Salsa vs Samba

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Salsa Bear, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Salsa Bear

    Salsa Bear Sabor Ambassador

    Just one week before I saw my first live Salsa performance (immediately becoming addicted), I discovered a local band - Sambatuque - which plays Brazilian music, primarily Samba. I bought their first album, which I think is fabulous. It even includes one of my favorite Salsa songs, Tanta Saudade, which inspired its own thread at www. salsaforums.com/showthread.php?t=12823

    I saw Sambatuque perform three times, twice for a very small audience, though last week's reunion performance attracted a larger crowd. Then I attended a "Birthday Bash" last night, with Sambatuque the main attraction (for me, at least). It turned into a Samba extravaganza, with five bands, a Samba dance troupe and a standing room only crowd.

    I've long been aware of Seattle's "Salsa scene," which is centered on a handful of clubs. But last night's performance made me realize for the first time that there may also be a local Samba scene, though I'm not aware of any clubs that play Samba music on a regular basis. The other amazing thing is that the two groups appear to be completely separate.

    I didn't recognize a single salsero in the crowd at last night's Samba birthday party. I feel just like I did when I first discovered Salsa - both excited by my discovery of such a vibrant music/dance form and intrigued.

    So I just wondered how many people on this forum are Samba fans. Either way, I'm curious to know what you think of my observations.

    It's hard comparing Salsa and Samba when both words cover so much territory - different definitions, styles, etc. But, in general, the Samba I've seen doesn't strike me as much of a partner dance compared to Salsa. Rather, people just seem to jump out on the dance floor and start doing their own thing. If they dance with a partner, they don't hold hands; they just dance near each other.

    The music seems more exciting than Salsa in some respects. I love the Salsa songs on my playlist, but I seldom hear them played at local clubs. Many of the songs local DJ's play are a little boring. But the Samba songs I've heard seem more irresistible, driven largely by their exuberant rhythms.

    The general atmosphere at a Samba event seems to be more spontaneous, a little wilder and more carefree. I haven't lost interest in Salsa, which I'm still trying to figure out. But I suspect I'm going to wind up addicted to bother.

    Anyway, what are your observations on Samba? Is there a "Samba scene" where you live, and does it appear to be separate from the Salsa scene, or are they more connected?
    #1
  2. sunsoul

    sunsoul Rhythm Deputy

    I have a few Brazilian friends in Tokyo. There is a sizable Brazilian community here. I have been to one or two samba events. Also, there is a large Brazilian samba festival once a year. One of the teams has an open policy and accepts anyone to dance with them. Last summer I danced with them in the street parade - it was quite an experience!!

    I think you are right about samba being more spontaneous and 'wilder' than salsa. Samba seems to be more centred on the hips and the lower part of the body, rather than on spins and everything you have to think about when dancing salsa. Salsa is a more controlled dance I think.

    The two scenes are separate, but I actually was thinking of inviting some of the samba dancers to perform at one of my salsa events. If that ever happens I will let you know how that all goes......!
  3. Salsa Bear

    Salsa Bear Sabor Ambassador

    Yes, I understand there's a large Japanese community in Brazil. I LOVE Nilo Koizumi's version of the classic Mas Que Nada. Someone told me she's often compared to a more famous Japanese Latin singer named Lisa Ono.
  4. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    my town has a thriving capoeira scene and two samba bands. Probably the only crossover is that one of the key players in the samba scene is engaged to one of the big personalities on the salsa scene.

    It's not surprising that the scenes should be separate; the music culture and dances of the two are quite different. The countries are thousands of miles apart, after all!
  5. terence

    terence Maestro 'Rumba' Morales


    The comparisons you made, are those of people who no nothing about partnership work. You could make the same comment about R and R ( people dancing solo )

    On the contrary, there are numerous variations one may dance in samba with a partner ......And yes, the music can become addictive .
  6. Flujo

    Flujo Sabor Ambassador

    I don't like your attitude! :(
    How dare you belittle someone sharing an experience that obviously has them excited about something new.

    SalsaBear: Great stuff!
  7. terence

    terence Maestro 'Rumba' Morales

    Lighten up !!!

    If you dont understand comparative analysis, then you should understand it was nothing more than just that.. it was also pointing out that there was more to the music than what he had witnessed.. now if I,m wrong, tell me.. but I thought this site was about information... Aint it a ***** when facts get in the way..
  8. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Capitán Del Estilo

    You've got to get yourself invited to that wedding!:)
  9. Salsa Bear

    Salsa Bear Sabor Ambassador

    True, but in this day and age, music and dance are easily shared between countries. Argentina is even farther away, yet I think quite a few salseros also dance Tango. I know nothing about Seattle's Tango scene; I've never even taken a Tango class. But I've heard a number of salseros comparing Salsa and Tango.
  10. SalsaGipsy

    SalsaGipsy Capitán Del Estilo

    I have never seen Brazilian samba danced in a couple. I don't understand the parallel with rock and roll - it is clearly a partner dance with leading and following. Brazilian Samba you can dance in front of each other but that doesn't make it a partner dance. Can you give an example video of Brazilian samba danced in a couple so that we see what you mean?
  11. Salsa Bear

    Salsa Bear Sabor Ambassador

    I still haven't done my homework regarding Samba...too many other projects to deal with this weekend...but I believe Samba is an official ballroom dance (and presumably a partner dance). However, there may be big differences between ballroom Samba and "Brazilian Samba." I don't know.

    P.S. I just typed "Samba" into YouTube and found a lot of videos. One video of a ballroom routine didn't excite me that much. They're very good - too good for a beginner like me, plust their routine is a little too stuffy or exhibitionist for me. But I love this video:

    www. youtube.com/watch?v=ulcXYjb4eBU
  12. SalsaGipsy

    SalsaGipsy Capitán Del Estilo

    To me ballroom and Brazilian samba are worlds apart. This video is also ballroom samba. It is nice (less stuffy than usual ;)) This style is very dificult to master but from your post I got the impression that you are talking of Brazilian samba. I don't expect ballroom samba is hugely popular in Brazil though I might be wrong of course.
  13. Salsa Bear

    Salsa Bear Sabor Ambassador

    I'm talking about Samba in general. I don't even know what the different styles are yet - though there's an obvious difference between 1) ballroom Samba, 2) the people I see who just jump up and do their own thing, and 3) the Samba stars who wear diamond-studded bikinis and elaborate feather headdresses.

    Needless to say, I won't be dancing the latter. :)
  14. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Great points both!
  15. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Capitán Del Estilo

    The only samba I've seen was a performance by a group of women doing incredibly fast footwork in skimpy costumes. Not bad... :)
  16. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    Not to mention the language difference...

    There are different forms of Brazilian samba. Samba de gafieira is a partner dance.
    youtube.com/watch?v=v_Hx2ifFjgE
    youtube.com/watch?v=LdP2hzR__1Y

    I took a samba de gafieira workshop at a congress a few years ago - Gothenburg, I think. It didn't do anything for me I'm afraid, but there are classes offered in Tokyo and I believe there are some salsa dancers here who also dance gafieira. I also have salsa friends who dance samba (samba no pe, the fast footwork stuff) at the annual samba carnival in Tokyo.
  17. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca Capitán Del Estilo

    Did you observe their dancing whilst you were there?
  18. Salsa Bear

    Salsa Bear Sabor Ambassador

    At the risk of sounding stupid, that's one of the things that turned me off to Samba in the beginning. Long ago, all I knew about Samba was that men and women both wore outrageous costumes during Rio de Janeiro's Carnival. I thought, "Man I respect other cultures, but there's no way I'm going to dress up even remotely like that!"

    In fact, I don't really care for the "peacock look" you often see in ballroom dancing, either. I prefer to dress like a normal person.

    Of course, I've now seen that Samba runs the gamut from Las Vegas to ballroom to casual. A local Samba dance company performed at last weekend's "Birthday Bash." They were practically naked except for their spectacular feathered head ornaments. Somehow, they look different in real life - very beautiful, and fabulous dancers, too.

    In fact, I thought, "Man would it be cool to take classes from those ladies!" Unfortunately, their classes are open to women only. ;)
  19. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca Capitán Del Estilo

    I bet you did.
  20. Salsa Bear

    Salsa Bear Sabor Ambassador

    I should sue them for discrimination!

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