DAVID GREENE, HOST:
In Brazil, it is Carnaval time and 12 teams called schools competed in a Samba parade. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro told us yesterday that she was ready to participate herself, and here's how it went.
LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: As you're waiting for the competition to start, it's nerve-racking and pretty exhilarating.
There are hundreds of people here in all sorts of costumes. Some look like warrior angels. There are these enormous floats that they're just putting together at the last minute. Some of these costumes are so heavy that they actually have to winch people up on cranes on top of them. Everyone's taking part - young people, old people.
I was with Vila Isabel, one of the oldest Samba schools, along with thousands on the team - trained drummers and dancers and regular people like me. I had a massive feathered globe on my head, pantaloons, a jeweled breastplate-type-thing and naturally, orange plastic booties on. The parade began, and suddenly we were in the huge iconic Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome with cheering spectators, judges and cameras focusing on our every move. And that's when my pants fell down - for real. In my rush to get all the other parts of my costume ready, I had neglected to double-knot possibly the most basic part of my outfit. So I spent the first minute in the Sambadrome not dancing but bent over double, trying to sort out my very own wardrobe malfunction. Once that was fixed, the rest went by in a haze. And I danced my heart out until the end.
That was so exhilarating. I mean, I can't dance Samba at all but what an experience. The music, the people - oh, man. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR News, dancing in the Sambadrome - I never thought I'd say that - Rio de Janeiro.
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