Notting Hill Carnival 2023

Oba! Oba! Oba 🙌🏾 LSS took Notting Hill Carnival across the Solar System 👩🏾‍🚀

Congratulations to everyone who took part in our Notting Hill Carnival parade on Monday – you were all amazing!

Thanks to all our bateria, dancers, singers, players and supporters from around the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Australia, Brazil and around the solar system! Thanks to all our volunteers – costume makers, make-up team, float builders, and decorators, lift-and-shifters, meet-and-greeters, organisers, stewards and marshals!

LSS dominated the carnival media coverage, with a double page spread in the Guardian and even the front page of the Financial Times on Tuesday – so maybe we can get some big City sponsors on board! We just about broke even, thanks to generous sponsorship from London New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP) – and LSS is now the official samba band for LNYDP 2024 – our 40th Anniversary.

Here’s just a small selection of the online media coverage from the UK and worldwide: The Guardian, Daily Mail, BBC news, ITV news, The Times (paywalled), China News (Xinhua) and Jornal network TV news (Brazil via Joan’s FB). There’s a great 10 minute interview with Fred on BBC London’s Jumoke Fashola show on BBC Sounds – (2:08:50 – 2:19:35). There are loads more great photos and videos on our social media.

London School of Samba
Samba Through The Solar System The ‘Samba through the Solar System’ creative concept was a huge success, and brilliantly executed. Our dancers were organised in several fantastic Alas representing the Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars, Satellites and other heavenly bodies, while the Bateria were immaculately dressed as funked-up sambastronauts, spreading our infectious samba rhythms across the cosmos. All along the 3-hour route, we got the crowds waving and shouting ‘Oba! Oba! Oba!’.

To sponsor or support us in any way, please donate here or contact us!

Announcing our new Queen Keon

On Wednesday 2 August, LSS held its legendary ‘Rainha da Bateria’ (Queen of the Bateria) Competition at Floripa in Shoreditch. With five amazing dancers vying for the title, Keon Stewart was elected as the new Queen by the members of the school, and she will lead and inspire the Bateria through the streets of Notting Hill.

Keon, who joined the London School of Samba in 2015 and is an active member of the dance team and management group, said: “It’s an absolute honour to be elected as Rainha da Bateria. The past eight years with LSS have been an amazing journey, and I hope to do the school proud during my reign”.

Queen Keon - Photo courtesy of Nannette Herbert
Photo courtesy of Nannette Herbert

Brazilian composer Jamika Adriano has created a special Enredo (song) for 2023 Carnival – Veja Sistema Solar (Voyage Through the Solar System).

LSS Carnival Dancers

Announcing our new sponsors – LNYDP

London New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP) are the official sponsors of the LSS parade at Notting Hill. They have also selected LSS as the official samba band for LNYDP 2024.

Joe Bone, Executive Director of LNYDP, said: “We are delighted that the London School of Samba will be the ‘Official Samba Band’ for LNYDP 2024. This partnership enables LNYDP to continue its support of the very best creative and diverse performance groups throughout London and the UK!”LNYPD Logo

NEW – Ala Afro

Traditionally created to honour the Afro-Brazilian roots of Samba, Ala Afro will be led by renowned International dancer and choreographer Adriano Oliverira. Under the sign of Mars, Ala Afro brings high energy, and the fiery strength of Xangô and lansã. £190

Ala Afro

NEW – Ala Comunidade

Community Ala open to all – requires no previous dance experience and is perfect for anyone new to LSS or Samba who wants to support the school and experience Notting Hill Carnival for the first time. The price for this Ala is £99 and includes a Confetti print T-shirt.

Ala Dance! – Birth of Venus

Ala Dance is a choreographed Ala known for its joy and inclusion. Requiring no previous dance experience, this a great way of joining Carnival for the first time as the fun is guaranteed. 💚🤍 This year led by Ala Dance Director Patsy Hayward (LSS Musa and previous LSS Queen) @patsysamba , they will represent the Birth of Venus. With a costume design inspired by Greek mythology and the allure of love, the Ala will spread loving grace through the streets of Notting Hill.

LSS Ala Dance 2023


Ala dos Passistas – Shades of Moon

Ala dos Passistas are the raw energy, the excitement, the playfulness and the samba-no-pé itself within a Samba School. They bring carnival from the ground up! This ala consists of skilled and dedicated samba dancers of the school. 💚🤍 Ala dos Passistas will be led by Passista Director Orquidea Lima @orquidea_lima and they will represent the Shades of the Moon, with their mystic and enchanting powers hypnotising everyone on the streets of Notting Hill.

Passitas Feminino
Passitas Masculino

Baianas – Satellites

The Baianas are the mothers of the community and the roots that ground samba in black culture and African history. They are known for their magical twirling and costumes of grandeur! They sustain the harmony in the carnival parade. 💚🤍 This year they will represent Satellites, constantly spinning and connecting us with the oldest signals of the creation of the Universe, uncovering clues to the becoming of our existence.


Bateria – Sambastronauts

The Bateria is the beating heart of the Samba School unifying the carnival parade with batucada and amplifying the outreach of the school through the crowds! 💚🤍 This year the Bateria will be Sambastronauts, producing travelling beats to carry our Samba School from the streets of Notting Hill all the way around the Solar System.

Sambastronaut Costume

Comissão de Frente – Chariot of Helios

Comissão de Frente is the Ala which opens the carnival parade and presents the School’s theme for that year. It moves in coordination, harmony and creativity. It is a choreographed Ala and can be performed as a dance, a piece of theatre or a mixture of both, according to the vision of the choreographer and the carnavalesco. 💚🤍 This year, led by artistic director Ale Jansen @alejansen, Comissão de Frente will represent the Chariot of Helios. Helios, the sun god on his chariot, provides solar energy for everything that follows; the golden rays will reach the furthest boundaries of space.


LSS is a community-based charity, financed by its members and sponsors. Other supporters include Vita Coco, who are providing free coconut water throughout the carnival.

LSS was founded in 1984, the first samba school in the UK and the first to parade at Notting Hill. We run dance and drumming classes all year round on Sundays at Waterloo Action Centre, and welcome new students.

You can book in advance via the website. Remember, you get a better deal as a member (£8/£6) with annual membership at £40 (£35 concessions), you can join LSS today using this membership form – so tell your friends!