Origins of the Samba

sambacoupleKnown to have originated in Brazil, and to this day exhibited in the street festivals and celebrations there, the Samba, a free spirited, festive dance, was made famous in the U.S. by the movies of Carman Miranda in the late 1930’s. This version, very unlike the original, has evolved into the American Style Samba of today. This dance has been greatly influenced by the music of the times. From the South American Bands of the 40’s and 50’s through the Ballroom Orchestras of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s to the Disco style music of the 90’s, the Samba has continued to change and keep pace with the current musical styles.

Samba is the national dance of Brazil, celebrated every year during Carnival where hundred of thousands of costumed revelers parade in the streets singing, drumming and dancing. This style of Samba is not a partner dance unlike Ballroom Samba.
In the US, Samba evolved into a couple’s dance performed in most ballroom and was standardized as a ballroom dance in 1956. In Brazil however, samba remains a solo form, danced at street festivals and other celebrations with nationalistic pride.

Dance Characteristics
Samba is a fun, upbeat, lively dance that progresses counter-clockwise around the floor. It is characterized by its syncopated timing, bounce, rolling hip action and pelvic tilt and a great deal of rhythm is expressed throughout the torso.
Musical Information
Time signature: 2/4
Tempo: 52 measures per minute
Most popular Timing: 1a2* (also 1a2a3a4 and SQQ) : There are many other timing used:
Beat value: ¾ – ¼ – 1

To learn how to do the Samba, Click Here

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