Samba dance has its roots in Africa, but it is particularly danced in Brazil where it is considered the national dance. Many versions of Brazilian samba dance are performed at the Carnival in Rio. In 1925, samba makes its appearance in Europe, but it became a very popular dance only after the Second World War. Samba arrived on the Latin American continent after slavery was abolished. A number of the former African slaves arrived in Brazil and they have brought with them their culture, including their music and their specific dancing. "The cheerful hopping" as the word “samba” is translated in Bantu (the Angolans language) quickly caught the attention of the Brazilian public. The hot blood and the eternal joy of the Brazilians in Rio de Janeiro were a perfect match for the syncopated rhythms of samba. Over time, this joyful "hopping" has diversified and it has experienced various forms according to the areas in which it developed.
The first variants of the dance were influenced by rhythms such as maxixe (which is danced very fast) and marcha (a simple but very lively dance). Nowadays, about twenty versions of samba are known. Samba dance steps are instinctive. First you need to teach your body to be cheerful, and only after that you can move on to mastering the undulation of the hips. You will spend some time to properly acknowledge and feel the movement. It is important to have a strong and graceful body at the same time. It is difficult, but it is also fun.
Then follow the legs. At first, you'll find it difficult to make so many steps in such a short time, to pay attention to your shoulders’ posture and to move your belly too. But there is no need for you to be discouraged; your feet are made for samba. You only need to give them continuous joy and gladness. You must also be a good actor when you dance. Brazilian samba dance requires not only joyful moves, but also specific mimic. In order to achieve the true character of samba, a dancer must have an exuberant interpretation. Many of the figures used today require bounce action (stretching or bending the knee and ankle which bears the weight of the leg) and a strong movement of the hips.
And yet, samba is very loved by beginners because it is one of the simplest ways to relieve stress instantly. You just have to watch the parade held in Rio de Janeiro during the Carnival. You'll notice the joy of the chanting dancers moving their hips. Samba energy is provided by rapidly alternating steps with the waving of hips or by the balance achieved by stunning slow motions combined with alert motions. In fact, this extraordinary vivacity is given by the performance of figures of dancing on very different musical rhythms. For example, some figures (Bota Fogo) run on a quarter paces, while others (Natural Rolls) on half of pace.
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If you want to learn the Brazilian samba dance you have to start looking for a good samba dance teacher. You can even find such classes online.
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