The Lambada and My School Bus
When the Lambada came out in 1989, it became an instant hit in South America. This catchy brazilian rhythm became controversial not because of the song itself but because of the dance style that came with it. The forbidden dance according to my catholic school was sinful and no young lady should dance to this exotic rhythm.
There are two things I remember most about this song;
The first one, is a spread on the main news paper of Bogotá, El Tiempo, with instructions on how to dance the Lambada. The whole page had little couples drawn in different “dancing positions”. Under each vignette, they had written brief descriptions of what to do with your couple while dancing. It was a step by step process and I always wonder if people really learned to dance Lambada by reading the news paper… terrible!
The second one, is a long story. In Colombia, elementary, middle and highschool, are part of one school. One big institution which you attend from kinder garden to 11th grade. I can say that I spent around 8 years taking the same school bus, until I moved to another neighborhood. I met my best friends in that bus and we always sat together on the same bench year after year. This bus, was a normal, low-key bus until one day the driver decided to make some improvements to it, he “pimped the bus”. He got a radio, new tires, some shiny stickers, etc . He also got one very special feature; every time we was driving in reverse, the Lambada would start playing, as loud as possible, to inform pedestrians that the bus was backing up. This to me was very humiliating, specially when we were in front of boys and girls from other schools. I could feel the mockery of the other kids every time I would get out of my school bus, it was truly very tacky… Only when we moved to a different house and I had to use a different bus, I was finally able to get home with my head up high.
Anyway, this is what I remember the most about the Lambada, it was my school bus reverse song.