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From cubicle to Carnival: A samba dancer keeps her day job

Felipe Dana / AP

Samba dancer Diana Prado, right, adjusts her costume as she prepares for a carnival parade at central station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb. 2.

Felipe Dana / AP

Samba dancer and as a call center supervisor Diana Prado talks with a co-worker, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb. 5.

Pilar Olivares / Reuters

A reveller participates in the annual block party known as the "Banda de Ipanema

Published 3:30pm ET -- Though samba dancers, or "passistas," as they're known in Portuguese, are unquestionably the star attractions of the world's most iconic Carnival celebrations, they're not on the payroll of the samba school they represent. Diana Prado made her Carnival debut at age 19, after auditioning for a spot with the Sao Clemente, one of 13 top-tier schools that will compete for the annual titles at the Sambadrome this weekend.

Prado spends her daylight hours working at a call center. At night, she is a samba dancer for the Sao Clemente group. Although her hectic schedule of pre-Carnival preparations often requires her to apply her extravagant glitter stage makeup in the office bathroom, Prado insists being a "passista" doesn't undermine her authority with the 15 telemarketers she supervises.

-- The Associated Press

Felipe Dana / AP

Samba dancer and a call center supervisor Diana Prado sits at her work desk, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb. 5.

Felipe Dana / AP

Samba dancer Diana Prado does her makeup before the start of a carnival parade at central station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb. 2.

Felipe Dana / AP

Samba dancer Diana Prado performs during a carnival parade at central station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb. 2.