The Samba is a ballroom dance is inspired by the Brazilian carnival dances. While Brazilian Samba is traditionally danced alone, the International Latin Samba derives rhythmic actions and high energy from its Brazilian ancestry. Samba is notably a “bouncy” dance, known for intricate combinations of timings and beat values.
1. Right foot steps forward on a bent knee.
2. Left foot closes to right foot with slight pressure but no weight, knees slightly straighten (this creates a bounce action).
3. Left foot steps back.
4. Right foot closes to left foot with pressure but no weight, knees slightly straighten.
1. Left foot steps back.
2. Right foot closes to left foot with slight pressure but no weight, knees slightly straighten (this creates a bounce action).
3. Right foot steps forward on a bent knee.
4. Left foot closes to right foot with pressure but no weight, knees slightly straighten.
The samba is danced in a 4/4 timing. This dance is counted in 8's or in slows and quicks where a slow represents two beats, and a quick represents one beat.
- The tempo of the samba is around 96 bpm.
- Various instruments in Samba music employ the choreography and dancer to play with different rhythms and beat value.
- The characteristic of bounce is suggested in the music with an "a" count, whereas a syncopation is suggested by an "&" count. Therefore, a figure counted 1a2 will include bounce, but a figure counted 5&6 would not include bounce.
If you are interested in practicing the characteristic of samba bounce from home, here is somewhere to start! Bounce involves the hips, knees, and ankles. As you bend your knees and flex the ankles and hips, your weight will naturally fall towards the front of the foot. Emphasize that weight transfer as your joints flex. As you straighten your legs, your weight transfers back to the middle of your foot.
Remember, Samba is a dance that is all about energy and fun. As you practice these basic steps and timing, try to let the music guide your movements and let your body express the high-energy mood of the dance. With practice and patience, you'll be well on your way to becoming a confident and skilled Samba dancer.