NEW: Videos of samba variations can be found at: libraryofdance.org/dances/samba
A collection of contemporary samba variations.
General Notes: Samba is Africanized polka from Brazil. It has the same “down-and-down” footwork as polka, dotted rhythm (daa-da-da). For Latin styling, it has hips opposite of salsa and cha cha – in samba, the hip of the the foot stepping goes out. The arms are branches connected to the tree: as hands-side hip goes out, the hands go up, and as the elbow-side hip goes out, the hands go down. Lead belly flops forward on the first bar, follow on the second, concave belly on follow’s first bar, lead’s second.
- Straight Basic (Lead Belly Flop Forward, Follow Concave Belly)
- Slightly CCW Turning Straight Basic
- Swaying CW Turning Basic (Like Polka in Place, Lots of Arms)
- Whisk Steps (Polka-Time Club Two Step)
- Samba Box Step (Polka-Time Box Step Waltz)
- Turning Samba Box Step (CCW)
- Even Timing Side Close with Stamp on Fourth Close
- Promenade (As in Polka)
- Face to Face, Back to Back (As in Polka)
- Bota Foga (Polka Time Cross-Step Waltz, Start Second Bar)
- Leaping Pivots (x4) and Straight Basics (x2) (Like BNP)
- Merengue Figures with Samba Steps
- Polka Figures in Samba*
- Samba Waltz à Deux Temps*
- Samba Reverse Waltz à Deux Temps*
- Samba Redowa à Deux Temps*
- Samba Reverse Redowa à Deux Temps*
For samba music, see Dancing Tunes – Samba.
Most variations learned from Richard Powers. Others made up by Nick and Danielle.
Know another good samba variation? Share it below!