Without our valued team members, our academy would be a big empty building. It is their passion for music, dance and martial arts that fills our space with energy. So it is with great pride that we showcase our Team Axé Capoeira Vancouver instructors!
Kenneth “Polvo” Clarke has been training with Axé Capoeira for 8 years and has over 4 years teaching experience.
Polvo travelled to Brazil in the summer of 2006 and has competed in numerous Capoeira events in Vancouver, Victoria, Sau Paulo (BR), Recife (BR), Forta Leza (BR), Salvadore (BR), Seattle, Calgary, Toronto, Kansas City, and Santa Cruz.
In 2007, Polvo Placed 1st in the advanced category during the Axé Capoeira
Kansas City Capoeira Competition.
He teaches at 5pm every Wednesdays and has an energetic and enthusiastic teaching style.
Michael “Morcego” Lewinson’s updated bio is coming soon.
Julie “Mumia” Ali was born in Burnaby, B.C. and now resides in Vancouver. She saw an Axé Capoeira demonstration at BCIT in 2003, and immediately fell in love with the combination of music, movement and martial arts. She joined Axé Capoeira and began taking classes in the Spring of 2004.
Training under the supervision and mentorship of Professor Barrãozinho, Mumia has been able to develop the skills, technique and knowledge to be a Capoeirista. To further enhance her knowledge and understanding of Capoeira and its roots she travelled to Brazil in 2005 and 2007, where she participated in events, workshops and classes across four states.
In 2006, she had the privilege of participating in Axé Capoeira’s week-long instructor’s course. At this course, revered Mestres of Capoeira including Mestre Barrão, and renowned historian Frede Abreu delivered in-depth lectures and intensive practical training.
Afro-Brazilian dance came to be a passion she discovered through Axé Capoeira. Aurina De Jesus (head choreographer of Axé Capoeira) trained her in a range of dances including Maracatu, Afro and Samba. She also has had the benefit of taking dance classes in Recife, Brazil at the famed Bale Popular do Recife. Mumia joined the Axé Capoeira Performance Group in 2005 and has since performed all over North America and in Brazil in over 100 shows.
Mumia is the Performance and Events manager for Axé Capoeira Vancouver. She currently teaches Capoeira and Brazilian Dance classes at the Vancouver academy. She also instructs Spinning and Zumba classes in the community.
Mumia attributes her drive, dedication and accomplishments in Axé Capoeira to the leadership and guidance of Mestre Barrao, Aurina De Jesus and Professor Barrãozinho.
Philip “Filipino” Gensaya has been training Capoeira with Axé Capoeira since Sept. 2006 under the guidance of Professor Barrãozinho. In only under 4 years of training, he received his advanced marrom (brown) belt at the annual Vancouver Batizado and Summer Festival in July 2010.
For the past couple years, he has taught, performed, played instruments and sang at many shows, demonstrations, festivals around the Lower Mainland and continues to travel to other cities in North America to participate in Capoeira workshops taught by some of the best teachers in the world.
Along with teaching at the main downtown academy, he also teaches a beginner capoeira class in his hometown of Richmond, BC.
Anthony “Dunga” Foti started training capoeira in 2006 under the guidance of Professor Paraiba and Monitor Careca, in Toronto. Shortly after starting to train, he became intrigued in the art of Capoeira. The music, movements, acrobatics and culture opened up a whole new form of expression.
Only after a few months of training he travelled to Victoria, B.C. for his first Capoeira Batizado and Troca de Corda. After this experience his eyes were opened up to the idea that Capoeira was not only a martial art, but a way of life.
After five years of training, he’s traveled all over North America to participate and perform in different events and has gone as far as Brazil to train and take part in the International Encounter. Through out these experiences he has had the opportunity to meet, train, play and get to know some of the most well known teachers and Mestres in the world of Capoeira.
Now, Anthony resides in Vancouver, B.C. training in the headquarters of Axé Capoeira under the guidance of Professor Barrãozinho, where he trains every aspect of the art with intensity and continues to grow as a person, capoeirista and teacher.
Tammy “Branca” Gagne has been training and performing with Grupo Axé Capoeira at the Vancouver academy under the supervision of Professor Barrãozinho since 2004. Thrilled to make her first trip with the grupo to Brazil in 2005 and again in 2007 she trained Capoeira, Brazilian dance, and couldn’t get enough Samba de Roda!
In addition to Brazil, she has also performed with Axé Capoeira in Phoenix, Seattle, Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver.
I’ve been a dancer all my life and find that great music motivates and gives me energy even when I think I’m done. I was curious about martial arts and when I saw a Capoeria demo at English Bay I knew I’d love it.
Branca is also a licensed Zumba instructor and has been teaching group fitness and yoga for 10 years.
As a Registered Fitness Leader with the BCRPA, Sheila “Capivara” Mohamed is an enthusiastic and dedicated person, with a natural passion to promote healthy lifestyles to people of all levels. She enjoys keeping herself and others around her active by combining her keen interest in wellness with Capoeira and Brazilian dance.
Capivara has trained with Axé Capoeira for over seven years under Professor Barrãozinho as one of his first students. She dances and performs with the group and has performed on stages in Phoenix, Seattle, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria and Brazil. Sheila also performs in schools throughout the lower mainland.
She now teaches Brazilian Dance Fit, a booty-shaking workout combining dance and strength training, and helps lead the Dance class here at our downtown academy.
Axé means good positive energy. Playing and performing with this group brings Axé into all aspects of life. Capivara hopes to always train, learn, grow and share Brazilian culture and dance through our community.