Leigh RobertsonArt Form(s):
I am determined to inspire as many people as possible through capoeira. Some of my most fulfilling work is done with children and under-served communities that have limited access to the arts. Over the years I have explored the potential for capoeira to significantly shape and enrich the lives of people struggling with learning and social difficulties, and have cultivated programs tailored for individuals on every spectrum.
Capoeira is transformative and cultivates a sense of community and support that can be lacking in many aspects of life. Daily I witness the evolution and growth of children through their practice: The timid become brave, the leaders become listeners, the shy become singers. As a teacher there is no greater reward than watching kids come together, support one another, and express themselves through movement and music with kindness and respect.
Leigh Robertson aka Mestra “Gata Brava” is an internationally recognized teacher and performer of the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira, and one of the select few American women to achieve this rank. Since 2000 she has dedicated her life to preserving and sharing the unique style of Capoeira passed down to her by her teacher, Mestre Doutor.
In 2009 Leigh founded the group Capoeira Morro Verde, offering multi-faceted instructional programs for children and adults. She continues to lead programs in Capoeira, Samba, Maculele and music at her studio, Greenhill Arts, in Buckingham, PA.
Working with countless grade schools and colleges has led Leigh to create programs specifically tailored to adults and children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorder and executive function difficulties, as well as autism and related conditions.
In her journey to help spread Capoeira to the greater community, Leigh has trained actors, performed in and choreographed for Disney’s Step Up movie series, and was featured on TEDx in NYC. However, Leigh considers the most fulfilling aspects of her work to be done locally, teaching regularly for underserved communities with limited access to the arts.