But Brazil dances to the beat of many different drummers, reflecting its diverse population.
The top Afro-Brazilian styles range from afoxe, ceremonial soundtrack for the religious processions of candomble, to lundu, maracatu, axe, ijexa, and frevo, the latter of which comes with a feverishly playful dance.
Keeping track of all the different beats has made Brazilian percussion the most sophisticated in the world, with a slew of drum instruments found nowhere else, such as the comical cuica, which sounds like a dog in heat.
The Northeast of Brazil has its own country-style beats -- embolada, baio, xote and forro, which is also a hugely popular dance in Brazil.
The rural folk music of the south gave rise to musica sertaneja, a romantic ballad style that is the most popular music in the country today.
Kissing strangers is customary
Getting to know people in Brazil is a fast-track process.
Since they don't place much stock in personal space, Brazilians have an easier time of breaking through the emotional space, too.
It's customary for a male introduced to an adult female to provide a kiss on both cheeks -- and on leaving, too.
A day heavy in meet-and-greets can lead to a lot of cheek nuzzling, which for some makes Brazil a wonderful thing and for others a place of more colds and flus.
Body language is as important as Portuguese here.
Guys aren't afraid to put an arm around another male to emphasize a point.
Placing a hand on a shoulder or providing a robust bear hug and a salvo of air kisses is part of an intricate social dance that results in a welcoming vibe for travelers.
Piranha won't eat you if you fall in an Amazon river
It's burned indelibly into every movie fan's mind -- the fiendish feeding frenzy of piranha stripping a human down to dental work.
It turns out these pint-sized demons aren't nearly the sociopaths they're cracked up to be.
Piranha live in the major river basins of South America, and the Amazon tributaries of Brazil are well-stocked with them.
They do have nasty choppers that bite Brazilians swimming in rivers, but they don't strip them to the bone.
Some trace the origin of that legend to a visit by early 20th-century President Teddy Roosevelt. Locals blocked off a river and filled it with starving piranha, and then tossed in a cow to guarantee a good show for the President.
It set off the famous piranha swarm, embellished later by newsreel and movie makers.