Samba Dance Brazil

The Samba dance Brazil style is a tradition, a custom, the heart and soul of the music and dance throughout the country. It's a Brazilian dance with roots going as far back as the 19th century.

Originally the Samba was a solo dance, but over the years there have been some partner Samba dances that have evolved in different areas of Brazil.

The popular Carnival celebration in Rio de Janeiro is known for the dancing of the Samba through the streets. It's a very quick dance with a lot of fun rhythm that naturally makes your feet and body want to move. Dancers who are proficient at dancing the Samba are called Sambistas.

Types of Samba Dance Brazil Style

  1. Samba de Gafieira - came onto the dance scene in popular Rio dance clubs called Gafieira, sometime around the 1940s. It's a combination of Maxixe and Polka elements along with some movements taken from the Argentine Tango. It's the most difficult style of Samba because it includes incredibly athletic movements. The steps are based on a short-short-long rhythm.

  2. Samba no pe - a basic Samba danced by a single person. The rhythm is a basic 2/4 time, but with three steps included in each measure of music. The body is straight and the steps are done with one leg at a time slightly bent. Tempo for this style of Samba is slow or fast.

  3. Samba Pagode - a more intimate Samba dance Brazil style - it's similar to the Samba de Gafieira, but it is slower moving with fewer athletic movements. It was first seen danced in the city of Sao Paulo.

  4. Samba Reggae - this Samba dance version originated in Bahia. It's danced to the rhythmic beats of Samba drums and is considered the most popular Samba style dance following Samba no pe.

  5. Samba de roda - danced to an orchestra rather than drums and is reminiscent of the capoeira, a dance that is traditionally associated with the ancient Afro-Brazilian capoeira dance. Clapping and singing too accompany this Samba dance.

  6. Samba Axe - solo version of Samba dance in Brazil that combines aerobic movements and the steps of the Samba no pe together in a specifically choreographed dance. It's a very energetic dance and tends to create a very excited and charged atmosphere.

  7. Samba rock - most often seen in Sao Paulo Latin nightclubs - a unique combination of different dance styles including Zouk-Lambada, Samba de Gafieira, Cuban salsa, and forro.

About Samba Dance

Rapid steps coming down on the quarter beats of the music along with a sensual rocking and swaying motion of the people dancing the Samba are the two distinctive characteristics of the Samba dance.

There is also a special movement called the Samba bounce action that is associated only with the Samba. It takes quite a bit of practice to master this step and make it appear effortless. It's a dance step that appears to originate through the knees and ankles and move the body effortlessly, and is the signature move of the Samba dance.

The steps attributed to the Samba include:

  • The Samba Strut

  • Bota Fogos

  • Samba Side Steps

  • Voltas

  • Kick Change

These basic footwork moves are centered on the three-step move that includes a knee lift and alternating feet moving in a fast-fast-slow rhythm. Sambistas make the moves appear effortless, as if their feet are simply floating across the floor. It's really something to see!

The end of the Samba dance Brazil style is signified by the dancers tossing their heads back dramatically and then putting their arms straight out from both sides of the body. That's how you know the Samba has finished!

Why is Samba So Important in Brazil?

The Samba dance originated in Brazil, so it has been part of their culture for many years. The Carnival celebrates the Samba each year, but even throughout the year, you can find the Samba danced in nightclubs, streets, and in backyards. The dance and the music are just a natural part of the Brazilian lifestyle and culture because it crosses the classes and it brings people together.

It is said that Samba connects everyone in Brazil because the poor and rich alike dance the Samba. Some people believe that Brazilian Samba is more important and more ingrained into Brazilian culture than even soccer!

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