I found capoeira in the year 2000 when I was living and studying in Valparaiso, Chile. I was twenty years old, learning a new language and ready for much more newness. One night I ventured out to a bar high on a hill in a neighborhood of one story stucco buildings and cobblestone streets. Late in the night, probably around 2, a group of young guys came out into the center of the bar and started doing a performance; it was capoeira. When they finished, and began filing out of the bar playing their instruments, I followed them. I followed them down the winding cobblestone streets, listening to their music and singing and chatting. We arrived at the edge of the world, the port, at dawn, and they had a roda, just about eight of them, on a cement pier, which I watched. And I wanted to do it.
I have been training capoeira ever since, and I have never once been bored with it. I trained with that informal street group in Valparaiso, with Mestre Joao Grande in New York, with Mestra Sorriso in Fairfax and finally, Mestre Marcelo Caveirinha here in Oakland, where I have been since 2004.
Currently I teach the beginners adult class on Wednesdays and the Sabia children’s class in Saturdays. I love capoeira; it has grown me in ways nothing else in my life has.