Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 8 April 2020

'I just wanted to spread some positive vibes': meet the Lebanese Afrobeats instructor behind the latest viral video

Sara Karrit recorded a video of herself and family dancing to spread joy in these uncertain times

Sara Karrit is an Afrobeats dance instructor and Nike Pro Hijab ambassador Supplied by Sara Karrit.
Sara Karrit is an Afrobeats dance instructor and Nike Pro Hijab ambassador Supplied by Sara Karrit.

Sara Karrit is taking the internet by storm.

Ever since the Lebanese dance instructor and funky mummy dropped an online video of herself, flanked by her husband and six year-old son, dancing along to the sounds of Afrobeat act, DJ Neptune, it seemed like the world wanted to groove along.

Click to watch the viral video below:

In less than 24 hours, the video has been viewed nearly half a million times on her Instagram account alone, not to mention the untold number of re-shares across social media.

This resulted in Karrit receiving hundreds of well wishes and interviews from media outlets around the world.

β€œNow I really know what viral means,” she tells The National. β€œWe as a family have been staying home for a few days now and we always do things like dancing to change our mood and make us happy.”

This time around, Karrit was thinking beyond the four walls. While no stranger to posting videos of her instructing clients at her Afrobeats dance studio in Beirut, on this occasion, she wanted to record an unpolished video of her and her family.

β€œI just wanted to spread some positive vibes,” she says.

β€œThat was the only goal because there are a lot of people at home, with nothing to do. The reaction has been amazing and it made me so happy.”

Karrit’s life story is equally enchanting.

For one thing, her love of Afrobeats is not a fad. Born in Beirut in 1992, she left the city a mere two weeks later to spend 16 years living in Africa. With her father a businessman, she joined him in stints in Zambia, South Africa, Senegal and Angola.

Upon returning to Lebanon 10 years ago, she launched a career as a successful dance instructor and choreographer, specialising in dance styles ranging from hip-hop to salsa. With the Afrobeat – a style she grew up with – gaining global traction four years ago, she began what may be Lebanon’s first dance classes dedicated to the genre.

Not only was it a hit, it resulted in the chance encounter, two years ago, with mobile app developer and future husband Akif Sabeh. A willing dance partner in some of Karrit’s videos, the fact that he can also bust a move is not only down to her expert instruction.

β€œI was divorced at the time and the funny thing was he came for squash class next door which was cancelled. When he heard Afrobeats playing he stopped what he was doing and came to my studio to see what was going on,” she recalls with a laugh. β€œHe told me that he was born in Nigeria and spent nearly 18 years there before he came back. We both have the African spirit.”

Buoyed by the success of the viral video, Karrit says she plans to post more fun family content during the days ahead to boost everyone’s spirits.

For such an active person, she admits staying at home this past week has been difficult, but she is already seeing the benefits of this uncertain period.

β€œIt is a chance for all us to reconnect and really have a break,” she says. β€œIn fact, I feel this situation is giving the whole earth a break. I look outside my window and I can already see there is less pollution. This is something that’s much needed.”

Updated: March 23, 2020 07:45 PM

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