Cooking blogs can get a little blah…We need to spice things up. On this blog you will not only learn how to cook, you’ll learn how to “sambar”. Sambar is the act of dancing the samba. When I tell people I’m Brazilian the first thing they ask is “can you dance the samba?” The answer is, “yes, of course”. I learned the basics when I was 17 years old. My friend Renata (Rena, pronounced Henna) taught me the first steps. I watched a lot of samba dancers and picked up my own style. It takes some time for all the parts of your body to come together but it happens.
Sometimes, when I hear the beat of samba instruments I get so happy I want to cry. I remember I went to see “A Velha Guarda da Portela” in Rio. All the old-timers, well into their 60s and 70s, playing and dancing. It was the most beautiful show in the world. When in Rio I find time to visit the Lapa neighborhood, where all the samba houses are located. You get to see the great bands and singers up close.
As a college student I was very involved in extra-curricular activities that involved dance. I founded the Clube Carnaval Brazilian Club with a classmate from the University of Miami (UM). Below you’ll see some photos from…exactly 20 years ago!!!
PS–We’ll begin our samba instruction with the feet. Every dance begins with the feet!
The first photo in the sequence is of me with Rose. Rose was one of the dancers for the Torro Samba Show. An awesome samba dancer…she convinced me to put on a costume and dance on the night of the Carnaval that our Brazilian Club hosted at UM’s Rat. (I miss that place.) By the way, Carnival is spelled that way because the event was a combination of Brazilian and Jamaican Mardi Gras.
The man in the tuxedo is my cousin’s husband, Mario Magalhaes a.k.a. Mr. Carnaval. Every year he organized Carnaval Balls featuring famous Brazilian singers, including Alcione, Dominguinhos do Estacio, etc…He also brought Axé singers to Miami…Durval Lelys (from Asa de Aguia), Banda Olodum, Chiclete Com Banana and Ivete Sangalo–I met them all!!!