Why do Capoeira in New York City?

If you’re new to New York city like me, you know how hard it is to do the following…

  1. Make friends
  2. Stay active

People in New York are always on a mission. Their mission is the be the next big dancer, a successful lawyer, or a business person. I personally always feel like I’m busy! But something that helps me is taking some sort of group fitness class that helps me meet people while staying active. For me, that thing is Capoeira!


If you don’t know what Capoeira is, it’s an afro-Brazilian martial art that combines dance, self defense, and a full body workout. Models like Adriana Lima like it because it helps keeps them slim, fighters like Connor Mcgreggor like it because it teaches them to move and flow, and I like it because it’s FUN and I get the chance to meet people from all over the world. You also don’t need any equipment, which is really convenient, and you can use it to show off to your friends, which makes you feel pretty cool!

The history of Capoeira goes back over 400 years to the times of slavery in Brazil. Africans were brought over by the Portuguese to work on their plantations. The slaves were not allowed to practice their native forms of self defense, so instead they devised a way to conceal their martial art as a dance. This tradition of disguising Capoeira lasted until the early 1900’s when a man named Manuel dos Reis Machado (Mestre Bimba) created a more structured form of Capoeira that serves as the foundation for what we practice today. Despite 400 years of oppression, today Capoeira is recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, which is a pretty cool Rags to Riches story.


Today, Capoeira is found all over the world and that’s one of the things that makes it so cool. You can travel and find people with similar interests to you and become friends. I’ve tried Yoga, Taekwondo, gymnastics, and rock climbing – and I would say that the Capoeira community is the most welcoming, diverse, and willing to hang out with new people than any other I’ve found.

Fun, Friends, and Fitness… What else could you ask for in a group fitness class?

For information on classes in New York city reach out to dende.arts@gmail.com or check out class times at dendearts.com/classes