Samba Lesson # 1 (continued)

Martinho da Vila’s music is being played in the background for both parts of Lesson 1.  His voice and the stories he tells are lovely.  He is associated with the Samba School Vila Isabel.  One of the song titles is: “Quando Essa Onda Passar”.  The song talks about the Favelas –the poorest neighborhoods that usually have the best views in Rio, right on the mountainside, overlooking the ocean.  The title of the song means:  “When this wave passes.”  Martinho is saying that when things get better in the Favelas he wants to take us there.  He wants us to be able to visit someday to see the beauty of the favelas.  He talks about things you can see in the favelas…like you can watch a fireworks show from the door of a small shop or you can see the beauty of the city (Rio) from the hilltop.

The other song you hear in Lesson 1 is “Aquarela do Brasil”.  The song describes the entire country’s landscape and culture state by state.  (All the special things about Brasil).  It’s a good song to learn to dance with because it has a slower beat.

The first lesson is simple.  But you really need to practice before you can move on to the next lesson.  Master it!

Samba Intro and Flashback

With Rose

With Rose

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!

With Mr. Carnaval, Mario Magalhaes (my cousin's husband)

With Mr. Carnaval, Mario Magalhaes (my cousin’s husband)

carna 3 001

Getting ready for the show...receiving instructions from Rose.

Getting ready for the show…receiving instructions from Rose.

At one of the Carnaval Balls.

At one of the Carnaval Balls.

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!!!

This is one of the flyers we used to promote the event.

This is one of the flyers we used to promote the event. 

The Hurricane article announcing our event way back in February 1993!!

The Hurricane article announcing our event way back in February 1993!!