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Seattle Amistad Elementary Students Play & “Celebrate Life” through Capoeira at UW

Submitted by Lisa Kwak on March 15, 2023 - 3:28pm
  • Mestre Silvinho teaches the elementary students capoeira with a pool noodle
    Elementary Students from Seattle Amistad learning Capoeira from Mestre Silvinho at the UW
  • elementary students and UW students practice Capoeira together
    Seattle Amistad and UW Students practicing Capoeira together
  • Seattle Amistad students demonstrating their Capoeira moves
    Seattle Amistad students demonstrating Capoeira at the UW

On March 3rd, the UW Dance Capoeira class (Dance 287) hosted first and second graders from the Seattle Amistad School. UW Dance instructor Silvio Dos Reis, Mestre Silvinho in Brazilian Portuguese, invited the young capoeiristas to campus to join the class, where they demonstrated their knowledge of Capoeira and learned alongside college students. 

Mestre Silvinho has been teaching Capoeira at the Seattle Amistad School to pre-k through fifth and sixth-grade students for the past 10 years, where capoeira is a celebrated part of their curriculum. 

“I had this idea to bring the first and second graders from the Seattle Amistad School to visit the UW Dance Department. I wanted to show them another perspective about who can play Capoeira, show them that adults are working on the same movements that they are, and encourage them to keep challenging themselves! Also, I thought about how two groups of such different ages could learn from each other and develop respect, self-esteem, and care for each other. 

For the first and second graders, it was a party day; leaving the school and going to a big school to ‘teach the grown-ups,’ as they said. And for the UW students, it was a chance to practice working patiently, having control of the body and movements in order to play safely with a child, and also, an invitation to become a ‘kid’ again! I was happy to see how the class developed that day and I look forward to bringing other students from different grades to class again. It’s a great opportunity for learning, teaching, listening to each other, playing, and celebrating life!”