Yosakoi is a unique Japanese dance style which is energetic (SUPA-GENKI!!!!), flamboyant, over the top and full of awesomeness!!!!! Every June in Sapporo they hold a huge Yosakoi Soran festival which takes place over 4 days in Odori Park and around. http://www.yosanet.com/
When I heard about Yosakoi I knew I had to join!!!!!! One of my Japanese friends used to dance with a Yosakoi team at Hokkaido University so he took me to one of their practices with another JET. They happily welcomed us to their team and we instantly were HOOKED... The group was so fun, friendly and energetic AND it was good exercise. Every Tuesday and Thursday we went to practice from 5:30 - 8pm.
At 8pm everyone piles outside to chat and/or go to dinner.
We also went to a few enkais (parties) with the group... They have bi-monthly b-day parties and also smaller group parties. Our group had a make your own okonomiyaki party! mmmm...
It was all fun and games until we received the official 20 page Yosakoi team contract!!!!! woah. I had heard rumors of how serious and crazy these teams were in terms of practice and rules... but woah!!!! I had no idea. Starting at the end of March practices would be every week: Tuesday, Wed. and Thursday from 6-9pm and then on every Saturday AND Sunday!!!! Not only that but they have Sunday night open practice and also on Mondays... AND they have a 5 day camp which is mandatory where they go out to eastern Hokkaido to do some hardcore practicing from morning til evening and then party at night!
Even despite this rigourous practice schedule I was still determined to join! Our group is 130 members and everyone is soooo fun and friendly... but was I willing to sell my soul to Yosakoi?!?!?! That was the lurking question.
But then i got a message from the yosakoi boss:
"we are very very very very very serious. you must dye your hair black. but we want to dance with you."
the funny thing is that I actually thought it over and STILL wanted to join but then once reality struck me and I realized that it would take me probably 2 years and lots of bleach and frizzy hair to get back to a somewhat normal blonde color.
So in the end I decided to sadly say sayonara to Yosakoi. Although they insist that we join their parties and practices every once in awhile...(YEAH!!!) and since we already know most of the dance - after the big festival in June we can join the group and perform in the smaller festivals around Hokkaido for fun!!! whoo hoooo!!!!
But now I'm still searching for a less serious and more laid back Yosakoi group to join where I can dance as a genki blonde. ;-)