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Cardiff Character: Sara Sitrani

Hugging a mug of tea and beaming beneath a mass of dark curls, you can immediately see why Sara Sitrani, 24, would be such a warm and friendly dance teacher.

Born and raised in Cardiff, with a part-Russian mother and Persian father, dance has always been a part of Sara’s life. She explains, “There is not a traditional Persian dance, people just dance. Persians love any excuse to party, so you better know how to dance.”


Kizomba is such a diverse, multicultural class, even though it’s a Portuguese Angolan dance, dancers are from all over the world.

‘I’d go abroad and find local clubs and local dancers. We went to Benidorm and you’d think you can’t find it there, but I found some lovely local clubs. As an experienced dancer you can tell  from the music and atmosphere if there’s something authentic about the place.’

‘Dance is a universal language, one skill you can take anywhere with you.’


People come to Kizomba for all different reasons, we don’t always know why. Sometimes students are really nervous, panicky or lack social skills. Sometimes they are here because of a traumatic experience, they need to not be on their own or they need to escape or a new start through the healing power of dance.

‘It’s very powerful, about releasing joy in a physical form.

At first some people didn’t understand. They are anxious about the closeness. But you begin to dance with who you feel comfortable with. I encourage people to push themselves but never feel unease; you should always feel happy,’ she explains.

It’s not only women who feel uneasy about Kizomba’s intimacy at the beginning. ‘Men are often worried by how women perceive them. We don’t live in a society where we are physically close, but I have very open classes where we can talk about stuff like that. Guys can ask ‘Is this too close? Is this OK? How should I ask a woman to dance?’

 ‘It’s something so innocent that it requires work to completely relax into it.’

Sara’s Kizomba class is at Bacchus Bar from 8pm on Tuesdays.

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