How to dance Brazilian Samba

WW member Emma Lindsay shows you the basics of this beloved Brazilian booty-shaking dance a fun fitness workout.
Published 9 November 2016

How to Samba


Samba is the heart and rhythm of Brazil. Traditionally danced to live percussion, you can samba to most beats. The basic step fits three movements into two beats of music to create an intoxicating weave of the hips. Beware... once you start, it can be addictive!

Put on some samba music and dance slow to fast. See if you can fast samba for a whole song – it's sure to make you sweat.


Learn the footwork

Start with your feet together. 1. Step your right foot back behind your left foot. 2. Pick up your left leg to step onto it to transfer your weight. 3. Bring right foot in to middle of left foot. Repeat on the left foot.


Swing your hips

1. As you step your right foot back (step 1, above), push your right hip out. 2. As you transfer your weight to your left foot (step 2, above), push your left hip out. 3. When you bring your right foot in to meet the left (step 3, above), push your right hip out. Alternate hips as you repeat steps on left foot. 


Add your arms

1. On step 1 of feet and hips (above), bend your right arm and take your left arm out. 2. On step 2 of feet and hips (above), keep your right arm bent and left arm out, keeping it for the three steps of your feet. 3. Alternate arms as you repeat steps on the left foot – they’ll swing left to right on every count of 1.


And remember...

  • Keep your steps small and think about dancing in a straight line
  • Count ‘1,2,3’, ‘1,2,3’ as you step to the beat