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date: 23 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Based on Reis’ doctoral research, this chapter explores the elements of capoeira as a collective experience developing social skills, abilities, and styles, and promoting group engagement, cohesion, and empowerment. The chapter discusses the contribution of capoeira to social wellbeing through some core concepts: friendship, peer relationships, leadership, individual and group identity, and a sense of belonging, using hermeneutic phenomenology as an approach to understanding the dancers’ feelings in their community. The authors postulate that groups in a community may assume the sociological structure of the larger collective, and experiencing dance in groups may improve participants’ sense of social wellbeing, which is subjective and multidimensional. The chapter concludes that the art of teaching capoeira is not to suppress individuality but to celebrate it in pursuit of the team’s common goals, thus enhancing individual and community wellbeing.

Keywords: capoeira, social wellbeing, community, body, group relationships, dance

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