Brazilian Culture: Got Ginga?

If you’ve practiced capoeira, you may have heard of ginga. It’s the base move from which all others are made, you know, that back and forth, side-to-side, swinging motion you see whenever someone starts to do capoeira.

In informal Brazilian Portuguese, however, ginga signifies a cool way of moving, freely and loosely. The Brazilian footballer Robinho is said to have ‘ginga’ when he plays. A hustler, or malandro, might also have ginga when he moves, kind of like a swagger.

If you’re neither of the three types above, don’t lose hope yet. If you dance well, then you may have ginga, too. As for whether it can be taught, well, only a Brazilian can answer that…