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#208 One man’s dance dream, a gift to the city

By Cathryn Wellner / December 4, 2011

Photo by kornikopia, via morgueFile

For 19 years Abheeru has been hosting dance parties in Vancouver. This isn’t a bar scene. There’s no alcohol. All ages are welcome. Dance styles are as individual as the children, teens and adults gyrating to the world music.

Abheeru started Just Dance when he moved to Vancouver from Quebec City. He loved to dance but didn’t like the crowded, smoky (at the time), boozy club scene. Propelled by the idea of “if you don’t like something, change it,” he offered a monthly alternative. With no experience as a DJ or events organizer, he just plunged in. When a friend, Kushad, joined him, he added a second monthly dance. (Kushad left the city for Pender Island, but Abheeru keeps the world music playing.)

In the second decade, Just Dance added a third monthly dance with a different focus, “providing a more intentional space for the dancers to connect with their personal journey through movement.” The Web site calls that third dance, “Journeys…a unique opportunity to sweat your prayers!”

Sheryl MacKay interviewed Abheeru on CBC’s North by Northwest. So you can listen to this gentle, generous soul on the Web site. I guarantee you’ll want to show up next time you’re in Vancouver, to dance “where you are free to be yourself, connect with a vibrant community and dance the way you want!”

One man’s dream is a community’s gift.

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