Sometimes called the South American Waltz, the Samba pulsates to a unique latin rhythm.
This national dance of Brazil became the rage of its society in the 1930's but began as an exhibition dance in Paris in 1905. Move star and singer Carmen Miranda is credited with making the dance popular in the early 1940's.
Today's Samba is influenced by jazz and latin rhythms. It is written in 2/4 or 4/4 time. The music is festive and fast paced with a sound associated with Rio's Carnival. The basic count is 'slow a slow' or '1 & 2'.
Walking steps and side steps are the basic components of Samba. The major characteristic of the Samba is the vertical bounce action. Steps are taken using the ball of the foot. Knee action along with body sway and 'pendulum motion', in the accomplished dancer, is made to look effortless and carefree.