This Carnaval we experienced the Sambadrome from a different perspective – we were part of the show. Our practices with the well known samba school Unidos da Tijuca began back in December. We met once a week in blocked off streets behind their facilities in Rio’s Santo Cristo neighborhood to walk, dance, and sing – rain or moon shine.
Every practice was a street party with food and beverage vendors and spectators lining our route. It was fun moving in a river of yellow and blue Unidos da Tijuca Carnaval shirts, it’s the most local we’ve felt since moving to Rio. We were divided into groups called aulas and our group leaders taught us a few simple movements to go with certain song lyrics, but mostly they encouraged us to sing loud and keep our lines straight as we free-styled down the street.
A few weeks before Carnaval, Unidos da Tijuca had a practice run through the Sambadrome. The stars, the school’s…
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