Manolo says, clearly the peoples who say you cannot dance in the shoes of the high heels have never heard of the Samba!
It isn’t surprising that shoes are an obsession with the beauties who grace Brazil’s Carnival parades — they’re generally the biggest things they wear below the neck.
Dancers at Carnival, the pre-Lenten bash that starts this weekend and ends on Ash Wednesday, say the higher the better for their towering heels, worn with soaring feathered head-dresses and little else but glittery patches, strategically placed.
Patches of strategic placement and Samba!
Dancers say the platform sandals, preferably with shiny straps and buckles that snake to the knee, help prevent them from tipping over and injuring their ankles while dancing the lightning-quick gyrations of the samba.
“Platforms are safer,” said Iris Sol, 28, a dancer for the drum section of the Barroca Zona Sul samba club in Sao Paulo.
“I’ve paraded with samba troupes since I was six, but the truth is that I was dancing samba when I was born,” she said.
From the very birth, Samba!
Sandals with platform heels push body weight onto the ball of the foot, where the samba is danced. Samba platforms go as high as 17 centimetres, or 6.6 inches. Heels are extra-wide.
“Platforms make women more beautiful, elegant and taller, with better posture. They help you stick out your chest and butt a bit,” said Magaly Santos, 22, Sao Paulo’s 2005 Carnival queen.
The culture of derrieres is so big in Brazil that GNT, a popular cable channel, produced a show about them in preparation for Carnival this year. Its title? “The National Passion.”
Big butts and Samba!
A display of samba sandals by Fernando Pires, who designs for top dancers, included eye-catching designs like swirls of red, yellow and orange leather resembling flames, and black heels topped with lanyards of fake diamonds and pink beaded jewels.
Carnival dancers put almond oil on their feet to prevent skin from cracking and splitting. But they say blisters are inevitable during hours of late night dancing to thundering drums.
“It hurts. You get blisters and feel pain but you samba a lot because you don’t want to stop,” said Michele Eleuterio, 20, of the samba troupe Unidos do Peruche.
You must sacrifice for Samba!
Everybody Samba! Samba! Samba!