Samba (ballroom dance)
The ballroom samba has its origins in Brazil at the beginning of the 20th century. Many steps can be traced back to the Maxixe danced in the 1910s. A book published in France in 1928 described how to perform the samba.
As a ballroom dance, the samba is a partner dance. Ballroom samba, even more than other ballroom dances, is very disconnected from the origins and evolution of the music and dance that gives it its name.
Most steps are danced with a slight downward bouncing or dropping action. This action is created through the bending and straightening of the knees, with bending occurring on the beats of 1 and 2, and the straightening occurring between. However, unlike the bouncing of, e.g., Polka, there is no considerable bobbing. Also, Samba has a specific hip action, different from that in ballroom Latin dances (Rumba and Cha-Cha-Cha).
The ballroom samba is danced to music in 2/4 or 4/4 time. It uses several different rhythmic patterns in its figures, with cross-rhythms being a common feature. Thus, for three-step patterns, common step values (in beats) are:
Samba is one of the most authentic Brazilian features. If you talk about samba, you talk about Brazil. Like Brazil itself, samba is the result of the interaction of many different influences and mixtures. The main samba roots were initially the African rhythms BATUQUE and LUNDU, played mainly with drums and clapping the hands. Later, other elements from European rhythms were incorporated through the use of new instruments like the clarinet, flute and guitar.