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Let’s Samba!

McCall Folklore Society

“Let’s Samba!’introduced samba to Cascade kindergartener through 6th graders as well as other community members through a two week school drum and dance residency and an evening of Brazilian food and performance. The Cascade residency culminated with a school performance. In addition, to the Cascade School District, Donnelly Elementary School 3rd graders and Meadows Valley k-12th graders took part in drum/dance workshops as well as a 1/2 day workshop at Taft Elementary for 4th graders in Boise and after school programs with the girl scouts and the Yellow Couch teen center, engaging over 300 kids in samba.

Let’s Samba used the culminating performance as a focus for the residency to guide students through the following standards:

PERFORMING Realizing artistic ideas and work through interpretation and presentation.

Anchor Standard 6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work
Enduring Understanding (music): Musicians judge performance based on criteria that vary across time, place and cultures.
Enduring Understanding: Dance performance is an interaction between performer, production
and audience that heightens and amplifies artistic expression.
Essential Question(s) (music): When is a performance judged ready to present? How do context
and the manner in which musical work is presented influence audience response?
Essential Question(s) (dance): How does a dancer heighten artistry in a public performance?

MU:PR 6.1 (k-6th) Perform music, alone or with others, with expression and technical accuracy, and appropriate interpretation
DA:PR 6.1.3 b. Explore simple production elements (costumes, props, music, scenery, lighting, or media) for a dance performed for an audience in a designated specific performance space.
“Let’s Samba!” addressed these standards by having students perform music with expression, technical accuracy and appropriate interpretation. Dancers explore production elements related to using music, addressing DA:PR 6.1 k-6th.

Anchor Standard 5: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation

Essential Questions: How do musicians improve the quality of their performance?

MU:Pr5.1k-6 with guidance, apply personal, teacher and peer feedback

At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified Standards:

Students in 4-6th grades were given writing assignments to reflect upon the residency, their music and dance performance and also about learning about brazil through samba. Several of these writing are included in this grant report. For example:

For the past two weeks we have been fortunate enough to learn Samba dancing and drumming.  I learned a lot, including the samba step, how to play the bells, and how to say hello and goodbye in Portuguese.  I enjoyed learning from Eduardo and Molly, who were very patient and supportive.  I learned something new every time, and had fun while doing it.  As well as learning dancing and drumming, I also learned what life is like in Brazil.  Eduardo welcomed questions about Brazil and his lifestyle.  I learned that monkeys are very common there, they get little snow, and many other things.  I really appreciate the time, money, and effort that was put into this activity.
Nancy B

I am a sixth grader at Cascade Elementary School. I really enjoyed the samba classes that we took because it gave us an experience of Brazil. I really liked when we got to drum and dance with our hats on.  We sat down and talked about what is in Brazil and compare that to Cascade. We also talked about its nature and culture.



Eduardo and Molly discussed the day’s dancing and drumming experience with each class and focused on discussing the different ways that each class conveyed meaning with their dance/drum routines. As the residency progressed, students were able to talk about the progress they made and different ideas for interpreting the music/dance for the culminating performance. These discussions resulted in classes naming their samba bands, creating certain movements and wearing specific outfits.


What was so rewarding about this residency was how strongly our students embraced learning about Brazil. Whenever Eduardo walked in the hallways, we could hear students greeting him in Portuguese. All of our k-6th students participated equally in drumming and dance and were enthusiastic about both. We had a full house of parents at our residency performance. We think some of the lasting benefits to this residency will be an openness and interest in learning about other cultures through the arts. We are really grateful to have had this opportunity for our rural students.