Markinson first discovered Kizomba at Discoteca Mussulo in Portugal in 2010. He has since studied with renowned teachers (Cymeone Mopao, Mister Tecas and Miss Jo, Dilson and Bernadeth from Angola) and performed for 3 years with Kizomba.fr, a top dance company in France. Markinson has a wide range of teaching, performance, and competition experience. In 2015, he was a finalist at Africadançar, an international Kizomba and Semba dance competition. Markinson was also vice champion of the international Semba championship of Certerza 2016 which was in Paris. He currently teaches weekly Kizomba and Semba classes on Monday nights in Emeryville, Ca.
Laura was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area with Portuguese and Sicilian roots. Since childhood, she was introduced to the traditional music, food, and culture of Madeira, Portugal. In 2015, she was introduced to Kizomba and she continues to train in Kizomba, Semba, and Urban Kiz with international dance masters. In 2017, Laura co-founded The Kizomba Dance Alliance, a Bay Area dance company. Laura performed live for Ricardo Lemvo at the 2017 San Francisco Carnaval international celebration. In 2018, she completed her Kizomba teacher training in Lisbon, Portugal. She teaches weekly Kizomba classes in Emeryville, California with Markinson Johnson (FR). Laura also holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from CIIS in San Francisco. She enjoys working with the mind-body connection and embodied healing modalities, such as yoga and dance.