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Sizzling Samba Queen & Scientist, Liani, on why you should be learning Samba NOW!

by Lucy Haine July 15, 2018 6 Comments

Sizzling Samba Queen & Scientist, Liani, on why you should be learning Samba NOW!

As July heats up, our Guest Blogger Liani, Samba Queen talks Brazil, learning Samba & Skimpy Bikinis with Kinky Octopus!

I'm Liani, a Scientist by daytime and a Brazilian Samba Queen by night living in London. I’m originally from Santos (where football King Pelé comes from) in São Paulo state, Brazil.

World Cup, Brazil, Pele, Sao Paolo, Santos

 Pele, The Legend

I moved to London in February 2010 to improve my English and maybe stay a bit longer to do a Doctorate. After three months in London, I met my husband, and now I call London my home. I’ve just finished my Ph.D. in Regenerative Medicine at King’s College London (yay!), where I also work as a Research Scientist.

 Samba has always been part of my life but not the way it is today. I’ve started samba when I started walking, that’s how early some Brazilians start samba. While I was living in Brazil, I took part many times in Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and also Carnaval in Salvador (Bahia) and Olinda (Recife). Parading in Carnaval (from São Paulo to Bahia) is an overwhelming experience full of good energy and happiness. It’s something you should include in your bucket list.

 Rio Carnival, SAmbadrome, Samba Queen, LIani

Liani shakes a tail feather or 2 at Rio! Photo by Vinko Kalcic

In 2013, already living here in London, I decided to dedicate a bit more to samba. I joined a school called Paraiso school of samba and became a Passista (an elite samba group inside the school) then later, I became the Queen of the drums (one of the most prestigious positions for a Passista), and now I’m also one of the samba teachers there (we teach all levels from beginners to advanced). I also teach samba privately, and I cover samba classes at other dance studios around London. On top of that, I do professional shows with different samba groups in the UK. Besides, every year, I do Notting Hill Carnival, Brazilica in Liverpool, Carnival in Hackney and a few other festivals around the UK.

Nottinghill Carnival, Samba 2017 

Carnival London-Style!  Nottinghill Carnival 2017, photo by Tolga Akmen

Samba is an infectious and exciting Brazilian rhythm with different subgenres, from fast-paced Carnaval samba style to a more melody partner’s dance called Gafieira. In São Paulo, we have Pagode, a different variation of Samba with more lyricism and various instruments. Samba has so many styles, but in any of them, you’ll find passionate people singing along and dancing with a broad smile on their faces.

 Samba has its origin from the combination of dances and drums brought by Africans that came to Brazil as slaves. It had (still has) religious meaning, and it has mixed with other instruments in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia in the nineteenth century. From there, it has evolved into what we know today, a mixture of rhythm with different styles depending on the region in Brazil.

Brazil’s culture is so diverse and vibrant. The country was built by the slaves brought from Africa by the Portuguese and the Spanish people. Then Italians, Germans, French, Lebanese and Turkish people came along with a massive influx of Japanese (especially in São Paulo). All those cultures influenced what samba and Carnaval are today - I feel so lucky for being Brazilian. 

Brazilian Samba Queen Liani

 Sprinkle on those Sequins Liani! Photo by Dex L

For Brazilians, who love samba, like me, samba is part of our routine from an early age with more meaning than just a dance. Samba is a way of living. It’s how the Brazilian people communicate and expose their essence to the world. When Carnaval comes, Brazil stops to celebrate, get emotional and watch this fantastic show on Earth. 


You have two ways to go in Samba, you can do it for fun as a dance fitness class, or you can take it further and join schools of samba, like Paraiso, and do carnival parades (here in UK/ Europe or even Brazil), where you can wear costumes (tiny bikinis or big dresses - up to you). The important part is having fun!


Samba gets Sexy Photo byNik Sfiry

To master the necessary level of samba, you’ll need dedication and a bit of patience. Natural rhythm helps but it’s not essential, commitment is. I would say it takes a good six months to get the fundamental step right and a good three years to make it better (advanced level). However, to parade with our school of samba, any level is welcome, we have a place for every level and guarantee great fun along the way. 

 Check out Liani's Samba in this video for Basement Jaxx!

If you want to have fun and learn our ‘Alegria de viver’ (happy lifestyle) while getting fit and healthy, you should be doing Samba. It’ll bring the best out of you; it could be your passion for movement or the music and the drums or for the people who love samba. Samba has a lot to do with femininity, confidence, and self-esteem. Also, with social events and community, it's a place where you can feel welcomed and belonged.

SAmba DAnce School, SAmba Lessons, SAmba Teacher, SAmba LOndon, SAmba Lessons LOndon


 Sultry Sambista 

Photographer Nik Sfiry

 You can find me on Instagram (private or group classes on request, any level), at Paraiso School of Samba and ABIEIÉ DANCE

Vamos sambar!!!!!


Now for bikinis… Does England make bikinis?! LOL… I love Brazilian bikinis, they are well made with an impressive Lycra, very resistant, and they fit much better than any other bikini I ever tried. My favourite? Small ones, triangle top and tie-side thong, they comfortably fit in any type of body and I like having a small bikini mark. Shop Kinky Octopus Black Thong Bikini here!

 Black Thong Bikini

Lucy Haine
Lucy Haine


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