Where to Learn Japanese Dance For Free


Photo by Ace Rivera https://www.instagram.com/ace370/
The Kagoshima Ohara Matsuri is an annual dance festival held in Kagoshima prefecture on the island of Kyushu and is Kagoshima's biggest event of the year. Traffic is stopped as thousands of people dance through the streets. As a way of promoting tourism to Kagoshima, every year the Shibuya Kagoshima Ohara Festival is held in central Tokyo in front of the iconic Shibuya 109 building. There are also stalls offering unique Kagoshima foods to try and information booths for those interested in visiting the prefecture by the also iconic Hachiko statue. It's a popular event attended by many TV channels and photographers trying to snag the 50,000 yen first prize in the photography contest.
Photo by Ace Rivera https://www.instagram.com/ace370/)
I was lucky enough to participate in the 2017 Shibuya Ohara Festival, which marked the 20th anniversary of the event. There were over 2,500 dancers from over 60 teams. My team was the first ever international team to participate, and we were very pleased to receive the award for best new entry!
Photo by Ace Rivera https://www.instagram.com/ace370/
The first half of the parade is a competition where the dance teams are judged on their performances of the two main dances 'Shibuya Ondo' and 'Ohara-Bushi'. This is followed by a half hour break in the parade while professional dancers and acrobats perform to remixes of traditional Japanese music, which was very impressive to watch.
In the second half of the festival, the audience are invited to join the parade so if you've ever wanted to learn Japanese dance - this is the perfect opportunity! Any member of the public can join so try and pick up the dance in the first half and then join in!
Photo by Ace Rivera https://www.instagram.com/ace370/
If you are in Japan in late May I hope you will visit the Shibuya Kagoshima Ohara Festival to get a glimpse of traditional dance from Kagoshima and to cheer on the International Ohara team!

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My video about my experiences:



Bethany Beffinee