The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

RGLP Recap: Capoeira with Fabio Nascimento (3)

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This is a session recap of the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) from a participant's perspective.

Pooja Sikka '18 saw a different perspective on intimacy during the capoeira session. Photo by Philip Son '16.

This session was one of my most fun and unique experiences yet in RGLP. It really challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and completely immerse myself in another culture. The instructor, Fabio "Fua" Nascimento, told us in the beginning that our behavior shows a lot about who we are, determines how other people perceive us, and how we identity ourselves. If we slouch, for example, and speak quietly all the time, then we may come off as insecure, depressed, anxious, and not sexually confident. This behavior can cause us to feel negatively about ourselves as well.

Students were encouraged to be comfortable with their own bodies during the capoeira. Photo by Philip Son '16

Positive energy is essential to happiness. Fua mentioned how “stress is status” nowadays, because people perceive overly happy people as not serious or thoughtful, while stressed people are perceived as more professional and serious about their work. However, if we make an effort to be happy, confident, and enthusiastic, then we will have this positive energy flowing through us and to the people around us, making the atmosphere feel more like family.

The most valuable thing I learned in today’s session was the difference in intimacy among cultures. The capoeira we did today with partners was the most uncomfortable thing I have done yet, but it challenged me to completely step outside my comfort zone, and after a while it wasn’t that bad! Despite the intimacy of the dance, capoeira was a common practice from where Fua was from. He danced as though it were a normal occurrence, whether it was between mother and son, two siblings, etc. 
This dance made me ponder on my own views on intimacy, and I realized that my views were heavily influenced by my cultural upbringing. Intimacy in Brazilian culture is not a big deal, but in my own Indian culture, intimacy is regarded as something private between two individuals who know each other and are together, not between two random strangers. Capoeira t has opened my mind to how culture plays a large part in our decisions and actions, but is a dynamic entity that changes with our various life experiences. 
-Written by Pooka Sikka '18, Fall 2015 RGLP Participant
This ongoing series explores sessions of the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) through participant narratives. RGLP engages Dartmouth students who have demonstrated leadership skills and would like to extend these skills on a globally conscious level. In this program, students focus on and further develop international leadership competencies, which have become increasingly crucial in corporate, public and non-profit sectors today.

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