Super Moves: Jay Camara Spain

If you get a chance to see Axé Capoeira Arizona perform, take it. Because there's no way to do this group — or its art form — justice with words. Capoeira is described as a Brazilian-Afro art form, incorporating movement, music, and culture. See? Hard to get a visual. Another way to describe capoeira is as a conversation between two people — yeah, a little chat using acrobatics that put Cirque du Soleil to shame and martial arts kicks and chops (don't worry, there's no real physical contact) that make cage fighting look tame. We know little girls who have fallen in love, watching these bodies in motion. And big girls, too. Jay Camara Spain, leader of the first capoeira troupe in Arizona, offers classes for adults and kids, and Axé Capoeira performs around town (go to www.axecapoeira-az.com for details). He describes the essence of capoeira this way: "Capoeira is like life. Life sometimes is not fair, sometimes good, sometimes bad. The way you move is the way you think; the way you think is the way you move. So goes life." Like we said, you gotta see it for yourself.

I arrived in Phoenix in 1998.

When I’m stuck in traffic, I listen to my Sirius car radio, tuned to jazz.


Jay Camara Spain

I never forget to TiVo Suns basketball.

One thing my mother doesn’t know about me is that I flew into the Grand Canyon.

On Saturday night, you can find me at home relaxing and rejuvenating.

My favorite thing about summer in Phoenix is the monsoons.

The one dessert I refuse to eat is peaches.

If I was mayor of Phoenix, I’d create a youth leadership center for teens at risk.

In high school, I was the kid who excelled at sports.

In another life, I was an Egyptian leader.

The fictional character I’m most like is Superman.

The best thing about Phoenix is the desert nights.

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