Capoeira (Brazilian Martial Art), pole dancing, salsa, swing, and belly dancing are taking Sandy Hill by storm. Three new studios operate in Place de la Francophonie 450 Rideau Street at the corner of Chapel. We went down to check out the facilities and take part in a Dende do Recife Capoeira class. Now we can’t wait to go back for more.
DENDÊ DO RECIFE
Marrying the discipline of martial arts to the beauty of dance is Capoeira group Dende do Recife. This Groupo de Capoeira bring quick-fire Brazilian acrobatic flips, spins and sweeps to build strength and dexterity in a convivial rhythmic dance environment.
Founded in 1999 by Mestre Fabinho Cuencas who trained in Recife – Brazil’s 5th largest (3mil+) city – they offer courses for all levels and ages. This is a rare opportunity to get fit while discovering Brazilian culture and music with global roots.
We went to Sunday kid’s class to meet instructor Sereia and Mestre Fabinho. The welcome was so positive it effectively melted any trepidation we felt about participating. Moves were a series of complicated, sometimes counter-intuitive twists, turns and kicks engaging muscle and mind in acrobatic activities that were both challenging and enjoyable. Our guide Sereia was ever encouraging creating an atmosphere where kids and adults could concentrate on improving with confidence in this energetic martial art ballet. The hour wrapped up with each participant having a turn with Capoeira instruments as music is an equal partner in this physical discipline. African-born instrument the Berimbau and Arabian rhythm-setting drum the Atabaque were passed around as we engaged in music and song. A truly encompassing and immersive class.
On a Friday night they host the weekly Roda – a musical circle of instruments and traditional songs – where capoeiristas take turns two at a time to enter the circle and perform a spiralling fighting dance “game”.
See Dende do Recife for further details and full schedule.
Swing Dynamite offers a trip back in time to the most popular dances of the 20’s – 40’s including the Lindy Hop straight out of Harlem at the apex the jazz scene of the late 20’s and the Charleston – the Hip-Hop of its era.
The energetic, athletic classes are tailored for beginners or experienced dancers wishing to add new – or in this case old-skool- moves to their repertoire.
Dance Studios offer a wide range of options from Ballroom through Pole dancing, Samba, Burlesque and Belly dancing.
Dance Studios also offer Zumba classes four nights a week which are a fun and popular way to get fit without having to leave the neighbourhood.
All Classes range from beginner through intensive and on Saturday morning they offer a children’s call in latin dance.
Weekly Dances in Sandy Hill
Tuesday Nights Swing UofO holds a 5$ practice session on Campus open to the public. Tuesday’s 9pm during term.
Friday nights there’s a weekly 5$ OSDS dance at 317 Chapel – All Saints Church – 8:30-12:30am.
Also on Friday’s Dende do Recife hold their weekly Roda 6-7:30pm – a musical circle of instruments and traditional songs – where capoeiristas take turns two at a time to enter the circle and perform a spiralling fighting dance “game”.
Still at 450 Rideau is a weekly swing night every Saturday. Show up at 8:00 for an hour lesson or pop by a little later to simply swing the night away until 1am!