How to Learn Samba Steps


The Samba is a rhythmic Brazilian dance that has African roots. The African origins of the dance is responsible for its rhythmic character. The dance itself is not terribly complicated, but Samba dancing has many variations. It requires rapidly moving your hips, being nimble on your toes, and incorporating your pelvis.

The Starting Position

  • The man is typically the leader in Samba dancing, and the woman the follower. The leader places his right hand high up on the back of his female dance partner. He holds her right hand in his left hand in an upward position. The female dance partner rests her left hand on the leader’s shoulder.

Counting the Steps

  • Samba music is in 2/4 time, but the quick foot work of Samba dancing has a 3/4 time feel. It is fast paced, about 100 beats per minute. Count the beat 1 and 2, 2 and 2, 3 and 2 and so forth. The basic timing of the foot movement is quick, slow, quick, quick, slow, quick.

Dance Step Basics

  • The basic dance steps of the Samba are left foot followed by the right foot for the dance leader, and right foot followed by the left foot for the follower. Samba requires a light-footed approach and quick footwork..The trick is to quickly shift the weight from foot to foot allowing the hips to bounce while keeping the body still. A lot of the Samba dancers add quarter turns, reverses and other movements to make the dance more exciting.

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