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Samba: origins and styles



Samba comes from the angolian word “semba” which means “invitation to dance”. It originates in Bahia, where angolian and congolese slaves used to dance in circles, the so called Bahian samba de roda, where they used to dance a nowadays very popular step: the corta jaca.



Former slaves moved from Bahia to Rio de Janeiro and the Bahian samba de roda gets in contact with Maxixe and Polka and originates the samba carioca.

Maxixe has a big impact on what today is the International Latin Samba: a lot of the style and the steps originates from it


Below you can see a modern representation of the Maxixe



In the 20’s Irene and Vernon Castle popularise in the USA ballrooms the “Brazilian-Maxixe” lately called samba, which will be the precursor of the International Latin Samba. From this period on, International Latin Samba and the Brazilian Samba will have different evolutions.


samba canção

During the years 20’s and 30’s the general trend led to a more melodic, sentimental and moody samba: the samba canção.


samba exaltação

In the 40’s with Aquarela do Brasil of Ary Barroso another genre starts to spread: the s