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Capoeira Then and Now, As Told By SF School-Founder Mestranda Cigarra

January 25, 2013

 

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.

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