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Learning Forró

Published by Bernardo Nunes — 4 months ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal


For all bad dancers, and for those who think they are, the Forró classes at Anjos70 are the best solution to free all the energy and hapiness you feel when you listen to a song but do not have the courage to dance because of being shy or afraid to be judged!

Here people are all nice, everyone wants to learn, and there are no worst or best, only people who want to learn how to let themselves go with the music without thoughts or prejudices.

My father tells me I am a bad dancer, but how would I not be if everytime I dance in front of people I just stay static and nervous? This seems as the definition of a bad dancer, the only thing missing is the part where we step on other people's feet or are out of the rythm, but this is only called fear - fear of letting go, fear of making myself look like a fool, things created in my head. The truth is, I am a natural dancer, a Michael Jackson when I am alone, and on my way to becoming one in public. I know it, because I see others doing it, and so I can do it myself.

With these words in mind, and with an increasing desire to go to the dance floor and rock every song I could, I decided to try a dance class. I did not even think of the type of dance I was going to try. I just let time pass, and try out other things such as drawing, and then the opportunity arised. A friend of mine, Daniel, also wanted to try a class, and he suggested that we could go to Regueirão dos Anjos 70, a place where you can find a bar, concerts, workshops, flee markets, and also a place to dance! The place's name is Espaço Baião.

It seemed we were going to try Forró. After a little cybernetic search I found out Forró is not a genre, but a type of fest where you dance to the rythm of various musical genres such as Xote and Baião, hence the name of the place where the classes occur.

I didn't have any idea what kind of style this was, but it did not matter, I knew it would be fun, as it would push me to come out of my shell and stop being comfortable - precisely what I was looking for. To try out one class you just have to pay 5€, but if you go on the open days then you will have free classes to try. You can see when these happen on their website.

As soon as I entered I had a space in front of me with many pairs dancing and some free ladies to dance. I felt that, even without knowing how to dance, I had to try it, and leave my shell immediately. I did not do it. I just stood there watching. Suddenly, a lady appeared in front of me with her arm stretched and her hand pointing in my direction. We started dancing, but rapidly she noticed that I did not know how to dance and said farewell. Another one appeared and started dancing with me, but this one wanted to teach me the basics. So I started to learn the first steps: 1, 2 ,3 with both feet, which was basic but I still had some difficulty learning. I would need the whole class to learn it, but did.

In this class I started with a different group, the ones who were starting, just as me, so I was not alone. This was good. I had the chance to learn the basics without having to guide a dance partner.

In the end I was amazed by the whole experience. People were really friendly, the place was very inviting, and I decided to continue my dance learning journey and sign myself up in my search for letting go with the rythm of the music. To participate in further classes I had to pay a 10€ fee to become an associate of the club, plus 40€ per month to have two classes per week. For those who just want to have one class per week you have to pay 35€, and for those who want to have three classes per week you have to pay 45€ per month. The schedule for beginners is really good. All classes start between 19:30 and 21:30, you have one hour of class, and may also participate in free dancing half an hour before and after classes.

After having classes for one month and a half I can only say that I am much better, although still evolving and still having a long path to travel. Yet, there is no dought I dance more and without any worries. To dance with people is very good, to feel the music also, and to meet new people and make new friends is amazing.

Besides classes, there are also events organized by the club, such as classes, workshops, fests, and charity events. On Wednesdays you can go to Titanic Sur Mer, in Cais do Sodré, pay 5€ for the entrance, and then participate in a Forró class and dance to live musicians until 2 a.m.! I have gone to some, and it is a really good experience. There are much more Forró events during the week, some weeks you have parties everyday, and they are not rare. I also participated in a charity event to gather food and clothes for the homeless and it was the best party I have participated ever. Live music, lots of space to dance, lots of people and good vibes. These are only a few examples of my experiences in the Forró world, which I did not knew, but is huge.

Come to Regueirão dos Anjos 70 and try it out!

Thank you for reading!

Check out my full article on Lisbon for more places and experiences in the city!


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