My first samba class
I have somehow gotten away with faking the samba step (or instead of faking, rather attempting to imitate others that I see dance samba), however I knew I never got it quite right. I finally took my first true samba dance class this weekend at The Ailey Extension (open classes offered through the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater studios) - it was technically a samba/Afro-Brazilian dance class taught by the very energetic, very talented and very funny Quenia Ribeiro. Her class was not only a hell of a good time, but she was also a wonderful teacher - I felt like I actually mastered at least the footwork of the samba in Quenia's class, and whenever I was able to find a spot dancing right behind her in the class, I could feel her momentum carry me through the choreography (now my next obstacle is to get the hips moving the right way...baby steps, Mickela, baby steps). She taught the Rio style of samba as well as the Bahia style (two very distinct types of dances with similar rhythms). The choreography of Bahia samba had a more Afro-Brazilian feel to it, while the Rio style was more concise and articulated. As you can see from this clip, Quenia is a ball of muscle and energy that doesn't seem to ever stop:
For more information on Quenia's classes in New York City and the metro area, go to www.SambaSambaSamba.com or see the Ailey Extension schedule of classes. With live drummers at every class, you can't help but be moved by the music and Quenia's enthusiasm with every step she takes. And be sure to follow her and her Grupo Ribeiro for any upcoming performances. Obrigado, Quenia!