Break dancing got its origins from the ancient Brazilian martial art known as Capoeira.
WHAT is Capoeira?
Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that has been around for hundreds of years. The slaves that were brought to Brazil were not allowed to engage in any kind of fighting, for fear from their masters that they would revolt up and take over. They created capoeira, which is a form of martial art disguised by dancing. Break dancing took a part of capoeira to become what it is today. Capoeira also involves Brazilian music and instruments. View a video of capoeira HERE.
On Saturday July 9th, 3pm at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City, the Salt Lake Capoeira group will hold their annual Batizado. Entrance fee is ten dollars per person. A Batizado is a celebration where students come together to show what they have learned throughout the year and during the week-long workshops. Capoeira Masters from Brazil and around the world will gather to perform and present the students with their “cords”, similar to “belts” in other martial arts.
Capoeira is also a great way to lose weight and get/stay in shape! Classes are available at the Utah Arts Alliance Center where Salt Lake Capoeira is located, or at the Salt Lake Community College Redwood Campus for college credit. Classes are available for all age groups (kids classes included!), and all abilities.
Capoira in the movies, television, and music:
Capoeira has been featured in movies such as Only The Strong starring Mark Dacascos (1993), Rooftops (1989), and currently Oceans Twelve, among many others. Capoeira masters and students have starred in Stargate SG-1 and High School Musical movies. Because of the dance-like nature of Capoeira, it has been featured in Blackeyed Peas and Paul Simon music videos. Singer Ricky Martin has also had formal training in Capoeira.
Mestrando Jamaika (Mauro Romualdo) found his passion for capoeira at age seven as a native of Teixeira de Freitas, Bahia, Brazil. By age 15 he was traveling throughout Brazil to train and compete, later winning three consecutive titles in the 1996, 1997 and 1998 Brazilian Capoeira Confederation Championships, all before age 20.
Certified to teach under the title of “Professor” in 1997, Mestrando Jamaika’s exceptional skill and explosive acrobatic talent have since placed him among the most sought-after instructors within the Capoeira community, teaching and performing at workshops and events throughout the US, Israel, Mexico and Brazil for the past 20 years. You might recognize him from roles in various independent films, documentaries and music videos, or as Shockwave’s popular Capoeira Fighter 3 video game character, appropriately named “Jamaika.”
In September of 2004, Jamaika was awarded the title of “Mestrando,” the rank preceeding that of a Mestre or “Master,” by Mestre Loka with Mestres Amen Santo (Only the Strong) and Demetrius in attendance.
Mestrando Jamaika has continues to give workshops all over the United States and the world for other capoeira schools as well as for arts and professional dance programs.
Jamaika currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Amanda. He has extensive experience as a teacher, performer, and musician and would like to continue to reach people through the multi-faceted martial art of capoeira.
Common Capoiera terms:
Roda (HO-duh): Meaning circle; the circle that capoeira students perform in
Berimbau (bay-deen-BOW): A musical instrument commonly used during capoeira; shaped like a “bow and arrow”
Pandeiro (pan-DAY-do) = tamborine
Atabaque (ah-tah-BAH-key): a large congo drum
Batizado (BAW-chee-ZAW-do): a celebration of capoeira where students attend workshops and earn their cords
All photos used have been taken from theSalt Lake Capoeira website.