C.R.E.A.M. (Capoeira Rules Everything Around ME =0))
If you know me then you understand just how important dance is to me. My mom tells me that I used to dance even when she changed my diapers. As she described, “you used to move your but from left to right, and your legs had this rhythmic flow to them, that I just knew you were going to love dance.” As the years passed I knew music videos artists and dances to numerous songs just at the age of three, I even had my little ambiance which acted as the settings of my performances. My costume a big red sweater that wore on my head, a huge silver “boom box” complete with cassette tape and huge antenna. In this space I was in my element and grew to become a very passionate dancer. Throughout my future years I trained in West African dance, contemporary, jazz, and my strength hip hop and became so passionate about this art form that I had it written on me. Some people know the saying, “cash rules everything around me” as it was said in a famous hip hop song in the 90’s. While home in the summer I heard that saying altered in a slightly different phrase, “Dance rules everything around me” I fell in love with it and since it was so fitting, I decided to get it tattooed on my back. However after I arrived in the UK the significance of dance diminished in this chapter of my life because I didn’t have an outlet in which to express myself.
Once I arrived at UEA Capoeira become one of the most influential aspects of my time here. But it was not until this past weekend when I truly realized that my passion for dance became rivaled by Capoeira.
On the morning of Saturday February 20, 2010 a Brazilian Capoeira Master visited the Norwich Capoeira group and his visit changed my world forever. It was the first sunny day of the entire week. The previous night I had refrained from going out because of the anxiety and nervous feelings I had for the following day. I woke up refreshed; the sun shined brightly the window of my Village flat, the sky blue with beautiful dashes of white clouds. It was the warmest it had been all week, so I wore a simple coat jeans, and my basketball shorts under, so I could be ready to begin the workshop. As I walked I put my favorite playlist on my ipod and I walked to the recreation center just 30 minutes away down Earlham road from the village, millions of emotions raced through my mind. What did he look like, how fast was he going to go, how was his methods of teaching, what was his focus in Capoeira , how many years had he been training, and most important was he going to kick my ass? Needless to say no matter how much I pondered the questions I would not be able mentally prepare myself for what I was about to experience.
I walked into the recreation center, my palms sweaty, and my stomach filled with “butterflies” and as the rest of the Norwich Capoeira and I anticipated the arrival of the Capoeira master the thought flowing through everyone’s mind was, how intense was this going to be? He arrived 30 minutes behind schedule but wasted no time. There was a brief introduction and immediately afterwards class begun. Master Biscuim started the class with each of us picking up two sticks, and began conditioning exercises with a timely speed increase after each run through. My heart began to race as I dramatically wondered if I would make it out of this workshop alive. The stamina needed to make it through the exercises was illustrated by few, and the rest of the class struggled in an attempt to keep up with even our original Capoeira Professors showing some difficulty.
As the class continued the more my interest grew. In the second phase of the class the Master demonstrated a sequence of moves that we were expected to follow. Normally in class I don’t have difficulty keeping with the choreographed set of movements, but the speed that was required was indescribable, and what was worse was that before I could even get through one set of the movements Mestre Biscuim was already beginning his 3rd set. Although I could not even pretend to keep up, the joy I felt was insurmountable, I had not been able to recall a time more physically demanding then that moment, and I was loving every minute of it.
Soon we broke off into pairs practicing certain sequences of kicks and tricks, and as the pace quickened I felt my adrenaline began to rise. Each motion took more energy than the one that preceded it and yet, I still found more to draw from until it was time to switch partners. I found myself surpassing limits with each motion and it was not because of something I felt I needed to prove, but instead there was a passion that made those limits disappear. Then we formed a Rhoda and the whole class participated and as I saw kicks, shamada’s, Gingas, and numerous kicks fly at indescribable speeds, I discovered just how deep I had fallen in love with Capoeira, so much so that it rivaled my passion for dance. As the workshop went on the joy felt grew, and as my friends would say, “I was cheesing” the entire workshop, even when I was walking home I felt a certain type of joy that I hadn’t felt since performing at dance competitions in High School. Out of this entire time of being abroad, the capoeira workshop has been one of the most memorable experiences that I will take with me and look on with joy.
C.R.E.A.M…….at least in the UK