Dance stylesLatin/Rhythm

Samba

A lively modern ballroom dance from Brazil in bouncy duple time.

The samba has an African origin, an ancient folk dance, which is brought through the slave trade to Brazil. The name Samba is from “semba”, an Angolan word, which typically indicates hip movements.

Intermittent, short movements represent the movements of the fettered slaves, who could not get rid of their chains, even during dancing.

First, it appeared in the Brazilian coastal cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Pernambucó, Bahia and Maranhaó. Today, the Brazilian samba dominates musical life in that most musical of nations. Because of the famous Carnival, every year new, hot charming samba melodies are born. Its immersive, colorful rhythm gives richness to any performance.

The first time that Europe heard the samba was in the 1920s, but it did not become popular right away. This was no doubt, because the Charleston, directly imported from North America, had swept European capitals. Eventually, though, a new form of Samba came to us through Paris, and it became popular especially in the 50’s.

There are some simple steps that beginners can learn quickly, while there is a good variety of rhythm, and dynamic postures that more advanced dancers can use depending on their ability.

The inclusion of Samba in the Latin-American dance competition list in 1959, brought the transformation of the “folk” version of samba to the sporty, competitive Samba.