For the last 13 or so years the afrobrasilian art of capoeira has been an important part of my life. Miami Capoeira Sol e Lua is my current capoeira home. Their virtual classes have been my sanctuary throughout Covid. I train with them on Zoom 4 times a week (come try it with me!). Sol e Lua is a wonderful family run, woman owned and led space that offers affordable movement, music and art classes to people of all ages. They really embody the liberative spirit of the culture practice of capoeira which was created by enslaved African peoples in the land now known as Brasil. Sol e Lua is currently hosting a raffle to raise money for their annual community celebration graduation ceremony. Tickets are $15, raffle winner will be chosen this Friday, 19 February. You can view the prizes in the following slides. You can also just make a contribution to them as a gift to me for my birthday!
Continue reading below and on my blog to read about how I first got introduced to capoeira 13+ years ago and why I can’t live with out it.
In 2007 stumbled capoeira quite by accident. I was with some friends, we were looking for a free yoga class. We couldn’t find one so we decided to try a free capoeira class instead. We were high school seniors who had been given a few days off while the rest of the school participated in standardized tests. Free time was a foreign concept to us. We were overachievers who went to an arts highschool where we were accustomed to having nearly all of our waking hours scheduled. If we weren’t in class we were in rehearsal. If we weren’t in rehearsal we were practicing. If we weren’t practicing we were performing. In small windows of time between those activities we ate, slept, and did homework.
The capoeira class something to do so that we would have something to do. We piled into a car and drove to the address on the ad that we had found in the Creative Loafing paper. It was a physical newspaper, and the ad was the old fashioned printed kind. When we arrived at the listed location it was a set of loading docks on a parking lot that was mostly empty. It was dark out. We didn’t see any other people. It was quiet except for our voices. We nervously made jokes about which one of us would die first in the horror movie scene that we may have just driven ourselves into. We decided to get out of the car, we opened the appropriately marked door and it opened to small chamber with two other doors. Door number one was painted some bright color and had a huge creepy sunflower surrounding the peep hole. Door number two was bare. We could hear a BIG DOG barking behind it. The big dog seemed the lesser threat. We chose door number two. When we opened it music, capoeira music floated out. Our eyes were filled with the sight of men moving fluidly through the air as if it were water and they were fish fluttering around each other in playful games of tag. We quickly changed our cultural point of reference from horror movie to Sex in the City.
From the moment that I first saw capoeira, heard the music, felt the movements in my body it moved something in my soul. There is a song in capoeira that captures my sentiment exactly. It goes:
“Sem capoeira eu não posso viver
Sou peixe fora do mar
Passarinho sem voar
Dia sem escurecer”
“Without capoeira I cannot live
I am a fish without the sea
A bird without flight
A day without night”
For my birthday this year I’m asking you to celebrate with me by supporting my joy, my work and my communities. Each day I’ll be sharing one simple thing that you can do to support me in each of these areas.