Hello happy campers! Today for your Wellness Activity, I’d like to propose some dancing. But not just any dancing. Have you ever heard of Yosakoi? Join Camper Calamity to learn the Dance of Joy!
Yosakoi Performers at Super Yosakoi 2007
What is Yosakoi?
Yosakoi is a folk dance originating from the city of Kochi, on the island of Shikoku, Japan, and was first performed in 1954. First imagined as a modern interpretation of the Awa-Odori, a traditional dance of summer festival, it soon spread as many Yosakoi clubs emerged in the whole country, each of them creating new choreographies. Yosakoi can be performed on all sorts of music, from traditional melodies to K-Pop, but all Yosakoi dances share a common style characterised by energy and joy. Many of them use Naruko, small wooden clappers used in rice fields to scare away the birds. But since I don’t expect every Iggles to be in possession of such instruments, we’ll have to do without them.
The choreography you’ll be learning today is called Agara. It was created in 2018 for the dance festival Kishu Yosakoi Odorunya in Wakayama. I think it best encapsulates what the experience of Yosakoi have been so far for me: the lyrics are about the happiness of being and dancing together, and the melody – which is going to stuck in your head, #sorrynotsorry – is about as smile-inducing as a baby corgi picture. Now that you know what Yosakoi is, it’s time to put your sneakers on!
Watch Camper Calamity’s video to learn the Dance of Joy!
To learn more, you can practice with…
- This tutorial from the actual creators of the dance. It’s in Japanese, but the moves themselves are very clear.
- The dancers of Kishu Yosakoi
- The members of Hinodemai Paris
- The whole French Yosakoi Federation
Do you have it yet? If you feel like you’ve got this choreography in the bag, there’s one more thing you can do: make a video of your performance and share it with us ! Here’s the music for you to download. Feel free to contact Camper Calamity through Discord or Twitter (@marielecun) if you need any help.
Have fun my fellow campers, and don’t forget to feel the joy!