Sunday, September 19, 2010

The unexpected benefits of capoeira

Strength? Check. Practice singing out of tune? Check. Buff men staring deep into your eyes? Check. Some of the benefits of capoeira are pretty predictable, but then there are the extras I never anticipated …
  1. French pronunciation is starting to make sense. While I recognize that, objectively, English pronunciation is at least at arbitrary as French, I've never been able to wrap my head around the Gaulish Romance language. But figuring out the subtle difference between Spanish and Portuguese, while confusing at times, somehow points Portuguese in the direction of French. Suddenly, French doesn't seem as bewildering. (Irony: French was the first foreign language I ever studied, not that I recall any of it.)
  2. I can follow choreography now. I've always had a hard time translating movement, not only making my own body do it, but even figuring out what the authority figure up at the front of the room was doing in the first place. I struggled through step aerobics back at the Y and never could handle the "advanced" class. Fast forward to Friday night where, through failure to pay attention on my part, I accidentally ended up as part of a dance rehearsal and was cruelly forced to participate. It's not that I was any good, but suddenly I was able to blunder my way through. (But no, I am still not joining your dance troupe and risking having to perform in front of people.)
  3. An excuse to wear white pants after Labor Day. I suppose this might be more useful to me if I wanted to wear white, like, ever. If I ever find someone to marry me, I won't be wearing a white gown, and there's a reason I don't play tennis. But, you know, now I can be a fashion rebel any time I want, as long as I throw a few meia lua de frentes whenever any good Southern matron scowls at me. (Still looking for an excuse to wear plaids and stripes together, though.)

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