About Capoeira

Capoeira is internationally popular with women, men and children as an exciting and fulfilling way to stay fit. Capoeira is a blend of dance, self-defense, acrobatics, music. It is one of the most complete workouts and fitness programs that develops strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, rhythm, agility, reflexes, endurance... and so much more. Capoeira develops mind, body, spirit and gets more enjoyable the longer one practices.

Invented by enslaved Africans in Brazil, capoeira is a self-defense disguised as a dance. Influenced by a blend of dances from diverse African cultures, capoeira was practiced as a hidden, playful game to fool the slave owners.

We practice a style of capoeira called "Mindful Capoeira" learned, practiced and developed by Mestre Ombrinho. Our policy is zero accidents, zero injuries and zero upsets. The following points distinguish "Mindful Capoeira" from other capoeira practices:

Mindful Capoeira

  • a way to learn and practice capoeira that promotes longevity and a lifelong practice 
  • use and mastery of capoeira's basic movements
  • developing intelligence over speed and force
  • emphasizing cooperation over competition
  • proper technique and control over violence–uncontrolled technique, physical contact and especially violence are not permitted
  • learning from the wisdom of the elder masters
  • accessible to people of all ages and abilities
  • building a supportive and inclusive community
  • celebrating freedom and diversity

Our Center

The New York Capoeira Center (NYCC) is an internationally-known academy where children and adults learn to play mindful capoeira seven days a week, year-round. We are located on the third floor of the historic Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. 

NYCC is the headquarters and Lower East Side home of Capoeira Angola Quintal (CAQ), the Portuguese name for our group. CAQ has a nationwide presence, with academies in Boston, San Francisco, Upstate New York, and North Carolina. Our teachers travel throughout the world to participate and teach in capoeira festivals and performances.

Our Mestre

The head instructor at the New York Capoeira Center and founder of Afro Brazil Arts is Mestre Ombrinho (Master Michael Goldstein). With over 31 years practicing capoeira and over 24 years experience teaching, he is the first North American Capoeira Master and the creator of Mindful Capoeira.

Our Organization

Afro Brazil Arts (ABA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization inspiring achievement, leadership, and community through capoeira made accessible to people of all ages and abilities. ABA operates the New York Capoeira Center and runs the Capoeira Fitness and Leadership Program at local schools.

Experience Capoeira for Yourself

We offer classes 6 days a week and put on events, parties, and performances throughout the year.

                                             Our Teachers

                                             Our Teachers


VIDEO: How we move and flow

VIDEO: Getting started in capoeira, what you will be practicing in your first classes