In life, there are camp people and there are non-camp people. I went to camp one time only, my first summer living in New Jersey. It was a pleasant enough experience, but not one I ever chose to repeat.  Now, (quite) some years later, I headed back to camp…sort of.

I spent the last week of August at California Brazil Camp, surrounded by professional and semi-professional musicians and dancers. I learned a ton, but I recognize this is not my specialty…after all, I’ve been dancing samba since May, with a 6-week break in the middle when I was out of the country, so I haven’t progressed very far. There were people there who’ve been dancing for years…even decades!  Overall, though, it was an amazing chance to spend time among the Redwoods, pushing my physical and expressive limits, listening to some fantastic rhythms – attending Maracatu rehearsal was the highlight of most afternoons – enjoying cool weather, eating great food (in vast quantities), and hanging out with other samba lovers. Some scenes of camp life and classes follow.

(require 2 separate shots to fit in camera frame…)

Home for the week – before and after

Bridge across to the other side of camp

Labyrinth in the creek bed

Dance floor (where I spent my week, basically)


Performance night – drummers doing choreography!

I told you, these people are serious about their music. 

And, of course, no one can forget the maté. 
(I thought this matero was particularly inventive.  Obrigado, Bonne Maman!)

Finally, the day after camp, walking home from returning the rental car back in San Francisco, I came upon this sign.  Perfect.


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