Julio Monteiro (front centre) held capoeira workshops for Trafalgar students. Photo submitted

Trafalgar students learn capoeira

Instructor Julio Monteiro visited Nelson to teach the Brazilian martial art

An internationally famous martial artist made a stop in Nelson last month to teach capoeira to Trafalgar Middle School students.

Julio Monteiro taught mini workshops during the school day, as well as an open community workshop during the evening Oct. 24 to 27.

Capoeira is at once a Brazilian dance and a martial art, where you are using your agility and anticipation, together with a partner, to ‘dance’ toward each other through kicks and away by bending, feinting and avoiding.

Brought to the Kootenays by long-time friend and Trafalgar teacher Tim Wooldridge, this is the second time that Monteiro has visited the school.

Coming from Vancouver where he has a successful martial arts association, Monteiro especially loves working with youth.

His workshops culminated in a fantastic roda (circle) celebration with more than 200 students in the gym mimicking the ginga movement of Monteiro in perfect unison.

The success of the final celebration demonstrates the student’s enthusiasm and motivation, as well as their quick ability to learn capoeira.

Each workshop had students moving through the basic physical movements as well as singing the songs. Monteiro demonstrated the various instruments — including the tambourine, drum and berimbau. Students had the opportunity to play the instruments, trying their best and seeing how with a little practice they could sing the chorus of these ancient songs.

Overall it was a magnificent visit and the students of Trafalgar look forward to another visit by Monteiro in the spring. Capoeira continues on at Trafalgar through a Lifelong Learning Exploration class held every Wednesday with Wooldridge.

If you would like to learn more about capoeira at Trafalgar please contact Wooldridge at twooldridge@sd8.bc.ca.

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