Right in the Rio Carnival

No matter who you are, if you’ve heard of Brazil, you’ve heard of the Rio Carnival and you want to go. Vibrant, colourful, over the top costumes, pulsating Samba music, gorgeous Brazilian women in nothing more than glitter and body paint and thousands of dancing, cheering, singing, screaming fans! And that’s just the view from the outside. But how about taking your Samba experience one step further and actually participating in the parade? Now you can, all you have to do is buy a costume, which serves as your ticket (this can be done online at http://www.rio-carnival.net/rio_carnival/samba_parade_costume_order.php), learn your Samba song and meet your Samba school at the designated time and place. You don’t even need rehearsals, you can show up on the day and learn the moves just by watching the other paraders or simply shuffle along in the sea of bodies doing your best to blend in with the sequins and feathers. 

If however, you want to put in a little more effort, you can get to Rio a few weeks before the carnival takes place (18-20 February 2012) and arrange rehearsals with the Samba school you have chosen. The rehearsals start in January and run over the weekends. (see http://www.rio-carnival.net/sambodromo/rehearsals.php). The rehearsal nights are open to anyone. For a small entrance fee you just come along and shake what your mama gave ya. “The only difference is that you only hear samba music the whole night through, the school’s samba song of the year being played over and over again to practice the lyrics”. Think you got what it takes to be a Brazilian Samba dancer? Watch this great clip I found of a typical rehearsal night. I reckon you need to seriously work on your fitness before attempting a night of this. But I don’t mean hitting the gym, oh no that will get you no where. The best training for what you are about to see can be done in your bedroom. Just find a good Samba song or even one of those 1000 beats per second techno tunes could work. Then close the curtains and shimmy up a storm! The basic Samba leg movements are not that complicated, it’s the speed at which you are supposed to move your legs that could present a problem, hence the suggested fitness routine. Oh and one more essential tip if you’re gonna get your wobble on, make sure you’ve gotten a good tan! Dont believe me, check it out for yourself…

English: Carnival, Marquês de Sapucaí, in Rio ...

Image via Wikipedia

There are two groups of Samba schools, Special and Access with around 12 schools in each. Usually the competition’s worst scoring school drops down from the Special Group into the Access Group (Group A) and the Access Group’s winner joins the Special Group for next year’s Samba Parade. The top Samba school since 2006 is Beija-flor which means “humming bird”. It imposes strict rules and has the highest expectations towards all of its parading members.”The Rio Samba Schools are associations or social clubs, representing a particular neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro in the annual Samba Parade. They are not samba teaching institutions as their name might suggest. The Rio samba schools are at the epicenter of the Carnival culture in Brazil and much of the “samba world” revolves around them. Their main objective is to prepare for and compete annually in the Samba Parade“.

For all the info you will need, from booking accommodation and Carnival tickets, to learning your Samba song  visit www.rio-carnival.net

Categories: Brazil, February | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Right in the Rio Carnival

  1. Pingback: Cryptoquote Spoiler – 01/12/12 « Unclerave's Wordy Weblog

  2. Pingback: Oh Rio, the place I long to be…daytime delights | traveldance.net

  3. Excellent post. I’m facing a few off these issues as well..

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