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Meet Vika Stansky-Hernandez of Samba, Afro-Brazilian Dance & Capoeira Relampue in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas and San Marcos

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vika Stansky-Hernandez.

Vika, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always loved dance and martial arts. I took my first trip to Brazil in 2005, and fell in love with the culture. When I came back to the US, I started training Capoeira, Samba and Afro-Brazilian dance with Mestre Mariano Silva in Santa Barbara. The journey of studying these arts have built my character, inspired me to continuously progress physically, mentally and spiritually and led me to Brazil three more times (so far!). After some time, with the support of my mentor, family and friends, I started to share these beautiful arts with the San Diego community.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy! I have definitely encountered personal struggles, and have felt my growth plateau at times. Building from scratch is difficult but when you see the fruits of your labor, whether it’s conquering a movement or an emotion, you feel victorious and inspired to keep pushing forward.

Please tell us about Samba, Afro-Brazilian Dance & Capoeira Relampue.
I teach samba, afro-Brazilian dance and capoeira classes in the San Diego area. I am also part of Bahia Magia Dance Company and assist in performance bookings and help organize special events. I am most proud of how this work touches people and uplifts men, women and children. I love to see folks break free from self-criticism, self-consciousness and low self-esteem. You can see people transforming in the way they see themselves and in the way they start to express their body more freely. My classes are for everyone. No matter the level of experience. I was always taught that capoeira and dance is for everybody and every type of body. I believe this philosophy of inclusivity is what makes us stand out.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Favorite memory from childhood is having freedom to play outside with my friends. Nowadays, we don’t see that kind of community trust.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @vikadancesandiego

Image Credit:
Vika Stansky-Hernandez

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