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Samba de Gafieira

Samba de gafieira is a popular saloon dance from Brazil. Samba has its roots in Africa, and gafieira is the name for the place where the sambistas dance to live music: the saloon, which has its origins in Europe.

The elegant dance has many different aspects: besides the swing and dance steps, creativity, improvisation and playing the music and rhythm are just as important in samba de gafieira. Gafieira is also called samba a dois (samba between two) or samba de salão (saloon samba).

Samba de gafieira developed from a Brazilian style called maxixe. Maxixe is a mix from African music and European styles, like the polka. Maxixe started to develop in the second half of the 19th century.

Over the years, many different styles of samba music were developed. Examples are samba canção, bossa nova, choros, pagode, samba rock and many more. Also in the dance there have been many different paths and styles. Beside the traditional samba de gafieira, there are also samba rock, samba pagode and samba swingado, to name a few.

Gafieira unites people of all ages and social classes where, in total harmony, the musical melody and corporal improvisation join in an absolute and divine interpretation.


At 17, I was first taken by the Gafieira rhythm, accompanied by my father who used to frequent the same Gafieira circles in his youth. I learned, and still learn today, with the old masters to show respect for the art of the music-movement integration: a complete and perfect dialog¨.

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