Denis Chiaramonte is the head of Cordão de Ouro Capoeira Academy in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that was developed by slaves in Brazil. Originally from Jundiaí, São Paulo, Brazil, Denis has more than 18 years of experience in capoeira and has trained with a series of esteemed Brazilian masters. In 1998, he became a student of Mestre (Master) Suassuna, the original founder and visionary of Cordão de Ouro, one of the most respected capoeira groups in Brazil. In 2003, he was invited to lead the Cordão de Ouro group in Urbana-Champaign and received his professor rank. In 2004, he graduated to contra-mestre, one rank below mestre, in Mestre Suassuna's last graduation ceremony. Since his arrival in the United States, Denis has taught in several states as well as in Israel, France, Japan, England, and Mexico. He has also hosted six international capoeira conventions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, bringing teachers and students from around the globe. Denis is an expert not only in capoeira but also in various other dances and arts associated with capoeira, such as Afro-Brazilian dances, maculelé, puxada de rede, and samba. Students in Denis' classes learn not just the movements of the game but how to play the instruments used during the game, how to sing the songs (which involves learning some Portuguese), and about the history and culture of Brazil.