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Tuesday, 5 March, 2002, 20:59 GMT
Charles dances samba in Rio
Prince Charles with samba dancers at Casa da Cultura on Rio de Janiero's outskirts
The locals rated Charles as a "very good dancer"
The Prince of Wales has been sampling Brazilian culture by doing the samba with Rio de Janiero street dancers.

His skimpily-dressed partners on the outskirts of Rio were Joana D'Arc, 30, and Patricia Lima, 21.

I was grabbed by these girls outside and made to do the samba.

Prince of Wales

Each of them held a royal hand aloft and skipped in a circle around the suit-clad Prince.

Charles is in Brazil on a two-day official visit to promote social and environmental projects.

Later this week, he will move on to Mexico for three days.

Ms D'Arc, in a feathered head-dress and shimmering bikini, said afterward: "He's a very good dancer."

The Prince later claimed to have been coerced by the dancing duo.

"I was grabbed by these girls outside and made to do the samba just now," he told a group of youngsters.

"I don't think I'm properly dressed for it. I'm too hot."

The Prince met the samba dancers during a visit to Casa da Cultura, a community centre run by the charity ActionAid in the Baixada Fluminense shanty town.

The slum neighbourhood is the most densely populated in Latin America. Violence is rife there, and standards of health and education are low.

The UK's Department for International Development announced on Tuesday that it will provide 500,000 to help improve Brazilian slums.

Football

During his tour of the centre, the Prince was offered a chance to display his football skills.

He was escorted onto a concrete football pitch where he found himself surrounded by excited young members of two Casa da Cultura teams.

A football was rolled to his feet, and the Prince was urged to kick the first ball of the match.

Prince of Wales kicking a football
The prince impressed the crowd with his football skills
His kick so delighted the players that they invited him to take another shot.

This time the Prince sent the ball flying toward the left-hand corner of the net, where it was saved by a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

The sports studies student, Josiane da Silva Rocha, said later: "It was easy to save. He was on target but it was not a very hard shot."

See also:

14 Feb 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Brazil
27 Feb 02 | Americas
Dengue fever grips Rio
05 Jul 00 | Americas
Rio police purged
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