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You know how much I enjoy learning new things. So, it was absolutely impossible for me to go to Brazil without trying to learn Samba in Rio de Janeiro. Since I already dance lindy hop, which is also a partnered dance, I must admit I was a little over-confident in my capacity of dancing Samba.
Well, you know what? It didn’t help me at all! Ahah! I think there is definitely something different in the constitution of the hips of North Americans versus South Americans. Seriously, how can you people do that?
Fortunately, this is why beginner Samba workshops exist and I had the chance to have the very comprehensive and funny Helio as a teacher.
Getting the vibe
My Samba class was just the day after I landed in Rio de Janeiro and I couldn’t say how much of a relief it was to move those feet after more than 12 hours of transportation from Montreal.
In a yoga studio of Copacabana, Helio welcomed the group and made sure everybody was comfortable. None of the seven people in the group (Guess who was alone?) had experience in Samba. So, if you plan on doing this activity, no need to worry about your dancing skills. We are all in the same boat.
Still think you cannot dance Samba? I have a very easy exercise for you: Press play on this video, and continue to read this post (It’s just a soundtrack, you don’t have to watch it)…
The class is about an hour long and we got to learn the basic steps, and how
to try to move our hips and what to do with these damn arms. For this hour, I was like a 5 years old kid! Seriously, it was so fun to dance and it is just impossible not to move on this music. Also, if you have any problem, Helio take the time to see everybody one at a time to correct some moves.
Exercice is over! So… did you shake your booty on the chair while reading? Did you tap your feet on the floor? I am sure you did! As I said, it is just impossible not to! Well, congratulations, you have all the requirements to do the Samba Class + Night Out.
If you are really not a night owl, you can just do the one hour class, but, honestly, I highly recommend you go for the night out. Nightlife in Rio de Janeiro is very active and it would be a miss not to experience it.
You might like these other posts about Rio de Janeiro:
- 8 Things You Need to Know Before Going to Rio de Janeiro
- Rio de Janeiro – How to Stay Safe at the Beach
- Ain’t Just Beans and Rice – Discover Brazilian Cuisine
- First Impressions of Rio de Janeiro
- Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden – I Don’t Get Plants… Or Do I?
Moving our hips in Rio Scenarium
Rio Scenarium is one of the 10 best bars in the world and I can easily understand why. This gigantic bar features three floors with three different ambience, from the live band to a more relaxed area.
Formerly an antique shop, Rio Scenarium has kept some of its original looks. This place is a museum in itself with its old clocks, bicycles, creepy dolls and other random props. I must admit the cover charge (+/- 40R$) can be quite expensive for a budget traveller though…
Of course, my favorite floor was the first one with the live Samba band. This is where all Cariocas (resident of Rio de Janeiro) and tourists practice their Samba. The energy is vibrant and smiles are on every face!
Don’t miss the capirinha at the bar and ask Helio a dance for me!