Frevo + Brazilian carnival dance classes at The REACH at the Kennedy Center
Esquenta de Carnaval – Warm up for Brazilian Carnaval
Join the Brazilian—American Cultural Center (bacc dc.org) in this warmup for February’s Carnaval! Whether you are going to Carnaval or not this is a fun opportunity to immerse yourselves in the dances of Brazilian Carnaval. Through dance we will make a journey from the north to the south of Brazil exploring the signature dances of Carnaval. We start in Recife, a city in the Northeast of Brazil with frevo, the highly energetic dance that features the signature multi colored umbrella. Next stop is Salvador da Bahia where we will explore Dança Afro—the dance of the Bahian Carnaval Afro-Blocos like Olodum and Ilê Aiyê. Our final stop is Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, known for their Carnaval parades that feature samba. As a big treat, DC’s own Vava United Samba School, in residence at the Brazilian—American Cultural Center, will play live both for the samba class and the final post class roundup.
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Instructor: Kate Spanos
Dance frevo and experience Recife’s effervescent and high-energy street carnival! Kate Spanos of EducArte will teach you easy and fun frevo steps with a focus on musicality and improvisation. Using the Mexe Com Tudo frevo teaching method, this class is designed for beginners. Wear comfortable shoes. All ages and experience levels are welcome!
11:45 AM – 12:45 PM
Instructor: Flávia Nascimento
Afro-Brazilian Dance is a rhythmic embodiment of African oral traditions. It expresses ritual drama and homage to the gods and to nature. The classes incorporate Orixás, Samba de Roda, Samba Reggae,Samba Afro. Afro Brazilian -Contemporary and exposure to Brazilian culture and a means of self-expression and physical exercise. The Afro Brazilian Dance also highlights the day to day experience African people’s lives, representing moments such as harvesting, cutting cane, preparing flour, and hunting; or rites and traditions such as the arrival of a king, the crowning of a leader, and death. Agility and release of head, shoulders, arms, torso and hips are common points of movements that range in intensity of energy, slowness and sensuality. Knees bent and feet strongly beating time show the connection to the land. Participants may dance without shoes.
Rio Style Samba
1:00 – 2:00 PM
Instructor: Dee Hale
Samba is an energetic Brazilian dance that is recognized around the world from Rio de Janeiro to Washington DC. This class will be geared toward beginners but can be enjoyed by all levels. We will cover the basic steps of samba for the less experienced; while more advanced dancers can explore variations to help them dive into their samba. Foundational footwork, hip work, and arm movements will be covered, and we’ll make some fun combinations of movements. We work at varying musical tempos, some fast and some slower. Samba helps to lift stamina, improve coordination, and give participants a way to explore Brazilian culture through music. More experienced dancers can also increase the variety of movements they play with during samba. There is no partnering in this technique. Samba is a social dance made to share with others so let’s have fun together.
2:00 – 3:00 PM
Carnaval roundup—join the Carnaval party! Vava United School of Samba will bring Rio style Carnaval to us live so that you can practice your moves. There will also be a Bahian touch with Afro bloco rhythms. Join the fun!