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My eyes surveyed the movements of my fellow Samba dancers – what expressive

footwork, hips and facial features they all had! I felt at ease during the warm-up, not

as a result of my experience dancing Samba, but because of the music and energy

that flooded the room. No one seemed to care if I, or anyone else, had ever danced

these steps before; it was a time for everyone to celebrate and have fun.

The goal of the evening seemed to be simple: to enjoy, wholeheartedly, a shared

experience of movement with others, all in a way that reflected strength, sensuality,

beauty and happiness.

I danced the Samba de Gafieira with men and women alike, and learned from each of

them. I was taught the importance of the stillness of chest, the tightness of steps, the

strength of the arms. How awesome it was to dance with strangers (just briefly

strangers!) in such an intimate, yet still comfortable, way.

One of the most thrilling moments of the evening was dancing with Marizete; she

was so passionate and filled with such energy and confidence! I absorbed her spirit

immediately (it’s undeniable), and my physical response was thrill and liberation.

I was so drawn to the openness of this Brazilian Samba community. Although I’ve

never been to Brazil, I feel like I’ve already gotten a taste. My conversations with

others have painted similar pictures for me – Brazil as a warm, enlivening place, a

place no one ever wants to leave. The reason must be the music and dancing… these

performance arts that make everyone feel so alive.


Kelly, NYC (At the Sambazina Social)- Dec 17, 2014

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