by Asan Azu

Sabar is a style of dance from Senegal that is very engaging, elegant, theatrical and entertaining. The dancer will use his/her legs, feet, hips, and arms while maintaining a symmetric or asymmetric position; Sabar involves lots of movements of all the above body parts, and jumping as well; it is an excellent aerobic exercise but again, quite entertaining, and graceful. Please come and experience it yourself.

Asan Azu has always been interested in music and dance in particular. Even though Asan loves and can dance various styles from around the world such as salsa, meringue, zouk, and hip-hop, his favorite style is Sabar, a very engaging yet elegant and theatrical dance from his native Senegal, the western-most country in Africa. At a very early age, Asan learned how to dance Sabar, indeed the most popular dance in Senegal, in the village of Pire, about 70 miles east of the main city, Dakar. Music in general but especially Sabar, animated by the drummers, plays an important role in Senegalese culture through the central contribution of the ?griots? who perpetuate the traditions. As he says: ?Learning how to dance is very much comparable to learning how to speak the local language as an infant.? ?I love dancing more than anything else because it is beautiful art, healthy sport, spiritual and social communion, and joyful entertainment. It is the complete package,? he adds.

Despite continuing his academic education and earning a business degree at Cal Berkeley, Asan never abandoned dancing. He actually taught West African dance classes at the International House at UC Berkeley for two years while attending school. Prior to that, he also taught Sabar at Santa Monica College in the Los Angeles area.

Asan is currently a Sabar teacher at the Maverick gym in Emeryville. He teaches on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m.

Email him at
6005 Shellmound St :: Emeryville, CA :: 94608

SFFFF 2006: