Lambada: History of Sensuality

October 29, 2012

You may remember the summer of 1989 and the obsession with Lambada that was brought by French group Kaoma in their number one single “Llorando Se Fue” better known as “Lambada song”.  But not many of us know the origin and history of Lambada dance.

The story is quite tricky and has a lot of different interpretations about the origin of Lambada as a dance, and its rhythmical distinction from other Brazilian music beats.

To start from the very beginning let’s move to the times when Brazil was the Portuguese colony (16th-19th centuries), to Brazilian region called Para.   In those days the common dance that was popular and loved by people was Carimbo. It was distinguished by its sensuality, women and men dancing in couples whereas women were trying to cover men with many spins and rounded skirts.

Years passed and strong influence from Caribbean music  changed the original Carimbo rhythms into a new music type that was later named at a local radiostation as “a strong beated rhythm” or “the rhythms of Lambada” (with Lamabada being a word in a local language that described a strong beat). That was a point when Lambada was a name that came into dance history.

As well as moving and gaining popularity in new parts of Brazil, Lambada  was influenced by Forro dance (4-beated dancing style) and eventually was transformed and acquired its solid rhythmical and movement entity. It was danced with arched legs and bent knees with steps being done from one side to another and never from front to back. One of the main elements was a wave-like bodymotion (one of the interpretations is that Lambada comes from an obscure Portuguese word which refers to the wave-like motion of a whip).  First Lambaterias were opened, the places where people were meeting together and dancing Lambada.

At this point, Lambada was well-known only in Brazil. It was only in the 80-s when it became an internationally renowned dance style, all that through the interest of French business man who acquired the musical rights of over 300 lambada-music tracks. This inspiration was picked up by the Kaoma band, and since then Lambada has been danced all over the world, mainly by young people with an interest in Latin-American dancing.

The main thing to remember about Lambada is the sensuality, you just need to listen to the music and feel how the rhythm goes inside you and just follow it using the  technical expertise and Latin passion that Beckie Bisase, our brilliant Lambada teacher, can provide you with.