Used by Permission and adapted from the Dance Vision International Dance Association - American Style Rhythm Bronze Manual (MarB04).

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Ballroom Dance Info

Dance Goals

Ballroom & Social Dance


Samba originated on Brazilian plantations, where the African rhythms of slaves mixed with European music.  Samba was introduced to the United States in the late 1920's via the Broadway play, "Street Carnival," and more widely exposed through films.  Fred Astaire and Dolores del Rio danced to a Brazilian beat in "Flying Down to Rio," and Carmen Miranda shook her hips in films such as "That Night in Rio."

Dance Characteristics:

Samba is an upbeat, lively dance that is characterized by its bounce and rolling hip action.

Musical Information:

Time Signature: 2/4
Tempo: 52 mpm
Count: 1a2* (also, 1a2a3a4 and SQQ)   *In Samba, the "a" count is equal to 1/4 of a beat of music.
Beat Value: 3/4-1/4-1
Counting in Beats and Bars: 12, 22, 32, 42, etc.


Ball Fall, Ball, Ball Flat primarily.  Toes should be slightly turned out.  Feet should be kept in contact with the floor using slight pressure.

General Technical Tips:

Stand with a forward poise to create connection. Lead and follow from the center of the body, use compression and tension, and complement the music with the free arm.

Samba Technical Tips:

Emphasize the syncopated timing (1a2) by giving count 1 a full 3/4 of a beat before dancing count "a."  Use correct Samba bounce, being sure to flex and straighten the knees.  The bounce should emphasize the downward movement and should never rise above standing height.  A great deal of rhythm is expressed through the torso, which should remain flexible.

Some of My Favorite Samba Songs:


Bronze Syllabus Figures:

1. Basic Bounce
2. Forward and Back Basic
3. Side to Side Basic
4. Fifth Position
5. The Box
6. Extended Box
7. Samba Walks
8. Forward and Back Spiral
9. Reverse Samba Walk
10. Promenade and Counter Promenade Bota Fogos
11. Opening Out Left and Right
12. Rolling Box
13. Volta Left and Right
14. Open Break
15. Advanced Left Turn