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Samba – The Signature Dance of Brazil

Samba hails from Brazil, and we all know Brazilians like to party! Many people call Samba the “soundtrack of Brazil”. Brazil has a colorful culture, rich in music and dance. Experiencing the Samba will take you there. In the same way Brazilians practice Samba to let go of everyday hardships and seize the joys of life, you too can feel the vibrant beat in your feet, hips and heart. The rhythm feels like a pulse and the beat really makes you want to move. It is light, upbeat and fun.

Samba’s lengthy history generated the dance’s many variations, including Sambolero, Samba de Breqe, Samba-coro, Samba-cancao, Samba-enredo and Samba de morro. Arthur Murray dance instructors can teach them all, depending on the student’s goals, but focus on the partnered ballroom dance variation, often called the “Brazilian waltz.” Our promise is to pair you with kind and supportive teachers that make both personal and group lessons fun and enjoyable. Whether you are a beginner or skilled dancer, call us today to schedule your first lesson as soon as you want to begin.

Our Definition of Samba

Samba is a spot dance, meaning you can learn how to dance Samba by learning the basic one-and-two steps first and then building upon those steps. Arthur Murray teaches Samba danced in 2/4 time. In the basic moves, leaders step forward with their left foot on step “one,” while followers step back with their right foot. On the “and-two” both dancers close their feet and collect them underneath their body, switching weight with every count. Then the leader steps back on the right foot, and followers step forward on the left foot. The rhythm reflects “boom-da-doom, boom-da-doom” and your feet imitate the same pulse.

The most important and unique aspect of Samba is the bounce. When you step, you emphasize a bounce with an upswing motion. Another important feature of Samba to learn is the motion of stepping over a log between partners. Your legs will soften and straighten, soften and straighten. To embrace and execute the true appeal of the Samba, dancers learn how to incorporate happy, often flirtatious and energetic interpretation. Many steps require pelvic tilts. This action takes practice to accomplish at first, but dancers at Arthur Murray find ease with their expert teacher’s instruction.

All of the teachers at Arthur Murray complete a very demanding training program before they can teach any dance. Depending on your style of learning and dancing needs, professional and knowledgeable teachers are hand-selected and lessons are tailored to best suit you.

The Roots of Samba

Samba is an old style of Brazilian dance. Before 1914 it was more commonly known by the Brazilian predecessor name “Maxixe.” As it gained influence from the Cuban Habanera and the German Polka, Samba earned the reputation it has today. For over 100 years, it has filled the street parades at the Rio Carnival and nightclubs in Rio de Janeiro. Popularity took off worldwide when a 1928 French dance publication included instructions for learning Samba. Samba was introduced to audiences in The United States through on-screen films: Flying Down to Rio in 1933 and That Night in Rio several years later. At the 1938 New York Society of Teachers of Dancing, Samba was an exhibition and was highlighted again at the World’s Fair in New York in 1939. The classic Samba song, “Brazil,” written by Brazilian composer Ary Barroso was a hit and inspired the musical “Brazil” in 1944.

The word “samba” stems from semba, which refers to an “invitation to dance” and was a common name for dance parties among slaves in the countryside of Rio de Janeiro. Over time, Samba gained influence and evolved into Samba-cancao, or a slower, more romantic version. Samba de morro, a more percussive and funkier style of Samba, is the most widely danced style today. The primary inspiration for the Samba de morro were the “escolas de samba,” or samba schools, who play and dance for the annual Rio Carnival, the largest carnival festival in the world. Rio Carnival is filled with elaborate costumes, floats, singing and dancing, bringing in half a million tourists each year to share in the celebration.

How We Teach Samba at Arthur Murray Studios

No matter which dance you wish to learn, your first lesson is always only $20. Beyond that, the price depends on how many dances you want to learn and how advanced you want to become. Beginner dancers start with the basics and slowly build on the moves and increase the tempo, while intermediate to highly skilled dancers learn to integrate intricate moves at a fast pace. In this way, learning Samba at Arthur Murray is for dancers of all levels. Arthur Murray Dance Studios are open every week, Monday thru Friday from 1pm-10pm. You can schedule your dance lessons based on your availability, or you can have a weekly scheduled appointment.

Women typically dance Samba in platform heels and costumes adorned with sequins and feathers. We encourage dancers to have fun, but elaborate outfits are not required in the studio. However, once you know Samba, your techniques may take you to see performances at Brasil Brasil Cultural Center & Capoeira Batuque in Culver City, or to try out your moves at Club Mayan in Downtown Los Angeles. You may even find yourself all the way in Rio de Janeiro, where the nightclubs and the Rio Carnival will move you.

Dancers love Arthur Murray because we encourage them to be socially and physically active. Dancing can introduce you to potential friends that you might not have met otherwise. To sign up for your first class, you do not have to be a great dancer and you do not have to have a partner. Our dancers love coming to Arthur Murray because of our talented, supportive and fun teachers, for the new friends they make, and for the fact that dancing keeps dancers mentally and physically fit.

Visit Arthur Murray Dance Studios Today

Samba was recently visible in American pop-culture in Dancing with the Stars. In 2014, Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas danced a memorable Samba to Pharrell Williams’ “Hunter” and in 2015 Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough danced Samba to “Chillando Goma” by Fulanito. Both performances illustrate the high energy, fun, and at times varied and complex Samba dance. Latin dances bring fast rhythms that are always a thrill to watch, but are also possible to learn at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. We will slow down the pace and go step by step until you too can dance Samba like the professionals.

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