Axé Capoeira Chicago Team

Owner
Head Instructor

Contramestre Steven “Bambu” Kolhouse is the leader of Axé Capoeira Chicago. He has been teaching capoeira for over 20 years. He is fluent in Brazilian Portuguese and well versed in Brazilian percussion, dances, and culture. He is one of Mestre Barrão’s top students and one of the most respected American-born capoeiristas in the world. He has taught in 13 different countries as his teaching style is highly sought after. Everyday, he strives to better himself, his teaching, and continue training well rounded capoeiristas versed in all aspects of the art.

in 1998, Contramestre Bambu began training Capoeira on the Indiana University campus. Shortly after, he met Mestre Barrão at a capoeira encounter and was invited to join Grupo Axé Capoeira.

He spent his formative years teaching in various cities in Indiana. He spent this time learning remotely as his Mestre had his academy in Vancouver, BC. He took every opportunity to travel to recieve training with his Mestre to bring home new techniques to refine. In 2004, his work would be recognized by receiving his Corda Verde (Green Belt) and title of Monitor (now Graduado). 

 In 2004, Bambu moved to Chicago hoping to build his own academy and group while brining Axé Capoeira to the city. In 2009, Bambu realized his dream by opening his own capoeira academy. In 2018, he was graduated with the status of Contra Mestre, one of only 3 non-Brazilians to ever achieve this rank in Grupo Axé Capoeira. 

Jennifer Kolhouse, “Gata”, is an entertainment director of Axé Capoeira Chicago. She is a professional dancer and leader of our Brazilian performance group. Jennifer is also the official costume designer for Grupo Axé Capoeira. By continually training with Brazil’s most well-known dance schools and instructors, Jennifer brings the best of Afro-Brazilian dance to our community, teaching various dance styles from the North East of Brazil as well as Rio style samba.

Jennifer has been dancing since she was 3 years old, training ballroom style dancing through her teenage years. When she joined Axé Capoeira Chicago she began to research Brazilian culture and it’s traditional dances. She traveled to Rio de Janeiro multiple times to perform in Carnaval with famous samba schools Estácio de Sá and Mocidade Indepedente de Padre Miguel and learn about Carnaval culture from the best show-makers in the world.

She is the founder and creative designer of MoDança Dance Apparel Company, which provides the most authentic custom made outfits and cultural costumes. All designs are unique and custom made to exact specifications.

Dance Instructor
Entertainment Director

Owner
Head Instructor

Contramestre Steven “Bambu” Kolhouse is the leader of Axé Capoeira Chicago. He has been teaching capoeira for over 20 years. He is fluent in Brazilian Portuguese and well versed in Brazilian percussion, dances, and culture. He is one of Mestre Barrão’s top students and one of the most respected American-born capoeiristas in the world. He has taught in 13 different countries as his teaching style is highly sought after. Everyday, he strives to better himself, his teaching, and continue training well rounded capoeiristas versed in all aspects of the art.

in 1998, Contramestre Bambu began training Capoeira on the Indiana University campus. Shortly after, he met Mestre Barrão at a capoeira encounter and was invited to join Grupo Axé Capoeira.

He spent his formative years teaching in various cities in Indiana. He spent this time learning remotely as his Mestre had his academy in Vancouver, BC. He took every opportunity to travel to recieve training with his Mestre to bring home new techniques to refine. In 2004, his work would be recognized by receiving his Corda Verde (Green Belt) and title of Monitor (now Graduado). 

 In 2004, Bambu moved to Chicago hoping to build his own academy and group while brining Axé Capoeira to the city. In 2009, Bambu realized his dream by opening his own capoeira academy. In 2018, he was graduated with the status of Contra Mestre, one of only 3 non-Brazilians to ever achieve this rank in Grupo Axé Capoeira. 

Dance Instructor
Entertainment Director

Jennifer Kolhouse, “Gata”, is an entertainment director of Axé Capoeira Chicago. She is a professional dancer and leader of our Brazilian performance group. Jennifer is also the official costume designer for Grupo Axé Capoeira. By continually training with Brazil’s most well-known dance schools and instructors, Jennifer brings the best of Afro-Brazilian dance to our community, teaching various dance styles from the North East of Brazil as well as Rio style samba.

Jennifer has been dancing since she was 3 years old, training ballroom style dancing through her teenage years. When she joined Axé Capoeira Chicago she began to research Brazilian culture and it’s traditional dances. She traveled to Rio de Janeiro multiple times to perform in Carnaval with famous samba schools Estácio de Sá and Mocidade Indepedente de Padre Miguel and learn about Carnaval culture from the best show-makers in the world.

She is the founder and creative designer of MoDança Dance Apparel Company, which provides the most authentic custom made outfits and cultural costumes. All designs are unique and custom made to exact specifications.

Student Teachers

Alexander “Berinjela” Lewis

Daniel “Tartaruga” Salazaar

Michelangelo “Palito” Retana

Michael “Frankenstein” Wheeler

Alexander “Berinjela” Lewis

Daniel “Tartaruga” Salazaar

Michelangelo “Palito” Retana

Michael “Frankenstein” Wheeler