Elaine Ribeiro: Former queen of Porto da Pedra Samba School has visited 10 countries and speaks fluent Italian and English

black Brazilian women

The “Queen of the Drumbeat” for the Unidos do Porto da Pedra” in 2005 and 2006, and muse of the school in 2009, Elaine Ribeiro is unanimity in the categories of beauty and “samba in the foot”, attributes that put her into the good graces of those who closely follow the techniques and the parades of the Marquês de Sapucaí (1). Sweetness and a perfect body are also attributes that Elaine exudes.

During a photo shoot, the “mulata”, who speaks Italian and English fluently, said that thanks to Samba, she has visited more than 10 countries in Asia, Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands. She left home at the age of 18 and lived in Italy for 6 years.


Six to seven months a year she travels the world stage with show groups leaving gringos (foreigners) of various nationalities astounded with her style. As of this writing, her next international appointment was to be Canada, in the traditional Brazilian Ball charity event.
A celebrity in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro, where she lives with her mother, brother and a cousin, Elaine rarely returns home from the supermarket, pharmacy or bank, without being stopped by someone for an autograph or a photo next to a fan. She admits that the harassment sometimes leaves her embarrassed because she sees no reason for such success. “After all, I’m not even a queen anymore,” she says. The fact is that even without the crown, scepter and sash, Elaine is far from ceasing to be one of one the majesties of Rio de Janeiro’s Samba culture. Today she works at a hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Elaine was also featured in the 2011 documentary Mulatas! Um Tufão nos Quadris (Mulatas! A Typhoon in the Hips).
Elaine in the documentary Mulatas! Um Tufão nos Quadris
Trailer with English subtitles


1. The Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí or simply Sambadrome is a parade area located in downtown Rio de Janeiro where samba school competitions occur every year during Rio’s Carnival.

See a photo gallery of Elaine here

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  1. I need to watch this documentary to understand a little bit what exactly is a "Passista" and the meaning of "The Carnaval" for them. Because for someone outside Brazil like me it was exclusively the only image that i could see of black/ brown Brazilian women. And I have to admit it made me VERY ANGRY. I could not stand them. Not because i have a problem with the fact that they are good samba dancers … NO it is THE ALL CONCEPT OF CARNAVAL IN BRAZIL WHEN YOU KNOW HOW INJUSTICE, RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION ARE / WERE THE NORM FOR BLACK / BROWN PEOPLE IN GENERAL. I NEVER WAS IN THE MOOD TO WATCH IT IN TELEVISION.. I ALWAYS BLANKED IT.Now the more i spend time in this blog my approach is differentAND MAYBE ONE DAY I WILL APPRECIATE THEM. BUT FOR THE MOMENT IT IS VERY DIFFICULT CAUSE MY MAIN FOCUS IS REALLY THE RESPECT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE LIVING CONDITIONS OF AFRO BRAZILIANS.PEACE AND CONGRATULATION TO HER. NICE TO SEE THAT A LOT OF THEM SEEM TO HAVE A DECENT JOB AND ARE VERY WELL EDUCATED.

  2. minasek , i would just like to say that,"passistas (actualy passistas can also be "official dancers" of "frevo" in recife or bloco afro in bahia , but, the ones dressed up in the elaborate costumes dancing samba for the escolas are what we are talking about here)" are a tradition that come straight from the black communities and samba schools. at places like mangueira (sp?) they start training them at a very young age , and,there are contests for the raihna de carnival where they improvise their steps in competition.i wish they were in the media year round, but, unfortunatly , they are only shown around carnival and the truth is, the white models and actresses are really shown, while the girls of the community are slowly wisked to the background.and they dont even show them that much in the broadcasts of the escolas anymorei consider passistas as a very high expresion of afro diasporic culture, and they come from that tradition, like mambo guaguaco dancers from cuba, popular dances from haiti, black american rich dance traditions etc, and of course , from mother black ancient africa, before christianity or islam, where the incredible drum/dance concepts of black africa were evolved, certainly one of africas most powerful genius and gift to the world..with call responce pollyrhythms, total body involvement with pelvic thrusts and shuffle steps and grooves that allow one to turn off the thinking brain and tune into intuition i guess every individual has to ask themselves about how they feel about the sensuality that is shown in the passistas, remembering , sensuality is all over brazil, and brazilian women love to be sensual. i love sensuality and personaly dont think it is the real issue as far as what really matters as far as improved lives for black women. im glad, minasek , you are at least willing to reseach the passistas to help formulate how you feel about them…that is all i can ask of anyone, looking at the passistas, to look a little deeper at who they are and what they are about

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