About the Dance Wings

The talented Austin Samba dancers perform samba, samba reggae, afoxé, maracatu and a variety of West African dance styles. Dancers come from a variety of backgrounds. Our aim is to give our audience and community a wonderful performance that integrates the exciting elements of Brazilian music and dance. Dancers usually rehearse alongside the drummers on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m.

There are three dance sections in Austin Samba, all of which are open and depend on the level of a dancers experience and availability: the Passistas, the Malandros, and the Alegria.

We welcome people with and without previous dance experience into Austin Samba. The intake period for new dancers takes place in the spring and early summer, and is followed by tryouts in September and intensive preparation in the fall and winter for our spring Carnaval performances.


The Alegria dance group is designed for dancers, movers, and shakers who love to move to a funky beat and want to participate in parades and other large-scale events throughout the year. For those who have never done any type of Brazilian dance but would like to try, now is the time to do it! For those looking to gain more experience in different styles of Brazilian dance, this is the group for you. Training is provided during rehearsals, where you practice alongside the drummers. In addition to our rehearsals, you can also take classes in samba and Brazilian street dance at Esquina Tango. For more information on joining the Alegria dance section, please email Imani Aanu at austinsambaschooldance@gmail.com.

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passistas & Malandros

Passistas and Malandros represent the Rio-style expression of samba, with both male and female dancers making up the groups, as is traditional in escolas de samba throughout Brazil. Dancers interested in our “passista" and "malandro" groups should have dance experience and must be willing to commit to performing and rehearsing on a regular basis. Performing in the group is based on several factors including regular attendance, knowledge of the choreographies, ability to improvise, and a positive attitude. Membership into the Passista and Malandro groups is determined during dancer assessment in September, though potential candidates are strongly encouraged to attend regular weekly rehearsals through the spring and summer. Existing members of the school who would like to join, experienced samba dancers, or professional dancers in other genres who are joining the school for the first time should email austinsamba.passistas@gmail.com for rehearsal and audition information for the upcoming season.