Skip to main content

How to Dance the Samba

Learn to put a swing in your step with the help of these samba instructions.


  • Step 1: Practice the weight transfer Play samba music and listen to the beat. Practice transferring your weight from foot to foot on the beat. Count slowly: "one, two, three, four." Keep your knees slightly bent, and use a toe-heel movement with your feet.
  • Step 2: Move your hips Add hip movement. As you put your weight on your right foot, swing your hips slightly to the right. Do the same to the left. Engage your abdominal muscles as you move your hips.
  • TIP: Hip movement is the most important characteristic of the samba.
  • Step 3: Add the steps Add quick steps. After transferring your weight to your right foot, take a small step on the left foot and another small step to transfer the weight back to the right foot. Repeat to the left. Count "one, a-two, one, a- two."
  • TIP: Keep the knees slightly bent and fluid, and remember to move your hips as you transfer your weight from foot to foot.
  • Step 4: Add arm movements If you're dancing alone, swing your arms naturally in opposition to your legs on each count of "two." Keep your arms waist high and relaxed.
  • Step 5: Samba with a partner To samba with a partner, use a basic dance hold. The samba step can be done forward and backward or side to side. Remember to keep your abdominals engaged and your hips moving -- and have fun!
  • FACT: The extravagant Samba Parade is a main attraction during the Brazilian festival of Carnival.

You Will Need

  • Samba music
  • A partner (optional)

Popular Categories