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About Us


We are a capoeira academy based in Albuquerque, NM, led by Contramestre Cabeça de Ovo, with the support of esteemed Mestres Acordeon and Suelly. The school operates under the banner of the United Capoeria Association, an international organization for the study and practice of capoeira. We offer classes for adults and families out of Maple Street Dance Space in Nob Hill.


Ubirajara Almeida, a student of legendary Mestre Bimba, is an author, musician, historian, and an iconic capoeira master. One of the early pioneers to bring Capoeira to the United States in the late 1970's. Mestre Acordeon has been a guide for many generations of capoeiristas across the world in his nearly 60 years of dedication to this incredible art.  

"Capoeira is a tool to make people better human beings" 

- Mestre Acordeon


Suellen Einarsen is the first American woman to earn the title of Capoeira Mestra. She began her path in Capoeira in 1982 learning from Mestre Acordeon and is part of the first generation of his students in the U.S.A. She is widely recognized as one of the greatest Capoeira Mestras in the world.​


Founder of Capoeira Girassol.

Mestre Avestruz began training with Mestre Acordeon in the Bay Area in 1981. He founded Capoeira Girassol in 1984, based in Santa Fe, and was teaching there for ten years. Since leaving New Mexico, he has taught in Athens, GA and Boulder, CO (Canto do Galo), and founded his current group, Fundo da Mata in Knoxville, TN.


Greg Suchocki, Contramestre Cabeça de Ovo, is the leader and main teacher at Capoeira Girassol. He started capoeira in 1999. He has learned from Mestre Acordeon, Mestre Ra, Mestra Suelly, Contramestre Maluco (who ran our school in the early 2000's), Contramestre Avestruz (the founder of this chapter of UCA), among others. He brings a playful element to class, a hard work ethic and excellent music skills.​


Benjamin Shendo, "Gaviao", began his Capoeira journey in 2007. In 2012 after graduating from New Mexico State University, he started introducing Capoeira to his community at Jemez and Cochiti Pueblos. Gaviao strives to share all what he has learned from Mestre Acordeon and Mestra Suelly.


Instrutor Matrix teaches the Saturday Basics class and the Beginner Series at Capoeira Girassol. He has been practicing Capoeira for many years and began teaching in 2022. Instrutor Matrix has a special understanding of physical movements and how to teach them in an accessible way. He brings diligence, energy, and a sense of humor to his practice and enjoys sharing both the discipline and the playfulness of Capoeira with others.


Instrutora Duende teaches the Youth and Family class. She began her Capoeira journey in 2017 and quickly found a warm community in Capoeira Girassol. She began teaching Capoeira in 2021 as part of an after-school program, then took over the Youth and Family program in 2022. She is immensely grateful for the opportunities and lessons given her through teaching as a student and learning as a teacher. Instrutora Duende became enchanted with the music of Capoeira early on. She loves giving voice to the music, playing Berimbau, and teaching the traditional call-and-response songs in her classes.

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