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HISTORY: The art of survival, of liberation, the art of game play: Capoeira was created by Africans brought to Brazil during the slave trade, today it is practiced throughout the world by a diverse community of enthusiasts. This Afro-Brazilian art form is a fusion of dance – martial arts – acrobatics – functional fitness and traditional music. Capoeira is a highly creative and expressive movement form with deep cultural roots and a complex history.

GAME PLAY: Capoeira is a holistic art, a fluid series of agile movements exchanged between two players. This graceful yet powerful mix of dance and martial arts is linked together to form a unique and organic game played in a roda. The roda is the circle where one’s training manifests into strategic, improvised games.  These games are an intricate exchange of circular and straight kicks, escapes, sweeps, takedowns, and gymnastic flourishes accompanied by the distinct sound of the Berimbau, Atabaque and Pandeiro. These traditional instruments and the original music and songs of Capoeira are vital to the practice and preservation of the art.

CURRICULUM: In a typical class, participants will do a cardiovascular warm up, stretch and train basic techniques alone and in partners. Classes focus on developing conditioning, flexibility, mobility, balance, movement quality and body awareness. Teachers help practitioners connect their rhythm, strength and flexibility into fluid body expression. Music is a fundamental part of Capoeira, students of all levels learn traditional instruments and songs.

YOUTH PROGRAM: Capoeira is an amazing art for kids of all ages. CB NeLA offers 3 levels of youth classes: TINY TOTS: Ages 3-5.5, Kids: Ages 6-10 and TWEENS & TEENS: Ages 10+. Age-appropriate curriculum focuses on coordination, flexibility, rhythm, and core strength while bolstering confidence and developing leadership skills, discipline and respect.

TEACHERS: Capoeira Brasil Northeast LA is led by brown cords, Formanda Pavão and Formando Chegado. CB NeLA is an extension of the international CB organization co-founded by Pavão & Chegado’s teacher, renowned Capoeira master, Mestre Boneco.

COMMUNITY: CB NeLA is a diverse community whose mission is to train, preserve, and disseminate the transformational art of Capoeira. Class times are available for youth 3 and above, tweens, teens, and adults of all fitness and skill levels.  CB NeLA is located at CounterBalance in Eagle Rock.  CounterBalance is a boutique martial arts, fitness and body movement space curated by Pavão and Chegado, for more info: 

TRY A CLASS:  We offer BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED and ALL LEVEL Adult Capoeira classes.  First-timers/Beginners are welcome to attend the 7:15 pm Monday-Thursday classes and Saturday’s 11 am class.  Youth classes are divided into age groups.  To start training or for more info, please email us at or register and reserve class at

Because of COVID-19 safety protocols we do not accept any unregistered DROP-INS.

Formanda Pavão

Jessica Carla de Lima-Moran AKA “Pavão,” has been a capoeirista for 22 years, training and teaching under world-renowned Capoeira master, Mestre Boneco of Capoeira Brasil Los Angeles (CBLA). She is managing director at the CBLA Headquarters in Mid-City Los Angeles and alongside her husband, Sean “Chegado” Moran, owns and operates CounterBalance LA, a boutique martial arts, fitness and body movement space in Northeast LA.  CounterBalance is home to Pavão’s passion, a large youth and adult Capoeira program that has been serving the community since 2005.

In addition to running CBLA & CounterBalance, Pavão also works throughout Los Angeles teaching and speaking about Capoeira at schools, cultural festivals, corporate events, and community programs. These special events and residencies serve hundreds of youth and families throughout the year.

Pavão produces the annual International Capoeira Festival which is one of the largest events of its kind in the United States, attracting a huge number of local, national and international participants.  She is widely recognized as a leader and innovator in the art of Capoeira.

When she is not working with Capoeira locally, Pavão travels extensively teaching and training throughout the world. She has participated in and taught at countless Capoeira seminars and conferences. She enjoys writing about Capoeira, and lectures on the history, origins, and development of the art.  

In addition to teaching Capoeira, Pavão also works in fitness and body movement.  She and her husband and teaching partner, Chegado, have developed a fitness training system called Body Balance.  

Beyond Capoeira and Body Balance, Pavão has also worked with the nationally recognized Summer Night Lights program, a project of the Gang Reduction Youth Development Office (GRYD) of Los Angeles. She has also worked in marketing, special event planning, and produced two short films.

As a result of her work with Capoeira and youth in the community she has become a fierce advocate for at-risk youth and enjoys mentoring.

Formanda Pavão has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Berkeley. She received her title of ‘Formanda’ and was awarded her brown cord under Mestre Boneco in September 2017.

Formando Chegado

Sean Anthony Moran AKA “Chegado,” has been involved in the Capoeira community for 22 years. He trains and teaches under the guidance of world-renowned master, Mestre Boneco of Capoeira Brasil Los Angeles (CBLA).

Chegado, and his wife/ teaching partner, Pavão co-manage CBLA Headquarters in Mid-City Los Angeles and lead the school’s team of teachers. Chegado and Pavão own and operate CounterBalance LA, a boutique martial arts, fitness and body movement space in Northeast LA.  CounterBalance is home to a large youth and adult Capoeira program that has been serving the community since 2005.

In addition to teaching and performing with Capoeira Brasil, Chegado produces the group’s annual International Capoeira Festival, works mentoring youth and travels extensively teaching and training throughout the world. He has participated in and taught at countless seminars and conferences and has showcased Capoeira in commercial, television and film projects.   He has also worked as an associate professor in the theatre department at the California Institute of the Arts.

Beyond Capoeira, Chegado is a classically trained actor, veteran of Will & Company, a multicultural Shakespearean theatre group and a touring facilitator for Playfair Inc. Chegado has been in countless commercials, television shows, stage productions, and films. Most notably, he played Private Sean Fike in James Cameron’s 2009 release, “Avatar” and is returning in the 2022 release of “Avatar 2”. In 2015, Sean starred in the faith-based feature film, “Dead Man Rising” and in 2017 wrote, produced and starred in the indie film “Beat DWN.”

Formando Chegado is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He received his title of ‘Formando’ and was awarded his brown cord under Mestre Boneco in September 2017.

Mestre Boneco

Mestre Boneco began training Capoeira at the age of eleven with Grupo Senzala in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1989, after years of dedicated training, he was recognized for his outstanding achievement in the Capoeira community and awarded his black belt by a council of Brazil’s most distinguished masters. Mestre Boneco’s black belt is also recognized by the Brazilian Capoeira Federation. After receiving his black belt, Mestre Boneco, along with Mestres Paulinho Sabia and Paulão, founded Capoeira Brasil, an organization that would later become one of the largest Capoeira groups in the world.

In 1998, Mestre Boneco moved to Los Angeles and opened Capoeira Brasil’s North American headquarters: CBLA. Under the guidance of Mestre Boneco, CBLA and its non-profit partner, Benção Brasil, have grown tremendously, hosting annual festivals, youth events, art exhibits, and parties. With satellite classes, youth programs, free community programming, teaching residencies, and public and private performances, CBLA is an artist/athlete community whose work is well known throughout Southern California.

Mestre Boneco’s 45 plus years of experience includes teaching workshops in the world’s leading universities, presenting seminars and talks at many international fitness and cultural conferences, and the production of over 30 international Capoeira festivals. Teaching is his passion! Today he supervises over 100 graduated teachers with programs in South and North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

Mestre Boneco and CBLA have been featured on CNN, FOX news, ABC, NBC, KTLA, Telemundo and Univision news shows. He was featured on “Extra Hollywood” and VH1’s “Hollywood’s Hardest Bodies.” In print, Mestre Boneco and his group have graced the pages of Men’s Fitness, SELF, and The Los Angeles Times. And in the entertainment industry, Mestre Boneco has choreographed and trained actors for various motion pictures, national commercials, and stage productions.

Most recently, Mestre Boneco produced and hosted an eight part documentary series on Capoeira around the world and has returned to Brazil to focus on projects in his native Rio de Janeiro.