Why Do You Dance Forró – Part 3: Catherine Ryman

Why do you dance forró?

As an Irish person, I did not grow up exposed to Latin rhythms and when I started dancing salsa & bachata in Dublin about five years ago, in no time at all, I had Latin fever!  Six months ago, when I decided to dip my toe into trying Forró, it provided me with yet another gateway to experience not just some dance steps but new music, culture and language. In Dublin, there are a never-ending stream of live Forró bands with native Brazilian musicians. We are treated to multiple Forró rhythms as they play triangle, accordion, the zabumba drum & guitar. I can’t help but notice the sneaking similarities between our own home-grown trad music and Forró, the accordion being a common sound to both.

The Dublin Forró community is brimming with – amongst other nationalities – Brazilian natives. Most have come to Ireland to work, study and further themselves on the Irish Isles and in return have nurtured an open dance community to be proud of. I was warmly welcomed by dancers the first time I tried a Forró class and over the following weeks I grew as a forrozeira and became comfortable dancing this new style.  It doesn’t matter how good you are at dancing or what level you are at because Forró is about so much more than that. For me, it is about connection. Connection whereby you hug, embrace, smile, step together, turn, twist, laugh, close your eyes, dance fast , slow or in-between the rhythm. It feels like the most natural thing in the world, to reach a point where you can embrace, rest your head against your partners , close your eyes and be lead on the dancefloor! Sometimes, without even taking a step, Forró connects us in a way that no other dance can.

Catherine Ryman

February 2018