John Halewood-Dodd column: Dancing in the Brazilian streets

John Halewood Dodd
John Halewood Dodd

The World Cup Finals here in Brazil are moving towards the business end of the competition with the anticipation building to see who will be crowned World Champions.

Many locals are bemoaning England’s early elimination as they believe that we have some of the most vociferous, passionate fans who would add to the continuing spectacle. Certainly, the numbers in which England fans travel would have meant that some of the half-full stadiums we have witnessed would potentially have been avoided.

The empty seats at many of the games is something the Brazilians are genuinely disappointed about. The last 16 match between Holland and Mexico was a good example with vast sections unoccupied.

The Brazilians themselves try to get to as many games as possible but the cost for the vast majority is well beyond what they can afford.

We were able to get tickets for the Costa Rica v Greece game and although on paper it wasn’t the most appealing of games, the atmosphere was superb.

We were fortunate enough to be amongst the Costa Ricans who went crazy when they eventually won on penalties.

As well as attending matches we have also been trying to get involved in Brazilian culture. In essence that means partying at the drop of a hat. They seem to constantly be celebrating and bizarrely it usually has a religious connection.

Each area adopts a Saint and celebrates their patronage. Here in the North East, which is where we are now, they celebrate in the name of São Joao, or St John.

Our Brazilian friends invited us to a party last weekend in a nearby town. When we arrived, just before midnight, there were upwards of 60,000 people dancing in the streets. A few drinks later and we were once again the centre of attention.

We’re still unsure whether they are fascinated by the fact that we get so involved even though we have no natural rhythm, or the fact that they see so few ‘gringos,’ but they welcome us with open arms.

Once again we danced into the wee small hours with some of the most beautiful dance partners you could ever imagine.