Tourists travel to Brazil before Carnival to learn to dance samba

World Today

Nearly one million tourists are expected to flock to Rio de Janeiro this year to enjoy the city’s famous Carnival celebrations from Feb. 13-17. Many visitors are already there to dance the samba. CCTV America’s Lucrecia Franco reported this story from Rio de Janeiro.

Tourists travel to Brazil before Carnival to learn to dance samba

Nearly one million tourists are expected to flock to Rio de Janeiro this year to enjoy the city’s famous Carnival celebrations from Feb. 13-17. Many visitors are already there to dance the samba. CCTV America’s Lucrecia Franco reported this story from Rio de Janeiro.

Though it may seem to involve some complicated moves, instructors say anyone can learn the samba.

Helio Ricardo, a born-and-bred “carioca,” as Rio de Janeiro’s locals are called, teaches foreigners how to master samba steps in 60 minute lessons.

“It is three steps at a time, but the most important is the energy, of the hands, the hips, and a big smile. That is what transmits the joy of samba,” Ricardo said.

While some Brazilians believe that samba is in the blood, dance instructors said with hard work and training, anyone can learn it.

“I think it is a psychological thing, they say ‘hey I am not Brazilian I will not be able to do it,’ but it’s all about moving your hips,” Ricardo said.

Students of the samba said the dance is liberating.

“It made me feel really free. I feel free when I dance samba. I just learned it but I felt free, I felt passion and I loved it,” South Korean tourist Jen Yeonmi Kim said.