While football is arguably Brazil’s most popular sport, the country’s national rhythm is samba.
When she walks she’s like a samba
That swings so cool and sways so gentle
That when she passes, each one she passes
– The Girl from Ipanema, Stan Getz and João Gilberto, 1964
Samba is a genre that encompasses a vast array of dance and music styles with complex lineage. In dance terms, samba includes everything from a partnered dance, performed in a close embrace, to the intricate footwork and rapid hip movement of the individual dancers in annual Carnival celebrations.
Samba’s origins lie in the dances and religious practices of the West African slaves that were brought to Brazil beginning in roughly 1532, during Portuguese colonization.