This past weekend, I had the pleasures of going to Charlotte, North Carolina for an awesome Capoeira event. Contra Mestre Zumbi of Cordão de Ouro hosted an even called the Winter Games.
What drew me to his event was the fact that I went to the Charlotte Batizado a few years back. Mestre Esquilo was there, Mestre Cueca, and many others. the vibe was so great and I think that energy enabled me to play as well as I could - it’s rare to find such an event.
That being said, I had to go again, but this time I had a plan. I asked my job to let me work remotely - most activities didn't start until the afternoon so I had plenty of time to work during the day. Instead of flying in on Friday, like most people, I flew in on Wednesday afternoon. One of Zumbis students picked me up (instagram: @rebbs_3. Check her out on Instagram!) and this was also the person who hosted me. PRO TIP! If you're going to an event for a few days, make sure to coordinate well ahead of time to make sure there is enough space for you.
Like I mentioned, most people come to an event on Friday and leave Sunday morning. The NEW META is coming early guys. Come early. Why? Because coming early means building relationships with students and teachers. Yes, you could do this during the event, and if you're more of a socialite, then maybe this is your arena, but I think most people would benefit from coming a few days early and getting some one on one time with the hosting teacher and their students.
This is a great chance to take their classes, get food with them, or just help out in whatever way you can. Capoeira is about helping other and making friends - at the very end of the day.
DURING THE EVENT
Personally, I find it very hard to get to know someone during the event. Friday, there are workshops and rodas and the same goes for saturday. The time is short, and even if there’s a party afterwards, you don’t always get good one on one time with someone. At a party everyone’s high energy and trying to have fun, so building a connection with someone doesn’t always work here either.
Although this has something to do with preference, I would definitely encourage people to go early to events. If you enjoy traveling, then going early also allows you to get to know a place because if you’ve ever been to a Capoeira event, you know that you barely see anything outside of the academy space.
Capoeira’s about making friends! And I definitely did during my trip to Charlotte, NC. If you want to see the rodas from the event, check out my youtube page, where I post videos and other goodies. Videos should be up by Monday.