Samba Dance Lessons
- Samba dance example.Our members - winners of Samba at Pro/Am Dance Competition.
Samba has a very individual rhythm, emphasized to its best by characteristic Brazilian musical instruments: originally called tamborim, chocalho, reco-reco and cabaca. Much of Samba music came from daily life in Rio. To achieve the true character of the Samba a dancer should give it a cheerful, seductive and lavish interpretation.
Principal characteristics of the Samba are the rapid steps taken on a quarter of a beat and the pronounced rocking motion and sway of the dancing couple.
Before 1914 this dance was referred to as Brazilian “Maxixe”. The first attempts to introduce Samba in European dancing halls date from 1923-24 but only after the Second World War Samba has become popular in Europe. Samba has a very distinctive rhythm, which is brought to the fore for its best conformity to national Brazilian musical instruments. It was originally called tamborim, chocalho, reco-reco and cabaca. Rhythmic national Brazilian dance Samba now is confidently entered into the program of modern Ballroom Dances. Samba includes specific Latin hip-flips, which are expressed by “Samba Bounce”, spring-like movement. The dance is the most developed in complexity of rhythms and almost affectionate single movement, in which hip-flips play a key role – rhythm generation.
It is the history of African dances’ merge, which came to Brazil with slaves from Congo and Angola, with Spanish and Portuguese dancing, brought from Europe by conquerors of South America. In the 16th century the Portuguese brought to Brazil from Angola and Congo a lot of slaves, who brought from Africa such dances as Catarete, Embolada and Batuque. These dances were considered very godless in Europe, because in dancing partners touch each other by navels (it is navels, not bellies – at that time the Holy Inquisition was very strict and intellectually developed).
Embolada is a dance, representing a cow with balls on horns for the sake of safety; nowadays in Brazil the word “embolada” is a synonym of the word “foolish”. Batuque was so popular that Manuel I, the king of Spain, issued a law prohibiting this dance. It is the dance in a circle with steps, similar to Charleston and with a couple dancing in the center of this circle. Lundu is rather complex dance of 1830s, which is formed by a combination of moves of these dances with additional body and hips fluctuations. Steps made by participants of the carnival in Rio (progressive, loki etc.), which were called Copacabana (the name of the beach near Rio de Janeiro) were introduced in the dance later. Gradually, the high society of Rio de Janeiro was also execute this dance, although it has been modified, so it can be danced in a closed dance position (which at that time was considered to be the only possible and correct). The dance was called Zemba Queca at that time and in 1885 was described as “elegant Brazilian dance”.
The origin of the name “Samba” is unclear, although “Zambo” means “a child of a negro and local (Brazilian) women” (mulatto). Later the dance was combined with Maxixe – this is Brazilian round dance, described as Two Step. Maxixe became known in the United States in early twentieth century.
Maxixe became popular in Europe after a show in Paris in 1905. It was like polka steps performed to Habanera music (Cuban Habanera). Now Samba contains Maxixe’s motion consisting of chasse and point.
The version of Samba called Carioca (from Rio de Janeiro) became known in the UK in 1934. It was performed by Fred Aster in “Flying Down to Rio” – his first film with Ginger Rogers. Carioca appeared in the United States in 1938 and its popularity reached the peak in 1941 after execution by Carmen Miranda (Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha) in feature films, especially in “That Night in Rio”. Increased attention to Samba appeared in Europe in 1950s, when Princess Margaret, who played a leading role in British society, became interested in it. Samba has been standardized for international performance Pierre Lavelle in 1956.
The dance in existing modern form still has steps with different rhythms presenting multifaceted origin of the dance. Hips are set into motion between times and it has a special name – “samba tic”, weight is put at forebody, most of the steps are done from a toe. Samba is often called “South American waltz”; Samba rhythms are very popular and mutate easily creating new dances – Lambada, Macarena. Various versions of Samba – from Baion (or Bajao) to Marcha are executed at the carnival in Rio-de-Janeiro.
The true character of Samba is fun and flirt, flirtation with each other, accompanied by obscene hip-flips with different interpretations. If there are no such – Samba loses a lot.
Choose desired course level:
Beginner Samba Course
Beginner Samba course is designed for:
- Absolute beginners who have never danced before or who consider themselves to have 2 left feet.
- For people who have taken Samba classes in the past and who are not sure or have forgotten their fundamental steps.
- For people going to vacation to Latin American countries and want to have basic knowledge of Latin dancing.
You will learn:
- Explore the posture and basic moves and figures, Natural, Reverse and Progressive Basic Movements, Whisks, Stationary and Side Walks.
- Learn the correct technique of how to follow a partner’s lead during a combination of freestyle steps.
- Learn how to develop the ability to transform simple basic steps in articulated sequences with rich decoration and embellishment.
- How to connect with your partner.
- How to Lead (men).
- How to Follow (women).
Intermediate Samba Course
Beginner Samba course must be completed. Approval from instructors required to start the Intermediate Samba Course.
You will learn:
- New combinations every session.
- Improving the posture and movements to be able to dance in partnership and in proper Samba frame.
- Advanced moves and figures, Traveling Voltas, Criss Cross Bota Fogos, Shadow Botafogos, Corta Jaca, Reverse Turns and more.
- Learning how to develop the ability to transform simple basic steps in articulated sequences with rich decoration and embellishment.
- Basic, Intermediate patterns and combining those patterns.
- More connection and leading & following exercises.
- How to understand music, counts, syncopations and accents.
Advanced Samba Course
Ongoing Samba classes with more challenging patterns, spicy moves & figures. This class is for those who are at the Intermediate/advance level (Approval from instructors required). Samba has many patterns, combinations, variations. We recommend taking 3 to 4 intermediate Samba courses before taking Advanced Samba Course. If you missed the first class, it’s not too late to join us for the second class!
You will learn:
- Learn advanced Samba moves and figures: such as Open and Back Rocks, Arm Rolling, Argentine Crosses, Maypole, Cruzados Walks and Locks, Samba Locks with separate embellishments for ladies and men.
- Learn more articulated figures of Samba: with and without a partner.
- Learn how to transform simple basic steps into articulated sequences with rich decoration and embellishment.
- Improve your ability to dance Samba sequences with faster timing and/or with more styling.
- Learn how to combine all the figures studied during the course into a unique and fluid routine.
Common options for all courses:
- All courses are available as group and/or private lessons.
- You may choose male or female teacher, as you prefer.
- Certificate of Achievement is available, read more.
- We have dance lessons for kids, mixed lessons (children and parents) are available.
- We can modify the courses to better suit your needs.
Available lesson formats:
Individual Dance Lessons
Nervous about dancing in public? Private lessons take the edge off and allow you to really let loose and see what you’re made of!
Private dance lessons are the quickest, most effective way to improve your dancing. We personalize each lesson based on your individual needs, desires, and goals, adjusting our teaching style to your ability, personality, and expectations. You’ll discover the difference some one-on-one attention can make in your dancing! This ensures the most thorough and rapid learning process, all while keeping it fun, easy, and comfortable.
Benifits of private dance lessons:
- Personalized attention and custom lesson guide
- Scheduled at your convenience
- Fastest way to learn and progress
Private lessons are designed to focus on your own dancing needs. This is where you will be able to learn technic, especially how to use our feet, understand timing, and develop body awareness, the more challenging aspects of your learning and in the same time enjoy the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere of our studio, have fun, and enjoy the feeling of dancing.
Group Dance Lessons
Focus on having fun and we’ll take care of the rest! Group classes learning is one of the most exciting ways to learn how to dance. Classes focus on lead and follow skills and how to put dance patterns together in a way that makes sense.
Benifits of group dance lessons:
- Helps growth in the social ability of your dance skills
- Broad experience growth: dancing with multiple partners at all levels and get introduced to patterns at a fast pace
- Meet students of all skill levels and practice dancing with them
- Provides an environment for students to share their experiences, giving newer students advice on how to get the most out of their dance training experience.
- Another blessing from learning with others in a group is developing relationships with those you can now practice what you learned with
Group classes are designed to teach you the school figures and to develop your sense of balance. For the majority of the class the ladies are on one side of the room and gentlemen on the other. We learn the figures and solidify them with a considerable amount of repetition. Because the majority of the time we are dancing on our own, our balance, which is so important is being developed.
We cater for all aims and goals, for great fun, for those who are looking for the health benefits of dancing, for those looking to be the center of the dance floor or to challenge themselves, or perhaps just to spend time with their partner (couples lessons) dancing is one of the best activities in the WORLD!
We are waiting for you on our group dance lessons:
“Practice Sessions” means that all students are welcome and encouraged to come.
While the format of a practice session is much like a typical social ballroom dance, the purpose is different. You can come to just enjoy dancing. You do not need to have a particular move or routine that you are practicing. It is a great opportunity to dance on the biggest dance floor. The instructors will take care for a dancing environment of the session, including providing appropriate music carefully chosen for the correct tempo for each type of dance and for the characteristics that make each dance unique. Instructors hosting the practice session are often pleased to make suggestions when asked.
Benifits of practice sessions:
- Practice sessions offer an opportunity to practice steps or routines on Dance For You Studio spacious floating floor
- Every week our ballroom is available for our students to use for practice sessions
- The ballroom is equipped with a state of the art sound system and provides the perfect environment to focus on and enjoy improving your dancing
- Excellent opportunity to practice what you’ve been learning on your private lessons as well as the Group Lessons
Practice sessions are designed to prepare you for dancing in the real world. At these sessions many of the students attend. This creates the need to develop our traffic skills and maneuverability. You will have the opportunity to dance with a variety of partners. Everyone feels different and our job is to prepare you to dance with anyone. You will also practice to the music the entire practice session.
Look forward to see you on our practice session:
Visit our photo gallery to see more photos from weekly dance practice events.