Our Teachers


Michael " Mestre Ombrinho" Goldstein

Adult & Children's Program

The head instructor at the New York Capoeira Center is Mestre Ombrinho (Master Michael Goldstein). With over 34 years practicing capoeira and over 30 years experience teaching, he is the first North American Capoeira Master. The mission of his work and organization is, through capoeira classes and performances, to inspire achievement, leadership, and community. He is renown for making capoeira accessible to people of all ages and abilities. 

He began studying Capoeira in 1981 with Mestre Acordeon and Mestre Jelon, the two world recognized masters who brought capoeira to the United States. He made his first trip to Brazil in 1985 where he trained with many legendary masters, young and old. Having trained many capoeira styles including Regional, emphasizing fighting aspects, and Angola, Mestre Ombrinho was drawn to the more grounded, internal style of Capoeira Angola.

Today he leads an international movement towards creating a Mindful Capoeira practice.

Ombrinho is a disciple of Grand Master Norival Moreira de Oliveira, Mestre No, of Bahia, Brazil. Mestre No, known as the Master of Masters, has been practicing and teaching for over 60 years. Ombrinho received his master’s diploma in 1996, under the authority of Grand Master No.

He has been teaching in the New York City area since 1988. He has organized International Capoeira festivals and retreats in New York City, Ithaca, San Francisco, Cape Cod, and Bahia, Brazil. He has graduated many fine practitioners and instructors, both women and men. He speaks fluent Portuguese and leads international encounters at Capoeira centers throughout Brazil

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Solomon "Ariranha" Nadaf

Adult Program

I have been practicing capoeira since 2002. Practicing capoeira lets me be a superhero every day of my life, and the people at the academy are the best family I could ask for. During the day, I work with developmentally-disabled people. 

What I like most about teaching capoeira is watching people break through the same difficulties that i had to break through when i was at their stage. You never know what you're able to do until you do it. and you never know what you're able to learn until you do and you look up and suddenly a whole roomful of people is cheering for you.


Hazel "Pavão" Chi

Adult Program

I have been practicing capoeira at CAQ since 2007. I was training with the CAQ Ithaca group until 2009 and then joined the New York CAQ family. The best part about practicing capoeira at CAQ is the people and encouraging community. I love teaching because I remember what it was like to try something new and different and want to encourage others to do so as well. Outside of capoeira, I am the business development manager at a mobile media venture. Capoeira is a truly creative and fun yet physically challenging practice and everyone should give it a try!

Keith Elijah "Macabé" Fasciani

Adult Program

Born and raised in the Bronx, NYC, Macabé first came to Mestre Ombrinho and capoeira when he was in high school. His love for breakdancing easily embraced his love for capoeira. After a few years of training, Macabé left NYC to study theater and life took him away from capoeira. He spent time as a professional actor and then went on to join the circus in San Francisco as a clown. Upon returning to NYC after this journey he rejoined with Mestre and CAQ. Macabé is ever-grateful for his CAQ family and is always happy to be upside-down with his capoeira sisters and brothers both as a teacher and a student.


Zachary "Mosquitinho" Leo

Adult & Children's Program

I started capoeira in 2007 up in Rochester under Contra-Mestre Carcará and upon graduating college I returned home and began training under Mestre Ombrinho. Capoeira is such an enriching art that helps to liberate mind and body, constantly presenting new and interesting challenges to overcome, and creating family-like bonds between teachers and students. I believe CAQ accomplishes all that and more ! Through teaching others capoeira I strive to learn more myself so that I may continue to inspire students as they inspire me. Outside of capoeira I am an illustrator and animator and I wish to merge them with my love of capoeira. If you're thinking of trying capoeira, you should just do it because its AWESOME!


Lee-Sean "Macarrão" Huang

Adult Program

I have been practicing capoeira at CAQ since 2010. The best part about practicing capoeira at CAQ is the supportive community and commitment to excellence. Outside of capoeira, I am the creative director of Foossa, strategy and design consultancy, which means I spend a lot of time at a desk, working on a computer. I like how capoeira gets me moving and singing. Everything seemed daunting when I first started, but the teachers and community at the center have always been patient and encouraging. 

Anastasia "Maré" Arikidis

Adult Program

I started capoeira in Indiana, Pennsylvania with Professor Giratorio, a CAQ capoeira teacher now living and teaching in Okracoke Island, NC. I moved to NYC to practice and study under Mestre Ombrinho and CAQ NYC. I have trained competitively in volleyball on a women's team in Greece and am now getting my master's degree in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages. "In capoeira I found two very important things; a strong, loving community, and physical and emotional strength. Both help me lead a better and happier life."

Asher Gabriel "Raposão" Hurtado 

Children's Program

I have a BA in Psychology at the New School with a focus on children. I also started practicing capoeira while I was at the New School. I have worked for over 10 years as teacher and coach for children in orphanages, summer camps, and sports. My mission is to help as many people, especially children, to live their full potential.