Capoeira Then and Now, As Told By SF School-Founder Mestranda Cigarra
While chronicling the rise and spread of capoeira from Brazil to the sunny Mission District of San Francisco this week, The SF Bay Guardian did a fantastic job of contextualizing and highlighting women’s increasingly important role in the movement by featuring Márcia Treidler—a.k.a. Mestranda Cigarra—founder of Abadá Capoeira’s SF chapter:
Treidler, who is now one of two of the highest ranking females in her school Abadá’s 41,000-member international organization, started practicing 31 years ago in Rio de Janeiro. She lived in Botafogo, a middle class beachfront neighborhood. At the time, capoeira still wasn’t considered respectable — and certainly not an obvious choice for an ambitious young woman. After becoming entranced by the sport at a school performance, the current Mestranda had to work on her mother for a year before she would agree to finance her classes.
“Women in capoeira was not popular at all,” Treidler says. “[My mother] was like ‘are you crazy? What are you thinking?'” Treidler had been active in sports — swimming and gymnastics — since she was six, but her mother insisted on observing capoeira classes before she’d agree to let her high school age daughter enroll.
“The [sport’s] reputation was really bad at the time,” Treidler remembers. “But when I first started, I never stopped.”
Read the full article here.