Samba, a popular Latin dance, has its origins in Africa. The dance is considered as a way to pray and appeal to the gods. The dance has undergone changes through the 19th and 20th centuries and gained popularity in both the United States and Europe. There were no formal rules to the dance for centuries, but in the 1950s ballroom competitions began setting some more standard rules. This makes modern Samba a blend of African and Brazilian dance style, music and samba dance costumes.
Here are 4 of the greatest routines in dancing Samba that everyone should learn.
1. Basic Samba Dance Steps
The most important routine in Samba is made up of just two steps. And these two steps are mirrors of each other. The basic routine involves men starting with a Forward Basic and the woman mirroring it with a Backward Basic. The routine will involve the duo play the steps in reverse direction for next two times and then start from the beginning.
These steps are for the leader:
- Slide the left foot forward on the first beat of music and place the body weight on it.
- Slide the right foot forward and shift the body weight on left foot’s ball. Take the right heel off the floor.
- The left leg will lift as the weight will shift and bring it back to the floor.
These samba dance steps are for the follower:
- The follower should slide back the right foot when the music starts and place full body weight on it
- Slide the left foot back and place the weight on the left foot’s ball. Make sure the left heel doesn’t touch the floor.
- The right leg will rise and bring it back to the floor.
2. Samba Square
Once you have mastered the basic routine, you would want to learn the Samba square. There is a similarity of movement between the basic Samba routine and Samba square that they follow similar rhythm.
- Starts long quick
- Follows short quick
- Then goes slow
Forward Samba Square
The leader plays the forward Samba square:
- Step the left foot forward and bend the left knee.
- Step to the right with right foot and straighten the right knee.
- Move the left foot to the right foot and bend both the knees as you do so.
- Straighten the knees.
Backward Samba Square
This routine is followed by the follower:
- Move the right foot back and bend the right knee as you do it.
- Then move the left foot to the left and straighten the left knee.
- Move the right foot to the left foot and bend both the knees.
- Make both the knees straight.
3. Samba Side Step
In this routine both the dance partners will face each other in the start. Both the leader and follower have their own routines.
The leader follows the following steps:
- Move the left foot to the left and bend the left knee
- Move the right foot behind the left foot and straighten it
- When you move in place with the left foot, bend your left knee. The right foot is kept in place in the back.
- Straighten both the knees
- Move the right foot to the right and bend the right knee
- Now move the left foot to the back of the right foot and straighten
- Move the right foot in place and bend the right knee. The left foot is kept in its place.
The follower follows the very opposite routine as of the leader.
4. Samba Grand Finish
Samba is finished in a spectacular way. The traditional way is to extend both hands out to the sides and move the head backward.
Perfecting Samba is all about practice and following the right steps. It is important to enjoy the music while you follow through the routines.