Professora Minha Velha

Mestre Amen Santo

Dana 'Minha Velha' Maman was born in Tel Aviv Israel, to Jewish immigrant parent of Moroccan and Persian decent. She started her involvement with percussion and Afro-Brazilian culture at 15 in Israel. In 2001 Maman moved to Los Angeles and became part of Capoeira Batuque, the first and longest standing Capoeira Academy in Southern CA. There she continued her studies of capoeira and percussion under Master Teacher, Mestre Amen Santo. Maman has since traveled in the US and internationally performing and teaching capoeira and Afro-Brazilian music. Today she stands with over 25 years of experience is the art as a third level 'Professora' (graduated teacher). She runs one of the few women lead and taught Capoeira Academies in the US. Her mission is creating a healthy diverse community around Afro- Brazilian culture where men, children, and especially women can grow and excel.


A native of Salvador Bahia, Mestre Amen Santo is a recognized Mestre de Capoeira, master drummer, and is the Artistic Director of the Brasil Brasil Cultural Center. He began his artistic career under the guidance of Mestre Waldemar and Mestre Avila in Liberdade, Bahia, Brazil. His was mentored as a performer by Negão de Doni (percussion) and Emilia Biancardi (dance) and toured internationally as a member of Brazil’s historic premiere folk ensemble Viva Bahia. In 1989, he founded the Brasil Brasil Cultural Center that serves as the home base for a professional touring ensemble (the Ballet Folclòrico do Brasil) and the internationally renowned and longest standing capoeira school in Southern California, Capoeira Batuque. Santo helped bring capoeira to a worldwide audience through his performance and choreography in feature films including “Only the Strong” and “Kickboxer IV.”