29, Speech Language Pathologist
As a student who has trained with other capoeira schools, Capoeira Luanda Houston/BAF is by far superior! There is a very positive and fun vibe among the group. Professor Gringo’s style of teaching is very professional, yet relaxed and animated. You will leave every class feeling strong, smart, and flexible. Would recommend this studio to anyone!!
Luana Meireles Dasilva
Samba Instructor, Brazilian Arts Foundation
The Samba class at the BAF is energetic, fun, and dynamic. As an instructor, I focus on creating a welcoming and colorful environment for students of all walks of life and dance experience levels. It’s easy to get caught up on the glamorous side of samba, and, especially for beginners, to be somewhat intimidated by the moves…but I really believe that the most beautiful thing about samba and all its different manifestations is the expression of happiness, freedom, and “alegria de viver” (joy of living) that makes it so contagious around the world.
The idea is to come and have fun! In the end, this is the aspect of the vibrant culture that the BAF strives to expose all the people who walk in the cultural center to! Dance, sweat, smile, make connections with new people, and develop a new way of expressing joy through music and dance: SAMBA!
Marathon Oil Company - Advanced Geological Technician
The Portuguese language classes taught at the Brazilian Arts Foundation are such a great resource! Since the entire class is in Portuguese from day one, you’ll be speaking the language starting with your first class. The classes are very fun and focus heavily on conversation in order to maximize retention. Working in the oil & gas industry I meet many people from different countries like Brazil and Angola. Building working relationships is so much easier when you have something in common such as a language. These classes have been a tremendous help and I recommend them all the time.
“Learning Portuguese has greatly aided me in serving my customers. Being able to speak with my customers in their native language ensures that I am meeting their requirements as well as strengthening the business relationship. I thank the Brazilian Arts Foundation for their help and am grateful of the knowledge I have attained.”
Research administrator, Rice University
I have been taking classes (capoeira and samba) here for over 6 years and can’t say enough about the positive impact it has made on my life. The instructors are passionate about their craft and passing on their knowledge, history, and love for capoeira to the students. In all the years I’ve been taking lessons there I’ve never had a class end early, but often go past the end time. The atmosphere is one of family, with everyone helping each other to improve. If you are interested in improving your overall health, core strength, and flexibility in a great atmosphere, this is the place to go.
Senior Support Analyst - Lockheed Martin Information Technology - NASA Johnson Space Center
“Teresa Leiserowitz teaches language with an intensive approach. The instruction is focused on teaching Portuguese in an environment that will simulate what a student will encounter in a Portuguese-speaking country. She also has written a language instruction book with an audio CD. For that reasons, she has built her own rigorous language-learning curriculum, and is a wonderful resource for a person desiring to master the Portuguese language.
I have been her student, and I also have been a foreign language instructor myself. So I know a bit about language instruction. I have taught English in Germany to Germans and German to students at the University of Texas at Austin. I can vouchsafe for Ms. Leiserowitz for her thorough method instruction and her understanding of teaching a foreign language to Americans, particularly those in Houston who want to learn Portuguese.”
Artist, Capoeira Luanda Houston Kids Instructor
I started taking capoeira class at the BAF in 2006 and have learned so much since then. After 3 years taking 2 to 3, sometimes 4 classes every week, I started teach capoeira classes for kids at the BAF. Today, I teach 5 days a week with the same passion that was taught to me. The president Mauricio Campos, also my capoeira teacher, is very passionate about sharing Brazilian culture through his work and teaching style. I always recommend the BAF to all my friends and people who are interested in learning about Brazil. They do several programs in the community including art programs for seniors, music/percussion classes, portuguese classes, samba classes and other traditional brazilian dances.
I love it!
43, College Professor in the Humanities
I’ve been taking capoeira classes for about a year at the BAF, and I am continually impressed by the positive energy and amiable atmosphere. Mauricio brings great expertise and leadership, gathering together a wonderful group of students and capoeiristas. Classes at BAF mix an appropriate reverence for the history and depth of capoeira practice with a sense of fun and play. It’s a place where you feel welcome.
38, Technical Support Coordinator, ICERM at Brown University
“The Brazilian Arts Foundation is one of those places where you walk through the door expecting one thing, and you end up getting so much more. I joined the group three and a half years ago with the sole intention of continuing my capoeira training, and since then my eyes have been opened to the incredible array of gifts this organization has to offer not only students at the studio location, but the wider community. The sense of community service embodied by Mauricio Campos and the board of directors is nothing if not laudable, and their drive to do good in the wider world is infectious.”
I have been a student at the Brazilian Arts Foundation for almost 5 years and have found a second family of people who are very supportive and caring of their students and programs. The growth in quality of the programs, service and facility is notorious as well as the different educational and entertainment events provided to the community. At the BAF people get to experience culture and education from many different angles from language, plastic arts and sports discipline in a family friendly environment. I am very thankful that I ran into the foundation for capoeira training because that has led me to learn a new language, to meet great people, to belong to the community and to give back to them. I also love seeing all my peers make progress and see great friendships thrive from everyone’s efforts.
The reasons I take samba class are that it’s the most fun cardio workout I can imagine, it’s challenging but also something where you can clearly see progress over time (thanks to Luana’s awesome teaching :)). It engages my body and mind at the same time and I think it has improved my overall coordination and expression which seems to help with my capoeira training.
Editor - Region 4 Education Service Center
“I love Portuguese, and the language classes at the Brazilian Arts Foundation are great. The teacher who is Brazilian is also the author of our language book! And not only do I get to learn the language but I get to do so surrounded by Brazilian culture. Sometimes a Capoeira class may be going on or Brazilian drums are playing in the background. If you want a little taste of Brazil without leaving Houston, this place is it!”
I moved away less than 2 years ago and I still think of and remember the BAF fondly. They were, they are and they always will be a family to me. It does not matter how long I am gone, I always feel welcomed. I have learned so much from capoeira and from Gringo. I will always remember when Gringo said, “you will get as much out of it as you put in”. And so it has been true for capoeira and in life. I have learned amazing lessons that I always carry with me. I would recommend the Foundation in a heart beat for all subjects. The instructors are all professionals.
Director of Seniors Programming at Wesley Community Center
The Arts Program is something that has brought a lot of new members to the Community Center. It’s important to have them because they are consistent; they give the seniors something to look forward to. They don’t have much and they love their art classes. They just love having such energetic company. Tony and Mauricio keep members coming, and they bring new members to the Center.
Carlos A. Rodríguez
Sr. Technologist Leader - The Dow Chemical Company
“I have been always interested in Languages, and when I needed to learn Portuguese, I approached the Brazilian Arts Foundation, where I have the opportunity to learn the Language and get immersed in the Brazilian culture at the same time. The courses are well prepared and the one on one interaction is great that many of my friends and peers are now attending the classes at the Brazilian Arts Foundation.”
Melina Rios Rodriguez
Flight Safety International
“The Portuguese classes I am taking at the Brazilian Arts Foundation have provided me with a great foundation and understanding of the language. Teresa is a very passionate professor.”
Occupational Therapist - ROC of Houston
“The Portuguese classes at the Brazilian Art Foundation are excellent. I have been able to improve my conversational skills, and Theresa makes grammar very comprehensible. It is a fun and enjoyable experience”
Logistics and Planning Analyst - National Bronze & Metals, Inc.
“The Art Brazilian Foundation “Portuguese Program” has helped me a lot to learn Portuguese and to understand the culture through a delicate and passionate teacher “Teresa”. Also, all the Brazilian students and professors of different classes such as samba, capoeira try their best to help you to practice the language. In these 3 months, I have really enjoyed the classes and learned this beautiful language. I definitely recommend anybody who is interested in learning Portuguese to try this course.”