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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Yosakoi dance performance, workshop offers campus cultural learning experience

In the spirit of sharing culture and heritage, the Asian Student Conference Dance (ASCD) group collaborated with K-State Tatsumaki Yosakoi and the Japanese Culture Association to teach students and community members a style of Japanese dance called Yosakoi.

Held in the Heskett Center, the Yosakoi dance performance and workshop events invited the general public to come out and dance. While the workshop ended at 2:30 p.m., the ASCD members continued practicing hours later.

“Having guest workshops at WSU helps amplify diversity and representation and allows for a safe space for learning and fun,” Julie Tran, ASCD group lead, said.

The Tatsumaki Yosakoi Dance Group that visited campus was founded in 2005 at K-State as the oldest Yosakoi team in the country. In 2018, representatives from Tatsumaki were invited to Kochi, Japan, and the group was titled official Yosakoi ambassadors. 

According to Tatsumaki group dancer Hayley Green, Yosakoi is a type of festival dancing from Kochi Prefecture, Japan. It started after World War II to rebuild community morale. Folk music and dance are mixed with modern, energetic dance and instrumentals.

Tatsumaki means “tornado” and honors the group’s Kansas origin. Their traditional Yosakoi costumes are customized with sunflowers for the same reason. 

The event began with a dance performance from the K-State Tatsumaki Yosakoi Dance Group members Hayley Green, Allie Zayas, Barbara Johnson and Keith Huddleston. 

After the performance, attendees were taught the dance step-by-step by Tatsumaki dancers.

Madeline Lodge, a media arts student, came out to the event.

“I wanted to learn Yosakoi because I had taken dance lessons in the past and thought this might be a way to get back into the performing arts,” Lodge said.

Tran explained the importance of diversity and representation to her, which she felt the workshop helped with. 

“We only know so much about ourselves,” Tran said. “If we’re from one culture (or) heritage, we only know so much about our own heritage, so it’s good to branch out and be open-minded to people who love their culture and would like to spread it.”

ASCD will perform at the annual Asian Festival on Oct. 28 at Century II in downtown Wichita.

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About the Contributor
Monique Bever, Reporter
Monique Bever is a first-year reporter and photographer. She is a freshman majoring in philosophy. Monique has lived in Wichita for most of her life. She loves film, fashion, and her cat.

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