ACSF is a teaching school, where learning to teach, perform, and lead others is part of every student's development. At times, classes may be taught or assisted by an apprenticing student instructors as part of their training. ACSF’s and Mestranda Cigarra's philosophy is to provide all students with the tools to become professional instructors and performers.
Founder and president of ACSF, Mestranda Márcia Cigarra oversees and directs all performance and instructional programs. She is the lead instructor for the adult and teen on-site capoeira classes. As a leading figure in the international ABADÁ-Capoeira, “Mestranda Cigarra” began her journey in capoeira in 1982 studying with the legendary founder of ABADÁ-Capoeira "Mestre Camisa". In 1987, already one of his top students, she started teaching street children in Rio and since has worked with thousands of people from a variety of backgrounds.
Her accomplishments are many; top ranked female student of Mestre Camisa; one of the ten leading Mestrandas(os) of this international affiliated organization of over 40,000 members; travels world-wide as a guest instructor, developing a world-class organization; next-generation instructors/performers; receiving a National Interest Waiver as an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability” for permanent residency in the US; and a recent recipient of the 10 Women Award for her work building bridges between SF and Brazil and between youth of diverse Bay area communities.
Mestranda Márcia is undoubtedly a role model for thousands. While being a highly sought-after teacher attracting visiting students regularly from around the globe, she also continues to provide a consistently safe and affirming environment for San Francisco adults, youth and families to learn and grow in the heart of the Mission.
An accomplished artist and athlete, Antonio has been an integral part of the ACSF community since he began training with Mestranda Márcia Cigarra in 2001. He is now a graduate student of capoeira and a lead performer of the ACSF Performance Troupe, including notable performances in the Spirit of Brazil concert series and as a featured performer at the 33rd Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Antonio is also the lead instructor of the innovative BodyBrasil Fitness Program at ACSF, a member of the Board since 2007, full-time employee since 2009 and the Facility Manager at ACSF since 2011.
In 2010, Antonio competed in the ACSF International Jogos, where he won best Purple-Green Level Graduado. In 2011, Antonio represented the United States in the 8th Jogos Mundiais in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, where he advanced to the quarter-finals. At the same event, Antonio received his purple cord, earning him the title of "Instrutor." In 2012, Antonio attended ZUMBIMBA training at Mestre Camisa's CEMB training center. Antonio has been the leading instructor for ACSF’s arts education programs both on-site and off-site since 2008. In addition to being the primary instructor for all of our on-site youth classes and summer camp, he has done an outstanding job teaching at off-site at schools such as Fairmont Elementary, San Francisco Friends School, Jefferson School, Miraloma, McKinnley School, ALICE Center in Oakland and Up On Top elementary schools.
Antonio brings his background and charisma to his work with youth, striking a balance between hard work, discipline, and the freedom to be your self without judgment. He has produced several performance events with his students, often complementing capoeira, maculelê with samba and other forms of dance. Antonio's work was recently recognized by the community when ACSF won the Bay Area A-List Award for Best Children's Dance Studio in 2012 and again in 2013.
Aimee has been training with Mestranda Marcia since 2005, when she was baptized by Mestre Camisa. She is one of ACSF's most dedicated students and a member of the Performace Troupe. She has participated in performances throughout the Bay area, including the 2008 and 2011 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals and the 2009 and 2012 Spirit of Brazil.
She has also competed several times in San Francisco, where she won Best Amarela/Laranja (Yellow/Orange Cord) in 2006, Best Laranja (Orange Cord) in 2008, and Second Place in the Student Level in 2008. Graduada Tulipa has traveled to Brazil to take workshops with ABADA's Mestres and Mestrandos during the Jogos Brasileiros, Jogos Femininos and Jogos Mundiais in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
She has also participated in Batizado ceremonies with ABADA-DC and ABADA Raleigh/Durham. Most recently, she competed with world-class Brazilian and foreign capoeiristas in the Jogos Mundiais in Rio de Janeiro in 2011 and in the Jogos Femininos in 2012.
Elias started training capoeira in 2007 at ABADÁ-Capoeira San Francisco as a teen participant. He came from Guatemala, where he previously served in the military. He teaches several off-site residencies and workshops for kids and teens, including Up On Top. Elias has also taught the Sunday Community Classes and the Friday Teen's Only Capoeira at ACSF.
He is a lead performer with the ACSF Performance Troupe, consistently
In 2010, Elias competed in the ACSF International Jogos and won several
Elias has a love and talent to compose capoeira songs and has composed music for our events such as "Boa Alimentação" for our Adult Batizado in 2009 and "Nosso Futuro" for our Kid's Batizado 2010. His original benguela
Lisa was born and raised in Goiânia, Brazil. In 1998, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Public Relations from Universidade Estadual Paulista (São Paulo State University). Following college, Lisa worked in marketing for companies in both the United States and Brazil.
In 2003, she obtained a certificate in Integrated Marketing from U.C. Berkeley Extension. Lisa has been training under Mestranda Márcia Cigarra at ABADÁ-Capoeira San Francisco (ACSF) since 2007. During that time, Capoeira has become a primary passion in her life and Lisa has deeply invested herself in training. She participated in ABADÁ's Jogos Mundiais workshops in 2009 and 2011 and competed in ACSF's International Jogos in 2010.
She has been a member of the ACSF performance troupe since 2008, notably performing in the 2011 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and the 2012 Spirit of Brazil. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an apprenticing instructor at ACSF, teaching capoeira to children in Oakland, San Francisco and Marin County schools. She worked among the ACSF administrative team as Bookings Coordinator from 2010-2011, managing all off-site program contracts and studio rentals. Lisa resides in Marin County with her husband and young son.