After spending time with some great friends in Recife, I got my first chance to party like a real Brazilian. Just about everyone has heard about Rio de Janeiro's legendary Carnival, but few realize what exciting festivals are held in Recife during Carnival season. Parades, fireworks, singing, and dancing all combined to make an incredible night.
Walking through dense crowds made it difficult to see anything other than children on parents' shoulders.
I shoved to the edges of mini parades to get the best views.
Dancing crowds and music from all directions left my head spinning.
My absolute favorite part of the Recife Carnival experience was frevo. Frevo is a style of music and dance that is most popular in Recife and the surrounding state, Pernambuco. Initially, I thought frevo was just hopping around with a tiny umbrella. It turned out to be one of the most thrilling forms of dance I have ever had the privilege of watching.
Frevo dancers are true athletes, displaying the flexibility and strength of gymnasts while spinning umbrellas with the agility of baton twirlers.
The most unique aspect of frevo dancing happens when the dancers jump up on to their toes in tennis shoes. They are like rough and tumble ballerinas, balancing and twirling on feet bent into positions I have never seen before.