Row over Rio Carnival role for seven-year-old girl
Julia Lira's father says she is a natural samba dancer
A row has erupted in Rio de Janeiro over the decision to make a seven-year-old girl "queen" of a top samba school taking part in the famous carnival.
Children's rights groups have raised concerns that it is inappropriate for a child to take on the traditionally "sexy" role for the 80-minute parade.
But Julia Lira's father dismissed their concerns, saying she was a natural and would cope with dancing in the heat.
A judge is now considering a ban on her starring role in next week's parade.
Julia has been picked as the drum corps queen for the Viradouro Samba School, which is among a dozen top-tier samba groups to take part in the annual Carnival.
To be queen of a Rio samba school is one of the most sought after roles in carnival but is more often associated with scantily-clad women, for whom a little plastic surgery is not uncommon, the BBC's Gary Duffy in Sao Paulo says.
While Julia would certainly represent a very different image, her potential participation is alarming child welfare groups, our correspondent says.
Any man who looks at a seven-year-old girl and feels any sort of excitement should go see a doctor
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