Samba – There’s a Style for Everyone

Samba music is good for your soul.  Its strong, powerful rhythm makes it hard to stand still.  So don’t.  Rather, learn a little about the different Samba dance styles and make one (or all of them) yours.

Brazilian Samba

This is the original and still one of the greatest gifts to dancers all over the world.  Not only that, but there’s a lot of flexibility in how it’s done. For example, you might dance solo, with a partner, or in a group lined up with or encircling a featured performer.

To be sure, a great Brazilian dancer has tons of energy and enthusiasm. With this in mind, fun is the name of the game.

Carnivals and celebrations across the country star talented Samba dancers. And, who doesn’t get a kick out of the sparkly costumes and outrageous headdresses the female performers wear?  Check out a few from a recent Brazilian Samba Dance Competition.

Carmen Miranda loved to sing and dance the Samba.
The one and only Carmen Miranda.

American Style

Even though American Samba is danced with a partner, it’s heavily influenced by the Brazilian style. Along with dances like Salsa, Merengue, and Bachata, it’s a popular Latin social dance. American Samba is earthy and sexy in a jazzy way. It feels like the heavy rhythm of the drums have taken over your body and are now in control of how you dance. Sometimes you just gotta let go and give in to the drums.

Here’s a Dance Safari post about Salsa, “Salsa Styles Explained“.

International Style

This is the competitive style of Samba with an accent on speed, hip and pelvic action, as well as long leg and arm lines. Unlike the more casual American style, International Latin is danced 100% for show. Watch in awe as the couples dance spins and turns at a lightening fast pace. It takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication to excel in this style. And, it shows!

Check out this performance by 10 times undefeated Latin Dance Champions, Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko. I literally can’t take my eyes off them. Ridiculously good.

So, there you have it, a little bit about a great way to spend an evening. Don’t worry that you don’t have what it takes to dance Samba. He’re a quote that says you’re wrong.

Anyone can learn to dance Samba.
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  1. Samba definitely is a fun and unique style of dance to enjoy! It also helps to use suede soled dance shoes for the best comfort and safety as they make it easier to slide and twirl and stop on a dime.

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