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Ballroom dance of Brazilian origin, popularized in the U.S. and Europe in the 1940s. Danced to music in time with a syncopated rhythm, the dance is characterized by simple forward and backward steps and tilting, rocking body movements. In Brazil an older African type of samba is also danced in circles or double lines as a group dance. For decades the samba has dominated Brazilian popular music.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on samba, visit Britannica.com.