Capoeiraskolen Senzala

Denmark's first capoeira school "Capoeiraskolen Senzala" has been founded and led by Mestre Steen since 1991. The school's main center on Frederiksberg in Copenhagen is an important gathering place for the approx. 600 students associated with our 10 departments in Denmark and Serbia.

The Capoeiraskolen Senzala has some of Europe's most highly qualified teachers. We offer lessons for children aged 2 and up, and for adults of all ages and levels, from happy amateurs to elites.

We are the initiators and responsible for the oldest annual capoeira event in the Nordics, where in May 2024 we held the 27th Scandinavian Capoeira Meeting, as always with the participation of the world's leading capoeira practitioners from home and abroad.

Capoeiraskolen Senzala's teachers and students participate in capoeira workshops around the world, and once a year a Master Class is held for the school's highest graduates, to ensure an up-to-date, consistently high level and a unified set of values.

This year's summer camp for children aged 7-14 is always a great way to end the season, and approx. every second year a cultural inspiration trip is organized for the school's students to Brazil.

Over the past 25 years, we have worked closely with Mestre Toni and Mestre Ramos. Today they teach and take care of Mestre Peixinho's capoeira academy, Ilé seu Peixinho, in Rio de Janeiro.

Together we proudly continue the legacy of our master, Mestre Peixinho, and convey the importance of the history, traditions, rituals and respect for the elders of the capoeira culture.

In his spirit, we are constantly developing new capoeira techniques and movements, and composing new songs that reflect the times we live in and bring us into the future.


My vision - by Mestre Steen

From the start, my dream and vision was to create a life where I could live from my passion, capoeira. To have my own premises - and to realize this, I just had to have enough students. I named my vision the Capoeiraskolen Senzala, so it sounded big and established.

However, it started very humbly, with 10 students, in an old, half-abandoned industrial property on the outskirts of Frederiksberg, in a very small training hall of approx. 50 square meters. If it was going to grow, we needed something bigger, so one day I went exploring in the building.

At the end of a completely bombed out and abandoned room on the floor above, I opened a fire door and suddenly I was standing in a perfect 150 square meter dance hall. It turned out to be a ballet school, where we thrived for the next 8 years and slowly grew in number.

However, everything comes to an end, and suddenly, with only 14 days' notice, we were terminated as the building had been bought by a publishing house and had to be renovated. I was in deep crisis! Where do you find a training place in Frederiksberg for now 50 students who train 3 times a week in just 14 days? Get on the bike and drive the municipality thin, but in vain, I couldn't find anything.

Then I thought of the perfect hall, at the Fr�belseminariet, in the center of Frederiksberg, where 10 years earlier I had been to a giant drum orchestra rehearsing in connection with the Fools festivals. I had almost given up but went there and researched the possibility of teaching there and then the unlikely happened. The janitor was super nice, the rent was affordable, and the hall was huge, 250 square meters, with 6 meters to the ceiling, wooden floor and no posts.

Frøbelseminariet became our new home and over the next 15 years the Capoeiraskolen Senzala and capoeira in Europe grew really big. Capoeira's popularity exploded due to a Nokia mobile commercial, and it flooded in with students. We had lessons every weekday, adult groups at 3 levels. In the beginner team alone, there were 70 registered for a period. We held large events and huge parties, with up to 400 guests, with live bands at the Frøbelseminariet. We went to workshops around Europe, and attended countless week-long events in Amsterdam and Hamburg.

Photo: Andreas Wiking

In the year 2000, a small, young Serbian man suddenly appeared at the training. As a representative of a very small group in Belgrade, he wanted to be my student. In August 2001, after much deliberation, I went to Belgrade to give a workshop to the capoeira-hungry Serbs.

The civil war had just ended, and the atmosphere upon my arrival at Belgrade airport was incredibly tense and uncomfortable. But the hospitality and interest in capoeira was fantastic, and the following year we were able to hold the first graduation of Capoeiraskolen Senzala's Serbian students.

Since the country was in financial ruin, it was only possible to have Mestre Peixinho and myself flown in. We were therefore the only ones to graduate 140 students. It took us an hour and a half, during which we took turns playing with them all. It has been a wild journey as a Dane to introduce a Brazilian cultural phenomenon in Serbia. Today the Capoeiraskolen Senzala has 4 Serbian contra-masters, 2 of them, Palha�o and Ax� Canarinho, have been with me since my first workshop in Belgrade.

Photo: Akilina Winner

In 2014, the time at the Frøbelseminariet ran out. The buildings were to be made into a municipal primary school, with no space for the Capoeiraskolen Senzala. A great time was over and the fear of an unknown future kept me sleepless night after night. This time, however, I was better prepared, and I had found premises in a property, very close to my home.

After intense negotiations with the owner, we managed to get a good lease on the house, and we could start renovating and building. After 3 months of hard work, on April 1, 2014 we opened the main center of the Capoeiraskolen Senzala, built for capoeira. In 2019, it formed the framework for the celebration of my oldest students, Benjamin and Pelle, graduating to Mestre de Capoeira.

A circle was completed. The dream and the vision have more than been realized, and it will be incredibly exciting to see what the future of the Capoeiraskolen Senzala will bring.

Fundador
Mestre Steen

Mestre Steen

Formados
Mestre Espiga

Mestre Espiga

Mestre Camarão

Mestre Camarão

Contra-mestres
Raio

Raio

Espoleta

Espoleta

Vovo

Vovo

Galo

Galo

Pipoca

Pipoca

Axé Canarinho

Axé Canarinho

Vento

Vento

Palhaço

Palhaço

Montanha

Montanha

Professores
Marko

Marko

Mel

Mel

Diablo

Diablo

Isak

Isak

Julius

Julius

Luna

Luna

Anders

Anders

Nils

Nils

Jelena

Jelena

Acidente

Acidente

Hans

Hans

Felix

Felix

Søren

Søren

Jens

Jens

Stella

Stella

Ludvig

Ludvig

Magnus

Magnus

Instrutores
Chocolate

Chocolate

Sisse

Sisse

Villads

Villads

Søren

Søren

Marko

Marko