Notting Hill Carnival is a competition, not just a party. All London School of Samba participants MUST adhere to the requirements of the judging criteria for samba schools. The category ‘harmonia’ counts for 30 points out of 100. To achieve these points we need to be parading IN LINE, AT AN EVEN PACE, and there must be NO GAPS opening up between these lines or between alas. In the ‘evolução’ category, which counts for a further 10 points out of 100 we will be marked on HOW MUCH WE LOOK LIKE WE ARE ENJOYING IT and this includes smiling and EVERYONE SINGING THE SONG.
The picture above illustrates BAD HARMONIA; uneven spacing, mixing with the ala behind, and one of the girls is even chatting to her boyfriend off at the side. It illustrates why at least one president of Mangueira threatened to abolish the ala das passistas one year. Passistas are the worst enemy of the Harmonia director because their style of dance is extremely spontaneous and improvised, and each passista moves according to their own personality. As you can see, it is a mess – a beautiful mess, but a mess all the same! And this loses points.