There are many forms of samba danced in Brazil. The two leading samba types in Rio today are the street samba dance called samba no pe, which is a solo dance and samba gafieiro, which is a partner dance. The conventional type of samba danced during the Rio carnival is samba no pe. But according to some samba dancers there is a slightly difference between samba no pe and the show dance used during the Rio carnival. Samba no pe is also often seen as the most original samba. But others may claim that there is no such thing as an original samba dance.
Samba no pe is done in a 2/4 rhythm where the dancer takes three steps to every bar. This could make the samba to feel like a 3/4 timed dance. Samba no pe could be danced either alone or in a group. The dance consists of one basic step. The basic step requires a straight body and a bending of one knee at a time. In samba no pe men and women are dancing samba with different steps and emphasis on different things during the dance.
The male samba dancers often do a lot of acrobatic tricks with their feet. It is said that a good samba dancer speaks with his feet. The female dance can be characterized as quick symmetrical feet movement with each foot twisting on the heel. All the time the females samba dancers put emphasis on their femininity by using their hips and shoulders very much.
The male and female dancers can dance together but they do not touch each other. Often the men dance around the women including spins, hops and jumps. The dance has a high tempo and is a complex combination of the basic steps, different variation and improvisation. The dance is often done unaccompanied and begins straight away when the samba music starts. The speed of the movements change with the tempo of the music, some samba dances are very fast and other samba dances move at a more regular pace.
The dance consists of jumps and turns. It is important that when you jump you should not jump too high. It's not easy to pick up the samba dance the first time you try.
You should not be disappointed if you don't get the hang of it the first time. It's important that you stop looking at you feet and that you hold the body straight and at the same time start to relax.
Robert L J Bloom is the author and can provide additional information about samba music and the samba dance steps. SambaMusic.com is a search engine that provides relevant information about the Brazilian samba music and the different samba dances. http://www.sambamusic.com also provides samba news and samba articles.