Union Cultural Center was founded in 2010 with a mission to provide an experiential education space for teaching, sharing, and creating vibrant culture. Our space, located in the heart of Seattle's Chinatown/International District, is over 1000 square feet and hosts a variety of movement and music classes rooted in traditions of Brazil, West Africa, Puerto Rico and beyond. We are a warm and welcoming community space who would love to have you join our family of learners and teachers.
The history of Capoeira dates back to the 1500’s in Brazil as the Atlantic Slave Trade initiated the African Diaspora. Fueled by the colonial race for economic dominance, the Portuguese enslaved Africans from all over the West Coast of Africa to work the sugar cane fields in Brazil. Living in this oppressed society, they used their knowledge of rituals, dances, and fights from their homeland to develop a particular way to use their body to fight for freedom. From this resistance, Capoeira was born. It was disguised as a playful acrobatic dance and served both as a self-defense as well as a way to enjoy their free time to “vadiar,” get together with their “camaradas” after long days of work. Capoeira filled a need to build community and overcome oppression and fear. With its roots from Africa and seeds of resilience planted in Brazil, Capoeira is now branching out all across the world.
International Capoeira Angola Foundation (ICAF)
The International Capoeira Angola Foundation (ICAF) was founded in 1995 by Mestre Cobra Mansa, Mestre Jurandir, and Mestre Valmir in order to cultivate, preserve and grow the Afro-Brazilian cultural art Capoeira Angola. The Seattle branch of ICAF was established in 1997 by Mestre Jurandir with the support of a small group of dedicated students. Housed in the vibrant space of the Union Cultural Center, our mission is to connect and empower the Pacific Northwest community through Capoeira Angola and cultural arts. The Seattle chapter is one of 29 ICAF groups around the world.
ICAF is a family of international Capoeira Angola organizations. Explore the global network of Capoeira Angola: