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What is Forró?

Originating from the Northeast of Brazil, forró is now filling dance floors around the world with the traditional sound of the accordion, triangle and zabumba. So, what is forró?


Forró is many things. A musical genre, a form of dance, the name of the party and a rhythm within the genre. At forró parties you will often hear other rhythms from the genre such as, Baião, Xote, Xaxado and Arrastapé.

A name that you will come to associate with forró is Luiz Gonzaga (1912 – 1989), a key figurehead in the movement, who popularised the genre outside of its original region in cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo where there had been a large movement of migrants from the Northeast.


The dance traditionally was carried out in a close embrace, with steps simply taken from side to side, two steps here and two steps there. More recently, forró has taken inspiration from other partner dances and has evolved to contain a larger vocabulary of movement while still retaining the essence of the original dance. Again, while there are many styles to the dance, currently the most common are Forró Universitario, which is danced with more turns and arm figures, and Forró Pe De Serra or Forró Roots, which tends to focus on legwork.


The most important thing is to dance in a way that is comfortable for you and your partner and enjoy everything that forró has to offer!

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