All I’m missing is a feather headdress

So I didn’t run this past weekend but I did get in my cardio workout. Sunday morning, I danced samba. It wouldn’t surprise me if I burned an equivalent amount of calories. I know my core and leg muscles got a workout.

I love to dance. I have been dancing for most of my life: four years of tap and jazz, a quarter of West African(which I’ve forgotten for some reason), three quarters of belly dancing, as well as three decades of dancing to almost anything with a beat. My most recent endeavor is samba.

Samba is the national dance of Brazil. Like most Afro-Latin dance rhythms, samba bases itself on African drumming and dance styles with some Portuguese influence. The centerpoint of the samba beat is the surdo(bass drum). Follow the surdo beat even as samba’s characteristics bells and whistles layer over the bass.

Samba is also an umbrella term for the variety of styles such as bossa nova(think “Girl from Ipanema”) to the high energy batucada(think Carnaval). What makes samba different from the Spanish-language beats/dance styles is the emphasis on footwork. There are no partners in samba but there is a reason most people join an escola do samba(samba school) to master the dance. The basic samba step is step-touch-touch but that’s where the simplicity ends. And the cardio workout begins.

Blow that whistle!

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