Bananeira

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Pronounced “bah-na-nera”, the Bananeira or handstand is the absolute fundamental movement for all acrobatics. In Capoeira, we call the handstand Bananeria which means banana tree.

Move Background

Fundamentally, doing a handstand in Capoeira is no different from doing one in any other hand balancing art. The difference stems from the way bananeira is used in Capoeira. Bananeiras are generally used for two things: challenging the other person to see who can hold their handstand longer, and using the bananeira to escape or attack.

Step by step guide

  • There are numerous interpretations of why this is so, one of which relates to the dynamic (rather than static) nature of a Capoeirista handstand - your legs move like the leaves of a banana tree.
  • Place your hands on the ground and kick your legs up in the air.
  • It will likely be a combination of fear and some strength and mobility issues that will hold you back.
  • If you want to hold your handstand for more than a few seconds, it's critical you keep your arms straight, push the ground away and keep your entire body active and engaged.
  • But that's not the most important part of bananeira - once you found your balance you need to keep looking between your arms at the other player! 
  • It’s not uncommon to see capoeiristas enter in the Roda and hold a handstand position, as if to challenge the other person.
  • The other person might take on the challenge and get into a handstand themselves. I
  • f both people can hold a solid handstand, then both people have the choice of exiting the handstand to start the Capoeira game, or they will increase the difficulty of the bananeira.
  • At this point, we enter a game of horse, where one capoeirista tries to outdo the other until one person can’t top the other and they fall over. If your handstand game is better than the other person, it’s a small win.

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