Samba De Gaferia is a dance style created using the energetic ‘Samba’ as a template. This “Latin American” dance originated in Brazil, and is basically a “partner dance” i.e. it involves a male and female.  In addition, this dance is supposed to have developed from the Botafogo, Catete, and Rio De Janerio districts respectively. Furthermore, unlike the other forms of Samba, this style has gradually over the years evolved into a “ballroom dance”.

Gafieira Samba is also known as Dancehall or Club Samba. It is a form of partner dancing that combines elements of the Argentine Tango, Salsa, and Carnival Samba. Occasionally, people refer to it as the Brazilian Tango.

Samba de Gafieira is an age-appropriate dance that, despite being well-known in Brazil, continues to draw in younger dancers due to its vitality and creative potential. Many different Latin rhythms can be used to dance to them. 

a. History/origin of the Samba De Gaferia:

It was in the 1940’s in dance halls known as “Gaferia” in Rio De Janeiro that this dance style was developed, and aptly named Samba De Gaferia. Furthermore, since its creation, this dance style has undergone a lot of changes adding many elements belonging to the extremely sensual Argentine Tango.

b. Costumes used in the Samba De Gaferia:

Since this dance involves both male and female, the costume worn varies accordingly, and they are as follows:

1. For women:

The costume worn will include a revealing dress that exposes the upper body, a short skirt, and a pair of high heel shoes.

2. For men:

The costume worn will include a colourful shirt/T-shirt, trousers, a jacket (optional), and a pair of shoes.

c. Music involved in the Samba De Gaferia:

“Samba music” is basically what is used in this dance style as well, and so the musical instruments involved would include cuicas, tambourines, frying pans played with metal sticks, flutes, and guitars.

d. Basic steps of Samba de Gaferia:

The basic step of a man is to take a small step forward with either foot, shift weight to the back foot, take a long step forward, and then take a long step back. The woman walks in step with the man.

For the man, this can be simplified to a basic salsa move: step, replace, long step back, replace, long step forward.

The man can leave the woman to her right during the second half of the converted basic, just like in the Argentine Tango. Other Tango moves like ochos, sacadas, and even the sentada (as seen on the right) are then possible.

The use of some solo Samba moves in partner dancing is also not prohibited. For instance, a man might use either foot, say the right foot, to advance with the left foot while the right foot is slid up to the left foot. Start over with the other foot and repeat. The woman should move her left foot forward, place her right toe in front of it, step backward with her right foot, and then slide her left foot back up to her right foot. The couple can go in the opposite direction by each performing the previous step’s action.

e. Training availability and technique involved in the Samba De Gaferia:

In terms of technique, there are two basic steps that form the foundation of this dance. They are as follows:

1. Passo Basico:

Also referred to as “Quadradinho” is a “quick-quick-slow” step in which the leader moves his left foot back on the count of three, and presents his right forward on the count of seven.

2. Saida Lateral:

Also known as “Saido ao Lado” is mainly used to either enter or exit the complicated moves involved in the Passo Basico.

As for training centres/schools, there are many available throughout the globe for those interested in learning this dance style which has basically evolved from the “Samba”.

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