I never became an extraordinary samba dancer in my week’s trip to the city.  I tried three times, moved the feet, and acted like I knew what I was doing – but I didn’t.  I still don’t understand the steps of the quick samba.

But I do understand the vibe and rhythm of the music’s energy.  The samba scene is full of smiles, carefreeness, and unity.  Look around a samba bar and you are likely to find a healthy mix of white, black, old, and young among other people.

Actually much like the capoeira dance circles.  Along the strip of Ipanema Beach, I stood mesmerized for 20 minutes watching a group of dancers from ages 8 to 50 (approximately) face off against one another.  No importance given to the age.  No importance placed on the skin color.  No importance the level of dancer/fighter.  All were there to simply enjoy the late afternoon’s weather and the sounds of the music.

The culture of Rio, with its transparent and fluid mix, was a complete pleasure to experience.