By John McDevitt

by John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Free lessons were being offered at the Kimmel Center to introduce the public to cultural dance, that can also be used in self-defense.

They were feeling the beat at the Kimmel Center.

Students from Creative And Performing Arts high school were learning Capoeria, a form of dance that combines music, gymnastics, self-defense, and the language of Portuguese.

“It was so amazing it. It felt so good doing it,” said CAPA senior Aakhu Dorman, who is a dance major

Capoeria dates back to the 16th century, where it was used by enslaved Africans as a disguise for self-defense by masking it as an innocent dance, but can pack a deadly kick.

“We have a dance just to confuse you. ‘Ah the guy is just dancing,’ but it’s not, we hide the kicks into the dance,” said instructor Adenilson Dos Santos of Philadelphia-based Project Capoeira INC.

The Capoeira lesson was held to build excitement for the upcoming performance of Bale Folclorico Da Bahia, Brazil’s premier Folkloric dance troupe, performing for one night only at the Merriam Theater on February 17th.