron Mams and Ashby dancing at the OneKiz Festival in Dallas as an example:

YouTube video

So what the heck is tarraxinha? Let’s break it down. The word itself comes from the Portuguese verb “tarraxar” which literally means “to screw” or “to screw a screw.” Cheeky, right? It refers to that signature hip motion that’s central to the dance. Think of a spiraling, screwing movement from those hips – that’s tarraxinha in a nutshell.

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Now, you might be thinking “Hey, isn’t that just part of kizomba?” Ah, good catch! Tarraxinha is indeed closely tied to kizomba, that über-sensual African dance style. But here’s the twist: tarraxinha isn’t technically a distinct dance of its own. It’s more like…kizomba’s sexy alter-ego.

Imagine kizomba as the suave, classy type at a party. Tarraxinha is its wild, uninhibited cousin who busts out the raunchy hip grinds on the dance floor. It takes those irresistible kizomba rhythms and amps up the intensity, the grittiness, the sheer heat! The movements are continuous, almost trance-inducing as the hips oscillate and undulate.

So where did this spicy sensation originate? Funny you should ask! Tarraxinha has its roots in Angola, starting off as a minimalistic music style. Local DJs and producers began experimenting by slowing down the frenetic kuduro beats. They stripped the sound back to just hard-hitting basslines and groovy melodies. The perfect soundtrack for getting down and dirty on the dance floor!

As tarraxinha’s unique groove started influencing kizomba music, the dance moves soon followed. Kizomba dancers began integrating those mesmerizing tarraxinha textures and hip undulations. A new fusion style was born – one that celebrated the primal, earthy roots of African dance.

Now, a word to the wise: tarraxinha is not for the faint of heart! This is a dance that demands confidence, body awareness, and premium hip flexibility. You’re basically doing endless standing hip circles…for hours on end! It’s a true test of stamina and core strength. But hey, nobody said getting this sexy was easy, right?

When you see a pair of skilled tarraxinha dancers in their element, it’s almost hypnotic. Their bodies move as one seamless, rhythmic unit. Hips sway and undulate with precision and control as the dancers seem to meld into each other. It’s like witnessing a profound mind-body connection brought to life!

Hot tip: If you ever find yourself at an African dance party, keep your eyes open for the tarraxinha masters. You’ll know them when you see them – they’re usually the ones in a perpetual, mesmerizing trance on the dance floor. Just don’t stand too close… and stare too long!

Tarraxinha Tips for Men

Here I would like to share with you some etiquette tips for men first trying tarraxinha:

  • Respect Boundaries
    Tarraxinha involves very close partner work, so respect boundaries. I recommend adjusting closeness level based on the comfort level with your partner. For example, with a spouse/partner you can have more contact. With acquaintances, maintain more space. Don’t force any pelvic projection or moves your partner seems uncomfortable with.
  • Read Social Cues
    Tarraxinha has a different social context in family settings vs dance communities. In family environments, it’s generally not done out of respect. In dance settings like studios/clubs/festivals, it’s acceptable to dance tarraxinha more freely. But read social cues from your partner to gauge their comfort level with the sensuality.
  • No Overly Sexualized Moves
    I caution against overly sexualized moves like squeezing/projecting pelvic areas. I recommend keeping it tasteful. Movements should be continuous and controlled, not sharp/thrusting.
  • Lead With Respect
    As a leader, provide a respectful frame – either a full embrace or couples position is recommended. Don’t force your partner’s body to do any uncomfortable tarraxinha moves. Try tarraxinha with no belly contact to start.

In essence, the main etiquette is reading your partner’s comfort level, avoiding overtly sexual moves, providing a respectful frame, and being aware of the social context.

Tarraxinha Tips for Women

Here are some good tips and recommendations for women learning tarraxinha:

  • Master the Technique
    For women, nailing the core tarraxinha technique is crucial. This involves pressing into the floor and using knee bends to smoothly move the hips. Use the floor like a “press machine” at the gym to engage the thighs and core. Practice the continuous, controlled hip circles and figure-8 movements.
  • Embrace Your Natural Assets
    The flowing hip movements of tarraxinha naturally accentuate a woman’s curves. However, I caution against exaggerating by squeezing/clenching the glutes. Let the movement look natural. Beautiful movement doesn’t mean big movement – focus on control over amplitude.
  • Establish Comfort Levels
    Women should feel empowered to establish their comfort level with any given partner. I suggest having different “closeness settings” depending who you dance with – from a closed embrace to just staying in the partner’s frame. If a lead is getting too sensual, use spins, separations, or communication to reset the boundaries.
  • Project Confidence
    Tarraxinha requires a strong sense of body awareness and confidence from the woman. The ability to stay grounded, with a stable core while articulating the hips, takes practice. Project a confident, sensual energy through your movement and demeanor. Once you master the technique, let the music move you! Enjoy the groove and vibrant textures.

Overall, advice for women focuses on mastering the core movements, projecting confidence, setting personal boundaries, and connecting to tarraxinha’s soulful feminine roots while having fun.

So in summary, tarraxinha is kizomba’s free-spirited cousin. It celebrates the grittier, more primal side of African dance to techno-like rhythmic patterns with deep basslines and intoxicating hip undulations. To master this style, you’ll need a reserves of inner confidence, a solid core, and hips that simply don’t quit! If you wish to learn this dance it will be hard to find it in your local dance studio, the better way to approach it is starting to learn Kizomba first and then attending a tarraxinha workshop on one of the Kizomba festivals. Or just regularly attend kizomba socials and learn on the go, the choice is yours.

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