Sukha Arts, located in Harrington Park, NJ, is currently offering a six-week series of Capoeira classes courtesy of master instructor Alex of Arts United Capoeira in Jersey City. If you’re thinking, “I have no idea what Capoeira is or even how to pronounce it,” here’s some quick background information:
Capoeira (pronounced cap-oh-air-uh) is a form of martial arts that originated in Brazil but was heavily influenced by African dance styles. It seamlessly combines elements of music, dance, acrobatics, and fighting in a rhythmic series of quick, complex movements. Although the exact origins of Capoeira is debated, there is evidence of its existence beginning in the 16th century. It was practiced by slaves in Brazil but was disguised as a dance in order to protect those who practiced the martial art from punishment by their captors. Capoeira is most often set to traditional Brazilian berimbau music.
The Capoeira classes at Sukha Arts are held every Thursday evening from 8:00 – 9:30PM. Thursday, March 6 will be the third class. The classes are intimate and geared to the beginner. Alex adeptly conveys the essence of capoeira within the confines of the 90-minute session and tailors the instruction to the participants’ skill levels. I found him engaging, warm and supportive – pushing people to their edge yet keeping the class fun. He welcomes questions about the rich history of Capoeira and answers them with intricate detail. Traditional Capoeira music accompanies the classes, which involve individual and paired movement. It’s an intense, rewarding physical experience and one that combines skill, grace, strength and agility. (Haven’t tried doing a cart wheel since you were ten? No worries. You will be doing them before the end of the class, even if you are taking baby steps to get to a modified version.) The videos below capture portions of the class.
This class was the second class for these female students.
To sign up for the remaining classes, call Sukha at 201.768.2455. The studio, run by the infectiously joyful dance and yoga instructor Christine Chan, is located in Harrington Park at 76 Schraalenburgh Road.