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By Joshua Rapp Learn, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO - Every Saturday, Acadêmicos do Salgueiro throws a samba party, staging a run-off as associates compete for a glorified spot in the official Carnaval parade. Obligatorily, the competition unrolls with all the flourish of a miniature Carnaval, complete with extensive costumes, samba dancers and an explosion of music and noise to deafen your eardrums until at least the next party.

Samba schools have existed in Rio de Janeiro since the 20s when the famed Mangueira and Portela were derived from the structures of groups organizing parades in Nineteenth Century Carnavals . . .

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