Forró (Portuguese pronunciation: [foˈʁɔ]) is a kind of Northeastern Brazilian dance as well as a word used to denote the different genres of music which accompanies the dance. There are several theories on the origin of the name but the one often heard popularly in Brazil is that the word forró is a derivative of the English expression "for all" and that it originated in the early 1900s. English engineers on the Great Western Railway of Brazil near Recife would throw balls on weekends and classify them as either only for railroad personnel or for the general populace ("for all"). This belief was somewhat reinforced by a similar practice by USAF personnel stationed at the Natal Air Force Base during World War II, but it is not possible because before the USAF went to Natal, the name "Forró" was already in use.
Forró is the most popular genre in Brazil's Northeast. It is the name of the dance. Different genres of music can be used to dance the forró. Traditionally, all of these music genres uses only three instruments (accordion, zabumba and a metal triangle). The dance also become very different as you cross the borders of the Northeast into the Southeast. As part of the popular culture it is in constant change. The dance known as college forró is the most common style between the middle-class students of colleges and universities in the Southeast, having influences of other dances like salsa and samba-rock. The traditional music used to dance the forró was brought to the Southeast from the Northeast by Luiz Gonzaga, who transformed the baião (a word originated from baiano and assigned a warm-up for artists to search for inspiration before playing) into a more sophisticated rhythm. In later years, forró achieved popularity throughout Brazil, in the form of a slower genre known as xote, that has been influenced by pop-rock music to become more acceptable by Brazilian youth of Southeast, South and Central regions.