Samoan Sasa (Samoa)

Background: In Samoa, an island country in the South Pacific, rhythm, dancing, singing, and music are integral to the culture.  The Sasa is an energetic Samoan dance performed by men and women.  The dancers movements reflect activites from their daily life such as paddling, cracking a coconut, making nets and rope, climbing trees, making food and others.  This version is one that was created using some of the traditional movements.  There are many variations of Sasa.

Grade: 3-High School

Formation:  Squads lines with room in between dancers.  Dancers sit with legs crossed.

Movements: Arm and hand gestures.


Part One - Pati Po Claps.   Pati is a regular clap.  Po is a cupped hand clap which creates a lower sound.  Pati 4 times   Po 4 times   Repeat Pati 4 times  Po 4 times (16 counts).

Part Two - Pati Po Flick Slap. A flick is a quick light movement at shoulder level.  It resembles throwing something away.   A slap is a smack of the hands on the thighs.
Pati Po Flick Slap  Repeat the four movements 4 times (16 counts)

Part Three - Flick Slaps.  Flick hands up in front of face then slap the floor on the left side, Flick hands up in front of face then slap the floor on the right side, Flick hands up in front of face then slap the floor in front of legs, then a Pati clap and a Po clap this takes 8 counts, one count for each movement.  Repeat this sequence 4 times (32 counts)

Part Four - Hand Shakes. Right arm reaches out to the right side at shoulder level and does two hand shakes while the left hand is touching the left side of the head with left elbow lifted up. (2 counts).
Left arm reaches out to the right side at shoulder level and does two hand shakes while the right hand is touching the right side of the head with right elbow lifted up. (2 counts). Right and left arms reache front the front of the body and do two hand shakes then clap with both arms straight and shout "Talofa" which means hello in the Samoan language. 8 counts 2 counts for each hand shake and 2 counts to shout Talofa.  Repeat the sequence four times. (32 counts)

Part Five - Butterfly Slaps.  Slap hands on opposite elbows held at chest height. Lift hands so the back of the hands slap, slap elbows again and slap back of hands again. One count for each movement for 4 counts.  Then do a Pati Clap, a Po Clap, a Pati Clap, a Po Clap. one count for each clap for 4 counts.  This sequence totals 8 counts.  Repeat 4 times  (32 counts).

Part Six -  Cracking the Coconut. With the right hand pretend to scoop up a coconut. 2 counts.  Pretend you are chopping to open a coconut with the right hand while holding the coconut in the left palm Two chops using 1 count for each chop. Hold the right fist over the left fist and do a  wringing action as if you are squeezing coconut milk out through the strings rmenants of the coconut husk. 2 counts. Throw away the husk with the right hand by tossing it over the right shoulder 1count and hold for 1 count.  This sequence is 8 counts. Repeat 4 times (32 counts).

Part Seven - Elbow Slaps -  Hold left elbow up at a  90degree angle and slap the inside of the left elbow with the right hand, repeat with the left hand slapping the right elbow. 2 counts. Then one Pati clap and one thigh slap. 2 counts.  4 counts total for this sequence.  Repeat 3 times for 12 counts and at the end of the third time shout "Chew." 

Part Eight -  Create your own 8 count Sasa sequence that can be repeated 4 times for a total of 32 counts.  Use work movements, slaps using different body parts, foot stamps or other movements you create.