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Samba Dance 

Samba dance is a type of dancing that originated in Brazil in the 19th century. The dance comes from enslaved Africans that worked the Brazilian sugar plantations. Samba is the national dance of Brazil; it is a very popular type of dance and hobby for dance enthusiasts around the world. Many people take part in regular samba dance classes and competitions.

Types of samba dance

There are many different types of samba dance, some practised alone, others in groups or with a partner. Sola samba is a relatively simple dance with few steps; the dance relies heavily on hip and arm movements. You will find many people performing this type of dance at Brazilian carnivals. It is a celebration dance that can be fun and exciting for participants. Many aerobics classes have adopted sola samba as a way for their members to get fit and increase their level of exercise. They coordinate the dance movements to the song’s rhythm to create an exciting dance that the whole class can learn and perform together without needing to dance with a partner. 

Partner samba is another type of samba dance that is performed with two people. Samba is performed regularly in dance competitions and can often be described as similar to Tango. Partner samba is danced to a quick beat with fast footwork. The step up from partner samba and the most challenging of the samba dance is ballroom samba. This can incorporate lifts, tricks and turns that professional dancers can spend months perfecting. Each type of samba still returns to the rocking and swaying of the dancer’s hips in moves that you could describe as sexy and sensual.

Samba dancewear

Samba dancers traditionally wear very little; a bikini-style top and bottoms are worn, covered in embellishments. Their embellishments include beans, sequins, feathers, fringes and lots of shiny material that catches your attention and gaze when the dancers are moving. Samba dancers also wear huge feathered headdresses that are highly embellished and draw attention to the dancer. Samba outfits are minimal to allow the dancers to move and cool down during their dance practice freely. Participants aren’t expected to wear this type of clothing when practising samba in a dance class or as part of a fitness group. Professional samba dancers predominantly wear the highly decorated and minimal samba dress during carnivals and celebrations. Some samba dance costumes can be very expensive if they’re made with quality materials and embellishments. Other varieties of samba dance outfits are cheaply made and only used once or twice before being replaced.

Samba music

Samba music is characterised by fast, energetic rhythm patterns, drums and percussion instruments. A single solo singer usually performs in Portuguese; the nature of samba music encourages spontaneous dancing and movement. Samba whistles are used during performances to signify changes in the rhythm pattern. They make a loud and shrill sound you can hear over the other band instruments. A samba whistle has three holes, unlike a standard one with only one hole. The player can change the whistle’s sound depending on your thumb and forefinger placement. Samba music is often played very loudly as it is meant for large audiences to listen to outdoors. Samba’s music history resides in African culture; when coming over as enslaved people to work on Brazilian sugar plantation farms, culture was important to the enslaved people. It was one of the only things they could bring with them as a reminder of their country. Music was a huge part of their culture, and this music was later adopted by Brazilians, becoming the national dance of brazil. 

Many people go to watch samba dancers perform during carnivals and in ballroom settings. In addition to being enjoyable to observe, Samba is also fun to participate in for beginners and more experienced dancers. Some moves are typical of samba dances; these include the swaying of the hips and the gentle bouncing of the knees, called the samba bounce. The samba bounce is a hard move to perfect; it takes lots of practice to look effortless and seamless combined with other dance moves. Dancers often practise for many hours to perfect the subtle movement associated with the important samba bounce.



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