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Viradouro drum queen, Erika Januza performs ritual before entering Avenida; check it out | The Day in the Folia

Erika Januza is the drum queen of Unidos do ViradouroAMB

Published 02/12/2024 07:00

Rio – There’s a Minas Gerais singer in samba! Erika Januza will scratch the ground at Marquês de Sapucaí, this Monday, as drum queen of Unidos do Viradouro. In her third consecutive year in office, the actress comments on her anxiety about the parade, declares her love for the Niterói school and talks about the lessons learned and the responsibility of reigning at the head of Furacão Vermelho e Branco, commanded by Mestre Ciça.

“I learned a lot from the first year until this one, and I continue to learn from the drum master, carnival director, president… Being drum queen brings a lot of responsibilities. One of the things I take from the beginning is the importance of being with the school. I’ve always wanted to be participatory and I’ve been able to do that, no matter how busy my schedule is”, says the artist, who maintains a good relationship with the community. “It’s wonderful. And I arrived as an artist queen, not from the community. Before, there was someone (Raíssa Machado) in the post for seven years. And I was very well received by everyone since the first year. And this relationship only improves” , celebrates.

Before stepping onto the Avenue, Erika likes to do some rituals. “I take a leaf bath at home beforehand, I pray, I light a candle. I have a massage, because it’s a lot of pressure, it makes me really nervous. During the technical rehearsal I already get nervous, but when I step in there, everything goes away. Everything goes away. I like it. I want to be quieter before the parade, so I watch the first schools on television. I’m fine standing by, I don’t like being late”, he says. Despite it not being her debut, the actress jokes that the nervousness is the same as it was at the beginning. “I’m still nervous, my butterflies haven’t gone away.”

This year, Viradouro will take the samba-plot “Arroboboi, Dangbé” to Marquês de Sapucaí, which talks about the energy of the cult of snake vodum. But Erika already says that her fantasy will not have the snake as a reference. “The school will bring a lot of snakes, but I won’t be a snake. My costume is light and not behaved, no. At this time of year, I really show my body (laughs). My look doesn’t have feathers, I can’t wear them anymore. Visually it’s more beautiful, but when you stop to think that that feather comes from an animal… I no longer feel comfortable, so I resort to other techniques”, he explains.

Born and raised in Contagem, Minas Gerais, the artist has Evelyn Bastos, drum queen of Mangueira, who will pay homage to the singer Alcione, as inspiration. “She has a presence that you can’t take your eyes off of. Even standing still she is an event”, she says.

Body healed

The good shape of Erika, 38 years old, attracts attention. Owner of a toned body and beautiful curves, the actress considers herself more ‘little girl’ in relation to the other queens and says that in this pre-carnival period she ends up losing weight due to school rehearsals. “I’m a skinny queen, more ‘small’ compared to some others, but I’m happy with that. The important thing is to go through the Avenue with breath, samba a lot until the end, that’s my goal. During this period, I samba a lot, which It’s a very strong aerobic exercise, and I lose a lot of weight. So, I also go to the gym to try to gain more mass. I also eat better at this time.”

Confirmed presence at Belo Horizonte Carnival

Erika will also perform at a samba school in Belo Horizonte, called Cidade Jardim, as a guest drum queen. “I finish the Viradouro parade and I’m going to BH. I was invited to participate in the Carnival there and I think it’s important for you to honor the Carnival in your hometown. There, there’s a very strong street Carnival and there’s also a samba school parade. And Few people know. I really hope that it will be a Carnival that grows more and more.”

In the cast of ‘Dona Beija’

Amid the carnival hustle and bustle, the actress records the HBO Max soap opera “Dona Beja”, in which she will play Candinha. “We record the soap opera until March 20th. My character is Candinha, a character who went through a very strong life drama. I’m loving it and I think people will like it too”, believes the artist, who points out similarities with Candinha. “I’m always lucky enough to play strong characters, warriors. I think she has that and it’s a lot of what I have too, to bounce back, to be strong in certain situations, despite the hurt.”

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