Samba
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Free samba lessons & introduction!

The Samba originates from Brazil and is that country's official dance. The Samba is danced as a festival dance during the street festivals and parades. When one sees pictures of people dancing at Carnival in Rio, it is the Samba. A Samba dancer is known in Brazil as a Sambista.


Free Video Instruction
An Introduction to Samba

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Samba Learning Area

 

The Moves

The footwork timing is called out: 1-a-2, 2-a-2. The Samba dance has a "Samba Bounce" action.
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The Music

Samba music has a tempo of about 100 beats per minute (50 measures per minute).

Click on the link below for examples of Samba songs and CD's which feature Samba music.

Samba Music Examples >>
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History

The Samba that is danced in Brazil is a folk dance, also called the folk Samba, or the Batuque. The Samba became popular internationally in the 1920's and 30's and was stylized and made to have danceable patterns by ballroom dancers for use in partner dancing. In International style Latin dancing, the Samba is one of the five Latin competition dances. In Brazil, the form of Samba is more of a single person dance. The music has an joyful contagious rhythm and Samba rhythm can be found in many top 40 songs. The festive style and mood of the dance has kept it alive and popular.

Walter Laird with partner Lorraine developed the Samba partner dance as we know it today.
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Tips & Info
Here are some "universal tips" for learning how to dance a partner dance such as foxtrot, swing, or waltz.

  • First, acquire a few audio CD's of the music and play the music over and over in your home or automoble. Next, count the step timing in time to the music. This you can do sitting down, perhaps while driving. For example, for waltz, call out the 1,2,3 1,2,3 step timing in time to the music. For foxtrot, call out the step timing using slows and quicks. For cha cha and rumba, it's important to recognize the first beat of each measure. Otherwise you may dance on the incorrect beat. If necessary, have your instructor assist you in learning to count the step in time to the music. Dancing in correct time to the music is absolutely essential. Continue this "sitting down and listening" exercise for as long as necessary until you can easily and automatically count the step in time to the music. The Ultimate Ballroom Practice CD sold by The Dance Store might be a helpful
    tool.
     
  • Next, practice the basic step, including the step timing, until the step is automatic - like tying a shoe. Using east coast swing as an example, practice the triple step, triple step, rock step basic until it's automatic. Next, practice this basic to music until it becomes automatic. Many basic steps can be practiced without a partner.

At this point, your brain is "freed up" to allow learning steps and patterns because you no longer have to concentrate on timing and step counting.

Many folks get frustrated if they can't dance competently immediately. Certainly individuals vary in dance aptitude, but all dancers must go through the awkward stages before they get to the polished stage.
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