The International Latin Ballroom style of Samba is a lively, rhythmical dance with elements of the Brazilian Samba. However, it differs considerably from its originator. The Samba known today in the competitive DanceSport world has been influenced by the original Brazilian dance and the Maxixe. It has subsequently developed independently from its traditional ancestors into having its own unique style. Samba is an old Brazilian style of dance with many variations and is African in origin. It has been performed as a street dance at carnivals, the pre-Lenten celebration, for almost 100 years. Many versions of the Samba (from Baion to Marcha) are danced at the local carnival in Rio. The ballroom Samba or Carioca Samba is derived from the rural “Rocking Samba” and has been known for many years. (The Carioca is a small river that runs through Rio de Janeiro – hence the name Carioca refers to the people of Rio.) Today the Brazilian Samba is still very popular in Rio. In addition, there are “schools of Samba” during carnival time, involving thousands of elaborately-costumed dancers presenting a national theme based on music typical of Brazil and Rio in particular.
Recently, the Samba has been exposed to the American public through television programs such as Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars.