How to Dance the Brazilian Samba

in Ballroom Dance - Samba

dance-brazilian-sambaTo learn how to dance Brazilian Samba one must know what is samba. Samba is a rhythmical and lively Dance, which traces its origin to Brazil and is performed in Samba music in a 2/4 timing. There are three steps in every bar and this makes the samba feel like it is in ¾ time. Maxixe constitutes of one of its origins. The rhythm for samba music has been performed since it was first introduced in the late 1800s. There is a set comprising of different dances instead of one dance defining Brazil’s samba dance scene. One other Samba dance stream apart from the dancing styles of Brazilian Samba is the ballroom Samba and it is quite different.

Performed to the music of a similar name, Samba is a rhythmical and lively dance from Brazil. The dance is traced to the late 1800s. The Samba was adapted from the Latino’s afro American couple dance known as capoeira.

There are a variety of Brazilian samba styles for the Brazilian Samba but this depends on ones preference or in the specific location within the country. Here are the basic samba videos; each is good at letting one see basic samba steps from Brazil. The video that is on the left side is samba in its axe style. It is pronounced as ah-shay and is more common in North Brazil especially in the Bahian state. Carol Styley demonstrates how it is done.  Pagode and Samba de Gafieira are the two Samba dances from Brazil you should get to learn if you want to know how to dance Brazilian Samba.

Samba de Gafieira
Samba de Gafieira is a dance performed by partners and is significantly different than international ballroom samba. It was first witnessed in the 40s and it derived its name from Gafiera that was common in the urban night clubs in Rio de Janeiro during that time.

The dance came from Maxixe and after the Choro, another type of musical style for samba, arrived. Majority of the elements of the Maxixe’s Polka were left behind. The entwined type of leg movements from the Argentine Tango were however maintained, even though they adapted a relaxed posture than the previous one. Most people perceive this type of Samba as a mix of Tango and Waltz. Many dance studios from Brazil use techniques and elements from the two dances to teach the steps for Samba de Gafieira.

The steps are performed on a short-short-long also a quick-quick-slow tempo and the motion of the basic step involve:

  • Step – replace – long (forward )
  • Step – replace – long (backwards)

From the moment it was introduced to date, Samba de Gafieira has included several acrobatic movements and has undergone transformation to become the most complex of the Brazilian Samba dancing styles today. The Samba de Gafieira can be found in the dance academies from all over the world.

Samba Pagode
Samba Pagode is also a type of partner dance of the Samba that is similar to the Samba de Gafieira but has fewer acrobatic movements and is kind of intimate. It developed into a dance style after Pagode appeared and it began in Sao Paulo. All in all, Learning and understanding how to dance Brazilian samba is easy.

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