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When You Tour Brazil, Expect to Dance the Samba!

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carnival2The samba is the most famous dance in Brazil. In fact, beautiful women in revealing costumes dancing the samba during Carnivale is one of the most popular images people have of Brazil.

So is the samba really that popular? And are you like to encounter it when you tour Brazil? The answer to both questions is: “Absolutely!”

History of the Samba

Samba dancing has been part of Carnivale celebrations, as well as street dances, for centuries. Traditionally, it is performed during the pre-Lenten season leading up to Ash Wednesday.

The history of the Samba actually can be traced back to Africa. But it made its way to South America during the 18th and 19th centuries and continues to be popular today.

During Carnivale in Rio de Janeiro, hundreds of samba “schools” will compete during televised parades that are watched by practically the entire country. The spectacle is something to see, as different cultures and races mix to form many different styles and forms of the dance.

How to Dance the Samba

If you don’t already know how to dance the samba, don’t worry. People in Brazil will be more than happy to show you the simple, rhythmic dance steps that make up the distinctive dance.

Don’t expect to be able to dance the samba as well as native Brazilians, however. Many people from Brazil have been dancing the samba their entire lives.

Samba Music

The samba is a very rhythmic type of music, so the beat is very easy to follow because it is so strong. Drums play a major role in all samba music, but other instruments used include agogos, cuicia, ganza, berimbau, and many others.

Samba music is characterized by a fast beat and catchy rhythm. Once you hear it live for the first time, it’s impossible to forget. And it’s equally impossible not to move your body in time with the famous beat.

 

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