Maruja’s Guide to Para Para Dancing

14 07 2007

(Warning: Video Overload)

It’s one of my quirk hobbies as of late, learning to dance the Para Para.

For those who have no idea what this is, I’m not surprised. The hobby’s not as popular as cross-stitching or reading Harry Potter. So here’s a simple guide about Para Para.

Basically, Para Para (or Para-Para or Parapara) is a form of club dancing popularized in Japan. It started in the 1980s and became popular outside of the Land of the Rising Sun by the 1990s, and has since evolved into different forms.

What sets it apart from other forms of rave and club dancing is that each song has a corresponding choreography that everyone else should follow, kinda like line dancing but with more hand movement and less focus on the legs.

Para Para is usually danced along with Euro-Pop songs, which recording companies in Japan would popularize by distributing DVDs containing the choreography. The video above demonstrates some of the basic moves in Para Para.

What’s good about this is that you can either dance this alone (like this gal from Russia)…

With a pair (like this Brazilian duo)…

With a group (like these cute American gals)…

Or have an intricate production number, putting several songs together to make one really long routine (like what these Paralists in Taiwan did).

Being a social dance, Paralists would gather around in parks and rehearse the latest routines on site. This is where “teams” are created, kinda like a barkada who all love Para Para.

With the popularity of Techno and Trance music, Para Para evolved into Techpara and Trapara respectively, each with its own characteristics and sublte differences.

Trapara is usually danced on slightly slower songs. It only has one to three routines in each song (unlike in Para Para where four arm patterns are the minimum). It also has what I like to call “rest period” where you just stop dancing, giving time to drink water or socialize with fellow dancer.

Here’s one Trapara routine that I like so much. It looks so darn easy, but it’s not.

Meanwhile, Techpara is little more complex. It dances on faster songs and most of the time your feet are planted apart while your hips swing from right to left. Since the songs in Techpara are fast, the hand movements are just as quick and difficult to master. People who would see this for the first time would remind them of rave dancing. (Please do note that the video is in “reverse,” a technique used by some Paralists to dance along.)

I actually have a hard time doing Techpara. Maybe I’ll pass this one for now.

Meanwhile, I’m gonna practice this one. It’s so me!


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13 responses

14 07 2007
goddess

yung unang video, yung naka-yellow mukhang Bratz! hehehe..

this dance reminds me ng aking pag-vivideoke.. sa quantum ata.. may 3 cartoon girls na sumasayaw ng Para-Para.. ang saya!

14 07 2007
dazedblu

hehe, nakakatuwa siya.

14 07 2007
chase

I think it is quite interesting and I like the songs especially the first one

14 07 2007
Kiks

Hahahahaha, ang galing galing! Finally, the girls, if not the gays, have taken whole copyright of the whole para para thing. Tama ba ako?

I remember the Universal Motion Dancers way back That’s Entertainment time ba yon?

And Pluma Gay was so fab. Pero parang ang dali masyado ng steps, Empress. Unless panghabambuhay kang judge sa mga dance competitions. Chika!

Love ya and para para!

15 07 2007
travelphilippines

i would love to dance para para too.

15 07 2007
Maruja’s Guide to Para Para Dancing - PinoyBlogoSphere.com | Pinoy Bloggers Society (PBS)

[…] As the Japanese would say: Let’s Dancing! […]

15 07 2007
Lyka Bergen

Aaaaay! Pwede yan sa aming LTE number! Ako yung sa gitna dapat at si Ekra and Kelly na lang sa sides!

15 07 2007
empressmaruja

@ Goddess – Yes, Mare. Masaya siyang sayawin.

@ Dazed Blu – May mga sayaw na nakakatuwang tignan, pero kapag ginawang sobrang hard.

@ Chase – I found the first song cute, too.

@ Kiks – Naghahanap nga ako ng Pinoy na Para Para team dito para naman may kasabay ako. Pero so far wala akong mahanap.

@ travelphilippines – It’s great to ehar that!

@ Lyka Bergen – Ay, Mare! Dapat i-video ‘yan at i-post!

12 08 2007
Maruja Sunday Specials #7 « They Call Me Maruja: A Colorful Life at Random

[…] ako minsan ng aking younger brother na sumasayaw ng Para Para sa […]

29 08 2007
kurufu

wow! cool para para! medyo hawig sa paro paro (butterfly) nga Universal Motion Dancers… speaking of butterfly, check out this 2007 remake of UMD’s butterfly dance…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndHJgXkez7c

6 11 2007
Adik…Adeeeek! « They Call Me Maruja: A Colorful Life at Random

[…] sa Para Para dancing, admiring Simon Atkins, at PEDROS, adik si Maruja sa pagbutingting sa Wikipedia. And don’t […]

22 09 2008
Empress Maruja is a PC! « Empress Maruja

[…] Oh yeah, Empress Maruja has PC pride.  I’m a PC, and I dance the Para Para. […]

17 11 2009
ArrayIndex

Wow, mga paralista sa Pinas!! Haha, I’m a paralist myself, kaso medyo nag-quit na rin ako a year ago, sa kadahilanan na walang malapit na para para machine sa area namin, at sa nature din ng aking trabaho…😀

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