Austin Samba

Words + Photos: Lindsey Lee

Austin is a city known for its laid-back culture, ubiquitous food trailers, and world-class live music — SXSW and Psych Fest in the Spring, Austin City Limits in the Fall, Fun Fun Fun Fest in the Winter, and smaller live shows happening every single night in between. Sure it has its downsides, like the traffic black holes that grow larger everyday, but that’s a small price to pay.

As I headed off work one Thursday, wandering to a bar nearby to see some live music sounded like just the type of night I needed. So I looked for that perfect outfit while retouching my lipstick and adding some nighttime volume to my hair.


Spider House, a local bar and venue with multiple stages, a variety of food trucks, and an extended happy hour was the spot for the night. I didn’t know that it was the first night of the Carnaval celebration: the Austin Samba School was warming up, getting ready to perform. I had no idea what to expect — I’d never seen a Samba performance.

The Samba School struck up the drums and commenced a mini parade toward the venue. There was a marching band, showgirls, and dancers headed to the stage area. The music started and as the drummers drummed, the dancers shook their bodies to the rhythm of the fast tempo beat. Everyone cheered passionately, and the night danced on. That Thursday night sure was something — but you never know when Friday is just around the corner.