Mestranda Cigarra kicks ass - Page 3

She started practicing capoeira when women didn't do that kind of thing — now she runs the show at her own school

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Márcia Treidler, a.k.a. Mestranda Cigarra: "My mother was like 'are you crazy?'"
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY SAUL BROMBERGER AND SANDRA HOOVER

Capoeira is a good opportunity to let go of the "I'm sorry" hair trigger that plagues some females. "Women are too careful with each other," the Mestranda says. "It's like, I'm sorry? There's no sorry! You get out of the way. That's the challenge, for women not to think about it so much." It's difficult to picture Treidler hesitating — but then, she has been in rodas since she was 17 years old.

At the batizado in December, the Mestranda's values of inclusion are as visible among her white-uniformed students as the high fives they can't stop giving each other in the roda. After each class of graduates' names are called, honorees "play games" — capoeira terminology for the minute-long sparring sessions that show off the flowing acrobatics and feigned violence of the sport. These run the gamut from the younger kids' hyper, sky-high flips — done alongside each other as much as at each other — to the more focused bouts between older students. The latter range in tone from comical to rapid-fire serious. Everyone looks really good — er, healthy.

After a 2012 packed with performances, Treidler's ready to expand her flock, make it possible for her part-time instructors to follow her path and leave their construction or restaurant job to focus on their passion for the sport. "What's next you know?" she asks, somewhat rhetorically. "How can we use capoeira to make the world a better place?"

Abadá Capoeira 3221 22nd St., SF. (415) 206-0650, www.abada.org

 

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