SambaLa brings Brazilian dance to Jack’s Rose Parade float

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sambala-long-beachIt’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance say the folks at SambaLa, the Long Beach Brazilian dance school that is bringing 65 dancers to the Rose Parade.

“Jack’s Samba Carnival” is the second Rose Parade entry for Jack in the Box restaurants. The float will be a show-stopping extravaganza celebrating the music, dancing and artistry of Carnival. The theme was chosen for its potential to create an amazing, over-the-top float experience. With lavish floral displays reflecting the brilliant colors of Brazil, high-energy Samba music performed by steel drummers, and street performers in flamboyant Samba costumes dancing to the beat, this float is sure to be a crowd favorite.

“It’s a great honor and huge responsibility to put so much of the Brazilian culture in the most famous parade in the United States,” said David de Hilster, president of SambaLa Samba School.

SambaLa Samba School was chosen specifically for their ability to bring together so many people with samba costumes in a short amount of time. The talent director for the Jack-in-the-Box float researched many groups, before choosing SambaLa for the job. The school plans to bring 20 drummers and 45 dancers from Long Beach to perform in the parade.

“The work involved is at times overwhelming and compares to the work needed to put on a carnaval parade in Brazil with the making of new costumes, arranging of the drum corp’s music, and coming up with choreography for the parade. But we have a very experienced team and although we will be exhausted come the day of the parade, it will be worth it to show the best Brazil has to offer to millions around the world,” de Hilster said.

The Rose Parade float features a spectacular floral display including a vibrantly-hued sun covered in orange and gold strawflowers, brilliantly-plumed cockatoos, and cascading gardens blossoming with orchids and tangerines. Steel drummers perform aboard the float, surrounded by 65 dancers from Sambala School in Long Beach. Alongside the float, 15-foot tall Carnival puppets will dance down the Pasadena street. On board the float will be Jack, the popular spokesman for Jack in the Box restaurants, and special guests from Big Brothers Big Sisters, the company’s primary charitable partner for more than a decade.

The parade will feature new samba costumes by Long Beach designer, Doris de Hilster, choregraphy by RioBela production’s Valeria Ruggieri, and music arrangement by SambaLa Music director David de Hilster. Doris, David, and Valeria make up the directorate of SambaLa Samba School, a 15-year-old cultural organization known for their annual Brazilian Carnaval in downtown Long Beach.

SambaLa Samba School is a 15-year-old non-profit organization based in Long Beach California and is dedicated to creating a community for those who enjoy the Brazilian culture. They provide samba dance and drum classes, do professional shows, and produce the annual Brazilian Street Carnaval. Visit their website at



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