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#194 London School of Samba

March 7, 2011

London School of Samba's Waterloo class, from their website. Click the pic to visit the site.

S-A-M-B-AAAAAA! It’s carnival time in Brazil. And why can’t a white, middle-class couple join in, eh? RHETORICAL QUESTION, FFS. Anyway, we did.

London School of Samba put on a fantastic show at the Notting Hill Carnival every year, as well as holding dance and percussion classes in Waterloo on Sunday night. Everyone’s welcome – even a couple of huffing noobs like us.

London School of Samba at last year's Carnival, from their website. Click the pic to go there.

We stood at the back and gave it our best shot. While the teacher and front row shook the

room with amazing moves, we stomped around like drunken bears, having a fantastic time. There’s something about samba that makes it ideal learner material. It’s not a fussy ballroom shuffle, it’s an exuberant group dance, and it’s all about the joy of dancing. Moves ranged from the mildly aerobicised hand-waving to in-ya-face gyrating, all punctuated by the constant three-step wiggle that brings it to life. (And which I couldn’t do, obviously. One – two – what was that last bit again?)

Best of all, in the last 15 minutes of the class, the  bateria arrived – the drummers, thundering out the pounding rhythm that we needed to keep going. If you choose, you can stay on and learn to drum, too. If you stick at the dancing and drumming, you may even find yourself in this years’ Notting Hill Carnival.

We left exhausted but elated. Guess what – we might even go back.

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