Monday, June 1, 2009

"Summer's here and the time is right, for dancin' in the street..."

Yesterday's dance event in Morioka was not at all what I had expected!

On the two-hour drive to the city with my friends Ayaka and Kuzue, I was feeling slightly anxious about performing seven dances with my team, depsite the fact that I practiced an additional five hours last week in preparation.

Turns out, both the nerves and the five-hour practice were completely unnecessary.

I didn't peform the dances with my team. Instead, I joined hundreds of other people and basically partied in the street!! Crazy fun!

Before I joined the other dancers, though, I watched what was basically a parade made up of different dance teams from all over northern Japan. I watched the dancers from the sidelines, wondering when our turn would come...

Every group had different outfits and routines.

I was reminded of my high school marching band days because of all the different groups, routines, and the flags and props.

Just chillin' before dancin.' This group did about seven outfit changes in one dance!

I took a couple of shots of the ginormous flags...

From little girls dancing to High School Musical to middle-aged men dancing in business suits, there was quite a variety! Here is a three-minute sample of what I watched for about six hours...

Did you hear the hysterical laughter (that was Ayaka!) when the lady lost her wig? :)

Finally, our turn came to dance! We didn't have our fancy costumes on -- but in our dance t-shirts with the cool Japanese writing on the back -- the three of us joined approximately 900 other people to dance the same songs, with the same moves, in the street! As far as I looked in both directions, the street was packed with people dancing! I stopped long enough to take this video, to give you a better idea...

What fun!! The day didn't quite go as I'd thought it would, (I guess that's what happens when no one on your dance team speaks English well!), but I've learned to expect the unexpected in Japan.

Oh, by the way, don't expect another blog post from me for at least a week. I'm headed to Tokyo tomorrow to meet up with three friends from college, and we're going to South Korea together for a few days!! I'm really excited about visiting our friend, Wendy, who is teaching English in Korea. Should be a blast!


Dawn said...

Looks like a lot of fun - guess you didn't need to be so nervous when you saw everyone dancing.

Ashley said...

Have a fun trip. I really enjoyed seeing your video's of everyone dancing. That is really neat!